Taoiseach stands by Garda Commissioner as her testimony to Dáil committee is questioned
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said he has no knowledge of fresh allegations against Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan.
Mr Kenny told the Dáil he continued to have confidence in the head of An Garda Síochána – despite fresh documentary evidence which appeared to contradict her testimony to the Dáil Public Accounts Committee (PAC) last week.
“I have confidence in the Commissioner to do her job,” Mr Kenny told the Dáil.
Sinn Féin leader, Gerry Adams, told Mr Kenny that documents lodged with the PAC appeared to validate an assertion by the civilian head of human relations, John Barrett, that he had a two-hour meeting with the Commissioner about financial irregularities at the Garda Training College in Templemore.
Commissioner O’Sullivan had told the PAC last week that her recollection of the meeting in 2015 was that it was brief. But Mr Barrett told the PAC the meeting lasted two hours – and documents handed over to the committee today backs up his assertion.
Mr Adams said An Garda Síochána under Commissioner O’Sullivan had face “never-ending scandal.”
He said there were already questions about garda homicide figures, as well as scandal about 1m false driver breath tests, 14,700 unsafe road traffic convictions, and a smear campaign against whistleblower, Sgt Maurice McCabe.
“The big problem out there is that no one in the upper echelons of the State is ever held to account,” Mr Adams said.
The Taoiseach said progress was being made on garda reforms and he confirmed the appointment of the police chief of Seattle, USA, Kathleen O’Toole, to head a review of An Garda Síochána. He also said that terms of reference for the so-called Project Eagle sale of NAMA properties in Northern Ireland had been agreed by cabinet.