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Tuesday 21 November 2017

Policing Board meets with Noirin O'Sullivan on O'Higgins Report

Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan Photo: Damien Eagers
Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan Photo: Damien Eagers

Cormac McQuinn Political Correspondent

THE Policing Authority is this afternoon meeting Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sulliavn to quiz her on the findings of the O'Higgins Report.

The Authority's chairperson Josephine Feehily noted how they previously “expressed serious concern” at the findings of Judge Kevin O'Higgins who was investigating allegations of Garda malpractice in Cavan and Monaghan.

Ms Feehily said the items on today's agenda include the victims of crime, Garda policy on protected disclosures, and the culture within An Garda Síochána.

Ms O'Sullivan said she welcomed the chance to elaborate on the work that Gardaí is doing in reforming the force. She said she is pleased today's meeting is public.

She acknowledged what she described as the “failures” that had been identified in the O'Higgins report and said it highlighted “lessons that must and will be learned”.

“It is clear victims were failed and did not get the service they were entitled to from An Garda Síochána. That was unacceptable,” Ms O'Sullivan said.

On the issue of whistle-blowers, Ms O'Sullivan reiterated previous remarks when she said: “dissent is not disloyalty and speaking up is important”. 

Ms O'Sullivan said that the recent promotion of a number of officers to senior ranks has been portrayed as "duplicitous and disrespectful" of the Policing Authority which is to assume responsibility for such appointments.

She rejected that portrayal saying that it was necessary to fill the posts and pointing out that the Authority has itself recognised that the appointments needed to be made.

Ms Feehily agreed there was no disagreement between the Gardaí and the Authority on the matter and said it would have been "foolish" of them to oppose such appointments.

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