Shatter to meet Garda Commissioner and Ombudsman

Commissioner’s response expected within days to Garda Ombudsman criticisms

Pádraig Mac Lochlainn: Alan Shatter said the  Sinn Féin TD was trying to make him  “pillory the force as a whole”

Pádraig Mac Lochlainn: Alan Shatter said the Sinn Féin TD was trying to make him “pillory the force as a whole”

Thu, Jun 13, 2013, 20:23

The Minister for Justice is to hold a meeting with the Garda Commissioner and the Garda Ombudsman Commission within the next fortnight, the Dáil has heard.

Alan Shatter will convene the meeting after he receives the response of Commissioner Martin Callinan to the Ombudsman Commission’s report, which criticised the delay in Garda response times to queries from the commission.

Mr Shatter told the Dáil he expected to receive Mr Callinan’s response within the next couple of days and he would have the meeting with both parties to “tease out these issues”. He said there had to be the maximum co-operation between the force and the commission.

Mr Shatter said he was giving his “fullest consideration” to the commission’s comments and recommendations in handling “covert human intelligence sources”, which raised important issues.

He said retired High Court judge Mr Justice Thomas Smyth, appointed to engage in oversight of covert human surveillance issues, indicated in his most recent report that the Garda Síochána “is properly complying with guidelines in that area”.

He doubted there was a need to change the legislation because it was very robust but if change was needed, he would address that issue in the public interest.

Mr Shatter said he was not going to “pillory the Garda force as a whole” or make statements of condemnation, which he said Sinn Féin’s justice spokesman Pádraig Mac Lochlainn was inviting him to do.