Garda evidence needs an inquiry, not a cop out
New Taoiseach Leo Varadkar built a road to the top by being direct, and bold. Words were his stepping stones; now that he has made it to the zenith of politics he must quickly learn that their careless use could transform them into stumbling blocks.
Speaking on RTÉ, he called on the Garda Commissioner to examine evidence given by members of the force at the Jobstown water protest case. Some 48 hours earlier he flatly rejected calls from Paul Murphy TD to open a public inquiry into how gardaí handled their investigation.
Mr Varadkar is no longer a young man in a hurry to reach the summit. As Taoiseach, if he has misgivings then it falls to him to get the answers. He might have called on GSOC to address concerns. He has a panoply of options - calling on Nóirín O'Sullivan is something of a cop out, no pun intended. Silence is a powerful weapon when used wisely, and many's the politician who has tripped themselves up by running away at the mouth, in the hope of hopping aboard a populist bandwagon. Yesterday, the Taoiseach was getting it in the neck from Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. Mr Martin said the comments were "ill judged", claiming that they could raise doubts about the independence of the judiciary and the DPP.