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Saturday 16 December 2017

Majority of public calling for O'Sullivan to quit job

Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan Picture: PA
Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan Picture: PA
Tom Brady

Tom Brady

The majority of the public want to see Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan removed from her position.

A new opinion poll has revealed 62pc of the public believe the Cabinet should remove the Garda Commissioner from her role following recent controversies within the Garda force.

The poll, carried out by Amarách Research for RTÉ's 'Claire Byrne Live', found that just 19pc thought she should remain in her position - a further 19pc said they 'didn't know'.

The survey comes as it emerged the Policing Authority has sought the views of Ms O'Sullivan about the criticism voiced by three of her top civilian managers.

Relations between the Commissioner and the Authority are already strained in the wake of disclosures about a lack of consultation among senior staff at Garda headquarters.

But the Authority is now demanding details of the background that led to the three civilians complaining about being left "out of the loop" about developments.

The controversy over the role played by civilians in decision-making erupted last week when the head of HR, John Barrett, told the Dáil's Public Accounts Committee his meeting with the Commissioner about spending and accounts at the Garda College in Templemore had lasted over two hours, but Ms O'Sullivan said earlier they had met for a "brief" chat.

It's understood the Authority contacted Ms O'Sullivan last week following the disclosure the head of the Garda analysis service, Gurchand Singh, had not been given a copy of a report drawn up by a senior Garda officer on the outcome of a review of the official homicide figures. Sources in the Authority said they had sought the information from Ms O'Sullivan.

But, officially, the Authority would only issue a brief response to questions. It pointed out that the Government, the Tánaiste, the Public Accounts Committee, the Charleton Tribunal and the Comptroller and Auditor General were already dealing with various aspects of the issues in the public domain.

After Mr Singh's complaint had been published, it emerged the civilian head of the Garda's internal audit unit, Mr Niall Kelly, had alerted the Authority that neither he nor his staff had been asked to take part in the review of the breath test figures.

It is now expected Ms O'Sullivan and her main advisers, garda and civilian, will be called before the Authority, initially in private session, to elaborate further on the background to the complaints.

Irish Independent

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