Garda Commissioner’s statement falls far short of what is required

March 25, 2017

The Social Democrats have rejected Garda Commissioner O’Sullivan’s statement on the latest Garda controversy. Her statement is completely inadequate and the Social Democrats call on the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald to step in and hold the Commissioner to account and sort out a clearly dysfunctional Garda infrastructure.

Roísín Shortall and Catherine Murphy, co-leaders said:

“There is no indication in the Garda Commissioner’s statement that the Commissioner appreciates the need for direct accountability by those who have engaged in malpractice. There is no mention of consequences for those responsible for implementing and overseeing the systems that facilitated these malpractices and errors.

The Commissioner completely fails to recognise the problem of the closed, defensive culture that pervades An Garda Síochána and the need to radically and urgently change this culture.

It’s time now for the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald to step in and hold the Commissioner accountable. There is such systemic dysfunctionality within An Garda that there is a real risk of the public trust disappearing. It is the Minister’s responsibility to restore and uphold trust in the Gardaí and accountability within the Gardaí, including at the highest levels.

The scale of the maladministration, incompetence and potential corruption unveiled this week is truly staggering. Nothing short of root and branch reform will restore public confidence in An Garda Síochána.  As it stands, the public will face huge costs as a result of the quashing of so many convictions.

It is not acceptable that the Minister for Justice and the Taoiseach stand idly by while the Garda Commissioner says that she will sort out the problems. It’s too late for that.

However, the Government continues to allow the Garda Commissioner to move past the constant revelations of failure with An Garda Síochána. Why is it that the Government remains reluctant to confront and deal with the problems within the Gardaí?


25th March 2017