Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said the position of the Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan is now completely untenable and that she must immediately step aside to prevent any further erosion of the reputational integrity of the Gardaí. Deputy McGrath was speaking after the Commissioner acknowledged that almost 15 thousand people were wrongly convicted of motoring offences due to Garda error and that the Gardaí had exaggerated the number of breathalyser tests by over 900 thousand:
“I think the public have reached scandal saturation point with respect to the breadth and scale of the latest Garda mismanagement fiascos.
They are witnessing a constant drip drip of highly damaging information that is corroding the public trust in the Gardaí at a time when the reputation of the force is already at crisis point.
For the rank and file garda on the ground this must be extremely demoralising especially when it appears that there is zero accountability at the very highest levels of the organisation.
The Commissioner, by clinging on to her position is only delaying the inevitable and causing real and long lasting damage to the wider reputation of the Garda Síochána.
It is no longer credible for her to say that she is part of the solution and not part of the problem especially when one considers that she has held senior positions in Garda Human Resource Management since 2003 and was promoted to Deputy Commissioner of Operations in 2011.
For almost 14 years the Commissioner has been in a position to effect internal reform of the Gardaí and to demonstrate that accountability must begin at the top.
As things stand, and with clear indications that there is more to come in terms of unacceptable practices, it is time for the Commissioner to leave.
The public cannot have confidence in the protests of the Commissioner around instituting robust accountability measures when she herself seems to be excluded from them regardless of what scandal emerges,” concluded Deputy McGrath.