Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has called for a fully independent inquiry into allegations that the office of the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) was the target of a sophisticated surveillance operation.
Mr Adams said that the Government’s response to the scandal so far, was disappointing and that the most important question was whether the GSOC was bugged and if so, by whom?
Speaking in the Dáil today Gerry Adams said:
“The reality is that The Ombudsman’s office has been undermined since its establishment. And the work of the Ombudsman has been severely frustrated, particularly during its Public Interest Investigation into the handling of informers arising from the Ciaran Boylan affair.
“Citizens need to have trust that public agencies are in a position to carry out their work without being compromised. This is particularly true of a body tasked with the onerous responsibility of Garda oversight.
“Taoiseach, what citizens want to know is - was GSOC bugged? and if so, who did it?
“Given the absence of trust between GSOC, the Garda Commissioner and your Minister for Justice isn’t it clear that the only way we will get these answers is, if the Government establishes a fully independent Inquiry?
The Sinn Fein Leader accused the Taoiseach of inaccurately referring to Section 80, Subsection 5 of the Garda Síochána Act which, contrary to what Mr Kenny said, does not “require” GSOC to report these matters to the Minister for Justice.
Rather, it says: ‘The Ombudsman Commission may make any other reports that it considers appropriate’ for the Minister’s attention.
Gerry Adams said:
“GSOC are not obliged to report to Minister Shatter in the same way as the Garda Commissioner is, and for good reason. The Ombudsman Commission is appointed by the President, not the Government.”
He said that hot on the heels of the penalty points debacle, the bugging scandal highlighted once again, a worrying level of distrust between GSOC, the Garda Commissioner and the Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter and repeated his call for an independent inquiry into the bugging scandal