Wednesday 7 December 2016

Scandal-ridden GSOC slapped down by Kenny

Kevin Doyle and Shane Phelan

Published 19/01/2016 | 02:30

Enda Kenny issued a strong condemnation of the GSOC Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Enda Kenny issued a strong condemnation of the GSOC Photo: Colin O'Riordan

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has slapped down the scandal-ridden garda watchdog for snooping on the phone records of journalists.

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The stinging rebuke puts huge pressure on the board of the embattled Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC). The watchdog is now embroiled in its third scandal in the space of just two years.

Responding for the first time to the revelations that communications by journalists are being monitored by the Garda watchdog, Mr Kenny said: "Clearly, the fundamental principle of journalistic sources being confidential is very important in a democracy."

After a week of mounting controversy, the laws that give GSOC powers to access phone and email records are now to be reviewed.

Last week, it emerged GSOC accessed the phone records of two journalists following a complaint by a friend of the late model Katy French about alleged garda leaks.

The Irish Independent understands Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald will appoint an "eminent person" from the legal profession to examine the legislation enabling GSOC to access phone records.

Irish Independent

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