Given that Gardai can’t really be sacked – no matter how corrupt or criminal they are found to be, this on the surface seems like good news. But I seriously doubt it will ever actually be used, afterall the acts carried out in Donegal by Gardai don’t get much more serious – and no one has been sacked.
The significant new powers, described as “revolutionary” by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, are likely to provoke fury among the Garda Representative Association and the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors.
Once the powers are implemented, the commissioner will be able to bypass long-running disciplinary appeals rules and sack gardaa if their presence in the force “undermines public confidence”. Five gardaa sharply criticised by the Morris tribunal have been transferred to the Garda headquarters in Dublin from Donegal, but they have yet to face disciplinary proceedings.