Garda Commissioner’s testimony is contradicted by two senior civilians in the force

The Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee is to write to three senior Gardaí to request clarifications on evidence given before the committee.

Members agreed to write to Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan, head of human resources John Barrett, and head of legal affairs Ken Ruane as their testimony was contradicted by one another.

In a letter to the committee and the Garda Commissioner, Mr Barrett requested Ms O’Sullivan correct the record of the PAC.

Mr Barrett alleges the commissioner’s recollection of a meeting held on July 27th, 2015, between the two in Templemore Garda College is not an accurate reflection of the event.

Brief meeting

Ms O’Sullivan has maintained it was a brief meeting, while Mr Barrett alleges it was a two-hour meeting where he discussed the financial irregularities in Templemore at length.

In his correspondence, Mr Barrett said he has contemporaneous notes and records which back up his assertions.

The head of human resources also rejects Ms O’Sullivan’s insistence she was first informed of the mismanagement at that meeting, claiming she was aware of such matters a month previously.

Mr Barrett claimed the Commissioner’s assertions are not correct and he asks her to correct the record of the PAC. The letter was copied to each member of the committee.

The Garda Commissioner’s evidence is also contradicted by Mr Ruane, who has concurred with the testimony of Mr Barrett.

Denied inconsistency

The commissioner has denied any inconsistency in her statements and stressed her evidence to the committee is accurate.

However, the committee has agreed to write to Ms O’Sullivan, Mr Ruane and Mr Barrett to seek clarifications.

The PAC has concluded its hearings into the financial irregularities at Templemore Garda College.

It will meet next Thursday to consider its first draft of the report into the mismanagement identified by an internal Garda audit.

Chairman Seán Fleming has said its final report will be published before the Dáil rises in mid-July.