Treatment of Garda whistleblowers contributing to declining morale in the force - Mary Lou McDonald TD
Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald said the treatment of Garda whistleblowers by some senior members of the force is contributing to the declining morale in An Garda Síochána.
Teachta McDonald raised the issue with the Taoiseach at Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil today.
She said the current Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan has again run for cover on these allegations and asked the Taoiseach about suggestions that Justice Minister and Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald has received other complaints which she has failed to respond to over a period of months.
Teachta McDonald said;
“Another week and another controversy surrounding the Garda Commissioner and the treatment of Garda whistleblowers.
“The protected disclosures made by two senior Gardaí to the Department of Justice in the past week outline an orchestrated campaign by some of those in senior Garda management positions to undermine whistleblowers.
“They include the distribution of text messages to attack the reputations of whistleblowers, the opening of intelligence files on whistleblowers, the monitoring of activity of whistleblowers and the briefing of elements of the media and selected politicians about the character of whistleblowers.
“These are incredibly serious issues we’re dealing with here Taoiseach. And they go to the very core of our policing and justice systems. We all have a duty to build public confidence in those systems.
“But revelations like the ones in recent days do the very opposite, and are contributing to declining morale in the Garda Síochaná.
“And no doubt make other potential whistleblowers think twice before coming forward.
“The current Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan has again run for cover on these allegations.
“She has talked the talk when it comes to disclosure, transparency and openness, but when it comes to walking the walk, its business as usual.
“What of suggestions that Minister Frances Fitzgerald has received other complaints?
“Complaints that she has failed to respond to over a period of months.”