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Garda spin not acceptable amidst the numerous scandals – Doherty

30 March, 2017 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty has said that the country is none the wiser as to the level of incompetency surrounding inaccurate Garda figures on the number of false breathalyser tests and other ‘official’ figures after a week of Garda press conferences and public appearances.

Speaking after questioning Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan in the Justice Committee, the Donegal TD said:

“After listening to Garda spin and bluster over the course of this week, the country is none the wiser as to how much of what An Garda Síochána is saying has any credibility.

“I was repeatedly fobbed off in the Committee today on simple questions as one senior Garda cut across another, only for the first to come back again. My question was on how many people had paid their fixed penalties and had still been dragged before the courts and handed a conviction. In response, I had a three day old press release read to me that may have answered a question, but not the one I asked.

“The moral credibility and authority of the Garda force is in jeopardy here. Between false breathalyser figures, thousands of wrongful prosecutions, and allegations of financial impropriety in Garda College Templemore, it is clear that the current Commissioner does not command the confidence needed to pull the force out of the spiral it is currently in.

“While the Commissioner is content to adopt a ‘back me or sack me’ approach, I think it would be more appropriate for her to consider that it may be more beneficial to the force in the short and long term for her to step down.” 

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