DPP warns gardai over use of powers
Published 30/05/2014 | 02:30
THE Director of Public Prosecutions has said there are "concrete consequences" in prosecuting criminals if gardai are found to have gathered evidence unlawfully.
Claire Loftus was speaking at the launch of the legal book 'Garda Powers: Law and Practice', which sets out the legislation under which gardai operate.
Ms Loftus, who previously lectured trainee solicitors on investigative powers of gardai, said the book "fills a gap" in literature available to those working in the Irish justice system.
She said the office of the DPP has "no investigative powers" but "closely co-operates" with the gardai and said the relationship between the two was "very important".
The DPP wrote the foreword to the book by barrister Rebecca Coen and added there were many compelling reasons why rights should be respected and garda powers should be exercised lawfully.
"It is vital to strive to vindicate citizens' constitutional rights at all stages," she said in her address.
"It is essential to ensure that confidence is maintained in the justice system but there are also very concrete consequences for the prosecution of crime if garda powers have been unconstitutionally exercised."
Among those at the launch included senior members of An Garda Siochana and the judiciary including Criminal Court Judge Paul Carney and District Court Judge Anthony Halpin as well as Kieran Fitzgerald from the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission.