Such a conclusion would confirm intolerable corruption, immorality, and cowardice on a grand scale.
Those found to have behaved in such a fashion, if indeed they did, can have no further role in our security services and must face something like a dishonourable discharge and the sanctions that infers. It is not an exaggeration to say that our police force has hardly had to deal with such an explosive allegation before. And that, at this stage, is all it is.
As was outlined yesterday by Sinn Féin’s justice spokesperson Jonathan O’Brien, there is an urgency about bringing this issue to a head. The allegations could hardly be more pressing. An Garda Síochána has very challenging, almost unprecedented questions to answer convincingly if the force’s credibility is to be protected. Nevertheless, the old safeguard, innocent until proven guilty, still applies.