Senior Gardaí ‘must face disciplinary action if evidence found’ – Ó Laoghaire
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has said that statements by the GRA that their members were put under duress by Senior Gardaí to falsify Breath tests needed to be taken very seriously.
He made the comments during the course of a Justice Committee meeting, which questioned the Policing Authority on the various controversies involving An Garda Síochána in recent times, as well as the appointments process for a new Commissioner.
The Cork South Central TD said:
“I note the comments by Policing Authority Chairperson Josephine Feehily this morning regarding recent GRA statements on falsification of Breath Tests and pressure put on their members to falsify figures.
“Ms Feehily stated ‘the Authority is particularly concerned about the comments made by the GRA’.
“She also stated ‘the authority would be keen that disciplinary action is taken if there is evidence of duress’.
“We would share such a view. We welcome that she believes this a serious matter. Clearly, any Senior Gardaí which are found to have put pressure on rank and file Gardaí to falsify breath test figures should most certainly face disciplinary action.
“Ms Feehily stated that she expected that the forthcoming Policing Authority in to the report might indicate that there was ‘an implicit expectation to have big numbers’.
“This is difficult to credit, that there could be such widespread falsification and exaggeration, on an apparently systematic and institutional level, on the basis of an implicit expectation - was such an expectation communicated, and if so, how does that differ from an instruction from senior management? I hope this will all be clarified in the Policing Authority reports in to these matters.
“In my opinion, there is the possibility of duress and if so, those found to be accountable should be dealt with appropriately.”