Department of Justice deny Callinan advised against withdrawing ‘disgusting’ remark

Former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan

The Department of Justice is denying it stopped former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan withdrawing his controversial comments that the actions of whisleblowers was "disgusting".

It was reported Mr Callinan decided to delay further clarification of his remarks on advice from officials in the department.

It had been expected he would issue a statement of clarification last Friday or over the weekend, however this did not happen before his retirement on Tuesday morning.

In a statement this evening the Department of Justice has said it had continuing contacts with the former Commissioner on the penalty points issue, however it was always of the opinion any clarification was a matter for himself and that while discussions were held on a statement, this option (withdrawing the remark) was not ruled out.

Full statement from the Department of Justice:

There were ongoing discussions between officials and the former Garda Commissioner about issues relating to the penalty points controversy.

At all times it was recognised that the question of the Commissioner making any further statement in relation to comments he had made at the Public Accounts Committee and the content of any such statement was a matter for decision by the former Commissioner himself.

Towards the end of last week there were discussions about the possibility of his making a further statement in relation to those comments and the form any such statement might take. There was no question of the Department suggesting that this possibility be ruled out.

These ongoing discussions were, unfortunately, overtaken by subsequent events.

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