Catherine Murphy TD has welcomed the hard-hitting PAC report into financial practices at Templemore Garda training and said the report does “not pull any punches.”

Speaking at the launch of the report, Deputy Murphy said that when she had first raised the issue with the then Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald it had been dismissed as nothing to be concerned about. Catherine Murphy said the report today shows that the same dismissive attitude was true of both the Commissioner and the Minister and that there was an issue regarding the “wider circling of the wagons.”

Catherine Murphy continued:

“The report is also highly critical of the treatment of those within the ranks who sought to speak out and raise issues of concern with the status quo regarding internal practices. That treatment is indicative of a wider culture regarding the treatment, or indeed mistreatment, of whistle-blowers within An Garda Síochána. That must change and change urgently.

“From the outset of this investigation it was characterised by the Commissioner as an ‘interpersonal dispute’ between staff members when in fact the Committee found it was a ‘profound professional disagreement among senior management’. There is quite a significant difference in the two.

“I am also concerned regarding the record keeping in the Department of Justice and the fact that the Department has told the Committee it cannot locate any records to indicate when it first had knowledge of problems. Given that these are important State papers that should have been retained and archived appropriately, it is extremely problematic that they cannot be located.”

ENDS

18 July 2017