Martin calls on Taoiseach to 'take control' of Callinan controversy

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin

The Taoiseach should "take control" of the controversy surrounding the treatment of garda whistleblowers and ensure an apology is made to them, according to the Fianna Fáil leader, Micheál Martin.

He was speaking after the Education Minister, Ruairi Quinn, joined three other ministers in calling on the Garda Commissioner, Martin Callinan, to bring an end to the controversy by withdrawing his comments that the actions of the whistleblowers were "disgusting."

Mr Quinn made his comments just hours after the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, warned ministers they should raise their concerns around the cabinet table, rather than "have them aired in public."

Speaking to journalists at his party's Ard Fheis in Killarney, Mr Martin said the controversy is "getting more serious by the day."

He said: "Clearly Ruairi Quinn ignored the Taoiseach's advice. It's very clear the Labour Party are not in the mood to be shut down by the Taoiseach, nor indeed or some of his own cabinet ministers."

Mr Martin said it would be better if some of the Minister "were as vocal" about the Justice Minister, Alan Shatter, as they were about the Garda Commissioner.

"In our view there is a very serious issue still remaining to be corrected," he said, referring to Mr Shatter's comments in the Dáil last October that the whistleblowers did not cooperate with an internal garda inquiry on penalty point cancellations.

"Everybody in the Dáil privately at this stage - bar Alan Shatter himself - believes he should withdraw that statement and apologise," Mr Martin said.

"The Taoiseach really should take control of that situation and ensure an apology is made and the record of the House is corrected in relation to that matter."

- Mary Regan

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