Collins wants Callinan letters to Shatter to be published

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PUBLICATION of the letter that was sent from Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan on March 10 asking that the Minister of Justice be made aware of the Garda recordings issue is being called for amid the ongoing saga with the embattled Alan Shatter.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s Fianna Fáil motion of no confidence in the Minister, Deputy Collins commented, “While our motion of no confidence is based on a multi layered analysis of Alan Shatter’s mishandling of his portfolio, clearly the issue of Garda station recording systems and the Government’s response to it is a major source of public concern.

“The story of what happened and the timeline presented by Government is increasingly garbled and one of the key objectives of our motion in Dáil Éireann will be to try and prise from Government some more detail of what really happened in recent months. The letter from former Commissioner Martin Callinan to Minister Alan Shatter is a critically important document in that context.

“I am calling on the Minister to make that letter available to the Opposition today for examination ahead of the Dáil sitting. It has been proposed by Government that the delay between the letter being received and the Minister being made aware of its contents was reasonable. There also appears to have been an effort in the background over the weekend to suggest that if the Commissioner really wanted the Minister to be made aware of the issue, he would have contacted him directly.

“Seeing the letter, hearing its tone and understanding its context would all be important to make a fair judgement on whether these Government claims are reasonable. I look forward to Minister Shatter’s response.”