Irish police commissioner Martin Callinan has resigned after allegations by whistleblowers about corruption in the force.
The corruption was first reported by two whistleblowers within the force who claimed ticket fixing was rampant.
They made their allegations to an Ombudsman or people’s representative but it later transpired the Ombudsman’s office was bugged by persons unknown.
Callinan had called the allegations ”disgusting” during a hearing before an Irish parliamentary committee.
Calls for an apology from government partners the Labour Party went unheeded but now Callinan has resigned abruptly after Fine Gael minister Leo Varadkar also called for an apology.
The resignation is expected to set off a crisis in the Irish government focused on whether Minister for Justice Alan Shatter should also resign over his handling of the affair.
Several opposition spokesmen called for his resignation as well.
TD Clare Daly, said: "The whole background to this issue was the relationship between Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and Minister Shatter."
"He now has to look at his position, but look it, we haven't made any secret of that. It's been our position for some time now."
Callinan is to step down "with immediate effect".
He cited family reasons for resigning.
Whistleblower John Wilson stated he took ‘no pleasure’ in the shock move but that the Commissioner's position was untenable.
“Martin Callinan has done this country some service throughout his long career. But his position had become untenable and his decision to resign was the correct one,” Wilson said.
Independent TD Mick Wallace says he was "not shocked" by the move. "I suppose the big question now is whether Minister Shatter can stay in place," he said on RTE Radio.
He stated Shatter was a "disaster" in the area of policing.
Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar a member of the governing party had created the latest controversy when he had called on Callinan to apologize after his “disgusting” comments.
The Prime Minister Enda Kenny disagreed with Varadkar on the need for an apology, creating an evident split in the cabinet.
Now in a shock move, Callinan has resigned sparking a major crisis.