We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Garda Commissioner Noírín O'Sullivan.
Bad timing

'The optics are bad': Criticism levelled at Garda Commissioner for taking five-week holiday

Labour and Sinn Féin described the timing of the break as ‘strange’.

OPPOSITION LEADERS HAVE hit out at the Garda Commissioner Noírín O’Sullivan for taking a five-week break amidst yet another garda controversy.

Yesterday, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) published its report into the financial irregularities that have surfaced at the Garda Training College in Templemore.

Labour leader Brendan Howlin said the timing of O’Sullivan taking her holidays was “strange”.

“I think the optics are bad,” he told reporters at the MacGill Summer School in Glenties, Donegal, where there was a debate surrounding policing issues and trust in the gardaí.

“To announce that you are taking a five-week break when a lot of things are ongoing, including the ongoing work of the PAC is strange, and probably not best advised,” said Howlin.

He said he did not know why she has taken so many weeks off work, but said to do so during a time when the force is “under enormous scrutiny” was questionable.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald reiterated that she believes O’Sullivan’s position as Garda Commissioner is not tenable.

She criticised the government for continuing to state they have confidence in the commissioner

Speaking about the commissioner’s five-week break, McDonald said:

I think the optics of her being away for five weeks are awful. I have no knowledge as to why she has such an extended absence, I think that has to be explained.

McDonald said her party has not yet taken a decision as to whether it will table another motion of no confidence in the commissioner, but said discussions would take place over the summer before the Dáil resumes in September.

Hitting out at Fianna Fáil, she said the party was playing “dangerous politics” by allowing the commissioner “stagger on”.

“Now is a moment for Leo Varadkar to show us does he have leadership, can he make a decisive call or is he just busy playing footsy with Fianna Fáil,” she concluded.

Read: Ireland ‘shouldn’t go down US route of splitting security and policing’>

Read: A post-Brexit trip to Belfast to buy a new TV will mean you’ll pay duty plus VAT, says TD>

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.