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Sunday 19 November 2017

Garda authority a key priority for new Justice Minister

Newly appointed Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald
Newly appointed Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald

John Downing Political Correspondent

JUSTICE Minister Frances Fitzgerald will today tell colleagues that establishing a new Garda authority this year is the key priority.

Ms Fitzgerald will present cabinet colleagues with a formal memo outlining her priorities.

Discussions take place as the spotlight is on the secretary general of the Justice Department, Brian Purcell, who has now been invited to appear before the Justice Committee.

Ms Fitzgerald has pointedly failed to publicly express confidence in her general secretary after the department was heavily criticised in the report of senior counsel, Sean Guerin, last week about the treatment of whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe.

The Cabinet will have a general discussion on garda matters today – including progress on terms of reference for the new commission of inquiry recommended by Mr Guerin.

Another report, this one by retired High Court judge Mr Justice John Cooke, and examining alleged surveillance at the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission, is also expected to be published soon.

Irish Independent

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