Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Padraig Mac Lochlainn has welcomed Minister Alan Shatter’s referral of the penalty points issue to the Garda Ombudsman Commission but has however questioned why this decision has taken so long.
Deputy Mac Lochlainn said he noted that while it took the Minister 14 months to refer the penalty points issue to the Ombudsman Commission it only took him a handful of days to recommend an investigation into the whistle blower.
Speaking this evening Deputy Mac Lochlainn said;
“I welcome the fact that Minister Shatter has facilitated this complaint going to the Garda Ombudsman Commission.
“However I must question why it has taken so long for this to happen.
“There has been a cry for an independent inquiry for well over a year. The Oireachtas Petitions Committee, which I chair, asked for this issue to be referred to the Garda Ombudsman Commission last year and I have called for this on countless occasions in the Dáil.
“It is plainly obvious that this issue needed an independent investigation.
“It is interesting to note that while it took the Minister 14 months to refer the penalty points issue to the Ombudsman Commission it only took him a handful of days to recommend an investigation into the whistle blower.
“Given the attitude of the Garda Commissioner at the Public Accounts Committee last week, and the on-going attempts to discredit the whistle blowers, I would be concerned that the Ombudsman Commission may not get the full cooperation of the Gardaí in its investigation.
“This all points to the need for additional strengths and powers for the Garda Ombudsman Commission and I would urge the Minister to consider this seriously.”