Written answers

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Department of Justice and Equality

Garda Misconduct Allegations

Photo of Niall CollinsNiall Collins (Limerick, Fianna Fail)
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215. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality if she will provide details of the panel of legal experts recently established to review or screen correspondence and complaints received by her; the names of the members of this panel, under what criteria were they engaged or appointed; the term of appointment; if the positions were advertised publicly; the rate of remuneration or payment they are to receive; their terms of reference; the person to whom they report; if they will be accountable to the Houses of the Oireachtas; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [31921/14]

Photo of Frances FitzgeraldFrances Fitzgerald (Minister, Department of Justice and Equality; Dublin Mid West, Fine Gael)
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I am establishing a mechanism for the independent review by counsel of allegations concerning the conduct of members of the Garda Síochána or inadequacies in the investigation of such allegations which have been made to the Taoiseach or the Minister for Justice and Equality.

The review will consist of an examination by counsel of the papers in each case. Counsel will be asked in each case to make a recommendation to me on what further action, if any, might be appropriate, and I will carefully consider each such recommendation. The work of counsel will begin shortly, and the aim is to have the majority of cases reviewed within a period of between 8 and 12 weeks.

Many of the allegations are historic in nature, and it is important to emphasise that any member of the public who wishes to make a current complaint regarding Garda conduct may contact the independent Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission.

Counsel will be paid a fee on a case by case basis of €300, €550 or €800 depending on the complexity of each case. Senior Counsel will additionally have a brief fee of €20,000 to oversee the operation of the mechanism and ensure consistency of approach across all the cases. The counsel involved, who were engaged in accordance with normal practice, are to date:

Connor Devally SC,

Aileen Donnelly, SC ,

Paul Carroll,

John Fitzgerald,

Tony Mc Guillicuddy,

Siobhán Ni Chúlacháin,

Karen O'Connor.


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