Wallace lets fly at Shatter in heated Dáil debate

Independent TD asks how Fine Gael can stand over claim it is the party of law and order

Wallace lets fly at Shatter in heated Dáil debate: Independent TD asks how Fine Gael can stand over claim it is the party of law and order

Wed, Feb 26, 2014, 14:23

Independent TD Mick Wallace asked how Fine Gael could stand over claims it was the ‘party of law and order’ during the all-day Dáil debate on allegations of Garda malpractice and incompetence.

“Fine Gael used to pride itself as the party of law and order. How in God’s name can they still stand over that?”

He said Minister Alan Shatter’s attitude to all allegations by Independent TDs about penalty points was to “minimise, dismiss and rubbish all the way”.

Policing “is overpoliticised in Ireland”.

GSOC issued the Boylan report and their annual report last year. “They were damning of the force and they were damning of the lack of co-operation,” he said.

He added that the new protocol imposed in September was supposed to improve exchange of information between the two was only ‘soft law’ and there was no compulsion involved. He said this was “more weak application of law”.

Mr Wallace also referred to the Roma children affair, when two children who looked different from other family members, were temporarily removed from their families.

Mr Wallace said the Minister would not let GSOC look at it and there was not going to be any examination of Garda racial profiling in the terms of reference allowed the Children’s Ombudsman.

He accused the Minister of not giving GSOC sufficient powers to investigate complaints by Corrib Gas protestors.

He also accused Mr Shatter of failing to use strong legislation in order not to seek out or reveal the truth. “You wouldn’t ask the Commissioner if he actually engaged in lawful surveillance in case you might be told something you had to stand over.”

He said the Minister had only given GSOC access to the Garda pulse system a few weeks ago “under political pressure”

And he told Mr Shatter: Your prime motives are political survival and have very little to do with the administration of justice.”

Mr Wallace then read out an extract of an email from the nephew of murdered priest Father Niall Molloy about the controversial investigation of his death.

“He said ‘for almost 30 years people have hidden behind a wall of silence, deceit, corruption and cover-up; time for the light of justice to shine on them and reveal them to the people for what they are.”

He said to Mr Shatter: “Minister if you are going to stay in power and the Commissioner is going to stay in place then I think this parliament is a sham.”

And he shouted: “Minister, you look up at us and you say how dare those people with the long air and raggy jeans have the audacity to challenge you?”