Tuesday 12 December 2017

Garda Commissioner announces probe into the circumstances which led to female garda appearing in 'Yes Equality' photo shoot outside garda station

Commissioner said it is
Commissioner said it is "inappropriate" for members of the force to do 'Yes Equality' photo shoot

Niall O'Connor, Political Correspondent

THE Garda Commissioner has announced an investigation into the circumstances which led to a female garda appearing in a 'Yes Equality' photo shoot outside a Dublin garda station.

Noirin O'Sullivan today said community garda Kerrie O'Sullivan featured in the photocall outside Pearse Street Garda Station "in good faith".

But the Commissioner said it is "inappropriate" for members of the force to do so and that the incident will now be investigated.

Independent.ie understands that the garda in question was requested by a superior officer to take part in the event after the station received a request from the 'Yes Equality' campaign group.

The appearance of the garda in the photo with former Supreme Court Judge Catherine McGuinness was criticised by two government ministers today.

And speaking to reporters outside Kevin Street Garda Station, Commissioner O'Sullivan said the matter will be investigated.

"There were circumstances which arose yesterday where in good faith a member of An Garda Siochana found herself in a photo opportunity. It is inappropriate that members of An Garda Siochana would find themselves in that situation. But it's something that happened, it happened in good faith and we will be looking into the circumstances that gave rise to it," Commissioner O'Sullivan said.

"Members of An Garda Siochana are apolitical and they are not supporting either side of this particular referendum or indeed in any campaign," she added.

Also speaking today, Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin said a mistake was made by allowing the photo to be taken.

I understood that An Garda Siochana have said that that's not appropriate. I think it is very very important that A Garda Siochana is not politicised in any way. . I think a mistake was made in relation to that photo call."

His cabinet colleague, Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe, said he believes the photo was an "accident".

Speaking to the reporters at a Tourism Ireland event in Dublin, Mr Donohoe said he believes garda bosses have taken the right decision.

"I do believe that picture was an accident. And I believe An Garda Siochana have done the right thing just to respond back today to affirm they won't play a role in any political matters..."

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