Tuesday 17 October 2017

Acting Commissioner says 'no evidence' garda management asked members to falsify breath tests

Acting Garda Commissioner Dónall Ó Cualáin
Acting Garda Commissioner Dónall Ó Cualáin
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

ACTING Garda Commissioner Dónall Ó Cualáin has insisted that there is "no evidence" the force's management asked garda members to falsify breath test records.

Mr Ó Cualáin is this morning appearing at the Oirechtas Justice Committee where he is answering questions on the controversy over the recording of more than 1.4m bogus breath tests.

Fine Gael TD Colm Brophy argued that it wasn't credible that management believed the number of breath tests that were recorded were actually taking place, saying "there's not enough hours in the day".

Mr Ó Cualáin said managment were focused on the number or checkpoints taking place, rather than the number of tests being carried out.

Earlier Mr Ó Cualáin said any member of any rank found to have acted wrongfully on the issue would be held accountable.

He said a number of measures have been taken to address the deficiencies highlighted in the garda report on the breath test issue.

He said that a change to the garda PULSE computer system in August 2017 means that only essential data is now collected.

Gardaí are also to get new breathalysers "which will improve recording" and "new and improved training methods are being developed," he added.

"Checkpoint incidents identified in Assistant Commissioner [Michael] O’Sullivan’s report that were associated with implausible breath-test data have been referred to each of the Regional Assistant Commissioners for further examination," he said.

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