How Cabinet subtly pushed O'Sullivan out of Garda HQ
It didn't need a late-night call to her home to convince the Commissioner to quit, writes Philip Ryan
On the face of it, the sudden retirement of Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan seems like another coup for Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his government.
Her political capital had waned considerably in recent months and it was becoming increasingly difficult for Varadkar's new administration to back a Commissioner when so many garda indiscretions seemed to continue under her watch.
The bind was that they could not be seen to force her from her position by suggesting a lack of confidence, or talking her down while she was still in the job. The Attorney General's office had warned the Cabinet that should they do so, O'Sullivan would have grounds for an unfair-dismissal case, which could have resulted in a messy High Court action and a substantial payout.