Kenny states confidence in Garda commissioner

Taoiseach acknowledges management failings highlighted in Garda inspectorate’s report

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said Garda commissioner Martin Callinan retains his confidence in the wake of the Garda inspectorate’s report on penalty points. Video: Simon Carswell

Thu, Mar 13, 2014, 17:12

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said Garda commissioner Martin Callinan retains his confidence in the wake of the Garda inspectorate’s report on penalty points.

Mr Kenny acknowledged the management failings highlighted in the report and said the commissioner has responsibility for the day-do-day management of the force.

However, he said “yes I do” when asked whether Mr Callinan retains his confidence.

While the Taoiseach said it was clear the penalty points affair would not have come to light without the actions of Garda whistleblowers, he did not say whether they deserved an apology.

Mr Kenny was speaking at the Washington headquarters of the US Chamber of Commerce at the first public event in his St Patrick’s Day visit to the US.

“Obviously ineffective management and lack of capacity to do the issue competently is what has been exposed here so that’s now going to be addressed,” he told reporters.

“Further to that, the GSOC, the Garda ombudsman commission is also looking at the whole question of this area and there’ll be another report from that in due in course.

The inspectorate’s findings would now be dealt with, he said. “The commissioner has responsibility for dealing with the day to day running of the gardai.

“Clearly the findings of the inspectorate#s report point out where dysfunctionality and inefficiency in the system has been.”

Asked whether Mr Callinan had been unwise to use the expression “disgusting” in relation to the whistleblowers, Mr Kenny said that remark had now been clarified by the commission

“I think what the Garda commissioner did in clarifying his comment about that word was the release in a irregular fashion in that way of information about this in the public media. That was his reference as I understand it to the word he used.”

Asked whether the whistleblowers had been vindicated, he said the issue they had raised had certainly been brought before the public.

“You had the Mahony report, the inspectorate’s report, you will have the GSOC report,” he said.

“All of these will be put together and principally addressed so that you’ll have a fair, transparent, principalled accountable system. So these matters would not have been addressed in the way they are but for the fact that they were brought to light by the whisteblowers concerned.”

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