From top: Templemore College; the Public Accounts Committee this afternoon, from left (front row( Alan Kelly (Lab) Deputy Chair, Sean Fleming (FF), Chairman. Back row, from left: Shane Cassells (FF), Catherine Murphy (SD), David Cullinane (SF), Bobby Alward (FF), Mary Lou McDonald (SF), Catherine Connolly (Ind) and Peter Burke (FG); Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan
The Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee’s report into the Garda Training College at Templemore was published this afternoon.
The PAC report finds Garda management failed to rectify financial situation at the Garda training college :despite numerous opportunities to do so”.
The report says it was “unacceptable” that the C&AG was not informed about financial issues there until ten months after the Garda Commissioner was told about
…and the assertion made by Nóirín O’Sullivan to the Comptroller and Auditor General on 31 July 2015 that she was disclosing all relevant information was “not accurate”
…The PAC says there is a notable absence of common purpose between members of senior management in the force.
The PAC concludes that delays in getting the Department of Justice to sit on a steering group examining the finances at Templemore “does not support the Garda Commissioner’s view that she took decisive action.”
Report criticises O’Sullivan over ‘unacceptable’ Templemore delays (RTÉ)
There you go now.
Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sillivan (left) and Justice Minister and Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald
Earlier today, Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald outlined the proposed areas for a root and branch review of An Garda Síochána including:
The structure of the force, recruitment and training, oversight and accountability, its culture and ethos as well as the legislative framework for policing.
Meanwhile, via RTÉ
It is understood that the Oireachtas Justice Committee has agreed to give the Garda Commissioner a week to respond to a list of questions on how the force responded to the controversies over breath tests and fixed charge notices The committee will meet tomorrow to sign off on the questions.
Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan has already said an interim report will be delivered on the controversies in a month and a final report in 3 months.
However, the Justice Committee will focus on the timeline of the gardaí response to the discrepancies over 14,700 wrongful convictions and the number of breath tests being exaggerrated by 1 million.
The Taoiseach told the Dáil that he received the Fennelly Report last weekend and has given it to the Attorney General. The report was into the recordings of phone calls at garda stations.
He said the report ran to over 740 pages, with the summary running to 85 pages. He said he would publish it as soon as the Attorney General informs him that he can.
Live Politics, Finance Committee, Garda review (RTÉ)
Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan before the Justice Committee:
Pressed to offer an explanation as to how the inaccurate recording happened, the Garda Commissioner said it could possibly relate to the fact that checkpoints were designed to be a preventative measure.
“Perhaps it wasn’t as valued as detections“, she told Fianna Fail Deputy Jack Chambers, but said she did not want to detract from the diligent work done by gardai and said the process of establishing the facts was still ongoing.
Deputy Chambers pressed the garda delegation on whether a bonus system paid to senior gardaí could have played a part in the exaggerated figures.
The commissioner said she did not know the details of such a bonus system and agreed to come back to the committee.
More as we get it.
Watch Live here
Garda Commissioner before Oireachtas Committee (RTÉ)
Earlier: Dan Boyle: Rap Sheets In Blue
Some online feedback on Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s performance during Leader’s Questions concerning the fate of Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan.
Earlier: Every Breath You Take
Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan, announces
her resignation plans to “get to the bottom” of recent scandals and “take appropriate action”.
Earlier: Retaining Confidence
She’s in so much trouble.
Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan with, to her left, Detective Superintendent Tony Howard
But this newspaper can reveal that several senior members of the force have contacted Garda Headquarters in recent days to request instructions and guidance because they either want to submit evidence, or fear they will be called as witnesses.
A number of senior officers voiced concern that this instruction was not forthcoming.
And in further revelations, Ms O’Sullivan – who is at the centre of the Charleton Inquiry – has appointed some of her closest associates to the liaison team with the judge involved.
These are understood to include retired assistant commissioner Mick O’Sullivan and former chief superintendent Brendan Mangan.
It can also be revealed that Detective Superintendent Tony Howard has been made go-between for the force and Judge Charleton.
This is despite the fact that the officer is a close associate of both Commissioner and her husband Detective Chief Supt Jim McGowan…
Associates will form ‘ring of steel’ around garda chief in inquiry (Independent.ie)
Yesterday: Maurice McCabe calls for Nóirín O’Sullivan to stand aside during tribunal (Michael Clifford, Irish Examiner)
Harcourt Square, Dublin 2
Garda Commissioner Noirin O Sullivan talking to the media before launching a dedicated 24 Hour phoneline for victims of child sex abuse at the the GardaI Command and Control Centre
Ms O’Sullivan is at the centre of a tribunal of inquiry into the alleged smearing of garda whistleblower that branded him a child sex abuser.
Above: Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan and Assistant Garda Commissioner John Twomey at the Policing Authority
The Griffith Conference Centre, Dublin.
Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan faces The Policing Authority.
“We welcome the fact we will be able to deal with these issues in a public forum,” she said.
Asked if she was concerned that public confidence in the Garda had been damaged she said the “overture of negative sentiment” undermined many institutions of the State.
“That is something that as police professionals we have to live with every day,” she said. “Am I concerned about it? Of course I am.”
Nóirín O’Sullivan ‘welcomes tribunal’ into McCabe controversy (Conor Lally, Irish Times)
Earlier:Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?
From top: Garda Commissioner Nóirin O’Sullivan; Senator Michael McDowell
In the Seanad.
Senator McDowell said that Ms O’Sullivan should step aside “for the duration of the tribunal until it has reported, or permanently’’.
Mr McDowell said it was totally inconceivable that officers, including senior officers of a disciplined force, should be asked in public to accuse the person in charge of them of grave misbehaviour in evidence to a public inquiry.
He said it would be difficult for them to instruct counsel to cross-examine that person as to her honestly, reliability and suitability for office.
Mr McDowell said the public should not be judge and jury in the matter.
“However, the rights of all persons and the public to fairness come first,’’ he added. “The determination that the commissioner should remain in place during the tribunal is neither fair, nor appropriate nor defensible.”
Michael McDowell calls on Garda Commissioner to stand aside (Irish Times)
Previously: How Did he Get Here?
Garda Commissioner Nóirin O’Sullivan
The latest statement from Garda Commissioner Nóirin O’Sullivan further
refuting rejecting allegations that she was part of the attempted smearing of Maurice McCabe.
‘A beacon of 21st Century policing’?
Earlier: Destroying Maurice McCabe