Sunday 20 August 2017

The challenge isn't lambasting Garda failures, it's changing an insular, defensive culture

Garda Commisioner Noirin O' Sullivan arrives at the The Policing Authority on King Street North Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Garda Commisioner Noirin O' Sullivan arrives at the The Policing Authority on King Street North Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Colette Browne

Colette Browne

The excoriating statement released by the Policing Authority after its meeting with the Garda Commissioner is a hopeful sign that the new body will effect real change in the force. However, An Garda Síochána has weathered blistering criticism before without meaningful reforms being instituted.

The first Morris Tribunal report, into Garda corruption in Donegal, was published in 2004 and found that the culture in the force "militates against open and transparent co-operation with investigations" and "manifests itself in a policy of 'don't hang your own'".

A further report, in 2006, referred to "appalling management" and the "manipulation of facts and circumstances in order to present to Garda Headquarters, and to the world at large, an untruthful appearance of honesty and integrity in the Donegal Garda Division".

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