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O’Brien calls for expansion of Investigation into Gardaí

9 February, 2017 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Speaking in the Dáil today during the debate on the Terms of Reference establishing the Commission of Investigation into Garda whistleblower allegations, Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Deputy Jonathan O’Brien called for the terms of the investigation to be widened and reiterated his party’s calls for the Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan to step aside.

Deputy O’Brien said;

“We welcome the publication of the Terms of Reference on the Commission of Investigation into whistleblower allegations concerning the Gardaí – and the most senior levels of Garda management.

“Public confidence in the Gardaí is at an all-time low, morale within the force, particularly at the boots on the street level, is suffering and one cannot blame individual Gardaí for there being low morale throughout the service given the constant ongoing controversies.

“Despite the fact that we have been told that no findings have been made against anyone in the Iarfhlaith O’Neill report, the Government does not intend to publish the report in full.

“While we are not in this chamber today to deliver any judgment against Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan or make any assertion regarding the veracity of David Taylor’s claims, it would be remiss of us not to note the alarming effect that the treatment Maurice McCabe has received following his allegations has had on him and his family.

“The allegations to be investigated by the Commission are shocking; in particular, the reference to the accusation that David Taylor was directed to draw journalists’ attention to an allegation of criminal misconduct made against Sgt McCabe and that this was the root of his motivation for whistleblowing, and the public are entitled to answers.

“While we recognise that the Commission has ‘discretion in relation to the scope of the investigation it considers necessary and appropriate to achieve the general objective of the investigation’, we would like to see the Terms of Reference amended to ensure that communications between members of An Garda Síochána and members of Government, members of the Oireachtas and other State agencies relevant to the matters are also examined.

“We have also asked that Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan step aside, without prejudice, for the duration of the Commission of Investigation as she has been specifically named in these allegations.” 

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