D’Arcy refuses to repeat criticism of Commissioner
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.
In an interview with Alan Corcoran on South East Radio yesterday, Monday, in the wake of Commissioner O’Sullivan’s decision to retire, the Wexford TD 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 denied being ‘muzzled.’
‘When you enter government, you accept that there is a single government position. 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.’
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 (Maruice) McCabe.
‘I don’t believe the commissioner. 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.’