Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Update 5.13pm: The Garda Commissioner says either Gardaí put in breathalyser numbers wrong or counted them wrong.

Noirín O’Sullivan has been addressing mid-ranking Gardaí at their annual conference in Killarney where she touched on the recent scandals.

Commissioner O’Sullivan said she wanted to hear from conference attendees about how they thought there were 14,700 wrongful convictions and how almost one million breath tests were invented.

She said: “It’s either that somebody somewhere didn’t count the figures right or somebody somewhere put the wrong figures into the machines.

“But I am very happy, and I would very much welcome a frank discussion in our closed session in terms from your experience how do you think those discrepancies were arrived at.

“But most importantly I would also like to ask what do you think that we need to do to fix it?”

Update 4.24pm: Under-pressure Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan was met with an eerie silence as she made her way to the podium at the Association of Garda Sergeants & Inspectors (AGSI) conference in Killarney today.

It is the first time Commissioner O’Sullivan met mid-ranking gardaí since she referred to the inflated breath test figures as “at best incompetence, and at worst deception” at the Oireachtas Justice Committee.

Before her appearance on stage, she was asked if she was she being unfair when she made the comments.

She repeated the assertion, before saying: “What I’d like to hear from the association today is what range they would put these issues into.”

When asked which one she thought was more likely, she said: “I think we can’t speculate until such time … until such time as the facts have been established.”

Earlier:

The Garda Commissioner will this afternoon face mid-ranking gardaí for the first time since the latest scandals to hit the force.

Noirín O’Sullivan is addressing the annual conference of the AGSI, where she will be asked about her comments at the Oireachtas Justice Committee, when she said the inflated breath test figures were “at best incompetence, and at worst deception”.

Members have spoken of their frustration at repeated scandals, saying morale is very low.

AGSI president Antoinette Cunningham said: “We are looking forward to asking the commissioner some questions around the remarks at the Justice Committee and we are looking forward to hearing her responses.

“Not only to those questions, but to the scandal in general.”

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