Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin has said that current legislation for removing the Garda Commissioner is “awkward and sometimes unworkable”.
Nóirín O’Sullivan has been under pressure after a PAC report criticised her delay in telling the Comptroller and Auditor General about financial irregularities at Templemore.
While not directly naming her, Brendan Howlin says our constitution makes it hard for the Government to remove people from the top job in An Garda Síochána.
Speaking at the MacGill Summer School in Donegal, he said: “It is the reason why the Act says that the Commissioner must be appointed, and may only be removed from office, by the Government. “So we have an awkward, and sometimes unworkable, arrangement that we need, simply, to look at again.”
The former head of GSOC says the Government has been timid in its handling of crisis within the Gardaí. It follows the publication of a damning report into the force by the Public Accounts Committee yesterday – which has led to renewed calls for Nóirín O’Sullivan to stand down as Commissioner. The MacGill Summer School is discussing how we can restore trust in the Gardaí this afternoon. Addressing the gathering, former Garda Ombudsman Commissioner Conor Brady said that more needs to be done to tackle the real issues.”The big problem really in all of this is that politicians have been timid, they have been piecemeal, they have been either frightened or bewildered in what to do,” he said.”So we have a habit of giving the appearance of reform and new structures, but actually then putting in a lot of savers and qualifiers into it.”