Wednesday 17 January 2018

Angry scenes in Dail over alleged garda mishandling

Micheal Martin
Micheal Martin

John Downing Political Correspondent

FIANNA Fail leader Micheal Martin today renewed calls for a commission of inquiry to examine allegations of Garda mishandling of serious crime investigations.

Amid angry scenes in Dail Eireann Mr Martin said he had even more details today of 'shocking cases' - including murder and kidnap - which raised serious questions about Garda conduct.

The FF leader said the details had been handed to Justice Minister Alan Shatter in January 2012 and he believed the Minister had read the documents - but taken no action.

"There is no doubt these shocking cases were given to the Minister for Justice two years ago.  There has to be a commission of inquiry," Mr Martin said.

Sinn Fein's Pearse Doherty said that so far the only person to lose their position was the so-called 'confidential recipient' Oliver Connolly, whose job it was to relay individual garda complaints to the Garda Commissioner.

Mr Doherty said it was vital to retain public confidence in the Gardaí - and a full inquiry was needed to sustain this confidence.

But replying on behalf of the Government,  Social Protection Minister Joan Burton, said the Fianna Fail leader had only handed the bulk of these matters to the Taoiseach yesterday with more documents handed over today.

Ms Burton said the Opposition must give the Taoiseach time to consider these matters which were 'a blizzard of paper'.

The Minister, also deputy Labour Party leader, also strongly signalled her party's continuing support for the embattled Justice Minister Alan Shatter.

Ms Burton said the Justice Minister had appointed an eminent former High Court judge to examine allegations of surveillance at the Garda Ombudsman Commission and also spent four years at an Oireachtas committee answering detailed questions on the matter.

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