Noirin O’Sullivan

Earlier this evening.

At 5.45pm.

An Garda Siochana released the following statement:

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan today announced that she is retiring from An Garda Síochána after 36 years of privileged, enjoyable and proud service.

Ms. O’Sullivan notified Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan this afternoon, thanking them for their continued confidence in her.

She also thanked former Taoiseach Enda Kenny and former Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald.

“The support for me to continue in the role is evident,” the Commissioner said today.

“However, I devoted much of my summer break to considering if continuing would be the right thing to do.

“It has become clear, over the last year, that the core of my job is now about responding to an unending cycle of requests, questions, instructions and public hearings involving various agencies including the Public Accounts Committee, the Justice and Equality Committee, the Policing Authority, and various other inquiries, and dealing with inaccurate commentary surrounding all of these matters.

“They are all part of a new – and necessary – system of public accountability. But when a Commissioner is trying – as I’ve been trying – to implement the deep cultural and structural reform that is necessary to modernise and reform an organisation of 16,000 people and rectify the failures and mistakes of the past, the difficulty is that the vast majority of her time goes, not to implementing the necessary reforms and meeting the obvious policing and security challenges, but to dealing with this unending cycle.”

The Commissioner expressed the hope that her successor would be given the space and necessary supports in which to do the job, build on the platform that has been developed over the last three years, and move forward the Garda Modernisation and Renewal Programme, which will see An Garda Síochána become a beacon of 21st century policing.

She also said that she was not leaving her role to take up another job.

In early summer, international colleagues, she said, had encouraged her to apply for the top job in Europol. Because it would have been a prestigious appointment for an Irish citizen, she agreed to consider it, but did not proceed with the application.

“I may decide to take on some other interesting and exciting challenge down the line,” she said, but for now her intention is to retire and take some time with her family and adapt to the new phase of her life.

Simultaneous with the press release announcing her retirement, the Commissioner placed on the Garda’s internal portal a message to all staff which pointed out that despite the controversies of the past few years, the general public still registers a high degree of confidence in An Garda Síochána.

The Commissioner thanked staff for their hard work and commitment in protecting and serving our communities during what has been an unprecedented and difficult time for policing.

The Commissioner said that despite the unprecedented challenges, controversies and criticisms of the last few years, she looks back on her 36 years in the service with enormous pride.

“Being a Guard is the best job in the world. You’re committed to the public good. You’re encountering people at the lowest points in their lives. You can make a difference. As long as you avoid cynicism, you can make a profound difference – for the better – in other people’s lives”

The Commissioner said that she would be making no further comment at this time.

Previously: Absence Of Malice

How Did He Get Here?

Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews

63 thoughts on “She’s Gone

  1. LW

    Not before time! Is commissioner a political appointment, or does the policing authority have some role in choosing replacement?

    1. Yep

      Justice Minister recommends and the government signs off. Not sure how the candidates are decided but I would imagine it will be one of a handful of people we haven’t heard of but will run the same line of “reform” and “transparency”.

      It will be this one person, in this one position, we all point and shout at for the failings of many within the organization as nothing changes again. I hope they have a funny walk or a weird eye. A lisp would be asking too much I suppose.

      1. LW

        I agree that if only one person at the top changes, we’re unlikely to see any actual reform, but at the very least we can hope the next person wasn’t actively involved in trying to discredit McCabe

        1. Yep

          Apologies, discovered I was completely wrong when trying to find out if they have any input on an assistant commissioner appointment. I was basing it on her appointment but of course that was before the policing authority was established. Seems they are in part responsible for the nomination process for both roles.

          http://www.policingauthority.ie/Website/PA/PolicingAuthorityWeb.nsf/page/DXMY-AAAL5916264225-en/$File/Remit_of_the_Policing_Authority.pdf

          Very true about the McCabe stitch up. I am sure there are plenty still around who were involved who we haven’t heard from but there is no way they will get the top job if there is any real link.

          1. LW

            Was actually just about to say, listening to it here on the 9 o clock, they make the recommendation to the minister now

    1. Yep

      Hounded? She had a great run and incredible support from her superiors considering, as she notes in her statement, what her job had become.

    2. LW

      Is that sarcasm Harry? Do you not think she should shoulder any responsibility for her role in the McCabe affair, her ludicrous repetitive phone loss for the disclosures tribunal, or for the constant stream of dysfunction we’re seeing from the Gardaí (breathalysers, stats, etc)?

    3. mildred st. meadowlark

      That better be sarcasm Harry or I am going to have to come round and have a serious chat with you.

    4. Brain warp

      Too true Harry

      They hate seeing a woman being successful now unless it’s some kind of dogooder loser like a nobody TD with no power, a recovering drug addict who can spell her own name, or an activist for the homeless

      1. Tony Groves

        Well, as she’s no longer the accounting officer for the Gardai she slips away from the Charleton Inquiry. She can’t be compelled as a public citizen. She’s getting a golden parachute and delivering one final kick to the balls of the Whistleblowers.
        So I suppose by all the best I mean that she never reappears in public life.

  2. Barry the Hatchet

    “People kept expecting me to be accountable and it was too much faff.” Fupp her. Fupp this altogether. She should never have taken the job if she wasn’t going to be in it for the long term. I hope they source someone from abroad now.

    1. LW

      +1
      An external is definitely needed, ideally with the ability to clear out a few more from the next echelon down

  3. Otis Blue

    So she had the full confidence of successive Taoisigh and Ministers for Justice as stated on many an occasion; she acknowledges the need for reform and states that was her focus. But she’s off?

    Given the above, if she was genuine in her reforming zeal, she could brought about wide ranging and substantial reform and change to the structure, operations and culture of the Gardai.

    But she didn’t. Her statement offers little suggestion that any such change will be forthcoming.

    Also, in the real world, is it possible to ‘retire’ with immediate effect?

  4. Spaghetti Hoop

    G’luck. What a mess she presided over.

    Pat Hickey is gone too, ditto above^.

    On a more gonner and sadder note, Don Williams, RIP. Sweet gentle giant.

  5. martco

    Sure didn’t Frilly I think call it early this year – that she’d hang on literally till the minute her fat pension was exercisable?
    Good riddance you schnakey fupp!

      1. martco

        naah she’s bang on schedule, it won’t be from tonight…she’ll have some bs notice/handover period and then:
        THREE HUNDRED GRAND lump sum
        +
        ONE HUNDRED GRAND PER ANNUM pension

        KER-CHING!

        1. LW

          I thought when she said it was effective immediately she’d just miss it, truly a triumph of optimism over experience

          1. Frilly Keane

            In a position as substantial and critical as this one is, it is natural that the Notice period would be lengthy.

            Gardening Leave.

            When Noirin assumed the position of Commissioner it would have come with this requirement, unless of course she was sacked / forced to resign.

            She’s played it like a pro

            A lump sum and a permanent pension (for her life, 50% to himself if she pre-deceases him, and vice versa) that is going to be greater than 90k a year.

            Business Person of the Year really

  6. realPolithicks

    ““It has become clear, over the last year, that the core of my job is now about responding to an unending cycle of requests, questions, instructions and public hearings involving various agencies including the Public Accounts Committee, the Justice and Equality Committee, the Policing Authority, and various other inquiries, and dealing with inaccurate commentary surrounding all of these matters.

    “They are all part of a new – and necessary – system of public accountability. But when a Commissioner is trying – as I’ve been trying – to implement the deep cultural and structural reform that is necessary to modernise and reform an organisation of 16,000 people and rectify the failures and mistakes of the past, the difficulty is that the vast majority of her time goes, not to implementing the necessary reforms and meeting the obvious policing and security challenges, but to dealing with this unending cycle.”

    The Commissioner expressed the hope that her successor would be given the space and necessary supports in which to do the job, build on the platform that has been developed over the last three years, ”

    Good grief, is she actually attempting to portray herself as some kind of victim here? I mean the crap she has presided over for the past few years has been scandalous. And don’t tell me that this stuff predates her, she’s been in the guards for 36 years was made a superintendent in 2000 and assistant commissioner in 2007, she’s been up to her eyeballs in this mess for decades. As for this nonsense of building “on the platform that has been developed over the last three years, ” what a load of crap. The guards as an organization are so discredited at this point that the proper solution would be something similiar to what happened with the RUC in the north, they should be disbanded and reorganized as a completely new force. It’s the only solution at this point as the corruption is endemic, look at what the do to their own when they step out of line. Think of Maurice McCabe and John Wilson, look at what they’ve done to Ian Bailey. She should have been fired a couple of years ago and not given the opportunity to resign, what a joke.

  7. Shayna

    Euro-pol? They investigate crimms, but don’t do anything – kinda like Na Gardaí, Purely, coincidentally, I phoned my mate from SW Ireland for a chat. It went to his voicemail. He’s a PSNI guy, a constable, failed his seargent’s exam twice, now he’s answering his phone as Inspector? Something is rotten in the State (pardon the pun).

  8. M

    “Join Daithi O’Shea and Noirin O’Sullivan as they discover native Irish flora and fauna in Wicklow… ButterflyKissAngel is on Tuesday 7pm RTE One..”

  9. M

    “Join Joe Duffy and Noirin O’Sullivan as they discover how difficult it is to turn around the fortunes of an ailing under 14 pitch & putt team in Gory Co. Wexford… Duffy is the good cop and O’Sullivan the bad cop in a new series of #ForLoveorGory.. on Tuesday 7pm RTE One..”

  10. M

    “Join Bosco and Noirin O’Sullivan as they explore what it means to gay and corrupt in post Tiger/Recession/MildRecovery Ireland… Bosco goes swinging with Vogue Williams while O’Sullivan runs the Due Diligence on a plan to smuggle hundreds of millions of euros of cocaine through a private airport in Dublin – no doubt the Dragons will be interested in this one – … #Uafasach17… Tuesday 7pm RTE One..”

  11. Ron

    The arrogance in that statement. She just can’t help herself. Incompetent to the core. I hope she takes time to reflect on the awful things she has intentionally done to innocent people.

  12. newsjustin

    “She also said that she was not leaving her role to take up another job.”

    Of course she isn’t.

    Why would she? She’s loaded. More money than she’ll ever spend.

  13. The Dude

    Omits to mention anything about her reported €300k bonus in that statement – surely that shouldn’t be paid / taken?

    Most deluded, particularly
    ‘In early summer, international colleagues, she said, had encouraged her to apply for the top job in Europol. Because it would have been a prestigious appointment for an Irish citizen, she agreed to consider it, but did not proceed with the application.’

    She leaves a capital in the grip of gang warfare, with few officers visible, and a distrusted, discredited, and demoralised force. That bonus is really disgusting the more I think about it.

    As said by another poster, the gardai need to be disbanded and be replaced by the PSNI.

    1. shitferbrains

      ” As said by another poster, the gardai need to be disbanded and be replaced by the PSNI.”

      With guns and orders to shoot anyone who can’t produce their not -an- identity card.

  14. Shayna

    Without appearing to be anti- Gardaí, I came across a few ex-Gardaí form Cork, squatting in London, selling Mary J. (It was the 90s) To be fair they weren’t exactly living the high life. They were kids who’d done a two, or three year tour in Lebanon, became Gardaí, didn’t like it – and so, and so forth…

  15. P. J. F...

    I am absolutely delighted to see the back of this one…! — I should hope that she is frequently breathalyzed bye the rank and file who were formerly beneath her.

    I sincerely hope that the electorate will not forget her come the forthcoming Spring election.

    Garda corruption, homelessness, water charges should definitely be remembered in order to keep Fine Gael out of office…!

    Anything but another administration, consisting of Fine Gael & a Labour Party under Brendan Howlin who does not want to refund the people who were bullied into paying water charges!

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