Latest: Policing Authority says it could not meet privately with members Gardaí who made complaints

Chair of the Policing Authority, Josephine Feehily

Update 5.12pm: The Policing Authority says it could not meet privately with members of the Gardaí who made complaints about their treatment by senior gardaí.

The Oireachtas Justice Committee previously heard from Lois West and Laura Galligan from the Garda Siochana Analysis Service who repeatedly raised concerns about the misclassification of homicide figures, including with the Policing Authority.

Fianna Fail’s Jim O’Callaghan asked Chairperson Josephine Feehily why she did not meet them after repeated correspondence.

"I can only say with the benefit of hindsight that we could have asked for them to be included," said Ms Feehily.

"But we would never easily meet an individual without having the context of a representative group because otherwise, we can't do our jobs - we're getting pulled in.

"We are not arbitrators. We're regulators."

Update 2.45pm: Committee hears of 'pattern of poor information' provided to Policing Authority by senior Gardaí The Chair of the Policing Authority accepts that there is a pattern of poor information being given to it by senior Gardaí.

Josephine Feehily has been answering questions at the Oireachtas Justice Committee about its interaction with the Gardaí.

She said it was still not satisfied with the Garda handling of homicide figures.

And Labour’s Alan Kelly asked Ms Feehily did she see a trend emerging: "Do you not see some patterns in relation to how some senior management in An Garda Síochána provide you with information?

"Fixed charges, breath tests, garda college, homicides and the next one is juvenile liaison and that is not up to standard.

Ms Feehily replied yes to these questions and said: "We've identified it in the submissions that we've sent."

Earlier: Policing authority defends its handling of the review of garda homicide figures

The Policing Authority says it is still not satisfied with Garda homicide figures.

The Authority came in for some criticism two weeks ago from two women working in the Garda statistics body.

Appearing before the Justice Committee this morning, Chair of the Authority Josephine Feehily said concerns the women raised were known to them, and they did not ignore their contacts.

"The analysts were advised by Authority staff that we had their letter of 11th of May," said Ms Feehily.

"They were given an assurance that the Authority was live to all of their concerns and those concerns would be followed up and they were followed up."

Ms Feehily will also argue that following her body’s intervention, 12 out of 41 cases highlighted have been upgraded to homicide by gardaí.

In addition, she will tell the Oireachtas justice committee that a further 16 cases “had some change made to their classification, meaning that only 13 are unchanged”.

In powerful evidence two weeks ago, Ms West and Ms Galligan said they made repeated attempts to reach out to the Policing Authority over the pressure they came under to sign off on a report they knew to be deficient but were never spoken to.

While Ms Feehily will say the evidence given by the two women about their maltreatment “sounded deplorable and very concerning”, she is robustly defending the Policing Authority’s handling of the affair.

Digital Desk

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