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breath test scandal

Nóirín O'Sullivan announces major restructuring of some garda sections - but she's not going anywhere

“We are going to identify things that are wrong, things that are broken”. / YouTube

GARDA COMMISSIONER NÓIRÍN O’Sullivan has announced a “radical restructuring” of parts of An Garda Síochana in the wake of the breath test and fixed charge notice scandals.

Speaking at a press conference at Garda Headquarters in the Phoenix Park this afternoon, O’Sullivan said that the policing of roads and divisional management will undergo major changes.

It followed the baffling discovery last week that almost one million random breath tests that never happened were recorded on internal garda systems over the last five years. Separately, almost 15,000 summonses to court were wrongly issued to drivers over the past ten years.

At today’s press conference, O’Sullivan noted the “disquiet” around the two problems, saying that they were potentially major ethical issues. “It gives us no comfort to say that we’ve identified these issues,” she told reporters. “What is very important is what have we done about it”.

noirin o sullivan Noirin O'Sullivan and Deputy Commissioner John Twomey at today's press conference

When asked whether she would resign over the motion of no-confidence in her leadership which is due to take place in the Dáil next week, O’Sullivan would not say yes or no but indicated that she would not step down, repeatedly saying that she was committed to implementing reform in An Garda Síochana.

“I have a journey of work that I have to do and I have to make sure that I see out that commitment,” she said. “We have to keep the lights on while we’re rewiring the house”.

She repeatedly stressed that she was putting “corrective action” in place “to stop these things from happening again”.

The focus now, she said, is on “who, where and what” exactly caused the two issues.

She assured the public that “if we identify any individual or any group of individuals… it will be addressed,” repeatedly describing what is happening in the gardaí as “a matter of real cultural reform”.

“We are going to identify things that are wrong, things that are broken”.

“We are absolutely committed and determined to address the issues”.

Reporting by Michelle Hennessy and Nicky Ryan 

Poll: Do you have confidence in the Garda Commissioner? 

Read: Political parties are piling in on Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan

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