Thursday 19 April 2018

Editorial: Dark day for the gardai leaves many worrying questions

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan who announced his resignation
Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan who announced his resignation

Yesterday was a dark and in many ways extraordinary day for the Garda Siochana and public life in general. The first meeting of the Cabinet since they scattered to the four winds for St Patrick's Day was supposed to open with Fine Gael minister Leo Varadkar lined up with some Labour ministers to demand that the Garda Commissioner withdraw his use of the word 'disgusting' with regard to the actions of the Garda whistleblowers.

Such things rarely go to plan and in this case the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, astonished the Cabinet with the revelation that for many years a large number of garda stations, believed to be several dozen, have been recording incoming and outgoing conversations on unspecified phones. The Taoiseach told the Cabinet that there were what he called "grave implications" for past legal cases and some yet to come.

The morning's drama was heightened by the resignation of Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.

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