Disclosures Tribunal hears of texts between Martin Callinan and Brian Purcell

Counsel for the former Garda Commissioner has been cross-examining John McGuinness

Disclosures Tribunal hears of texts between Martin Callinan and Brian Purcell

File photo of former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan at Garda Headquarters in the Phoenix Park | Image: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Updated: 15.45

The former head of the Department of Justice congratulated the then-Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan on his exceptional performance under fire at the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

The Disclosures Tribunal has heard that Brian Purcell sent a text to Mr Callinan on January 23rd 2014: the day he told the PAC that the actions of whistleblowers were 'disgusting'.

The following day Mr Purcell text Commissioner Callinan, asking him how he got on with PAC Chairman John McGuinness at a meeting in a car park.

When these text messages were read out, Deputy McGuinness said 'it's an interesting relationship'.

Earlier, there were robust exchanges between John McGuinness and counsel for Martin Callinan.

Deputy McGuinness recalled being told by the former Garda Commissioner that Maurice McCabe had sexually abused his family - which Mr Callinan denies.

Fianna Fail TD John McGuinness as he arrives for his second day giving evidence at Disclosures Tribunal in Dublin Castle | Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

The former head of the PAC has told the tribunal he was in a fearful state of mind following a meeting with Commissioner Callinan in hotel car park over four years ago.

For three hours, counsel for the former Garda Commissioner cross-examined John McGuinness over his recollection of events around his client Martin Callinan and Maurice McCabe from 2013 until 2017.

Asked by Micheál O’Higgins why he did not take Martin Callinan to task when he was passing on ‘vile allegations’ about Sergeant McCabe, Deputy McGuinness said he was not in a position to take on the commissioner.

He said he was in a fearful state of mind after the meeting in a hotel car park.

Mr O’Higgins said Mr Callinan will say that his purpose in meeting with Deputy McGuinness was to make a proposal to resolve issues with Maurice McCabe – and raise data protection concerns about the PAC.

Deputy McGuinness denied this.

There were robust exchanges between the two men – at one point Mr McGuinness said he would not allow Mr O’Higgins to pull him around the place on minor details, saying he has a reputation to protect.