Saturday 10 December 2016

Notes on survival for Simon O'Brien, GSOC chairman

Published 16/02/2014 | 02:30

Garda Siochana Ombudsman chairman Simon O'Brien (right), Kieran Fitzgerald and Carmel Foley arrive at Leinster House
Garda Siochana Ombudsman chairman Simon O'Brien (right), Kieran Fitzgerald and Carmel Foley arrive at Leinster House

NIALL Collins summed it up. "It's been a bad week for democracy, a bad week for transparency and a bad week for the Garda Ombudsman Commission." But thanks to the hard work of a handful of critics like himself, it's been a worse week for Enda Kenny, Alan Shatter and Martin Callinan.

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So much so, that Simon O'Brien now has a chance to do the State some service. But first he must make a choice. To do his job come what may, or humbly pin the shamrock of Kenny, Shatter and Callinan to his coat as a signal that he has come to heel.

As someone who has studied the Irish political psyche for over 50 years I can assure O'Brien of one absolute truth. If he makes a stand the Irish people will finally rally to his side. But if he tries to be all things to all men his foes will fillet him like a fish.

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