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'Dissent is not disloyalty' - Interim Garda Commissioner

Noirín O’Sullivan says that whistleblowers “need to be supported”.

Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan today.
Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan today.

Updated at 11.08pm

THE INTERIM GARDA Commissioner says that the force needs to support whistle blowers.

Speaking at the graduation of Garda Reserves in Templemore, Co Tipperary today, Noirín O’Sullivan said that it was important that the force not see dissension as disloyalty.

She said that former Commissioner Martin Callinan’s use of the word “disgusting” in relation to Garda whistle blowers, which eventually contributed to his retirement, was “unfortunate”.

“It was an unfortunate use of the word.

“In any organisation as large and complex as the gardaí, there will be people who will bring issues to our attention.

“Those people need to be supported and there has to be mechanisms in place to make sure they can bring those issues forward.”

O’Sullivan said that Callinan “has a personal opinion” on the whistle blowers, to which he was entitled. She added that the restoration of Sgt Maurice McCabe, one of the whistle blowers, access to the Pulse system was “under review”.

When asked about whether gardaí attempted to destroy tapes, O’Sullivan said that she was “constrained” in what she could say because of the impending Commission of Investigation.

She said that she and senior management were behind members of the force, but said she does not see herself as “a new brush”.

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“It’s very important that we build relationships with internal and external stakeholders.”

Nor does she believe that whistle blowers were inherently unwilling to come forward in the gardaí, saying that reluctance was all across society.

She finished that when the post of Commissioner is advertised, she would like to apply.

10170868_10152155493208001_2013498162_n Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan speaking to the press today. Source: Garda Facebook page

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