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Friday 22 August 2014

GSOC: 'No evidence' of garda misconduct after 'anomalies' found in security sweep

Brian O'Reilly

Published 10/02/2014 | 19:14

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24 Jan 2014;  Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, right, speaking to press (Supt. David Taylor, left).   Press conference relating to the murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe.  Dundalk Garda Station, Dundalk, Co. Louth. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan

THE Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has called on GSOC to clarify comments it made saying no 'garda misconduct' was involved in a security breach at its offices.

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Earlier this evening the Office of the Garda Ombudsman said there was 'no evidence' of garda misconduct after three electronic anomalies were found at its office during a security sweep.

"A security sweep of GSOC’s offices was conducted on the evenings of 23 to 27 September, 2013.  This was conducted by a specialist UK security firm that had been recommended", the statement said.

"It confirmed the existence of three technical and electronic anomalies.  These could not be conclusively explained and raised concerns among the investigation team in terms of the integrity of GSOC’s communications security.

"However GSOC is satisfied that its databases were not compromised. Since the investigation concluded, we have been working to review and enhance our security systems in the light of what the investigation revealed. 

"There was no evidence of Garda misconduct.  The Commission decided to discontinue the investigation on the basis that no further action was necessary or reasonably practicable."  

It said that as a result of the sweep, which cost just under €18,000, additional security measures were introduced.

The statement also explained the decision not to inform the Minister for Justice of the investigation - adding that it was a mistake.

"We took the difficult decision not to report this matter to other parties.  We did not wish to point fingers unnecessarily and we did not believe that widespread reporting would be conducive to public confidence.   We took the decision not to report in good faith.  We regret that now."

However responding to the comments, Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan called for clarification from GSOC.

"I have read very carefully the contents of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission's statement this evening and note in particular the assertion that there was no evidence of Garda misconduct.

"It is a cause of grave concern that the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission's statement contains a clear indication that An Garda Síochána was in some way suspected of complicity in this matter despite GSOC's overall finding that the existence of technical and electronic anomalies could not be conclusively explained. 

The Commissioner called for clarification on a number of points, including the nature of the anomalies and the basis for suspicion of garda misconduct.

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