Fintan O’Toole: Nóirín O’Sullivan fluent in Wyssn and Mangleish

Obfuscating Garda Commissioner has taken unaccountablity to a new level in Ireland

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan arrives at Leinster House on Tuesday for her appearance before the Public Accounts Committee. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan arrives at Leinster House on Tuesday for her appearance before the Public Accounts Committee. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Nóirín O’Sullivan is bilingual. In the old days, this would have meant that the Garda Commissioner was equally at home in Irish and English. But in contemporary Ireland it means she has mastered two entirely different languages of obfuscation.

In her tour de force before the Public Accounts Committee on Tuesday, she showed it is not true that, when it comes to the art of sliding away from accountability, nothing ever changes. O’Sullivan is a native speaker of traditional Irish political verbiage. But she can also move effortlessly into a whole new vernacular. She is the first public figure to be fluent in both Wyssn and Mangleish.

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