Taoiseach promises root and branch analysis of justice process

Practice rather than policy of justice at issue, says Kenny

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: ‘This is about getting it right for the people of our country, for the citizens, for the next generation, for everybody to have integrity, belief and faith in the Garda Siochána, in the accountability and transparency of the way it is run.’

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: ‘This is about getting it right for the people of our country, for the citizens, for the next generation, for everybody to have integrity, belief and faith in the Garda Siochána, in the accountability and transparency of the way it is run.’

Fri, May 9, 2014, 19:21

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has committed the Government to a “root and branch analysis” of the practice of justice administration, but has said that terms of reference for the new Commission for Investigation may take some time.

Speaking in south Galway yesterday evening (fri), Mr Kenny said that the Oireachtas would begin its analysis of the Guerin report next week.

“We will not be able to define terms of reference for the Commission of Investigation by next week, ”Mr Kenny said .

“It is a deeper and more far-reaching process than that.

“Clearly the report needs to be considered very carefully, it needs to be considered thoroughly, and Government will respond here.”

A full review of the Department of Justice’s operation was “part of the analysis” of the report, Mr Kenny said, emphasising that the central issue concerned “the practice,rather than the policy” of administration of justice.

“I would welcome the contributions of all the members of the Dáil because this is not just about politics,”he said.

“This is about getting it right for the people of our country, for the citizens, for the next generation, for everybody to have integrity, belief and faith in the Garda Siochána, in the accountability and transparency of the way it is run.”

He said he was chairing a new Dáil committee dealing with the new proposal to implement a statutory independent authority of the Garda Siochána.

“I do hope that can coincide with the open competition for the appointment of the next [Garda]Commissioner,”he said.

“People in our country, all our citizens need to have absolute faith and belief in the integrity of the system and in the Garda Siochána, the men and women who protect our citizens from criminal elements,” Mr Kenny said.

“Many people who engage with the justice system have already been beaten down by educational disadvantage or other societal disadvantages, and this is what this is about,”he said.

Asked why he thought Alan Shatter felt he had to resign as minister for justice Mr Kenny replied: “This is now a matter in the past. The previous minister was very clear in his judgement after reading the Guerin report”.

“We now have the report- it is published. Consider it, analyse it, discuss it,” he said. “ The Oireachtas will welcome the views of everybody, and the Government will welcome the views of everybody. This is about getting this right for the future,” he said.

“Mr Guerin produced his report in accordance with the terms of reference given to him. It is for him to decide how he produced his report, and he based his report on documented evidence supplied to him,”Mr Kenny added, when asked whether he felt Mr Shatter had been unfairly treated in not being interviewed.

Mr Kenny said that he had acted swiftly in dealing with issues as they unfolded in recent weeks. “I take responsibility for having received this information, having treated it seriously with the gravity it deserved, for acting quickly and decisively, for doing what I said would do,” Mr Kenny said.

Mr Kenny was in Gort, Co Galway, with Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar to turn a sod on a €550 million public-private partnership to construct the Gort-Tuam motorway.

The project will involve 450 jobs during construction, and marks a “vital step in the completion of one of Ireland’s major interurban route - the Atlantic corridor”, he said.

The new motorway will help improve access to the two biggest pieces of transport infrastructure in the west, Knock and Shannon airports,” Mr Kenny said.