Sunday 11 December 2016

Senior officer told garda to appear in 'Yes' photo

Published 21/04/2015 | 02:30

Garda Kerrie Sullivan and former Supreme Court judge Catherine McGuinness at Pearse Street Garda Station on Sunday to promote voter registration
Garda Kerrie Sullivan and former Supreme Court judge Catherine McGuinness at Pearse Street Garda Station on Sunday to promote voter registration
Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin at the site of the new €31m divisional headquarters being built in Dublin’s Kevin Street

THE community garda who took part in a controversial photocall organised by the 'Yes' campaign in the Marriage Equality referendum was told to do so by a senior counterpart.

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Senior gardaí have launched an investigation into the circumstances that led to Garda Kerrie Sullivan taking part in the event alongside retired Supreme Court judge Catherine McGuinness.

Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin described the photo as a "mistake", while members of the 'No' campaign said the garda involvement was "alarming".

Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan said her officer took part in the photocall outside Pearse Street Garda Station "in good faith" but said it should not have occurred.

The commissioner said it was "inappropriate" for members of the force to do so and that the incident would now be investigated.

"It is inappropriate that members of An Garda Síochána would find themselves in that situation. But it's something that happened, it happened in good faith and we will be looking into the circumstances that gave rise to it," Commissioner O'Sullivan said. She insisted members of her force were "apolitical".

The Irish Independent has learned that a senior officer based in the station directed Gda Sullivan to take part in the photocall after a request was received by the 'Yes Equality' group.

Sources say this senior officer may now face disciplinary action.

A number of gardaí who were on duty at the time will now prepare reports for Garda headquarters.

Irish Independent

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