Shatter denies 'ethnic profiling' of Travellers
JUSTICE Minister Alan Shatter has insisted that gardai do not engage in "ethnic profiling" after it was claimed that the records of 40 members of the Traveller community, including a 16-day-old baby, were uploaded onto the Garda PULSE system.
The minister has again been forced to defend the gardai in the wake of allegations contained in a dossier compiled by garda whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe.
It was alleged that personal details belonging to members of the Traveller community, including a number of young children, were uploaded onto the PULSE system.
PULSE is the garda database with which officers log details relating to crimes, suspects and garda operations.
Opposition TDs expressed concern about allegations relating to the Traveller community.
Independent TD Clare Daly requested that Mr Shatter extends the remit of the Sean Guerin investigation to include these specific claims.
Mr Guerin, who is a criminal lawyer and a senior counsel, is currently investigating claims by Sgt McCabe that a number of serious crimes were not properly investigated.
In a series of parliamentary responses this week, Mr Shatter insisted that gardai committed no wrongdoing in relation to logging details onto PULSE.
He said that he was informed by Commissioner Martin Callinan that PULSE does not solely capture information on offenders but is also used to store information on "Garda interactions with individuals, whether adult or children".
He added that the PULSE system would contain details of "child welfare incidents".
"All persons are subject to the same PULSE recording policy and procedures.
"I have also been assured by the Garda Commissioner that the Garda Siochana does not engage in ethnic profiling, and specifically that it does not engage in data gathering or data mining based upon discriminatory profiling in respect of race, colour, language, religion, nationality, national or ethnic origin, ethnicity or membership of the Traveller community," Mr Shatter said.