Taoiseach pledges '100% support' for Garda Commissioner

Taoiseach pledges '100% support' for Garda Commissioner

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has insisted he still has "100% support" for under-fire garda commissioner Noirín O'Sullivan - despite growing calls for her to step down over the O'Higgins report controversy, writes Fiachra Ó Cionnaith, Political Reporter in Washington DC.

Speaking in Washington DC this afternoon, the Fine Gael leader twice said the head of the gardaí continues to have his full backing.

Mr Kenny denied the issue is becoming "Groundhog Day" as his Government has become engulfed in another scandal involving a Garda Commissioner's view of whistleblower Maurice McCabe just two years after Ms O'Sullivan's predecessor Martin Callinan faced a similar crisis.

However, the Taoiseach added that he is "quite sure" the Garda Commissioner will "put into the public domain what she is legally entitled to" if the "opportunity arises" in the coming days.

"I have 100% support the Garda Commissioner, the first woman Garda Commissioner in the history of the State," Mr Kenny said.

"Obviously the Dáil commissioned Mr Justice O'Higgins to compile a report. He is the only person who listened to it all, who sat through it all, 97 witnesses.

"In this case there is a very clear set of findings.

"The judge is the only person who heard all the evidence, who sat through all the evidence.

"Nobody has condemned his report. It's a first-class report.

"It's very clear. In particular its findings in regard to different personalities in there.

"I'm quite sure that if the opportunity presents itself the Garda Commissioner will put into the public domain what she is legally entitled to put into the public domain.

"I would make the point that it's a criminal offence to produce any documents relevant to a Commission of Investigation, which in this case were deemed appropriate to be held in private by the judge," he said.

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