Garda chief told to 'take on' detractors
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has issued a staunch defence of embattled Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan two days before the publication of what is expected to be a damning review of her handling of the Garda Training College controversy.
In his strongest comments to date, Mr Varadkar said Ms O'Sullivan has his full support and urged her to "take on" members of the force who are not cooperating with her reform agenda.
The Taoiseach and Garda chief had a 90-minute meeting last week during which he assured Ms O'Sullivan she had the full support of the Government. Speaking to the Sunday Independent, Mr Varadkar said: "I reassured her again that she has my full support, that she has the confidence of the Government and I said to her that if she's facing resistance, if there are people in the Garda who are resisting reform, who are resisting culture change, who are not willing to engage in the kind of reform that's required in the Garda that she should take them on and she'll be backed up if she does so."
It is unclear who Mr Varadkar's comments are aimed at but they come at a time of heightened tensions in Garda headquarters.
On Tuesday, the Dail's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will publish its report on the Templemore slush fund controversy, which was first revealed by the Sunday Independent.
It is understood the report will be highly critical of Ms O'Sullivan's handling of the revelations of financial mismanagement.