O’Loan: “I wouldn’t be an Ombudsman if I had no power to investigate chief officers…”

So Nuala O’Loan speaking on the current controversy managed to significantly cut through the hysterical noise in Dublin and bear in on the signal. All of Dan Keenan’s piece is worth reading (not least for the right of the GSOC to determine the levels of threat to its own security), but this is the money shot:

“In running an office like this you have to work with the Government but I do know that the last time I was there, there were serving Garda officers in the office of the Garda Ombudsman whose function was a liaison function between the Garda Ombudsman and the police.

“That is a process I would not have and I certainly wouldn’t be an Ombudsman if I had no power to investigate chief officers because you really are working in a way that is impossible. Any officers could say to you ‘the chief told me’ to do this and if there is something wrong you can’t investigate the chief. I would regard this as a matter of urgency.”

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty