LATEST: Leo Varadkar has 'full confidence' in Garda Commissioner

Update 5.00pm: The Taoiseach has dismissed some of the findings of the Public Accounts Committee into the behaviour of the Garda Commissioner.

Leo Varadkar says he has "full" confidence in Noirin O'Sullivan in her role, and that she's fully entitled to take her summer holiday.

On Tuesday the PAC criticised O'Sullivan for failing to inform either the Minister for Justice or the State auditor, about the failings in Templemore as soon as possible.

This evening the Taoiseach said the law grants the Garda Commissioner absolute discretion to inform people of issues, whenever she sees fit:

On Tuesday the Public Accounts Committee found it was "unacceptable" for Noirin O'Sullivan to have delayed telling the Minister for Justice about the financial issues in Templemore training college.

It also found it was unacceptable for her to delay informing the State's auditor, the Comptroller & Auditor General so that he could investigate.

This afternoon Leo Varadkar expressed confidence in Noirin O'Sullivan - and appeared to dispute those findings

"It is the judgement of the Garda Commissioner to decide whether or not the Minister and Attorney General should be informed and at what point.

"What explanation she has given and holds to date is that she wants to get all the facts ready before doing so."

O'Sullivan today attended a meeting of the Government's new security committee - she's off next week for the first of five weeks' holidays.

Leo Varadkar says she's fully entitled to them.

"It's not something I'm involved in obviously - I don't approve annual leave for the Gardaí or any member of a Government agency.

"I think anyone is entitled to take their annual leave provided they are entitled to take it."

Earlier: The Finance Minister, Paschal Donohoe, has expressed confidence in the Garda Commissioner and played down any controversy or confusion arising from her lengthy holiday.

Noirin O’Sullivan’s powers as Commissioner will be transferred to a Deputy Commissioner while she is on a five-week break.

The Policing Authority is reported to be disappointed that the Commisioner will not be around to attend a hearing next week on financial irregularities in Templemore.

Paschal Donohoe was adamant, however, the Commissioner’s holiday won’t disrupt the work to put things right.

"I have full confidence in her work as garda commissioner and believe the oversight mechanism we have in place in relation to the garda, the work of policing authority and the fact we have an interim report in relation to Templemore ... they are all the ways we will be responding back to this issue."


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