Ireland: Fennelly Report Shines Light on PM’s Suspicious Actions


In Ireland, the state is becoming more heavy handed by the month. Peaceful protesters are being attacked, spied on and even stalked by Gardaí under Operation Mizen. Opposition TD’s being stripped at peaceful demonstrations by authorities and then learning about their impending arrests on national television before being informed through the normal procedure. Now the Prime Minister is now wrapped up in a scandal that involves him possibly intimidating the former Garda Commissioner out of his position. The union that represents Gardai in Ireland has said their official stance is that the Taoiseach Enda Kenny forced Callinan into early retirement because he wanted to remove the former Commissioner from his duties.

The newly released Fennelly Interim Report into the early retirement of Irish Police Commissioner has been published and has rocked the dominant half of the coalition to its core. Fine Gael is expected to pool together in a PR attempt to relieve some of the new pressure on leader Enda Kenny.

It was revealed that Taoiseach Kenny sent a Secretary General to the home of the former Commissioner in the middle of the night and that the former Commissioner took the meeting to mean he should consider his position. In Ireland only a government can fire a Garda Commissioner and for that reason the report found that the meeting could not have been to fire the former Garda Commissioner but the meeting was a catalyst for the former Commissioners retirement the next day. The Taoiseach did not formally fire Callinan and denies any wrongdoing, but the interim report states that Mr Callinan took the meeting to mean he should consider retirement:


Excerpt from The Fennelly Commission Interim Report

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Excerpt from The Fennelly Commission Interim Report

It all began with the death of Sophie Tuscan du Plantier and the eventual discovery of tapes of recorded conversations in Bandon Garda Station from the year 1997. Then on the 16th, of June 2013 the office of the Garda Ombudsman Commission released a report on the legal outcome of cases against Gardaí for the beating of Anthony Holness who was in their custody at the time. In the report, it was noted that calls to and from phones at the Garda Station at which Mr Holness was held were recorded. This was not common knowledge at the time even though the practice has gone on for over three decades.

“During the course of the trial the lawfulness or otherwise of the Garda Síochána at Waterford Garda Station recording incoming and outgoing calls on their public lines, and the admission of the evidence obtained during the use of such practices became the subject of protracted legal argument.”

The report was sent to the office of the Garda Commissioner after its publication in June but was not sent to the Department of Justice. On November 11th, 2013 the now-former Commissioner consulted with the Attorney General Marie Whelan about information that numerous Garda Station around the country had been recording conversations. On November 23rd, 2013 the practice of recording the phone lines in police stations across the country came to a discreet halt.

It seems the department of Justice managed to stay completely unaware, even though the Director of Public Prosecution had attempted to use recorded information against Mr Holness following his 2010 arrest and assault.


Excerpt from The Fennelly Commission Interim Report

The Attorney General, The Garda Commissioner and the Office of the Garda Ombudsman Commission failed to inform the Department of Justice of the practice or that the report ever existed. Both the former Justice Minister Alan Shatter and Taoiseach Enda Kenny claim they had no knowledge of the report. The report has been published on the website of the Garda Ombudsman Commission since June 16th, 2013 and is freely available for the world to see.

On March 10th, 2014 Commissioner Callinan wrote to the Department of Defence to inform them about the illegal tapping of calls at Garda Stations nationwide. The letter was left unopened. On March 23rd, 2014 the Attorney General informed Enda Kenny of the recordings. It was on the night of March 24th, 2014 that the Secretary General was sent to the home of Former Garda Commissioner Callinan. Then surprisingly, on March 25th the then Minister for Justice and Defence Alan Shatter found the letter from Commissioner Callinan hours after the Commissioner had retired and the government were informed about the recordings.

Enda Kenny has since said that had he been aware of the letter sent by former Commissioner Callinan to former Minister Shatter, he would not have sent the Secretary General to the midnight meeting.


Excerpt from The Fennelly Commission Interim Report

Meanwhile, the issue of particular files and the SIM card of the former Commissioner being destroyed and not being made available for investigation is causing even more of a stir. An opposition TD has said she will make a report to the Gardai about the documentary evidence being destroyed by a Super Intendant in April 2014 at the request of the former Commissioner and about the SIM card being destroyed after his work phone was returned.

After the release of the Fennelly report it is now believed that attention will be given to claims made previously including one about the Taoiseachs involvement with the promotion of a Super Intendent. The following is a question put to the Taoiseach by another opposition TD after reading it, you just might understand why…

Taoiseach, I asked you on the 28th of January if you could tell the house when you were first personally made aware of serious Garda malpractice in the Athlone area. Now despite the fact that your memory is normally pretty good, I was surprised that you failed to recall it. In 2012, a Garda went to see you in Castlebar and told you about serious malpractice in the Athlone area in relation to a certain Super Intendant. And he told you “If you don’t do something about him you’ll be reading about him in the papers.” Now you expressed shock at the time at what this gentleman told you but later that same year you gave approval to the promotion of this Super Intendant to Chief Super Intendent. Now this same Chief Super Intendant is now the subject of three different investigations. Now Taoiseach, that very same Garda contacted you again in November before Christmas, and that’s why I was particularly surprised that you didn’t remember him in January, and despite the fact that the Garda highlighted more malpractice on the part of the same gentleman, he has since been moved to Phoenix Park to work on the implementation of the Garda Inspectorate Report. Now I ask you, what hope is there for reform as long as the old hierarchy remain in place? Surely, Taoiseach you must realise these are part of the problem not the solution.”

More info:

Gardai union stands by its claim that Callinan was forced out of his job

Garda Phone Tapping TImeline

Inquire Set Into Taped Phone Calls at Garda Stations

GSOC: Report about gardaí illegally recording calls not sent to Shatter – but did go to Commissioner

Fennelly Finding the Two Outstanding Conclusions

Alex White Accuses Kenny of Firing Garda Commissioner

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Jennifer Baker is the founder and editor of Revolution News

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