Calls for Nóirin O'Sullivan to resign over 'malice' controversy

Garda chief under mounting pressure following claims her legal team undermined whistleblower

Calls for Nóirin O'Sullivan to resign over 'malice' controversy

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan | Image: RollingNews.ie

The fallout from the O’Higgins report is set to dominate business in the Dáil again this morning.

The Dáil last night heard calls for Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan to resign or be fired over claims her legal team accused whistleblower Maurice McCabe of “malice” in unpublished documents from the inquiry.

It was alleged last week that senior counsel for Ms O’Sullivan questioned Sgt McCabe’s motivation in bringing complaints against the force.

Sgt McCabe was said to have presented the O’Higgins commission with evidence that disproved the allegation and no mention of the exchange was made in its final report, published last week.

In a statement earlier this week, Ms O'Sullivan claimed she was legally prevented from commenting on private evidence given to the inquiry.

However, she said she never regarded Sgt McCabe as malicious and that the service had “changed for the better in response to the issues about which he complained”.

'Change the hierarchy'

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald said yesterday that she had “every confidence” in Ms O’Sullivan’s commitment to taking forward the policing recommendations contained in the report.

"I believe our focus now should be on taking all the steps necessary to ensure that does not happen again and that we have a policing service that serves all the citizens of this country to the highest standards," she said.

Speaking in the Dáil last night, TD Clare Daly told the Fine Gael minister that it was time for Ms O’Sullivan “to go”.

TD Mick Wallace also called on the garda chief to step aside, saying she “is not fit to be the commissioner”.

“You’re not going to change how we do policing in Ireland until we change the hierarchy,” he said.

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, he added: "[Minister Fitzgerald] has got to play a more proactive role in finding out what happened ... As things stand at the moment, it would be a mistake to leave Commissioner O'Sullivan in her job.

"As Clare Daly said last night, if the [minister] doesn't act on it, she might find herself in the same place as Alan Shatter."