[Interim Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan at a garda reserve graduation in Templemore, Co Tipperary this morning]
During her speech at the ceremony, Ms O’Sullivan said there needs to be more accepting of internal dissent within An Garda Síochána.
Afterwards, she took questions from journalists which involved questions about the fact Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe still has no access to PULSE and about reports that Gardaí sought to destroy some of the garda recordings.
She was first asked if she would have used the word ‘disgusting’ to describe the Garda whistleblowers Sgt Maurice McCabe and former Garda John Wilson – like her predecessor, former Garda Commissioner, Martin Callinan.
RTÉ News At One reported:
Nóirín O’Sullivan: “I think it was unfortunate use of the word disgusting, I think that in any organisation, that’s large and complex and as large and complex as An Garda Síochána there will be people within the organisation who will identify issues that they wish to bring to attention. And I certainly believe that those people need to be supported and we need to have mechanisms in place to ensure that they can bring those forward. Indeed they may not always be fully right but nevertheless, there may be issues which will help us to continue to improve.”
Paul Reynolds: “So you wouldn’t support his attitude towards the whistleblowers?”
O’Sullivan: “I think that the former Commissioner had a personal opinion in relation to the matter and I think he’s entitled to his opinion.”
Reynolds: “Well on the basis of that do you support the calls from politicians in Dáil Éireann that Sgt Maurice McCabe, still a serving officer, his full access to PULSE should be restored?”
O’Sullivan: “It’s a matter for review and I would like to be able to tell you more about that at the moment, but I can’t.”
Reynolds: “In relation to the tapes controversy, the recordings, there has been public criticism of that and there has been some suggestion that the gardaí may have attempted to destroy the tapes.”
O’Sullivan: “Well Paul, as you know, the Commission of Investigation has been established. Though I would like to be in a position to give you more detail in relation to that, I don’t want in any way infringe on the Commission of Investigation that has been established.”
Reynolds: “But that’s the concern, that then, it’s still left open to the possibility that the gardaí may have made attempts to destroy these tapes?”
O’Sullivan: “Again, Paul, I’m constrained in what I can say to you because of the Commission of Investigation but I think in the fullness of time that that will be explained fully.”
Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland