Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan, her deputy commissioners, and her director of finance should “have to go” in light of the imminent findings from a cross-party investigation into the garda college.
Fianna Fáil TD and Dáil Public Accounts Committee member Marc MacSharry made the claim before the publication of the PAC’s report into the garda college scandal this afternoon.
As previously reported by the Irish Examiner, the report will find Ms O’Sullivan failed in her duties by not informing the Department of Justice or the Comptroller and Auditor General quickly enough of the scale of the crisis at the college.
It will also find senior gardaí attempted to keep the issue “in-house” and to prevent full transparency on what was taking place, in addition to raising serious concerns about the use of public money at the garda college.
Speaking on the eve of the report’s publication, Mr MacSharry said the PAC report means “Varadkar must act” on Ms O’Sullivan’s future instead of waiting for other unrelated garda inquiries to conclude.
He said the decision by the EU’s anti-fraud agency OLAF to formally open an investigation into the alleged rerouting of 5% of EU funds to the garda college since 1999 to a private AIB account in Cabra, Dublin, and the expected announcement from the Central Bank of an investigation under “money laundering” legislation means the issue must be addressed immediately.
“The Government has hidden behind PAC for long enough, and the implications are clear,” he said. “This is not a crisis in a commercial semi-state, it’s the gardaí.
“Public confidence restoration in the gardaí is more important than any individual.”
Mr MacSharry’s remark is likely to be raised at the PAC report launch this afternoon, in which a number of opposition TDs are expected to be heavily critical of Ms O’Sullivan’s role in the garda college controversy.
However, Fine Gael members on the committee have previously made it clear that while there are serious issues relating to the garda college, the Government retains confidence in Ms O’Sullivan.
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