Martin Callinan was considering withdrawing the remark last week
Former garda commissioner Martin Callinan delayed withdrawing his use of the word “disgusting” to describe the behaviour of garda whistleblowers following advice from Department of Justice officials, according to sources close to him.
Mr Callinan was considering withdrawing the controversial remark last week but delayed after consulting the officials, the sources said.
The commissioner passed up an opportunity to clarify his use of the word last Friday when the Data Protection Commissioner published his report, which contained criticism of the whistleblowers, they added.
The Department of Justice Secretary General told Mr Callinan, when he called to his home last Monday night, that there was disquiet at Cabinet level about the information on phone-tapping in garda stations given to the Taoiseach over the weekend by the Attorney General.
Mr Callinan and the secretary general are understood to have spoken again on Tuesday morning in advance of the Cabinet meeting.
Mr Callinan decided to retire after being told that the position at Cabinet level had not changed overnight.
He said in his retirement statement on Tuesday morning that he was retiring “in the best interests of An Garda Síochána and my family”.
Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte said it was a pity that Mr Callinan had not withdrawn the remarks.
He said it was news to him that the former commissioner had delayed withdrawing his remarks following advice from Department of Justice officials.
RTÉ LIVE PLAYER