Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald has strongly defended the Garda Commissioner following repeated calls by opposition politicians for Nóirín O’Sullivan to step down.

Ms Fitzgerald said there was no objective evidence that Commissioner O'Sullivan did anything wrong and that Ms O'Sullivan was being used to ramp up the pressure on her as minister.

She said An Garda Síochána would not be reformed if politicians kept trying to pin the blame on those trying to shine a light into dark areas.

Politics and political expediency, she said, were not going to solve the problems in the force.

Ms Fitzgerald said the Public Accounts Committee, the Policing Authority and the Charleton Tribunal were examining these issues and she would await the evidence and the outcome of these inquiries.

She also said the issues in relation to Templemore and interception, which date back to the early 2000s, predated Ms O’Sullivan's tenure.

Ms Fitzgerald said a High Court judge overseas the phones interception process which was necessary to tackle terrorism and organised crime, and no current concerns or abuses had been brought to her attention.

Earlier, Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar said he and the Government have full confidence in the Garda Commissioner.

Mr Varadkar said Ms O'Sullivan is seen as the person who will bring forward reform.

He also indicated that he could not understand why anyone would bring forward a confidence motion in Ms Fitzgerald.

He said the confidence and supply agreement with Fianna Fáil covered such votes.

Mr Varadkar also said he read allegations in the media over the weekend about phone tapping by gardaí with "great concern".

He said he believes it relates to a period before Fine Gael was in Government and he anticipated Ms Fitzgerald will brief Cabinet on it tomorrow.

Yesterday, Fianna Fáil called on Ms Fitzgerald to sack the Garda Commissioner.

Speaking on RTÉ's The Week in Politics, Fianna Fáil justice spokesperson Jim O'Callaghan said it would be in the best interests of An Garda Síochána if Ms O'Sullivan was removed from office.

In relation to the timeframe as to when Taoiseach Enda Kenny will stand down as Fine Gael leader, Mr Varadkar said he was focusing on his own job and it was a matter for the Taoiseach.

Mr Kenny today confirmed his intention travel to Chicago in the near future with a trade mission from Enterprise Ireland

The Enterprise Ireland mission starts on 4 June.