Clare Daly “underwhelmed” by public quizzing of garda chief

Independent TD: Policing Authority's questioning of garda management should have been tougher

Clare Daly. Image: RollingNews.ie

Photo: Clare Daly | RollingNews.ie

Independent TD Clare Daly has branded the questioning of garda management by the Policing Authority as weak and underwhelming.

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan appeared before the authority at a public hearing yesterday to discuss the force’s handling of victims.

The quizzing came after O’Higgins report published last month highlighted serious flaws in policing in the Cavan-Monaghan division.

Ms Daly told Newstalk Breakfast that she thought the meeting was “quite heavy on spin and jargon”.

She said that responses provided by garda authorities were “very light on detail”.

“It was a good PR move but to me it didn’t represent anything,” she told the programme. 

The TD for Dublin North also said she was disappointed by the Policing Authority’s “weak” line of questioning.

“I never expected them to go into detail on individual cases, but they could have absolutely gone after more specifics,” Ms Daly said. 

However, she added that the public nature of the meeting indicated that authority members were "willing to flex their muscles".

Ms O'Sullivan told the hearing yesterday that she had contacted all members of the force to explain how they can make protected disclosures.

An internal manager has also been appointed to hear concerns from employees, she said. 

The garda chief did not comment on the case of individual whistleblowers but promised the publication of a survey on public attitudes later this week. 

She conceded, though, that changing the culture within the force may take a number of years. 

The focus of the next public meeting on June 30th will focus on garda governance, performance management and supervision issues.