Policing Authority to question Garda chiefs on Jobstown

Garda bosses are to be questioned by the Policing Authority about the failed Jobstown prosecution and the review set up by commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan.

Ms O’Sullivan will miss Thursday’s scheduled private meeting with the authority, which will also continue its questioning of Garda chiefs about their homicide statistics.

In addition, authority members will examine the public accounts committee (PAC) report on Templemore and discuss its own draft document for the justice minister on the garda implementation of the interim audit report of the Garda College.

Ms O’Sullivan will not be there to answer questions as she is on a six-week holiday — a development which only emerged publicly on Tuesday after the launch of the PAC report.

Ms O’Sullivan had been on leave since Monday and is not due back at her desk until September 4.

As reported in the Irish Examiner yesterday, the commissioner had informed the authority last May that she would miss the July 27 meeting, but the authority said it only learned last week from her that she would be away for August.

The authority said it was only told of the exact holiday dates by Garda HQ on Monday and by the Department of Justice on Tuesday.

Next Thursday’s meeting is closed to the public, but minutes are published.

The agenda states that the Policing Authority will question the Garda chiefs about “recent unsuccessful prosecutions” and the “Garda Síochána review of ‘Jobstown’ case”.

Six people, including Solidarity TD Paul Murphy, were found not guilty of false imprisonment at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court at the end of last month.

Mr Murphy demanded a public inquiry, alleging “perjury” by some garda witnesses.

Questioned at the PAC last Tuesday week, Ms O’Sullivan said the review would be from a “lessons learned” perspective.

She struggled to give clarity as to the remit of the review, specifically, whether it would examine matters arising from the prosecution.

She said the review would examine the “circumstances of the entire affair”.

She said that when the “totality of matters” before the courts were concluded that “obviously, that will feed into the review”.

She subsequently said the review would “not examine the court process”.

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