Sunday 19 November 2017

Alliance still 'confused' by Kenny but settles for fresh Garda review

Minister Shane Ross, speaking to the press at Leinster House. Photo: Arthur Carron
Minister Shane Ross, speaking to the press at Leinster House. Photo: Arthur Carron
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Independent Alliance ministers are still "confused" about Taoiseach Enda Kenny's dealing with the Garda whistleblower scandal - but expressed confidence in the Government.

After a series of meetings the Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald yesterday promised to recruit "an independent, international, policing expert" to carry out a review into the wider issues of public concern that have arisen in recent days.

Transport Minister Shane Ross said this was enough to ensure their continued participation in Government but added that they had considered pulling out.

"We have been dismayed and, frankly, disturbed by the contradictory versions of events which have emerged this week.

"Some aspects of Cabinet communications are not working effectively or appropriately. This is not how we wish to do business," Mr Ross said.

Finian McGrath rejected suggestions the independent expert would merely be replicating the work of the Garda Inspectorate.

"You're missing the crucial point here," he said, adding that the person selected would have an international track record of reforming police services and in building trust between the community and the police.

Mr Ross said the Alliance went into government "in good faith" and that was "greater than any individual or personality within it and we are committed to delivering on the promises we made when we took office".

Asked if the Alliance members had confidence in Taoiseach Enda Kenny, he replied: "We are upset and very distressed by what happened, both with the Taoiseach and other members of Government in the last few days.

"We do not think it would be appropriate in this situation where we're putting down a motion of confidence in the Government to suggest that we have no confidence in the Taoiseach."

Mr Ross said the Alliance had received assurances that communications between ministers would be improved.

"There's obviously been a real problem with communications between some Cabinet ministers and too much going on behind the scenes. Too much silence. Not enough revelations. Items come to Cabinet under the arm," he said.

In relation to the Garda Commissioner, Mr Ross said she was entitled to stay in position.

Irish Independent

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