Government to review GSOC fallout

Kenny wants to see conclusion to the controversy

Taoiseach Enda  Kenny and the GSOC also said they wanted to see a conclusion to the controversy, with public faith in both the policing watchdog and the Garda Síochána itself restored

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the GSOC also said they wanted to see a conclusion to the controversy, with public faith in both the policing watchdog and the Garda Síochána itself restored

 

The Government is to “review” how the controversy over the alleged bugging controversy at the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission erupted and whether its structures are fit for purpose, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said.

Mr Kenny and the GSOC also said they wanted to see a conclusion to the controversy, with public faith in both the policing watchdog and the Garda Síochána itself restored.

Mr Kenny said the Government will be reviewing how the row over possible surveillance of GSOC’s offices occurred and if the current structure “lives up to what it’s supposed to do”.

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan also released a statement, as all sides sought to defuse the controversy.

“I do think that, as the Garda Commissioner pointed out in his statement, it really is very important that the people of the country have trust in the integrity of both of these organisations,” Mr Kenny said.


Secret information
It was reported yesterday the GSOC organised a counter-intelligence sweep of its Dublin offices because a senior garda revealed he was in possession of secret information.

It was separately reported the garda was Mr Callinan, who made comments to GSOC chairman Simon O’Brien, but the commissioner’s comments were misinterpreted.

Mr Callinan said he is “entirely satisfied” An Garda Síochána was not involved in any surveillance of the GSOC, and expressed his confidence in it.

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said the Oireachtas Committee on Public Service Oversight and Petitions, which will hear from Minister for Justice Alan Shatter on Wednesday, should be allowed carry out its investigations before any decision to hold an independent inquiry, as demanded by the Opposition.

“I think we should see through the process that is in place now,” Mr Gilmore told RTÉ’s The Week in Politics . “There is a degree of confusion about all of this.”

Speaking at a Fine Gael selection convention in Clonmel, Mr Kenny said Mr Shatter is “very willing” to go before the Oireachtas committee on Wednesday: “I hope . . . that issues that are outstanding . . . can be cleared up.”


‘Belief and integrity
He also said he hoped the GSOC can “move on” from here: “But move on with a sense of a conclusion to this and where there’s that sense of belief and integrity in both organisations. Obviously the Government itself will review how the process has happened and how the structure actually lives up to what it’s supposed to do.”

Asked if trust has been undermined between An Garda Síochána and GSOC, Mr Kenny said there is “a very strong element of a working relationship to do the respective jobs that they have to do”.