Enniscorthy Guardian - - NEWS - BY FIN­TAN LAMBE

MIN­IS­TER Michael D’Arcy has refused to re­peat the crit­i­cism he made of Garda Com­mis­sioner Noirin O’Sul­li­van last Fe­bru­ary, but has de­nied be­ing ‘muz­zled’ by the gov­ern­ment.

Dur­ing an in­ter­view with Alan Cor­co­ran on South East Ra­dio yes­ter­day, Mon­day, in the wake of Com­mis­sioner O’Sul­li­van’s de­ci­sion to re­tire with im­me­di­ate ef­fect, Deputy D’Arcy de­clined to re­peat his crit­i­cisms, and re­futed sug­ges­tions he was be­ing muz­zled now that he is a Min­is­ter of State.

As a back bencher, he broke ranks last Fe­bru­ary when he said he didn’t be­lieve a state­ment by the com­mis­sioner in re­la­tion to garda whistle­blow­ers, and said she should step aside in the in­ter­ests of ‘nat­u­ral jus­tice’.

‘I think she made the de­ci­sion in the best in­ter­ests of An Garda Síochána,’ he told this news­pa­per yes­ter­day. He wouldn’t be drawn on his pre­vi­ous com­ments, but de­nied be­ing ‘muz­zled.’

‘When you’re in gov­ern­ment, you have to ac­cept the gov­er­ment’s view, he said. ‘I knew that when I went into gov­ern­ment. It doesn’t take from the po­si­tion I had be­fore that.’

‘When you en­ter gov­ern­ment, you ac­cept that there is a sin­gle gov­ern­ment po­si­tion,’ he added. ‘ These are the rules. I knew it be­fore­hand, and I know it now. The po­si­tion is, the gov­ern­ment ac­cepts her de­ci­sion to re­tire. What was said in the past is in the past. The state­ment I made was on the record and if peo­ple want to read it, it is there and avail­able.’ He said it is now a mat­ter for the Polic­ing Author­ity to take the next step in re­la­tion to what hap­pens next.

Dur­ing a Dáil de­bate in Fe­bru­ary on the terms of ref­er­ence for a tri­bunal look­ing into the al­leged smear­ing of garda whistle­blow­ers he said ‘ The in­for­ma­tion I have been given is that up to ten jour­nal­ists were briefed in re­la­tion to Sergeant (Mau­rice) Mc­Cabe.’

‘I don’t be­lieve the com­mis­sioner,’ he added. ‘I don’t be­lieve her be­cause of her ac­tions and how she in­structed her le­gal coun­sel to deal with the O’Neill in­ves­ti­ga­tion. I do think in the in­ter­est of nat­u­ral jus­tice that the com­mis­sioner step aside in the in­ter­est of Garda Síochána. The in­ter­est of one in­di­vid­ual can­not come in ahead of the po­lice force.’

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