Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan to be called to two public meetings in O'Higgins report aftermath

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan to be called to two public meetings in O'Higgins report aftermath

The Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan may yet be asked to answer questions in public about the O’Higgins Commission and the treatment of whistleblowers.

The Policing Authority has said it will hold two further public meetings with the Commissioner to discuss issues raised by the O’Higgins report, on June 13 and 30.

Nóirín O’Sullivan’s meeting with the new independent Policing Authority yesterday was only due to last for about two hours, but ran to four.

And in a hard-hitting statement afterwards, the Policing Authority said it would hold two more hearings next month - which would NOT be held behind closed doors.

The treatment of whistleblowers including Maurice McCabe was discussed, but the Authority’s statement focussed on broader issues around the systematic problems with the Garda force.

The authority said it had "serious concern" about the systematic failures and their impact on victims, and it was "dismayed" about how the issues raised by O’Higgins had not been dealt with after they were also highlighted by earlier tribunals and reports.

It has also asked for the Garda policy on "protected disclosures" to be published as soon as possible, as well as a formal Garda response outlining how the recommendations from Justice O’Higgins will be implemented.

After its meeting with Commissioner O’Sullivan in relation to the O’Higgins report, the Policing Authority issued a detailed statement in which it:

  • Demanded an urgent response by gardaí to the findings and recommendations of O’Higgins;
  • Expressed serious concern at the reoccurrence of performance failures identified by previous inquiries, “including in particular the Morris Tribunal and various Garda Inspectorate Reports”;
  • Expressed particular concern for the impact on the victims of crime who were entitled to expect a professional and competent service from gardaí “and who didn’t get it”;
  • Expressed deep unease at the organisation and management culture, including attitudes to speaking out as evident in the report.

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