Garda top brass ‘are toxic shambles’, says Mary-Lou McDonald

The senior management of An Garda Síochána has been described as a “toxic shambles” in the Dáil.

Calls were made on Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald to face TDs to answer questions on a growing list of controversies around the Garda training college in Templemore.

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary-Lou McDonald told the Dáil yesterday that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) “witnessed the toxic shambles that is senior Garda management” when it called in senior civilian staff to answer questions.

Serious concerns over the tax compliance of the Templemore Training College emerged during the PAC meeting earlier this week

Ms McDonald said Ms Fitzgerald had committed to come before the Dáil to make a statement about the “irregularities, malpractice, and possibly corruption in Templemore”. However, she so far has “failed to do that”.

“As we advance in our inquiries, it becomes more apparent that Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan and indeed Deputy Fitzgerald, as Minister for Justice and Equality, have very serious questions to answer.”

Ms Fitzgerald said she had already answered many questions and would take “any action required” once the PAC had reported on its examination: “I would say, to be very clear about this, without prejudicing any individual — which would be grossly unfair — that nobody is above the law and if any wrongdoing is uncovered it will be investigated.”

On the gangland murder of Michael Keogh, Ms McDonald said the Government’s response to Dublin’s north inner city feud has been “superficial”, adding: “This ruthless murder was another shocking incident in broad daylight at the heart of a community caught in the grip of a criminal feud that has spiralled out of control. “Sadly, the Government did not listen.”

Ms Fitzgerald said “there is no question of standing idly by” and the Government has committed enormous resources to the area.

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