Sunday 23 October 2016

'Dáil privilege being used to tarnish good name of gardaí'

Published 02/04/2015 | 02:30

Tim Galvin
Tim Galvin

Garda supervisors have criticised TDs who use Dáil privilege to "tarnish the good name of our colleagues" without any fear of being penalised.

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The annual conference of the AGSI heard that its members had to answer allegations made against them to commissions of inquiry.

But Dáil deputies could make allegations against individual gardaí and there were no consequences, association president Tim Galvin said.

"This is not just unfair on the individuals involved but is causing untold stress for them and their families," he added.

Mr Galvin noted that when comments were made about other Oireachtas members, the TDs were asked to withdraw them - but this did not happen if gardaí were named.

"We all need to be treated in a fair and equitable fashion, not one rule for the privileged few, who can use their privileges for political gain."

He added: "We had it again yesterday from Deputy Mick Wallace."

He was referring to allegations made by Mr Wallace in the Dáil on Tuesday, that accusations against an Athlone-based officer had not been investigated and the officer had since been promoted.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said she stood by the integrity and independence of the recent promotions process.

"If anyone, a Deputy or any other member of the public, has information where they believe there has been wrongdoing, they should report it in detail.

"The Taoiseach had already asked Deputy Wallace for detailed information on the allegation that he made and if he has detail, he should provide it and it obviously would be dealt with in the appropriate way and through the appropriate channels."

Irish Independent

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