Departure of Garda Commissioner must be start of wider clear out

September 10, 2017

The Social Democrats have welcomed today’s announcement by the Garda Commissioner that she is retiring – but stress that it must be the first step in robust efforts to rebuild internal morale and public confidence in the force.

The party’s co-leader Róisín Shortall TD said:

“The departure of the Garda Commissioner must be the start of a fundamental clear out at the top of An Garda Síochána. It is crucial that this is only the first step in a wider effort to rebuild the force from the ground up. Leadership and accountability are not about securing scalps, but about ensuring that our police force undergoes the radical and transformative changes needed to rebuild morale and ensure public confidence and trust.

“It is unfortunate that it took so long for the Commissioner to realise that she had lost all credibility and authority at the helm of an organisation mired in controversy over financial irregularities at Templemore, the penalty points scandal, the denigration of whistle blowers, and the latest revelations of falsified breath tests on a massive scale.

“It is also very difficult to comprehend how Fine Gael and its government partners saw fit to repeatedly defend the Garda Commissioner and allow her to remain in her post. We now need to see swift moves to tackle the pervasive cultural problems and appalling institutional practices that have brought An Garda Síochána to such a low ebb in recent times.”

ENDS

10 September 2017