A copy obtained by the Irish Examiner reveals the judge also checked surveillance activities of the garda ombudsman for the first time since its powers were strengthened last year.
Judge Paul McDermott said he, as ‘designated’ judge under the Interception of Postal Packets and Telecommunications Act, visited authorities between October 23 and November 3 to check their files, records and computers. This included examining files on interceptions held in Dublin by the Department of Justice; the office of the Revenue Commissioners; and records held by the Defence Forces at McKee Barracks and the Garda Síochána HQ at the Phoenix Park.
In each visit, Judge McDermott said authorities co-operated: “All questions posed by me in relation to the operation of the acts and the documents and records produced were answered to my satisfaction.”
This year for the first time, the judge inspected GSOC. This follows new legislation which specifically gave the garda ombudsman the same powers as gardaí in monitoring calls and emails.