Saturday 17 March 2018

Dáil committees clash over Garda probes

Dáil Éireann. Stock picture
Dáil Éireann. Stock picture
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

Two powerful Dáil committees are in a stand-off over their respective investigations into Garda controversies.

Seán Fleming, chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), has been warned by the Justice Committee that it is straying beyond its remit.

In a letter to Mr Fleming, Justice Committee chairman Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin cited a recent PAC hearing involving Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan, at which she was quizzed over controversies surrounding the Jobstown protest and the false breath tests.

Mr Ó Caoláin, a Sinn Féin TD, is believed to have told his counterpart these issues were currently being examined by his committee and that the PAC should not be getting involved.

In response to the letter, Mr Fleming is understood to have stated there wass a crossover in relation to the issue of breath tests, given that the issue of court fines was involved.

"There is a financial element to the breath tests controversy too and therefore it is perfectly acceptable for the PAC to be asking questions," one committee member said. Mr Fleming last night said he accepted there should be no "unnecessary duplication" of the issues that had become Garda controversies.

Irish Independent

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