Commission chief Kathleen O'Toole wrote to Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan this week saying that it would be a serious mistake to recruit a new chief before the reform recommendations are made about a year from now.

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If we got the chance, we would ask Martin Mc Guinness if he would condemn the attack on Michael.

The word, “condemn”, has not yet been used.‘I would also ask him who killed Michael.

Garda Clerkin climbed in through a rear window after finding that the front door had been bolted shut.

But as he unlocked the door a bomb went off and he was killed instantly – and his four colleagues were badly injured. His brother, Peter, 62, told last night how he received the devastating news at 3am on October 16, 1976.

the idea of a lacuna troubles me."Among the damaging scandals to have surrounded Ms O'Sullivan's tenure was the revelation of 1.4 million bogus breath tests, the treatment of whistleblowers - in particular Sergeant Maurice Mc Cabe - inaccurate homicide records and irregular financial affairs at the Templemore training college.

The policing reform body, set up under Ms O'Toole - an internationally recognised police chief and former head of the Garda Inspectorate - was charged with advising on radical change in the force amid the welter of controversies.The youngest member of the Clerkin family, Pádraig, was just a teenager when Michael was killed by the IRA that cold, dark October night.His life, according to Peter and his sisters, was ‘marked’ by his brother’s death.‘We are now hoping that all the various families get together and confront him,’ Peter said. I myself, if the opportunity arose, would ask a few awkward questions.’‘We were on holidays in France and we just could not believe it,’ he said.The death of his younger brother, who loved life and athletics, came as a total and almost incomprehensible shock.Garda Clerkin had just bought a plot of land in Portarlington, hoping to build on it and marry his girlfriend.‘Thinking back, it is still very emotional,’ Peter said. She had cancer but she could not deal with the trauma of what happened to Michael and that led to her death.But she warned that it is not expected to unearth a specific order for rank-and-file gardaí to hit bigger targets."They are likely to report to us that there was an implicit expectation in relation to breath tests rather than an explicit direction," Ms Feehily told the Oireachtas Justice Committee.