Four fresh inquiries into allegations of Garda misconduct

A further four independent inquiries are to be set up into allegations of Garda misconduct, it has emerged.

These are in addition to the statutory inquiry into the case involving Offaly youth Shane Tuohey, announced last week.

The five cases are among an estimated 70 files which the Department of Justice has agreed should be subject to further action of one kind or another.

More than 20 cases are to be referred to the Garda Ombudsman for investigation, according to the Department of Justice briefing document.

The 70 cases are from a total of 320 cases examined by the independent review mechanism set up by the department in mid-2014.

A panel of seven junior and senior counsel recommended “no further action could reasonably be taken” in most cases.

Of the 70 cases:

  • 21 cases have been referred to GSOC for investigation.
  • 14 cases have been referred to the Garda Commissioner for report.
  • Five cases are to be subject to new independent inquiries.
  • One case gave rise to a recommendation that a review of certain procedures regarding how certain criminal allegations were handled should take place.
  • One case is to be reviewed by an independent legal assessor to assist a complainant in narrowing down his complaints, which then may lead to a further inquiry.
  • 29 cases are subject to informal action by the Garda commissioner.

The document said a number of complaints had “expressed dissatisfaction” with the outcome of their cases and will not accept it and may continue to highlight their cases.

It said work was underway to set up the inquiries but added “the process will take some time and will give rise to certain costs”.

The briefing document flags requirements in tackling international terrorism.

“Additional resources are needed by the Garda and the immigration authorities to enhance the capacity to prevent and to respond to threats from international terrorism given the evolving nature of that threat, the requirements of the EU-level response and developing requirements in respect of immigration security,” it said.

Elsewhere, it said returning foreign fighters from Syria and other war zones “pose a heightened security threat to all EU member states”.

It said a proposed European Commission directive on terrorism criminalised travelling for terrorist purposes (currently not covered in Irish law, unlike some member states) and funding and organising such travel.

On terrorist financing, the document said it was important the country got a “favourable review” from the international Financial Action Task Force.

“A negative review would have serious implications for the Irish economy,” it said.

On combating money laundering, the document said the absence of prosecutions for money-laundering had been the “subject of adverse commentary in past international evaluations”.

The policing division section said that the current recruitment rate of 600 people every year would bring the strength of the force to 14,000 by 2020, once retirement predictions are factored in.

It said the Garda authorities wanted 750 recruits per year, which would hit the 14,000 mark by 2019 and 15,000 by 2021.

There’s a backlog of 140 claims for compensation by gardaí maliciously injured on duty.

On Coroners’ legislation, the document said there was a “pressing need” for comphrensive reform of the outdated and fragmented Coroner system.


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