Saturday 21 October 2017

Chair of garda review was on panel that appointed O'Sullivan

Kathleen O'Toole
Kathleen O'Toole

Cormac McQuinn and Niall O'Connor

The US police officer appointed to chair a 'root and branch' review of the gardaí was a member of the interview panel that appointed Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan.

The nomination of Seattle police chief Kathleen O'Toole to chair the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland has been approved by Cabinet.

She was among the panel chosen to select the a replacement for former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan in 2014 and Ms O'Sullivan was ultimately appointed.

A spokesman for Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald insisted that Ms O'Toole's involvement in that process has "no implications for her ability to fulfil this role". He said Ms O'Toole has the appropriate background and skills to lead the review and "her considerable experience speaks for itself".

The Commission was announced amid the furore over the almost one million bogus breath tests recorded by Gardaí and the more than 14,000 wrongful traffic convictions.

Ms O'Toole served on the Patten Commission on policing in Northern Ireland and was chief inspector of the Garda Inspectorate between 2006 and 2012. She was Boston Police commissioner from 2004 to 2006.

The new Commission's terms of reference are being finalised. It is to "undertake a comprehensive examination of all aspects of policing".

Irish Independent

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