TD ‘must raise claims with watchdog’

The Garda Representative Association (GRA) has hit out at a TD for raising allegations of misconduct in the Dáil, and not with GSOC or the Garda Commissioner.

Sligo-Leitrim TD Martin Kenny had told the Dáil on Thursday he was aware of further garda malpractice in his own constituency.

The Sinn Féin TD claimed gardaí had engaged active criminals as informants and used informers to entrap people.

However, reacting to the fresh accusations, Garda Ray Wims, GRA representative for Sligo–Leitrim division, said the complaints should have been brought forward to the relevant authorities and said he had been unaware of the claims before they were raised in the Dáil.

However, it has since emerged that GSOC has already looked into some allegations raised by Mr Kenny, which the TD failed to mention in the Dáil.

In a statement, GSOC said: “A small number of the cases listed by Deputy Kenny have either already been investigated by GSOC, or are currently under investigation. We will not comment on the investigation of any of the specific cases.

“The Ombudsman Commission has arranged a meeting with Deputy Kenny next week to discuss the matters he has raised.

“It appears to me that a number of serious allegations can be made every week now against members of and Garda Siochána in the chamber under the protection of Dáil privilege.”

However, Mr Kenny reiterated yesterday that the whistleblowers who approached him first engaged with Garda authorities about their concerns in 2009 and again in 2012 and 2014.

“Throughout that period of time, while feeling frustrated by the inaction of the authorities, they remained engaged with the appropriate mechanisms,” he said.

He added that the whistle-blowers were told in 2015 that while the concerns of the garda had been acknowledged there would be no further investigation.

Garda Wims, meanwhile, said there has to be confidence in the system set up for investigating allegations of garda misconduct or alleged garda misconduct “particularly when elected politicians are making these allegations”.

He asked Mr Kenny — who used his Dáil speaking time to call for a commission of investigation into the allegations — to bring forward his complaints to a formal process.

Speaking on RTE’s Morning Ireland, the GRA executive member also said the allegations came as a “complete surprise” to him.


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