Friday 15 November 2019

Garda boss off on five-week holiday as 'cover-up' storm grows

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan. Photo: Collins
Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan. Photo: Collins
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan is heading off on a five-week holiday as calls mount for her resignation.

The latest crisis to hit the embattled Commissioner saw her accused of being part of a "cover-up" over an alleged "slush fund" at the Garda Training College in Templemore.

The Dáil Public Accounts Committee (PAC) added to the mounting pressure on Ms O'Sullivan in its publication of a damning report on how Garda management handled serious financial irregularities at the college. Two of the PAC's members, Labour TD Alan Kelly and Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry, later claimed what happened amounted to a "cover-up". The report also concluded it was "unacceptable" Ms O'Sullivan did not tell the Comptroller and Auditor General about issues at the college as soon as she learned of them in the summer of 2015.

The findings resulted in repeated calls for her resignation. However, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are standing by her.

The Commissioner is now going away for up to five weeks, despite the controversies engulfing the force. She will be out of the country for the last week of July and all of August, the Irish Independent has learned.

The Commissioner is due to appear at the Charleton Tribunal in the autumn.

A Garda spokesman said the force would not comment on the Commissioner's leave. The spokesman said when the Commissioner was away, a deputy covered for her. Deputy Commissioner John Twomey is expected to step in during her absence.

Irish Independent

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