Monday 1 May 2017

Varadkar: Garda Commissioner is 'part of the solution not part of the problem'

The Government has backed the embattled garda chief after latest controversies

Pressure: Noirin O'Sullivan Photo: Arthur Carron
Pressure: Noirin O'Sullivan Photo: Arthur Carron

The Government are doubling down in their support of Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan.

Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar has said the Cabinet is “very annoyed” at the latest controversy and there have been “far too many garda scandals”.

He said finding out who should be held accountable is “part of the next steps”.

But he added that the embattled commissioner is “part of the solution and the cleaning up of An Garda Siochana, not part of the problem”.

However, given that junior minister John Halligan has said Ms O’Sullivan should “maybe consider stepping aside”, Mr Varadkar said the Cabinet would discuss the issue further on Tuesday.

Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin has said that the “lack of understanding from Government of the seriousness of these matters beggars belief”.

"The statement yesterday from the Garda Commissioner told us what she is doing now, but failed to adequately explain why it happened.

“She accepted that this was more than a systems failure. She said that this is about ethics, it’s about supervision, most of all it’s about trust.

“The buck stops with the Commissioner. There must be an acceptance of responsibility, and a consequent action of accountability,” he said.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil leader, Michael Martin, said the party can no longer express confidence in Ms O'Sullivan.

"We can no longer articulate confidence in the Garda Commissioner or indeed at this particular point in time in the administration of justice, until we get absolute clarity in plain language as to what happened here," he  said on  RTÉ's This Week.

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