Written answers

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Department of Justice and Equality

Garda Misconduct Allegations

Photo of Richard Boyd BarrettRichard Boyd Barrett (Dún Laoghaire, People Before Profit Alliance)
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146. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality for an update on the barristers panel review of all the cases it is dealing with; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35283/15]

Photo of Frances FitzgeraldFrances Fitzgerald (Minister, Department of Justice and Equality; Dublin Mid West, Fine Gael)
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A panel consisting of two senior and five junior counsel was established for the purpose of conducting an independent review of certain allegations of Garda misconduct, or inadequacies in the investigation of certain allegations, which have been made to me as Minister for Justice and Equality, or the Taoiseach. A panel consisting of two Senior and five Junior Counsel was established for the purpose, all selected on the basis of their experience of the criminal justice system.

The Panel has provided recommendations to me in all 320 cases submitted to them and has therefore largely concluded its work. I am mindful that all complainants are anxious to know the outcome of the review of their case and every effort is being made to conclude the process. In each case a submission will be prepared. Mr Justice Roderick Murphy will review the summary of the conclusion and the letter of notification drafted to ensure that they are a fair and accurate reflection of the recommendation.

The issuing of notification letters to complainants commenced on 29 June. To date, notification letters have issued in respect of 216 cases. Letters will continue to issue to all complainants until the process is completed.

I have previously assured Deputies that where further investigation is recommended by the review then that will occur. Where cases have resulted in recommendations for further action, including referral to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC), requesting a report from the Garda Commissioner in accordance with section 41(2) of the Garda Síochana Act 2005, etc, I have accepted those recommendations.

It is my intention, on the completion of the process, to make a comprehensive statement on all the actions I have decided to take in line with the recommendations of counsel. I understand that the general overview report from senior counsel of the panel is currently being finalised. Once I have had an opportunity to consider it, I intend to publish it.

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