Garda is suspended in Donegal inquiry


A garda has been suspended in the ongoing inquiry into alleged Garda misconduct in Donegal, the Minister for Justice told the House.

Mr O'Donoghue was replying to the Fine Gael spokesman on justice, Mr Jim Higgins, who asked why gardai whose alleged misconduct surrounded the planting of hoax bombs, interfering with arms finds and the mishandling of an investigation into the death of an individual, had not been transferred or suspended on pay pending the conclusion of the inquiry.

The Minister said the investigation was very complex and involved a number of allegations. "The Garda authorities have informed me that, arising from the facts established to date, one member has been suspended. A Garda superintendent has moved voluntarily from the divisional headquarters to a district headquarters in Donegal for the duration of the investigation so that there cannot be any suggestion of his position impacting on the independence of the investigation. This should not, incidentally, be confused with disciplinary action."

He said Garda authorities had advised him that considerable progress had been made. The investigating team had consulted with the Director of Public Prosecutions and it was hopeful of finalising aspects of the investigation in the next six to eight weeks. Appropriate files would be submitted to the DPP.