Sunday 24 March 2019

Serious concerns about garda crime figures on domestic violence – Dáil told

Stock photo
Stock photo
John Downing

John Downing

Vulnerable women and children are at serious risk due to big doubts about the compilation of garda statistics on domestic homicide, the Dáil has been told.

Fianna Fáil TD, Michael McGrath, paid tribute to the bravery of two civilian garda workers who expressed their concerns to a Dáil committee on Wednesday.

He said Lois West and Laura Galligan, who both deal with crime statistics, spoke about “15 months of torment” they suffered from senior garda management because they persisted in raising concerns.

“Their reward for telling the truth was to have their integrity and professionalism attacked,” Mr McGrath said of the two women.

The Cork South Central TD said concerns about garda crime statistics, especially concerning domestic violence, were not new.  He said there was a major review on the issue currently continuing and the Central Statistics Office had refused to publish garda crime figures.

Independent4Change TD, Clare Daly, said the two women’s situation was deplorable. She said it must be seen in the context of most murders in Ireland happening in a domestic situation.

Mr McGrath was critical of a response from the Justice Minister, Charlie Flanagan, saying it did not inspire confidence the issues would be dealt with.

Replying for the Government, Tánaiste Simon Coveney, said he was concerned about any statements of bullying or harassment in An Garda Síochána.

But Mr Coveney said there was no evidence that unlawful killings were not being investigated and the evidence to the Dáil committee said and the Government had yet to get a dossier on the issue.

Mr Coveney said serious issues had been raised by the two garda statistics officers. He said Mr Flanagan had met senior gardaí on the issue in early February and was assured they would prioritise concluding the review.

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