Sunday 4 December 2016

Landmark legislation raises more questions than answers

Published 02/07/2014 | 02:30

Frances Fitzgerald
Frances Fitzgerald

AFTER the fiasco earlier this year over unfounded claims by the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) that its headquarters were being bugged, it is ironic that the Government has now decided that the oversight agency should be given the power to carry out its own bugging.

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The right to intercept communications and undertake electronic surveillance will apply where GSOC is pursuing criminal investigations in relation to allegations made against members of the garda.

The proposal had not been flagged in advance and is quite extraordinary, given the circumstances in which it is being tabled but it has now been approved by the Cabinet for inclusion in a bill amending the legislation under which GSOC had been set up.

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