Justice Minister warns Gardaí he wants ‘all the skeletons out of all the cupboards’

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan was speaking at a passing out ceremony in Templemore

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan warned that he wants to see “all the skeletons out of all of the cupboards” in terms of Garda scandals and controversies.

His warning came as Acting Garda Commissioner Donal O’Cualain and Deputy Commissioner John Twomey confirmed that a special review is now underway into the Garda Representative Association (GRA) position that rank-and-file officers did not falsify breath test figures.

The follow-on review is now being conducted by Assistant Commissioner Michael O’Sullivan.

The GRA controversially insisted last week that the blame for the scandal over almost 1.5 million false breath tests firmly at the door of middle and senior ranking Gardaí.

They insisted “elevated” figures were entirely the result of pressure on rank-and-file officers from senior Gardaí.

Deputy Commissioner Twomey warned that the falsification of any data within An Garda Siochana was unacceptable.

“It is unacceptable that people, or anybody, falsified records,” he said.

“It is unacceptable that there is any wrongdoing in this area.”

Mr Flanagan, speaking with senior Garda chiefs at the passing out of 181 Garda recruits at Templemore College in Tipperary, expressed his disappointment at the controversy and the GRA comments.

“I think the comments were premature and I was disappointed with the comments,” he said.

“That said, there is a process underway and I am awaiting the independent report from the Policing Authority to see if there are issues here to be dealt with.”

“In fact, there are issues across a range of pursuits in An Garda Siochana.”

“I want all the skeletons out of all of the cupboards.”

“I want to see an accelerated process of extensive reform across An Garda Siochana. In particular, I want to see the advice on the recommendations of the Garda Inspectorate all of which are being closely monitored.”

Mr Flanagan stressed that an efficient, modern and well-resourced police force was vital for Ireland’s future.

“I am here to acknowledged on behalf of Government the really important role that Gardaí play in Irish communities in the protection of our lives,” he said.

“I am also here to talk about Garda reform and the need to accelerate the pace of a programme of reform that is necessary if we are to have a world class police service,” he said.


5 Responses to Justice Minister warns Gardaí he wants ‘all the skeletons out of all the cupboards’

  1. noel September 22, 2017 at 3:56 pm #

    Did the Minister for Justice address these young members of An Garda Siochana stating that he wanted “all skeletons out of all the cupboards” or was he addressing those Senior members who were present, in private?. It would appear from the above heading that his remarks were addressed to the Recruits. I do hope that is not the case. The current problems have nothing to do with these young members just being inducted into An Garda Siochana. It would surely destroy their great day.

    Noel Hynes – GSRMA Naas.

  2. timothy September 22, 2017 at 8:43 pm #

    My time as a guard is well behind me now. Cronyism and nepotism was clearly evident in my time and continued no doubt it was always given to cynical comment within. To do anything about would have adverse repercussions resulting in good honest committed members getting on with the job and not confronting the matter, many of them glad to get out on pension, The bubble has burst now with a big mess to clean-up with standards of openness and integrity. Honest standards of governess is what’s now required and hopefully it will come for the force and public. A person from within the state could do the job properly applied.

  3. patrick joseph mc September 22, 2017 at 10:23 pm #

    Last Sunday Morning Peter Sheridan of Cooperation Ireland former R.U.C/P.S.N.I gave a great Interview on R.T.E Radio. He could have been Chief Constable if he stayed on and would have a good chance of becoming Garda Commissioner if he applied. He gave a very truthful answer and it had nothing to do with Salary but the commitment required . His message was simple and human ,he never forgot his colleagues that paid the ultimate price with their life but he also acknowledged that people change over their lifetime. In present frenzy society is likely to throw out the baby along with the bathwater , Over the years members gave many unpaid hours and were the backbone of many parishes in schools sport clubs etc and the amount of welfare work performed unheard and unseen will never appear in statistics , Peter Sheridan like many gardai displayed a great knowledge of human beings

  4. patrick joseph mc September 23, 2017 at 12:17 pm #

    To days INDEPENDENT there is an article the minister recalls the death of Michael Clerkin R.I.P and the horrific injuries suffered by other members which puts many things in context in an age where this is history but not to members that served in uncertain times. There is also an article Garda proves a proper Tour de Force and shows the positive unseen side of the Gardai as citizens that devote time and sweat to good causes .

  5. noel September 26, 2017 at 5:42 pm #

    This comment is for the attention of our General Secretary. Paschal, I am sure you have read my comment above re the Minister of Justice’s warning that he wanted “all skeletons out of all the cupboards” when addressing the 181 new members of An Garda Siochana last week in Templemore College. Just to let you know that I am still not aware whether the Minister addressed the new members or if in fact he addressed the Officers present privately. I await your reply.

    Noel Hynes – GSRMA, Naas.

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