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Whistleblower row has Cabinet in disarray

THE dirty laundry has been aired in public and the Taoiseach is not best pleased.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said that he would prefer if Minister Leo Varadkar had raised his gripes about the whistleblower issue in private at the Cabinet table, "rather than have them aired in public".

Tensions between Transport Minister Leo Varadkar and his party – particularly Justice Minister Alan Shatter – are likely to come to a head in the coming days.

Mr Varadkar stunned Mr Kenny when he called on Commissioner Martin Callinan to withdraw his claim that the decision to leak information from the Garda Pulse system was "disgusting".

The cabinet has been plunged into disarray by Mr Varadkar's shock intervention.

But even more tensions have surfaced after Fine Gael's Dublin West TD Varadkar was backed by the Labour Party – in particular Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore and Social Protection Minister Joan Burton.

But speaking in Brussels yesterday, Mr Kenny called on ministers to bring their grievances to cabinet rather than air them through the media.

Mr Kenny acknowledged the role of the garda whistleblowers in highlighting the issues in the penalty points system.

DAMAGED

However, he stopped short of calling on Callinan to withdraw controversial remarks he made about whistleblowers Sgt Maurice McCabe and John Wilson.

Mr Kenny said that the Commissioner had already clarified his remarks.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has accused the Taoiseach of trying to "close down the debate" on the row between the Garda Commissioner and the whistleblowers as the Government had been "damaged" by the scandal.

Mr Martin said he believed Kenny's intervention represents a "severe rebuke" to Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore.

NOCONNOR@HERALD.IE


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