Nóirín O’Sullivan: A lot of work needed to reassure public

Garda commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan admitted yesterday a lot of work needed to be done to reassure the public that lessons had been learned. Last week, the Policing Authority expressed “unease” at garda culture and management in the wake of the O’Higgins Report into allegations of malpractice in the force.

Nóirín O’Sullivan: A lot of work needed to reassure public

Ms O’Sullivan said they were able to demonstrate the “inescapable lessons” that had been learnt from the O’Higgins Report and other reports into Garda activity during a private session with the authority.

She said it would surprise some people to learn that 41 reports into the gardaí with 784 recommendations had been conducted over the last nine years.

“It does not come as any surprise but it does not give us any comfort either to know that a lot of the recommendations in those reports are recurring recommendations,” the commissioner said yesterday.

“It demonstrates very clearly that there needs to be a lot of work done by the team in An Garda Síochána in a very open and a very demonstrable way that reassures the public that lessons have been learned.”

The commissioner said she was glad that the authority had agreed to hold a public session on June 13 as she launched a community initiative at Bloom in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. Ms O’Sullivan was asked about criticisms expressed by Independent TDs Clare Daly and Mick Wallace, who said she was part of senior Garda management who did not implement changes when they should have been.

“I don’t think there is either time or space to go into it here but that is something we can explore further with the authority, and that is why we were very anxious the authority would bring forward a public session because I think it is very important that the public is reassured that there are lessons that have been learned.

“The public can be reassured there are adequate levels of investment to allow us to start implementing some of the changes that are very badly needed,” she said.

Ms O’Sullivan said many of the criticisms in the O’Higgins Report were “quite right” about issues of incident management and supervisory management, but they now had the investment to put the necessary measures in place. She said there was very good international police co-operation in tackling organised crime and no stone would be left unturned in bringing those responsible for the gangland shootings to justice.

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