Friday 23 March 2018

Callinan culled to save Alan Shatter and the Coalition

Eoghan Harris

Eoghan Harris

I PREFER cock-up to conspiracy theories. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe De Valera had no hand in the killing of Michael Collins. But I am convinced that the retirement of Commissioner Callinan was contrived to save Alan Shatter and the Coalition.

Certainly, Callinan deserved to be chivvied into standing down if he refused to withdraw the "disgusting" remark. But if, as he clearly believes, he was led to think that loyalty to the then Shatter line required him not to withdraw the remarks, then he has been treated contemptibly.

There are two schools of commentators in relation to the events of the crisis weekend. The first consists of respected commentators like Stephen Collins and Fergus Finlay, who – in the Irish Times and on Newstalk respectively – broadly accept the Coalition's narrative. Let's look at what that entails.

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