Friday 23 February 2018

Garda chief is entitled to her good name until it is proved otherwise

Brendan Howlin abused Dail privilege to remind people that the tinpot Labour Party still exists, writes Eilis O'Hanlon

QUESTION TIME: Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan at a press conference in Garda HQ on gangland crime in Dublin. Photo: Gerry Mooney
QUESTION TIME: Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan at a press conference in Garda HQ on gangland crime in Dublin. Photo: Gerry Mooney

It might be that Noirin O'Sullivan is the worst Garda Commissioner the country has ever seen. It might be that she is up to her neck in shenanigans the likes of which have never been seen before.

But just saying it is not enough. There's a little thing called proof which it ought to be necessary to provide before making such claims. In Noirin O'Sullivan's case, it seems that none of those normal caveats apply. One can say anything at all about her without any risk or consequence, and she will still be expected to take it.

Latest to have a go is a young, up-and-coming politician by the name of Brendan Howlin who used Dail privilege last week to tell the country that he'd heard from a journalist who'd heard it from another journalist that the Garda Commissioner, when working in a previous role in the force, had personally rung up journalists to circulate lurid allegations about an alleged sexual offence involving whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe, who'd come forward about alleged abuses of the penalty point system.

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