Proposed new bill to change nature of Garda accountability

Proposed new bill to change nature of Garda accountability

Independent TD Mick Wallace will today propose new legislation outlining sweeping changes to the Gardaí in a Private Members' Bill.

The Bill, which will be debated in the Dáil over the next two days, contains proposals for the establishment of an independent Garda board to improve the accountability of the force.

It also calls for such a board to be given the power to appoint a Garda Commissioner and the right to receive information from gardaí, responsibilities which are currently held by the Minister for Justice.

Deputy Wallace says investigations like the recent penalty points controversy demonstrated the need for greater impartiality and independence in the Garda Ombudsman Commission.

He said that internal investigations, which are later reviewed by an external body, amount to a "pointless exercise."

"The whole notion of the Guards inspecting themselves wasn't expected to bring wonderful results in the first place," he said.

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