Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan has called on members of the Garda Siochana to brush their teeth at least twice a day. Commission O’Sullivan was reacting to report that members of the service were failing breath tests on a regular basis.
“The Irish public has the right not to have a blast of halitosis in their faces when they approach an officer to ask the time or the way to St Stephen’s Green,” she told a meeting of senior Gardai officers.
But a spokesman for the Garda Representative Association (GRA) claimed that Commissioner O’Sullivan was over-stepping the mark when she commented on Gardai’s personal oral hygiene.
“She has no right to criticise orally my members oral technique,” said a GRA spokesman through gritted but rotting teeth. “Beside abscess makes the heart beat faster.”
“From next month, all gardai will expected to show up for work with their teeth properly brushed and their breath smelling fresh,” O’Sullivan told the meeting. “Gardai with bad breath may well blow their jobs.”
A speaker from the floor asked the Commissioner what action they were expected to take with officers who have false teeth.
“Any officer found with forged teeth will be charged under the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001.
“Furthermore, any Garda station found to be accepted false teeth handed in by members of the public claiming they are lost property will be censured,” she said.
“Did you say dentured, minister?” asked a reporter from RTE with hearing difficulties.
Meanwhile Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said her department would be issuing a booklet to all Garda officers about the need to regular brushing and flossing. The book is to be published by An Gúm.