Calls in Seanad for debate on suspected bugging

‘A little more clarity’ needed

Senator Ivana Bacik: “Certainly, it is a matter of grave concern that the agency entrusted with the independent oversight of the Garda Síochána apparently has been subjected to surveillance.”

Senator Ivana Bacik: “Certainly, it is a matter of grave concern that the agency entrusted with the independent oversight of the Garda Síochána apparently has been subjected to surveillance.”

 


Labour Senator Ivana Bacik called for a debate on the suspected bugging incidents at the headquarters of the Garda Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) when there was “a little more clarity’’ on what had occurred.

“Certainly, it is a matter of grave concern that the agency entrusted with the independent oversight of the Garda Síochána apparently has been subjected to surveillance,’’ she said.

David Cullinane of Sinn Féin said people regarded the controversy as a very worrying development.

“The Government’s response was disappointing in that the Minister for Justice and Equality appeared to be more concerned about not being informed than about dealing with the central questions of whether the office had been bugged and, if so, by whom,’’ he added.

“We need to get the answers very quickly because it would be appalling if the watchdog over An Garda Síochána was being bugged.’’


Integrity and independence
Mr Cullinane said he wanted an independent inquiry to get to the bottom of the matter and to ensure the integrity and independence of the office was protected.

Marc MacSharry (FF) said there should be a full independent inquiry into the matter.

“Indeed, we should have had an announcement this morning that some international body would be invited to examine the situation,’’ he said.

“This is up there with the arms trial; it is up there with a murderer being found in the attorney general’s apartment in the early 1980s.’’

Jim D’Arcy (FG) said he agreed that the GSOC should be supported in the proper functioning of its duties and should deplore any bugging if it took place.

“It is not up with the arms trial and the bugging of the telephones of Geraldine Kennedy and Bruce Arnold, which were proven facts,’’ he said.