Politicians responsible for Callinan’s removal, GRA chief claims

The head of the biggest Garda representative association has claimed politicians were responsible for the removal of Martin Callinan as Garda Commissioner.

Politicians responsible for Callinan’s removal, GRA chief claims

Garda Representative Association (GRA) general secretary PJ Stone said that Callinan was given no option but to fall on his sword after a senior civil servant was sent to talk to him about his future.

“It has been obvious for some time and I think the removal of Mr Callinan as commissioner clearly illustrates to me at least that the Garda Síochána is subject to political whim,” Mr Stone said. “I am saying Martin Callinan was removed from office and that is obvious to everybody. The gentleman was given no option or no choice in my view. I think it is a disgraceful way to treat the head of a police force. If you dispatch after a political meeting a head of a department, one can only conclude that there had to be political interference.

“Politicians are responsible for appointing the commissioner and at the end of the day that is not a good place to be either.”

He said he didn’t want any political interference in the appointment of the next commissioner or deputy commissioner. Such appointments “can’t continue to be subject to political control”.

Just 24 hours before Mr Stone made his claims, the GRA, which represents 10,500 frontline members of the force, sent a clear message to the Government that it wanted interim Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan officially appointed as Martin Callinan’s replacement.

The GRA general secretary also maintained that the promotions system with the force needed to be radically overhauled. He claimed that “natural leaders were being overlooked” for promotion.

He added there was “a trend in the gardaí” where people whose fathers were superintendents were more likely to be promoted faster than those who weren’t.

Mr Stone also said an independent oversight body should be created to take control of the Garda Síochána, its budgets, resources, capital expenditure and its promotion system.

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