Tuesday 21 January 2020

Exclusive: Garda Commissioner: 'I fear this scandal goes beyond traffic data'

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Niall O’Connor

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan has revealed that the scandal surrounding the breath tests could extend much deeper within the force.

Ms O’Sullivan is to apologise for the “grave mistakes and wrongdoing” in relation to false tests and will tell an Oireachtas committee that the mistakes represent a “collective failure” on behalf of the force.

“I sincerely apologise for the grave mistakes and wrongdoing during the last decade that have led to the two controversies we are here today to discuss,” Ms O’Sullivan will say.

But in a significant admission, Ms O’Sullivan is to reveal that falsification goes beyond the area of traffic.

“My fear – and my real fear - is that this falsification is not confined to traffic data,” her submission states.

“And I will ensure that the people responsible at all levels will be held to account.”

She will say that revelations raise serious questions about supervision and management.

“Those mistakes and wrongdoings are unacceptable in policing terms, unacceptable in ethical terms, unacceptable in terms of public trust, and, most critically, unacceptable to the advocacy and support groups involved in road safety and to those who were wrongly brought to Court,” Ms O’Sullivan will say.

“They have raised serious issues about how we managed the service, how certain Gardaí operated on the ground and their supervision. Given the scale of these issues, they can’t simply be blamed on one individual or one area. It is a collective failure. From top down to bottom up.”

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