Pressure group demands more accountable funding

The Government was today urged to make the Garda Síochana more accountable to the people it serves.

The Government was today urged to make the Garda Síochana more accountable to the people it serves.

The call came as a national anti-corruption network was launched in Dublin.

Frank McBrearty Jnr, who received a €1.5m cash settlement after attempts by gardai to frame him for murder nine years ago, is spearheading the new pressure group.

He said he has been inundated with complaints about corruption in the service and other state agencies since he held a public meeting in his family’s pub in Raphoe, Co Donegal.

At the Dublin launch Sinn Féin’s Sean Crowe called for the immediate establishment of a independent complaints procedure.

The Dublin South West TD told the meeting: “In the aftermath of the Morris Tribunal reports, the Minister of Justice had an opportunity to address these problems and he refused to do so.

“He refused to introduce community policing partnerships and he refused to establish a fully independent complaints procedure under a single Garda Ombudsman.

“This campaign, which is just in its infancy, will not go away until there is real, accountable policing.

“It will not go away until a single Garda Ombudsman’s office is established.”

Mr Crowe said reform was essential to restore public confidence.

He added: “The days of the Gardaí investigating themselves on any issue are over.

“It is time that the Gardaí and the Minister for Justice accepted that and started the process of reform so that the Gardaí can be returned to a position where they have the widest possible respect from and co-operation of the people they serve.”

Other speakers at the meeting included the brother of Terence Wheelock, who died in September after being found hanging in a Dublin Garda Station, and Osgur Breatnach, who was wrongly imprisoned in connection with the 1976 Sallins Mail train robbery.

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