Policing body to seek more garda information to fulfil role

The Policing Authority has decided that it may require access to “a certain level of operational detail” on organised crime and related garda intelligence to fulfil its role. The move by the agency follows a letter it received from a deputy garda commissioner regarding the authority’s wish to discuss these issues with the garda commissioner.

Policing body to seek more garda information to fulfil role

The decision by the authority was made at its second monthly meeting on February 24, a couple of weeks after the double gangland murders in Dublin.

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan and other senior garda bosses were questioned at the time regarding garda intelligence over the paramilitary-style attack on the Regency Hotel targeting members of the Kinahan crime cartel, one of which, David Byrne, was shot dead.

Four days later, in a revenge attack, Edward Hutch was shot dead at his home in the north inner city, amid a heavy garda presence. The commissioner rejected suggestions that there should have been a garda presence at the hotel given the known tensions between the Kinahan cartel and the Hutch gang.

Answering questions to the media on the matter, the commissioner said gardaí had “no specific intelligence” of a threat.

The minutes of the authority said it intended to raise the issue of organised crime and garda intelligence with Ms O’Sullivan.

“The authority discussed the nature of the discussion it wished to hold with the garda commissioner in relation to organised criminal activity and the model or approach to intelligence management in relation to such criminal activity and, in this context, deputy commissioner [Dónal] Ó Cualáin’s letter regarding the scope of the discussion was noted.”

The authority accepted that it would not be appropriate to discuss “the details of any individual cases”. However, the minutes added: “However, into the future there may on occasion be a need to understand a certain level of operational detail in order to fulfil the authority’s role in overseeing the performance of the Garda Síochána of its functions relating to policing services.”

In its meeting with Ms O’Sullivan later that day, the minutes said she told the authority there were certain “sensitive” operational matters that she “would not be in a position to discuss”.

The minutes noted: “The garda commissioner provided an outline of the level of resourcing involved in policing the recent events linked to organised crime, as well as the longer term resources put in place to respond to the threat of organised crime.”

The minutes also detailed a meeting with Department of Justice general secretary Noel Waters.

The minutes said: “It was agreed that it is appropriate that the chairperson of the authority [Josephine Feehily] be advised without delay and included in briefings on policing matters arising from certain events and in particular events which have the potential to damage community confidence.”

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