herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Garda chief's visit to San Diego 'error of judgment' - TD

Noirin O’Sullivan
Noirin O’Sullivan

Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan has been further criticised for her decision to fly to California while members of the force are preparing to withdraw their labour.

The garda chief flew back to Dublin yesterday after addressing delegates in San Diego. She travelled with a garda delegation that included her husband, Chief Supt Jim McGowan.

Records

Ms O'Sullivan will today meet her deputy and assistant commissioners in Garda Headquarters as members of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) withdraw from Pulse duties for 12 hours.

Pulse is the Garda computer system.

While most records are entered by rank-and-file gardai, sergeants and inspectors review them - which they will not do from today.

Fine Gael TD Michael D'Arcy accused Ms O'Sullivan of embarking on a "junket" after it emerged that she spent several days this week in California.

There is growing unease within Fianna Fail over the commissioner's handling of the industrial unrest among AGSI members and the Garda Representative Association (GRA) .

The party's finance spokesperson, TD Michael McGrath, said he felt Ms O'Sullivan's absence from the country this week was an error of judgment.

A spokesman for Justice Minister and Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald said decisions as to the commissioner's fulfilment of any "international obligations" are entirely a matter for her.

Business

"In the circumstances, it would not be appropriate to comment on any instances of particular business abroad undertaken by her," the spokesman told the Herald.

"There has, of course, been no question of any absence by the commissioner abroad impinging in any way on the performance of the full range of her functions, both domestic and international.

"There are long-established procedures in place for notification to the department of proposed absences on official duty."

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