Whistleblower Garda Harrison welcomes inclusion in tribunal

Update 9.30pm: Garda whistleblower Keith Harrison has welcomed his inclusion into the tribunal of inquiry into the treatment of whistleblowers in the Gardaí.

In a statement this evening, he described the release of the terms of reference of the tribunal as a "welcome development" which he said he trusted would "establish the truth and bring about a change within senior management of An Garda Siochana".

He added: "It remains the case that I am out of work on sick leave without any pay. I continue to await the restoration of my pay so I may financially support my family."

He said he wanted to return to active duty in the Gardaí.

Garda Harrison thanked the public and a number of TDs and ministers for highlighting his case.

He ended the statement by thanking his family "for their love and support, in particular my partner Marisa who continues to be my rock throughout this ordeal".

Earlier: A tribunal into the treatment of Garda whistleblowers could potentially be up and running as early as tomorrow.

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald (pictured above with Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan) has said she wants the Tribunal to begin life as soon as possible, to investigate the treatment of Garda whistleblowers.

The terms of reference for the new inquiry have already been cleared by the Dáil, and Senators are debating them right now.

Some TDs, however, complained that the debate was being rushed, and that other laws should be passed first to limit the cost of the tribunal.

Sinn Féin's Pearse Doherty said a bill which was abandoned in 2005, could slash the cost if it is passed into law first.

"Do I want to stall this tribunal being established…? No I do not. But do we have an ability in this house to introduce this part of legislation in the next week? Yes we do," he said.

"It allows the tribunal to tell each witness that the amount they will be covered in terms of legal protection is X, Y or Z."

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