Following the publication of the Fennelly Commission report, opposition parties have criticised the role of Taoiseach Enda Kenny in the resignation of former garda commissioner Martin Callinan.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said the Taoiseach's position in relation to the report "is neither credible nor tenable".

Speaking on RTÉ’s Six-One, Mr Martin said the sequence of events on the night Brian Purcell visited Mr Callinan's home leaves only one conclusion, that "the retired garda commissioner was given no alternative but to resign".

Mr Martin added that if it was not Mr Kenny’s intention for the former commissioner to retire, then why did he accept his resignation.

He said the Taoiseach should have been "far more forthcoming with information 18 months ago when he was asked basic questions in the Dáil".

He said: "Now the Taoiseach has very serious questions to answer and as far as I'm concerned, that is tantamount to telling the commissioner 'Look, you have no alternative but to resign'." 

Sinn Féin has said that the orders given by Mr Kenny in Mr Purcell to the home of the former commissioner had the "obvious effect of conveying to commissioner Callinan that he should resign".

Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh said the Taoiseach should consider his position and the Dáil should be reconvened to discuss the report next week.

He said: "The Taoiseach's spin in relation to the findings of this report is not credible and he must now consider his position. The Dáil must be reconvened next week to discuss this report and the evidence contained therein in relation to serious and multiple Government failures.”

Mr Ó Snodaigh added that the report also "calls into serious doubt the position of the Attorney General who was aware of important information for months and decided not to communicate this information with Cabinet members and other relevant parties."

Also speaking on RTÉ's Six-One, Independent TD Clare Daly described the Taoiseach's explanation to the Fennelly Commission report as "nonsense and a bit of a fairytale ".

The Dublin North TD said Mr Kenny was "trying to get us to believe commissioner Callinan jumped and they didn't actually push him."

Ms Daly continued: "He says such was the gravity of his information about the tapes that he felt he had no alternative but to send Brian Purcell out to the commissioner in very peculiar circumstances.

"But what the report says is that it was precisely that visit that was the immediate catalyst to the resignation of commissioner Callinan. So I think what we've had today is an exercise in spin, the Taoiseach trying to get his slant across but the reality of the report being quite different."

On the report stating that the decision to retire was Mr Callinan's, Ms Daly said unless Mr Callinan came out and said he decided to jump because he had no alternative or that they pushed him, the outcome of the report was never going to be anything else.

Ms Daly said Mr Kenny still had questions to answer and the issue is not going to go away with the publication of the report.

"I think what is interesting here is that the Taoiseach seems to think he's out of the woods on this one. I think that's not the case because we have to look at the circumstances that led up to this in the first place," she said.