Saturday 20 January 2018

Majority believe garda commissioner should stand aside pending Commission of Inquiry - poll

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan Photo: Arthur Carron
Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan Photo: Arthur Carron Newsdesk Newsdesk

A majority of people believe garda commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan should stand aside from her position pending the report of the Charleton Inquiry, which will investigate claims of a smear campaign against a whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe, as confidence in her ability to lead the force is low.

Details of a new poll carried out by Amárach on behalf of the Claire Byrne Live show, show that just 16pc answered yes when asked "do  you have confidence in Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan to lead the Garda force?".  More than half (57pc) of people said no, while a further 27pc answered I don't know. 

In relation to whether she should stand aside 65pc of those questioned said yes, while 15pc answered no and 20pc answered I don't know.

The poll results come following an extraordinary day in Irish politics, which saw Ms O'Sullivan issue a strongly worded statement to say that she would not be stepping down.

The Commissioner, who has consistently denied any participation in or knowledge of a smear campaign allegedly orchestrated against Sgt Maurice McCabe, has said she will continue in her role.

"My position remains unchanged. Nothing has emerged in the last three weeks which in any way changes that situation," she said in a statement.

The Garda Commissioner said the "campaign of false accusations, repeated and multiplied" do not make her "guilty of anything".

She continued; "I have made it clear that I was not part of any campaign to spread rumours about Sergeant McCabe and didn't know it was happening at the time it was happening.

"I have repeatedly refuted that claim and do so again."

"The easiest option for me would be to step aside until the Commission finishes its work," she said.

"I'm not taking that option because I am innocent and because An Garda Síochána, under my leadership, has been making significant progress, with the help of our people, the Government, the Policing Authority and Garda Inspectorate, in becoming a beacon of twenty first century policing."

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