Ireland’s Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has dramatically resigned after weeks of controversies afflicting his force.
Martin Callinan is understood to have tendered his resignation “with immediate effect” to the Justice Minister Alan Shatter this morning.
A Garda source told the Press Association Mr Callinan was standing down for “family reasons”.
A full statement is expected from Garda headquarters later today
Mr Callinan had come under intense pressure in recent weeks to withdraw remarks he made about two whistleblowers within his ranks.
During a parliamentary watchdog hearing into abuse of the penalty points system by the force, the country’s top police officer said only two officers out of 13,000 were making “extraordinary, serious allegations”.
“Frankly I think it is quite disgusting, on a personal level I think it is quite disgusting,” he said at the time.
An Opposition backlash culminated in several Cabinet ministers, spearheaded by Transport Minster Leo Varadkar last week, calling for the remarks to be withdrawn.
A statement from Garda headquarters insisted the remark was about the manner in which “personal and sensitive data” was appearing in the public domain and not the the character of the whistleblowers Sgt Maurice McCabe or ex-garda John Wilson.
While Mr Callinan was expected to make some statement on the controversy early this week, his resignation has come as a shock to those closest to him in the force.