McDowell denies he wanted to sack Garda chief

Bitter exchanges in the Dail between Pat Rabitte and Michael McDowell.

Minister for Justice Michael McDowell angrily denied he had wanted to sack Garda Commissioner Noel Conroy.

The denial came amid heated Dail exchanges with Labour leader Pat Rabbitte, who had asked Taoiseach Bertie Ahern if the Minister had sought to remove the commissioner.

“That is an outrageous allegation,” said Mr McDowell, who was sitting on the Government benches. “There is no substance in it. The deputy has no principles.” Mr Rabbitte said he had not made any allegation. “I asked a question and I am very interested in the impact it has on the Minister.” Mr McDowell said it was a question similar to “when did you stop beating your wife?”.

The full debate can be read here.