Republic of Ireland news

Enda Kenny has '100% confidence' in Garda Commissioner

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan. Picture by Niall Carson, Press Association
Brian Hutton

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny last night said he has "100 per cent confidence" in Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan.

Ms O'Sullivan is under pressure over leaked documents linked to the O'Higgins investigation into Garda practices in the Cavan and Monaghan district.

They appear to show that Ms O'Sullivan's lawyer told the inquiry that whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe had been motivated by malice in making his concerns known.

However, the senior counsel later said it was an error on his part to question the integrity of Sgt McCabe.

Ms O'Sullivan, the first woman to lead the force, earlier this week issued a statement saying she never regarded Sgt McCabe as "malicious".

However, the commissioner has come under increasing pressure to clarify the situation.

Speaking from Washington during a visit for 1916 centenary events, Mr Kenny said whistleblowers are "an important part of Irish life and the commissioner supports them 100 per cent".

Earlier, Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald told the Dáil she has no doubts that Ms O'Sullivan will seek to clarify the controversy.

The vast majority of Sgt McCabe's claims were substantiated by the O'Higgins report, which also found him to be a man of integrity.

Meanwhile, Independent TD Clare Daly has demanded an apology over the leaking of her arrest on suspicion of drink-driving.

A Garda Ombudsman inquiry found the release of information about her detention likely came from the force in an "unauthorised manner".

Ms Daly was arrested shortly after midnight on January 29 2013 on Dublin's South Circular Road, but was cleared of any wrongdoing after tests proved she was driving within the legal limits.

"I do expect an apology. The apology should be from the Garda Commissioner," the TD said.

"The Commissioner personifies the force."

The Garda Ombudsman found it was "more likely than not" that details of the arrest were leaked by someone from within the force but it was impossible to prove who was responsible.

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