Dáil debates

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Garda Commissioner: Motion (Resumed) [Private Members]

 

The following motion was moved by Deputy Jonathan O'Brien on Wednesday, 12 April 2017:

Debate resumed on amendment No. 1:

- (Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality)

1:55 pm

Photo of Pat GallagherPat Gallagher (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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I must now deal with a postponed division relating to amendment No. 1 to the motion regarding the Garda Commissioner. On Thursday, 11 April 2017, on the question that the amendment to the motion be agreed to, a division was claimed, and in accordance with Standing Order 70(2), that division must be taken now.

Amendment put:

The Dáil divided: Tá, 57; Níl, 88; Staon, 0.


Tellers: Tá, Deputies Regina Doherty and Tony McLoughlin; Níl, Deputies Aengus Ó Snodaigh and Jonathan O'Brien.

Maria Bailey, Seán Barrett, Pat Breen, Colm Brophy, Richard Bruton, Peter Burke, Catherine Byrne, Ciarán Cannon, Joe Carey, Michael Collins, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, Simon Coveney, Michael Creed, Michael D'Arcy, John Deasy, Pat Deering, Regina Doherty, Paschal Donohoe, Andrew Doyle, Bernard Durkan, Damien English, Alan Farrell, Frances Fitzgerald, Peter Fitzpatrick, Charles Flanagan, Noel Grealish, Brendan Griffin, Simon Harris, Michael Harty, Martin Heydon, Paul Kehoe, Enda Kenny, Seán Kyne, Michael Lowry, Helen McEntee, Finian McGrath, Mattie McGrath, Joe McHugh, Tony McLoughlin, Josepha Madigan, Mary Mitchell O'Connor, Kevin Moran, Dara Murphy, Eoghan Murphy, Denis Naughten, Hildegarde Naughton, Tom Neville, Michael Noonan, Kate O'Connell, Patrick O'Donovan, Fergus O'Dowd, John Paul Phelan, Michael Ring, Noel Rock, Shane Ross, David Stanton, Leo Varadkar.

Níl

Gerry Adams, Bobby Aylward, Mick Barry, Richard Boyd Barrett, John Brady, John Brassil, Declan Breathnach, Tommy Broughan, James Browne, Pat Buckley, Joan Burton, Mary Butler, Thomas Byrne, Jackie Cahill, Dara Calleary, Pat Casey, Shane Cassells, Jack Chambers, Lisa Chambers, Joan Collins, Niall Collins, Catherine Connolly, Ruth Coppinger, Barry Cowen, Seán Crowe, David Cullinane, John Curran, Clare Daly, Pearse Doherty, Stephen Donnelly, Timmy Dooley, Dessie Ellis, Martin Ferris, Michael Fitzmaurice, Seán Fleming, Kathleen Funchion, Seán Haughey, Séamus Healy, Brendan Howlin, Billy Kelleher, Alan Kelly, Gino Kenny, Martin Kenny, John Lahart, James Lawless, Charlie McConalogue, Mary Lou McDonald, Michael McGrath, John McGuinness, Marc MacSharry, Catherine Martin, Micheál Martin, Denise Mitchell, Aindrias Moynihan, Michael Moynihan, Imelda Munster, Margaret Murphy O'Mahony, Catherine Murphy, Eugene Murphy, Paul Murphy, Carol Nolan, Eoin Ó Broin, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Éamon Ó Cuív, Aengus Ó Snodaigh, Darragh O'Brien, Jonathan O'Brien, Jim O'Callaghan, Kevin O'Keeffe, Fiona O'Loughlin, Louise O'Reilly, Frank O'Rourke, Jan O'Sullivan, Willie Penrose, Thomas Pringle, Maurice Quinlivan, Anne Rabbitte, Brendan Ryan, Eamon Ryan, Eamon Scanlon, Seán Sherlock, Róisín Shortall, Brendan Smith, Bríd Smith, Niamh Smyth, Brian Stanley, Robert Troy, Mick Wallace.

Amendment declared lost.

2:05 pm

Photo of Gino KennyGino Kenny (Dublin Mid West, People Before Profit Alliance)
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I move amendment No. 2:

To delete all words after “Dáil Éireann” and substitute the following:

“notes that:— 937,000 breath tests that never occurred were falsely recorded on the Police Using Leading Systems Effectively (PULSE) system, and that the existence of a problem in this regard was communicated to the Garda Commissioner, Nóirín O’Sullivan in 2014;

— there were 146,865 District Court summonses for road traffic offences wrongly issued and that as a result 14,700 people were subject to wrongful convictions due to shameful Garda error and were never informed of the error, nor received an apology directly from An Garda Síochána;

— the Garda Commissioner was notified of discrepancies in Garda breath test data by the Medical Bureau of Road Safety in 2014 but did not inform the public or the Policing Authority of these discrepancies until 23rd March, 2017;

— the Garda Commissioner has accepted that An Garda Síochána recorded numbers that were false, and believes that this falsification may not be confined to traffic data;

— the Garda Commissioner failed adequately to explain the cause of these errors;

— high-ranking members of An Garda Síochána, including the Garda Commissioner, have recently been accused of engaging in a systematic campaign to smear the character and reputation of Sergeant Maurice McCabe and other Garda whistleblowers; and

— there has been an erosion of public confidence and trust in An Garda Síochána including a lack of public confidence in the Garda Commissioner and senior Garda management to investigate possible Garda malpractice or corruption;acknowledges that:— An Garda Síochána should be held accountable in terms of their adherence to professional and ethical standards;

— section 11 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 states that:
— a person who holds the office of Garda Commissioner may be removed from office by the Government but only for stated reasons, including:
— the person has failed to perform the functions of the office with due diligence and effectiveness; and

— the person’s removal from office would, in the Government’s opinion, be in the best interests of An Garda Síochána;
— on notifying under section 12 (1) a person who holds the office of Garda Commissioner that the Government intends to consider removing him or her from office, the Government may immediately suspend the person from duty; and

— section 12(1)(b) of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 further allows that the Government shall give the person an opportunity to make representations as to why he or she ought not to be removed from office; further notes that Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan has stated that she plans to continue in her position even if there is a Dáil vote of no confidence in her; and

calls on the Government to:— immediately use the powers available to them under the Garda Síochána Act 2005 to notify Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan that they intend to consider removing her and to suspend her from duty while she receives an opportunity to make representations as to why she ought not to be removed from office;

— independently investigate the involvement of members of senior Garda management in malpractice, corruption and/or the harassment or smearing of whistleblowers;

— urgently review the situations in which people may be convicted for certain crimes on the word of a Garda Superintendent; and

— urgently review how An Garda Síochána can be made democratically accountable to the communities they serve, including the election of democratically accountable bodies empowered to decide on how policing is implemented, how policing resources are spent, and to hold An Garda Síochána accountable for their actions.”

Amendment put:

The Dáil divided: Tá, 36; Níl, 108; Staon, 0.


Tellers: Tá, Deputies Richard Boyd Barrett and Gino Kenny; Níl, Deputies Regina Doherty and Tony McLoughlin.

Gerry Adams, Mick Barry, Richard Boyd Barrett, John Brady, Tommy Broughan, Pat Buckley, Catherine Connolly, Ruth Coppinger, Seán Crowe, David Cullinane, Clare Daly, Pearse Doherty, Dessie Ellis, Martin Ferris, Michael Fitzmaurice, Kathleen Funchion, Séamus Healy, Gino Kenny, Martin Kenny, Mary Lou McDonald, Denise Mitchell, Imelda Munster, Catherine Murphy, Paul Murphy, Carol Nolan, Eoin Ó Broin, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Aengus Ó Snodaigh, Jonathan O'Brien, Louise O'Reilly, Thomas Pringle, Maurice Quinlivan, Róisín Shortall, Bríd Smith, Brian Stanley, Mick Wallace.

Níl

Bobby Aylward, Maria Bailey, Seán Barrett, John Brassil, Declan Breathnach, Pat Breen, Colm Brophy, James Browne, Richard Bruton, Peter Burke, Joan Burton, Mary Butler, Catherine Byrne, Thomas Byrne, Jackie Cahill, Dara Calleary, Ciarán Cannon, Joe Carey, Pat Casey, Shane Cassells, Jack Chambers, Lisa Chambers, Michael Collins, Niall Collins, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, Simon Coveney, Barry Cowen, Michael Creed, John Curran, Michael D'Arcy, John Deasy, Pat Deering, Regina Doherty, Stephen Donnelly, Paschal Donohoe, Timmy Dooley, Andrew Doyle, Bernard Durkan, Damien English, Alan Farrell, Frances Fitzgerald, Peter Fitzpatrick, Charles Flanagan, Seán Fleming, Noel Grealish, Brendan Griffin, Simon Harris, Michael Harty, Seán Haughey, Martin Heydon, Brendan Howlin, Paul Kehoe, Billy Kelleher, Alan Kelly, Enda Kenny, Seán Kyne, John Lahart, James Lawless, Michael Lowry, Marc MacSharry, Charlie McConalogue, Helen McEntee, Finian McGrath, Mattie McGrath, Michael McGrath, John McGuinness, Joe McHugh, Tony McLoughlin, Josepha Madigan, Catherine Martin, Micheál Martin, Mary Mitchell O'Connor, Kevin Moran, Aindrias Moynihan, Michael Moynihan, Margaret Murphy O'Mahony, Dara Murphy, Eoghan Murphy, Eugene Murphy, Denis Naughten, Hildegarde Naughton, Tom Neville, Michael Noonan, Éamon Ó Cuív, Darragh O'Brien, Jim O'Callaghan, Kate O'Connell, Patrick O'Donovan, Fergus O'Dowd, Kevin O'Keeffe, Fiona O'Loughlin, Frank O'Rourke, Jan O'Sullivan, Willie Penrose, John Paul Phelan, Anne Rabbitte, Michael Ring, Noel Rock, Shane Ross, Brendan Ryan, Eamon Ryan, Eamon Scanlon, Seán Sherlock, Brendan Smith, Niamh Smyth, David Stanton, Robert Troy, Leo Varadkar.

Amendment declared lost.

Question put: "That the motion be agreed to."

The Dáil divided: Tá, 46; Níl, 98; Staon, 0.


Tellers: Tá, Deputies Aengus Ó Snodaigh and Jonathan O'Brien; Níl, Deputies Regina Doherty and Tony McLoughlin.

Gerry Adams, Mick Barry, Richard Boyd Barrett, John Brady, Tommy Broughan, Pat Buckley, Joan Burton, Joan Collins, Catherine Connolly, Ruth Coppinger, Seán Crowe, David Cullinane, Clare Daly, Pearse Doherty, Dessie Ellis, Martin Ferris, Michael Fitzmaurice, Kathleen Funchion, Séamus Healy, Brendan Howlin, Alan Kelly, Gino Kenny, Martin Kenny, Mary Lou McDonald, Catherine Martin, Denise Mitchell, Imelda Munster, Catherine Murphy, Paul Murphy, Carol Nolan, Eoin Ó Broin, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Aengus Ó Snodaigh, Jonathan O'Brien, Louise O'Reilly, Jan O'Sullivan, Willie Penrose, Thomas Pringle, Maurice Quinlivan, Brendan Ryan, Eamon Ryan, Seán Sherlock, Róisín Shortall, Bríd Smith, Brian Stanley, Mick Wallace.

Níl

Bobby Aylward, Maria Bailey, Seán Barrett, John Brassil, Declan Breathnach, Pat Breen, Colm Brophy, James Browne, Richard Bruton, Peter Burke, Mary Butler, Catherine Byrne, Thomas Byrne, Jackie Cahill, Dara Calleary, Ciarán Cannon, Joe Carey, Pat Casey, Shane Cassells, Jack Chambers, Lisa Chambers, Michael Collins, Niall Collins, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, Simon Coveney, Barry Cowen, Michael Creed, John Curran, Michael D'Arcy, John Deasy, Pat Deering, Regina Doherty, Stephen Donnelly, Paschal Donohoe, Timmy Dooley, Andrew Doyle, Bernard Durkan, Damien English, Alan Farrell, Frances Fitzgerald, Peter Fitzpatrick, Charles Flanagan, Seán Fleming, Noel Grealish, Brendan Griffin, Simon Harris, Michael Harty, Seán Haughey, Martin Heydon, Paul Kehoe, Billy Kelleher, Enda Kenny, Seán Kyne, John Lahart, James Lawless, Michael Lowry, Marc MacSharry, Charlie McConalogue, Helen McEntee, Finian McGrath, Mattie McGrath, Michael McGrath, Joe McHugh, Tony McLoughlin, Josepha Madigan, Micheál Martin, Mary Mitchell O'Connor, Kevin Moran, Aindrias Moynihan, Michael Moynihan, Margaret Murphy O'Mahony, Dara Murphy, Eoghan Murphy, Eugene Murphy, Denis Naughten, Hildegarde Naughton, Tom Neville, Michael Noonan, Éamon Ó Cuív, Darragh O'Brien, Jim O'Callaghan, Kate O'Connell, Patrick O'Donovan, Fergus O'Dowd, Kevin O'Keeffe, Fiona O'Loughlin, Frank O'Rourke, John Paul Phelan, Anne Rabbitte, Michael Ring, Noel Rock, Shane Ross, Eamon Scanlon, Brendan Smith, Niamh Smyth, David Stanton, Robert Troy, Leo Varadkar.

Question declared lost.