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Garda Commissioner appointment must not be rushed – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

9 March, 2018 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has responded to the news that the position of Garda Commissioner has been advertised. 

Teachta Ó Laoghaire said;

“This appointment is potentially one of the most historic in the history of An Garda Síochána, one which can set the tone for the future of policing.

“I am conscious that this appointment is happening, while the Commission on the future of policing process is ongoing, and has not concluded.

“We are concerned that a move to appoint a Commissioner could pre-empt that.

“Sinn Féin has long been of the view that what we need in the South is a Patten type approach to the reform of policing in Ireland.

"If there is to be the Patten type shift that is desired, apparently by all, then the Commission on the Future of Policing must be given the scope and space to consider fully all the matters in question; including what role a Commissioner and the senior staff of An Garda Síochána would have.

“At the end of January last I submitted quite a substantial submission to the Commission to be considered in their deliberations, containing 77 recommendations and I hope the Commission will come back recommending radical changes.

 “A New Commissioner would be entering this position potentially blind as to what changes will take place to the force, and to their role in particular, following the Commission reporting.

“The better scenario would be a Commissioner coming in with knowledge of the radical reforms that they will have to implement.

“I welcome the fact that the criteria allows for people from a non-policing background, and we believe that the appointment should be from outside an Garda Síochána, and ideally from outside the jurisdiction.

“However, I am concerned that the Minister for Justice is making a significant mistake in not waiting until this process is completed, and potentially compromises a crucial appointment.”

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