Calls used in court
RECORDED phone calls to garda stations have been used as evidence in numerous court prosecutions, a retired garda sergeant has revealed.
The tapes have aided the State in securing convictions on several occasions, according to John Delaney, who was based in Limerick city's Henry Street garda station for 20 years.
He was in charge of the telecommunications section at one of the country's busiest garda stations.
"I would argue that there is an assumption there that when you make a 999 call, or you ring fire control, or you ring the ambulance, or you ring a garda station, that you'll assume you're being recorded," he told Limerick's Live95FM.
"Bear in mind, these recordings have been used in lots of courts."
He did not know of any situation where a judge ruled the tapes inadmissible because the person ringing in did not know they were being recorded.
POLICE BOARD MODEL
Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore last week signalled his support for the creation of a garda board similar to that which exists in the North.
The Policing Board is an independent public body made up of 19 political and independent members, which hold the Chief Constable to account for his actions and those of his staff.
Ms Villiers said the accountability structures to which the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) are subject are very powerful and transparent.
"Whether that's a model which would be the right one for the Republic of Ireland is not something I'm able to say, but I would happily recommend it as a good model to be considered while this debate is under way, in relation to changing the structures in relation to the gardai," she said.