The Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan has said he was surprised by comments made by the Garda Representative Association in relation to the breath test controversy.

Yesterday a spokesperson for the GRA rejected findings in a recent report into alcohol testing checkpoints that gardaí falsified alcohol breath tests.

The report in question was carried out by Assistant Commissioner Michael O'Sullivan into claims gardaí exaggerated figures relating to mandatory alcohol and intoxicant tests.

It found that some gardaí were making up the figures and in some cases were exaggerating them by as much as 300%.

The report also identified systems and IT failures, a misinterpretation of policy, and failures of governance and oversight as contributory issues.

Rank-and-file gardaí also said they will not be "scapegoated" for the falsified breath tests.

Charlie Flanagan said we simply cannot close the book on this very dark chapter and move on.

Speaking at the Fine Gael think-in in Clonmel he said we need to know where the responsibility lies to ensure that this never happens again.

He said work was being carried out at every district level to find out what had happened.

Mr Flanagan has also reacted to the latest report by the Policing Authority on the implementation of reform by the gardaí.

The minister said he expects to have a report on a greater level of garda progress within months and certainly by the end of the year.

He said there needs to be accelerated progress by gardaí, echoing comments made by the Taoiseach in an interview on RTÉ's Morning Ireland. 

An Garda Síochána said it "is determined to implement the Garda Inspectorate's recommendations, which are the basis for the Garda's Modernisation and Renewal Programme".

In a statement released this afternoon, An Garda Síochána said: "Garda management's focus is on delivering the benefits of the Modernisation and Renewal Programme as quickly as possible while taking into account that it the biggest change programme in the history of the organisation.

"The Modernisation and Renewal Programme is a five-year programme designed to address, in part, systems that are decades out of date as was found by the Garda Inspectorate."

The statement added that gardaí "will continue to work with all stakeholders such as the Policing Authority to deliver the significant changes to the organisation" under the modernisation plans.