Speaking in response to the annual report of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman’s Commission, Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Martin Kenny TD said that legislation to strengthen the office was just one of many urgent matters which are awaiting a new government and a fully functioning Oireachtas.
Deputy Kenny said:
“I welcome the fact that extra staff has been provided to GSOC in preparation for its strengthened role in the investigation of Gardaí who are accused of wrongdoing.
“Gardaí conducting criminal investigations into their colleagues should be a thing of the past and I share the concern expressed in the 2019 GSOC annual report which states that An Garda Síochána continues to conduct investigations without even informing the Commission, let alone involving it.
“The Commission on the Future of Policing had recommended new legislation, replacing the Garda Síochána Act of 2005, which would make provision for the proper, independent oversight of complaints against Gardaí, no matter what the origin of that complaint. It would also allow GSOC to investigate such complaints without involving the Garda Siochána at all.
“There is also a need to confirm and clarify the positive role being played by the Policing Authority in recent years and to reaffirm that in the new legislation once the current pandemic is ended and the Oireachtas can again legislate.”