Thursday 8 December 2016

Gardaí in crisis as watchdog lays blame amid gang war surge

'Serious concern' from force watchdog for victims

Tom Brady and Kevin Doyle

Published 27/05/2016 | 02:30

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan Photo: Caroline Quinn
Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan Photo: Caroline Quinn

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan is facing her greatest crisis after a bruising assessment of the force from the policing watchdog.

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As gardaí struggle to contain the escalating gangland war, Garda chiefs were warned the loss of public trust over repeated scandals and failures was eroding their efforts to combat crime.

A damning statement from the Policing Authority expressed "deep unease" at the culture and management of the force in the wake of the O'Higgins Report into whistleblower allegations.

The independent body overseeing An Garda Síochána warned of "serious concern" at the impact on victims of crime, amid the maelstrom of controversy.

Next month, Ms O'Sullivan will be hauled twice before the Authority, which is chaired by former Revenue Commissioners chairperson Josephine Feehily.

This time the grillings will be held in public, as it seeks "evidence of a tangible response" to the scandals.

The Authority told the Commissioner it was concerned the good work being done by gardai every day was being "set to nought" while doubts remained over issues raised.

The crisis comes amid the gangland war, which has claimed seven lives. One of the last people to speak to the latest victim, Gareth Hutch, before he was killed says it has turned into a "massacre" rather than a feud.

Irish Independent

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