Published Tuesday, 25 March 2014
The government has said calls were bugged at Gardaí stations. (© Getty)
After a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the Government said it has set up a statutory Commission of Investigation into the "matter of significant public concern".
"In the context of ongoing legal proceedings in a particular case, the Government has learned that a system was in place in a large number of Garda stations whereby incoming and outgoing telephone calls were taped and recorded," the statement said.
"From the information available, the practice of making recordings was in place for many years and was discontinued in November of 2013. It is not yet clear why this practice was in operation.
"The Government is extremely concerned about this information."
The statement said the coalition would not make further comment on the specific case as the matter is currently before the courts.
A detailed report has been requested from both An Garda Síochána and the Department of Justice.
The Government also decided to agree to the retirement of Mr Martin Callinan from the position of Commissioner of An Garda Síochána, who said he was stepping down after months of battling allegations of wrongdoing within his ranks.
They thanked the Commissioner for his "long and dedicated service" to the Irish State.
A commitment to reform of Garda oversight and accountability was also emphasised, with the Government stating the full details of its comprehensive reform proposals will be brought forward in the coming months.
© UTV News