GSOC spying claims - Clarifications are essential

Yesterday’s Sunday Times report that the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission’s offices were the target of electronic surveillance cannot be left hanging in the air, unanswered and fuelling rumours that destroy faith in our justice and political systems.

The claim, so sinister that it must send a chill down the spine of anyone who believes in accountability, civil rights, and civil liberties, raises so many suspicions that a coy silence is not an option. It is an accepted principle that someone accused of crime is innocent until proven guilty.

Unfortunately, in this instance that rule will probably be reversed unless everyone, every office holder and every organisation that interacts with GSOC can say they were not involved in the espionage operation. Neither can the GSOC be selective about the information it discloses. First impressions suggest that if these claims stand up then a scandal of almost unprecedented scale is about to unfold.

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