Chair of policing review says it must be a "very, very difficult time" for gardaí

Kathleen O'Toole declined to speak about the Commissioner’s future

Chair of policing review says it must be a "very, very difficult time" for gardaí

Kathleen O'Toole. Photo: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

The Chair of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland says it’s been a very difficult time for the Gardaí after a number of controversies.

It comes following a damning report from the Public Accounts Committee on the Garda Commissioner.

Noirin O’Sullivan has been under pressure after the PAC report criticised her delay in telling the State auditors about financial irregularities at Templemore training college.

A number of opposition parties have called for her resignation in the wake of the report and a number of other Garda controversies in recent months. 

During a speech at the MacGill Summer School in Donegal, Kathleen O’Toole - who is leading the “root and branch” review of An Garda Síochána - declined to speak about the Commissioner’s future.

She said: "On the heels of the PAC report, I received numerous media enquiries about that report and what it means today.

"While I've never been one to dodge questions - and will not dodge questions going forward [...] we have not been tasked with conducting performance evaluations or historical inquiries."

However, she admitted it has been a hard time for the force.

She observed: "It has to be a very, very difficult time to put on that uniform and go into work these days - it has to be disheartening with all of the scrutiny and a lot of negative publicity.

"At the end of the day, the vast majority of people in this country still support the police - and I appreciate that."

 

Also speaking at the MacGill Summer School earlier today, Labour leader Brendan Howlin said the current legislation for removing the Garda Commissioner is "awkward and unworkable".

While not directly naming Commissioner O'Sullivan, Deputy Howlin suggested "we simply need to look again" at the process.