Saturday 16 December 2017

Fitzgerald calls for patience over funding probes

Tribute: Fianna Fáil’s justice spokesperson Jim O’Callaghan Picture: Tom Burke
Tribute: Fianna Fáil’s justice spokesperson Jim O’Callaghan Picture: Tom Burke
John Downing

John Downing

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has insisted the Government must await the outcome of probes by the Policing Authority and the Dáil Public Accounts Committee into funding scandals at the Garda Training College.

Fianna Fáil justice spokesman Jim O'Callaghan yesterday paid tribute to ordinary gardaí and insisted they deserved better from the Garda leadership and the Government.

He said gardaí suffered because their reputation was undermined and their morale was now very low.

"As politicians, we have an obligation to ensure that we rectify that situation and that we rebuild the reputation of the force," Mr O'Callaghan said.

Mr O'Callaghan asked what the minister had to say about only receiving the report on the Garda Training College financial irregularities after a 14-month delay.

He also wanted to know what she had said to the Garda Commissioner about this delay.

Sinn Féin's Mary Lou McDonald said An Garda Síochána faced "a conveyor belt of controversies" and the Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan had to be made resign.

The Justice Minister said it was her job to try to rebuild the reputation and morale of An Garda Síochána.

She told Mr O'Callaghan that it was a matter for the commissioner to decide what matters she should report to the minister.

Ms Fitzgerald accused Ms McDonald of prejudging matters which were currently being examined by the PAC. "We cannot have a running commentary on these processes. Most people want to reach a verdict before the evidence is heard," the Justice Minister said.

Irish Independent

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