Wednesday 13 December 2017

Tánaiste compares Fianna Fail policy on Garda chief to Trump sacking Comey

Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald Picture: Justin Farrelly
Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald Picture: Justin Farrelly
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Fianna Fáil’s promise to sack the Garda Commissioner if it returns to government is akin to Donald Trump’s behaviour in Washington, Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald has said.

The Justice Minister has today sought to draw parallels between Mr Trump’s sacking of FBI chief James Comey.

Ms Fitzgerald said it is “extremely disturbing in a democracy” that a political party would commit to removing the head of police without following due process.

“It’s like what happened last week in Washington. The idea that somebody wouldn’t be subject to fair procedures, to the rule of law... They don’t seem to know the law in relation to this issue.

“There’s very clear producers laid down. There’s a question of natural justice. There’s a question of constitutional rights. If this was being said about any other person there would be outrage about it,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

Her comments came after Michael McGrath confirmed that if re-elected one of the first acts of a Fianna Fáil government would be to relieve Noirin O’Sullivan of her duties.

The embattled Commissioner remains under attack for a series of scandals that have rocked the force including financial irregularities in Templemore Garda College and the million fake breath tests.

The Tánaiste said Fianna Fáil’s position is “very prejudicial”. “It is like what happened in Washington last week and you can see the furore about that.

“I think it’s really extraordinary to see the main Opposition party taking this approach to the question of law and individual rights.

“It really would put a shiver down every officer holder in this country if a government was to take an approach as outlined by Fianna Fáil,” she said.

Meanwhile Ms Fitzgerald remained coy about whether she will put herself forward as a potential replacement for Enda Kenny as Fine Gael leader.

She said the Opposition would continue “putting pressure” on her but she will “get on with doing the job I’m doing to the very best of my ability”.

Online Editors

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