Wednesday 18 October 2017

Comment: New Garda review may turn the spotlight back on senior people who called the shots

Disciplining members of the force implicated in falsifying breath tests will cause internal havoc

Breath tests: Prospects of disciplinary action will cause 'havoc' in the force Stock photo: John Giles/PA
Breath tests: Prospects of disciplinary action will cause 'havoc' in the force Stock photo: John Giles/PA
Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan. Photo: Collins
Scandal: Opposition parties have called for the head of Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan Photo: Arthur Carron
Maeve Sheehan

Maeve Sheehan

Who's to blame for the latest Garda scandals? Since the internal Garda reports on the fake breath tests and summons scandals published last week, calls for heads to roll gathered pace.

One report found that almost 1.5 million mandatory alcohol breath tests had been faked. The second found not only that 15,000 motorists were wrongly convicted because summonses were sent to them in error, but motorists who had broken the law, including drink drivers, were never summonsed at all.

While the summonses issue was in part down to gardai who apparently didn't know what they were supposed to be doing, the report on fake breath tests implicated indeterminate numbers of gardai who fabricated figures. Gardai telling porkies about the numbers of motorists they breathalysed at mandatory alcohol checkpoints is a disciplinary matter.

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