Motion calling for Garda Commissioner’s sacking defeated

Sinn Féin move fails as Dáil votes against effort to give Policing Authority more power

The Sinn Féin motion calling for Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan to be sacked was defeated by 98 votes to 46. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

A Sinn Féin motion calling for Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan to be sacked has been defeated by 98 votes to 46.

The Dáil Private Members’ motion from the party’s justice spokesman Jonathan O’Brien stated that the removal of Ms O’Sullivan would be in the best interests of An Garda Síochána.

It was expected to fail because both the Government and Fianna Fáil rejected the motion.

A separate Fianna Fáil motion giving the Policing Authority more powers over the Garda Commissioner was also defeated in a final vote of 91 to 54.


Sinn Féin voted with the Government against the motion.

The motion from justice spokesman Jim O’Callaghan also called for the Government to request the Policing Authority assess the role and capacity of the Garda Commissioner to restore public confidence in An Garda Síochána.

Both motions were expected to fail because of the disagreement between Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin over the controversy about 14,700 unlawful convictions of motorists and the recording of almost one million breath tests that never took place.

The Government, Sinn Féin and Solidarity-People Before Profit all introduced amendments on the Fianna Fáil motion, but these were defeated in three separate votes.

A Labour Party amendment to the motion had been accepted by 87 to 58 votes. It said “the systems, structures and processes of Garda management are not fit for purpose and no longer command or deserve the confidence of the public or of public representatives”.

The amendment also said that a “transformative programme of renovation, reorganisation and reformation under statutory external direction and oversight is urgently required”.

Solidarity-People Before Profit, the Social Democrats, the Rural Independents group, Independents4Change and a number of other Independents also rejected the amended Fianna Fáil motion.

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran is Parliamentary Correspondent of The Irish Times