Phone-tapping claims raise major concerns
By the turn of this century the mobile phone had become the most common mode of communication in Ireland. So, it was only natural that An Garda Síochána directed its attention to these phones as a valuable source of intelligence to combat serious crime and threats to State security.
Intercepting phone conversations has long been an important tool to prevent and ultimately punish serious wrong-doing. It must continue to be such into the future.
But the practice also intersects with an individual citizen's rights to privacy and freedom of expression. These rights are enshrined in Irish and international law and were won at some cost by brave actions over centuries. Such fundamental rights must never, ever, be ceded cheaply.