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Relations with GSOC at all-time low as gardai hit out

RELATIONS between GSOC and the force it oversees are now believed to be at an all-time low.

Since the commission was established in 2005 to replace the Garda Siochana Complaints Board, the relationship has not been a very smooth one.

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan is now demanding clarification of the statement made by the commission chairman Simon O'Brien about the suspected bugging of its headquarters.

The garda chief declared he was gravely concerned that Mr O'Brien's statement appeared to indicate that An Garda Siochana was in some way suspected of complicity in the matter.

The statement – which emphasised there was "no evidence of Garda misconduct" – seemed to have the opposite effect of placating matters.

INNUENDO

Furious spokespersons for the bodies representing gardai claimed that no other possible 'suspects' were mentioned.

Yesterday's statement by Justice Minister Alan Shatter, that the commission had informed him there was no evidence that its offices had been bugged, was unlikely to completely defuse matters.

Mr Shatter went on to mention it was unfortunate that An Garda Siochana appeared to be the subject of "completely baseless innuendo" that they may have been in some way connected to the controversy.

There may be an opportunity at today's meeting between the commission members and the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Public Service Oversight to help steer this somewhat stormy relationship into calmer waters.

Irish Independent