Saturday 19 August 2017

Justice Minister defending Commissioner 'to avoid losing her own job' – Dáil told

Roisin Shortall. Photo: Tom Burke
Roisin Shortall. Photo: Tom Burke
John Downing

John Downing

Social Democrat leader,Róisín Shortall, today warned that the Justice Minister is keeping the Garda Commissioner in office to protect her own job.

Ms Shortall cited a range of controversies surrounding An Garda Síochána – including reports of improper phone-tapping. These issues have been reported in the Irish Independent.

The Dublin North-West TD said it was clear that when the previous Garda Commissioner, Martin Callinan, was forced from office – he was followed by the then-Justice Minister,  Alan Shatter.

“It looks like history will repeat itself, Minister,” she said referring directly to Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald.

Ms Shortall said she was not “seeking a head” but the removal of all senior garda management.  There was now an urgent need to implement reforms which could not await another Commission of Inquiry.

The former Labour junior health minister also referred to a more recent controversy where a garda has been accused of posting footage of a young woman on line.  The young woman later took her own life.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny again defended the Garda Commissioner, Nóirín O'Sullivan, and the Government. He said all the matters mentioned by Ms Shortall were the subject of various investigations and he expressed sympathy with the bereaved family of the young woman who had died.

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