For those of you watching/caring, here’s the nub of the Fennelly report, published late on Tuesday (most of it after the Taoiseach went onto the Six One News), Vicky Conway:
Despite it being such a serious matter and even though he was statutorily accountable to the minister and the Government, Callinan first discussed this matter with the Attorney General. While unable to be precise about dates, Fennelly confirms the commissioner waited at least a month to inform the secretary general of the issue of recordings, and then it was a brief phone call rather than a written report. This was a failure of his statutory duties.
It is arguably even more shocking that neither the secretary general nor the Attorney General then informed the then minister, Alan Shatter. Indeed, the minister knew nothing about this until late March 2014. Fennelly accepts the AG’s position that the gardaí were “proprietorial” about their relationship with the minister and that going over their heads and speaking directly to the minister would not have been welcomed.
Confusion at the top table. Previously…
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty