Latest: Justice Minister wants 'skeletons out of all the cupboards' in An Garda Síochána

Update 1pm: Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said today that he wants all the “skeletons out of all the cupboards” within the gardaí.

Speaking at a passing-out ceremony which saw 181 gardaí graduate from Templemore today, he also said that he wants to see a programme of extensive reform across the Force.

Speaking at the same ceremony, Acting Commissioner Dónall Ó Cualáin paid tribute to the outgoing Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan and her focus on modernising the Force.

He said: “I think she deserves great credit for having that vision, and that energy, to start that very ambitious piece of work at a time when we had lots of other fires to put out.”

The senior management team also faced a litany of questions about the report into the 1.4 million fake breath tests which were recorded by gardaí.

Regarding recent comments from the GRA - that rank-and-file gardaí did not falsify figures but were told to elevate them by management - Deputy Commissioner John Twomey said: “We’ve asked Michael O’Sullivan to find out exactly the detail around the evidence around what they actually said.

“What we’ve said is, we know what they said over the course of one or two or three sentences. We want the details, we want the facts around what they’re actually saying, so that we can consider that in slow time.”

The Justice Minister criticised the GRA comments.

“I felt the comments were premature,” he said. “I was disappointed with the comments.”

Earlier:

Senior gardaí say the falsifying of breath tests was unacceptable at all levels within the force.

It is the first time senior management has spoken publicly since a report into the controversy was published.

Speaking in Templemore, Deputy Commissioner John Twomey says what happened with the breath tests has damaged the force.

"This is an organisational issue and it's one the organisation has to challenge," he said.

"It's a behavioural issue that is not acceptable for members of An Garda Síochána. It has done damage to the reputation and it's certainly something that the acting Commissioner and the management team will work day and night to restore."

Deputy Commissioner John Twomey


 

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