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The government has confidence in 'decent and competent' Garda Commissioner

The commissioner faced the PAC to answer questions over serious irregularities in the finances of the Garda College in Templemore.

Image: PA Wire/PA Images

HOUSING MINISTER SIMON Coveney says the government has faith in Noirín O’Sullivan.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Claire Byrne show today, Coveney said that calls for O’Sullivan to step down were misguided.

Pressure on the Garda Commissioner intensified yesterday with Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil saying that her position is untenable following an appearance before the Public Accounts Committee on Thursday.

The commissioner faced the PAC to answer questions over serious irregularities in the finances of the Garda College in Templemore.

These irregularities included the transfer of money to the Garda Boat Club, which was described by one TD in the PAC as “embezzlement”.

Fianna Fáil justice spokesperson Jim O’Callaghan said that it was his party’s view that the “best option” would be for O’Sullivan to resign.

However, Coveney said that O’Sullivan is “fundamentally a decent person and a competent person”.

“I think [Jim O'Callaghan] is wrong. I think there is fundamental reform needed in An Garda Síochána – there is a root and branch reform needed.

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“The question is whether or not her resignation would make that job easier or not – I don’t believe it would.”

Coveney said he “didn’t understand” the Fianna Fáil position on the issue – saying that they won’t support a no-confidence motion in the Dáil in O’Sullivan, but publicly calling for her resignation.

This year alone, O’Sullivan has faced calls to resign over issues such as the garda whistleblower scandal, the ‘phantom’ breath tests and the incorrect fixed charge notices.

Read: Fianna Fáil AND Sinn Féin have called on Nóirín O’Sullivan to step down this evening

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