‘What the xxxx,” asked the wag on Twitter, “is Sir Alec Guinness doing at the Dail’s Public Accounts Committee?”
Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, an old hand at winning Oscars at Oireachtas hearings, is a clone for the star of the movies Bridge On The River Kwai, Tunes Of Glory and other chart-toppers.
Apart from being an Alec Guinness lookalike, Callinan has the same ponderous politeness as the late British actor. He stretched his good manners to their limits at Thursday’s exchanges, defusing many questions with his soft, cleverly flattering, responses. Sir Alec was on the top of his form at the hearing.
When Callinan came to the PAC on Thursday to discuss his budget, the annual spend and income of An Garda Siochana and specifically the undercollection of motor tax, he knew it was likely to be a bruising – as opposed to a blissfully boring – encounter.
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