Sunday 19 November 2017

Shatter entitled to view on Guerin Report – O'Sullivan

Justice Minister Alan Shatter. Picture: Mark Condren
Justice Minister Alan Shatter. Picture: Mark Condren
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

FORMER Justice Minister Alan Shatter's attack on the Guerin Report is a matter for himself, according to the acting Garda Commissioner.

Noirin O'Sullivan has declined to address the ex-minister's Dail speech in which he heavily criticised the Guerin Report which left his position untenable.

"Mr Shatter's comments are a matter for Mr Shatter but from An Garda Siochana's perspective, we are working through the broad recommendations of the Guerin Report and I think that there are a lot of positive things that will come out of that," said Ms O'Sullivan.

Frances Fitzgerald, who replaced Mr Shatter as Justice Minister, said he was entitled to make his view known in the Dail. However, Ms Fitzgerald stood by the report and said that it outlined the need for a commission of investigation because of its serious and disturbing findings.

"I absolutely accept Deputy Shatter's right to make a contribution in the Dail and to make whatever points he wishes to make in relation to the Guerin Report," she said.

She also said that it was important that all sides get to tell their story.

"The Government's view on the report is that it was a serious and disturbing report but the Government decided on the basis of the material on the report that a commission of investigation should be established," said the minister.

Meanwhile, responding to comments made this week by Garda Chief Inspector Bob Olson about the lack of garda resources, the acting commissioner said that the gardai were strained but not struggling with resources.

Staff levels have now fallen below 13,000 – a number that former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan had said should be regarded as a bottom-line figure. Ms O'Sullivan said: "The recruitment is starting again in midsummer and the intake of new students will certainly help in that regard."

Ms Fitzgerald said extra resources are available to the gardai, with €4m in funding waiting to be spent later this year.

Irish Independent

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