Wednesday 17 January 2018

Taoiseach expresses confidence in Garda Commissioner, following publication of report

Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Lise Hand in Washington DC

The Taoiseach has expressed confidence in the Garda Commissioner following the publication of the report by the Garda Inspectorate into the penalty points system which found "consistent and widespread breaches of the points policy".

Commenting on the report, Mr Kenny said, "Obviously ineffective management and lack of capacity to do the issue competently is what has been exposed here. That is now going to be addressed. Further to that, GSOC is also looking at the whole question of this area and there will be another report due from that."

When asked whether the Garda whistleblowers John Wilson and Maurice McCabe had been vindicated by the report, he said, "Alan Shatter already said that issues raised by the whistleblowers, they were correct in raising those. He had disagreements with the whistleblowers on a number of issues, he has addressed these at some length at the committee in the Dail and will do so again".

Speaking in Washington DC today, Mr Kenny said "I think the issue that the whistleblowers raised has certainly been brought before the public," he said. These matters would not have been addressed in the way they are but for the fact they were brought to light by the whistleblowers."

Asked if he had confidence in the Garda Commissioner, the Taoiseach said "Yes, I do," and he defended Mr Callinan's use of the word "disgusting" to describe the actions of the two whistleblowers. He said the Commissioner had clarified that his use of the word was referring to "the release in an irregular fashion of information about this into the public system. That was his reference to the word that he used."

The Taoiseach also commented on the revelation that the Public Accounts Committee is to send a statement containing allegations made by property developer John Kelly against the Rehab Group to the Gardai. He said: "The PAC is an independent committee of the Dail, always has been. If the committee feel  there is an issue regarding an issue they have received, that is a matter for the Gardai to deal with, I fully respect the decision of the committee on that matter. I don't have any control over PAC. It is a matter entirely for the committee if they feel the Gardai should examine, that is their right".

The Taoiseach was speaking at the US Chamber of Commerce which is the the first event of his six-day, three-city visit to America. Later he will attend the American Ireland Fund dinner which honouring US Vice-President Joe Biden and tomorrow he will meet with President Obama at the White House.

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