Thursday 23 November 2017

Fianna Fail 'would sack Garda Commissioner' as one of first acts in government

Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan Picture: Gerry Mooney
Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan Picture: Gerry Mooney

Kevin Doyle and Cormac McQuinn

A senior Fianna Fáil TD has confirmed that one of his party's first acts if it returns to power would be to sack the Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan.

The embattled Commissioner has been grappling with a series of controversies in the force including the revelation that almost a million bogus breath tests were recorded by Gardaí and concerns over financial irregularities at the Templemore Training College.

Fianna Fáil's finance spokesman Michael McGrath was asked by if removing Ms O'Sullivan from her post would be one of the first acts of a Fianna Fáil government.

He replied by saying "yes".

Responding to the comments, Tánaiste and justice minister Frances Fitzgerald said she is "very disturbed" by Fianna Fáil's intention to sack Ms O'Sullivan as a priority if they enter government.

She made the remarks on RTÉ news and argued: "It’s profoundly undemocratic to say what they have said about sacking a Garda Commissioner...

"It suggests no fair process. It’s against all natural justice and constitutional justice to suggest that you’ve already made up your mind about somebody without giving them an opportunity to put their case".

She said it would be "extraordinarily serious in a democracy."

Ms Fitzgerald also said it's "really important" that natural justice is followed.

She reiterated the government's support for Ms O'Sullivan, saying: "The government has confidence in the Commissioner".

In recent weeks the party has said it no longer has confidence in Ms O'Sulivan to continue in her role leading An Garda Síochána.

The Government has stood by Ms O'Sullivan.

It has announced a Commission that will conduct a "root and branch" review of all aspects of policing. It is to be chaired by Seattle police chief Kathleen O'Toole.

Mr McGrath claimed that the various garda controversies have been mishandled by Ms O'Sullivan and Tánaiste and justice minister Frances Fitzgerald.

He said public confidence in the force has been eroded and "the work of the ordinary men and women who serve in An Garda Síochána has been undermined."

He added: "That's not good enough. So these issues need to be dealt with and dealt with comprehensively once and for all. "

Online Editors

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