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Shatter and Callinan must apologise and withdraw damaging comments against whistleblowers - Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD

21 March, 2014 - by Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD has said that the government’s handling of the whistleblowers controversy is “all over the place” and has called on both Minister Shatter and Garda commissioner Callinan to apologise and withdraw damaging comments made about Sgt Maurice McCabe and Garda John Wilson.

Speaking today, Deputy MacLochlainn said:

“Since day one of the whistleblower’s controversy, this government’s handling of it has been all over the place.

“Minister Alan Shatter has attempted to discredit the whistleblowers by wrongly accusing them of not cooperating with an internal Garda inquiry into their allegations around senior Garda malpractice with issuing penalty points.

“Then an arrogant and defensive Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, while giving evidence to the PAC, said that the actions of whistleblowers were “disgusting”.

“The Garda Inspectorate report has since vindicated the actions of the whistleblowers.

“Both Minister Shatter and Garda Commissioner Callinan must correct the record by apologising and withdrawing these comments.

“Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar has been the first government Minister to urge the Commissioner to withdraw his comments and I think that he is right in doing so. It is astonishing that this was not done sooner.

“It is embarrassing for the Labour party that they waited until Minister Varadkar’s remarks before breaking their silence. This is more evidence of Labour’s unwillingness to lead the way on serious issues.

“Taoiseach Enda Kenny has shown appalling leadership throughout the whole affair and his criticism of Minister Varadkar’s comments shows that the government has no clear strategy to deal with the ongoing controversies.

“These scandals have seriously undermined public confidence in the practices of An Garda Siochana.

“The government should be focusing on rebuilding this confidence rather than in-fighting.”

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