The independent Policing Authority has been accused of “ratting out” two civilian Garda analysts to senior management in the force after they sought its help over false homicide figures.
Tánaiste Simon Coveney was pressed at leaders questions by Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath and by Independent TD Clare Daly over the maltreatment of the two analysts at the hands of senior officers.
Ms Daly paid tribute to the two analysts — Lois West and Laura Galligan — who claimed they were belittled and attacked for trying to raise concerns over incorrect classification of deaths but said they were badly let down by the Policing Authority.
She said senior gardaí lied to the Policing Authority over the review into homicide figures, but added that the authority, in turn, informed the same senior officers that the analysts were raising concerns.
“The Tánaiste waffles on about oversight bodies and the Policing Authority. We went to the last Policing Authority body.
“Is the Tánaiste unaware that it is now irrefutable that senior gardaí lied and misled the Policing Authority at its April and June meetings?
“Not only that but these women went to the Policing Authority with their queries, the Policing Authority knew there were problems, and not alone did it not respond to them, but it went back to its bosses and ratted them out,” she said under privilege in the Dáil.
She asked Mr Coveney if he could imagine the chilling effect on these two powerful women.
“They read in the media about a Policing Authority there for oversight, they went to it with their genuine problems and tried to make their case and not only were they not heard, but the people to whom they approached told their bosses.
“For God’s sake, what is the minister for justice doing? Is he calling a meeting with the acting Garda Commissioner or the Policing Authority? Does the Tánaiste think that it is OK to lie, bully, and isolate people?”
In response, Mr Coveney said the Government does not think it is OK to lie, bully, and intimidate people in any walk of life in Ireland, but in particular in An Garda Síochána. That is why the Government and the minister are obviously concerned about the evidence that was given, he said.
Mr McGrath said Ms West and Ms Galligan are being frozen out by management, Garda top brass went to the Policing Authority to say there was nothing to look at here, and that everything was in order.
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