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Mick Wallace: Nóirín O'Sullivan is an insider who sat on Martin Callinan's shoulder

The Dáil has been discussing the appointment of O’Sullivan as the new Garda Commissioner.

MICK WALLACE HAS reiterated his criticism of the new Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan as  the Dáil debated her appointment for the first time this afternoon.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny mounted a robust defence of O’Sullivan’s appointment on a permanent basis yesterday after she succeeded Martin Callinan on a temporary basis in March.

“It is an insult to the commissioner of the gardaí, what you’ve said in your comments here,” Kenny told Wallace during Leaders’ Questions.

Earlier, Wallace told Kenny that the government had appointed “an insider who sat on the shoulder of Martin Callinan” saying “she was the one whispering in his ear” during his infamous appearance before the Public Accounts Committee last January.

It was at that PAC hearing that Callinan referred to the actions of two garda whistleblowers as “disgusting”.

It was a phrase that would haunt him until his departure in March of this year amid controversy over penalty points, allegations of garda malpractice and revelations of secret phone call recordings at garda stations.

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Wallace asked the Taoiseach for details of how many people applied and were interviewed for the commissioner position as well as the position of chair of the new policing authority – a position that Wallace himself applied for.

Kenny insisted that the selection committee that chose O’Sullivan was “very competent” and noted that one of the whistleblowers, serving sergeant Maurice McCabe, welcomed O’Sullivan’s appointment.

He said a “rigorous and competent independent process of scrutiny” was undertaken with candidates for the commissioner role.

But Wallace insisted: “The existing heirarchy are all from the one crew.”

The Taoiseach also informed the Dáil today that the terms of reference into the commission of inquiry being established on foot of the Guerin report will be published next week.

That report found that former Minister for Justice Alan Shatter had a statutory responsibility to act once Maurice McCabe had brought complaints about garda malpractice to the Confidential Recipient – but he never did.

The report’s publication led to Shatter’s resignation. He is challenging elements of its findings in the High Court.

State of the Nation: Did gender swing it for the new Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan?

Read: Being an insider helps, being a woman makes no difference whatsoever – Commissioner

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