Uncertainty over homicide statistics 'deeply unsettling' - Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Justice, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD, has said that reports that a number of cases of homicides may have been misclassified, is a cause for the most serious concern.
He called on the Minister for Justice to make a statement to the Dáil clarifying the situation.
Deputy Ó Laoghaire said:
“It is deeply unsettling, and extremely worrying, to hear that there is a possibility that homicide figures have been misclassified. There is no crime more serious than the taking of a life.
“The possibility that there are families out there, who are not aware that their loved ones were the victim of a homicide, or died in another manner, is of the most serious concerns. It would in fact be scandalous.
“The review into these cases was to be available last summer, and given to the policing authority, but it has not yet been published. It is incredible that we are in a situation that the CSO has not for some time now, since September, had the confidence in Garda Statistics to publish these statistics.
“The original review, which covered 2013-2015 was extended to a period of 12 years, back to 2003, after they found that 41 cases had been misclassified.
“Gardaí need to recording these cases correctly, and it is a cause of concern that where it is not recorded correctly, that it possibly may not be investigated correctly, and that justice may have been hampered.
"This further underlines the need for a Director of Data Quality in an Garda Síochána as recommended by the Garda Inspectorate Report.
“The Minister needs to intervene here, and restore confidence in the system. We need this report published and he needs to make a statement to the Dáil. He needs to tell the Dáil, and the public how he intends to ensure all such past misclassifications are rectified, and that it does not happen again.”