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Garda Ombudsman Commission must be properly resourced

13 March, 2008


Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has called on Justice Minister Brian Lenihan to ensure that the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission is properly resourced to do the job that it was established to do. Deputy Ó Snodaigh, who met the commission last month, said proposals to restrict the admission of complaints about the Gardaí would have to be carefully considered with great caution.

He said, "Just a couple of weeks ago I met the Ombudsman Commission to raise a number of concerns which I had with its operation so far. Those concerns includes delays in responding to and progressing complaints, failure to return calls, expiry of the Commission's own time-frame commitments and failure to provide reasons for decisions will of which undermine the credibility of the process.

"The Ombudsman Commission confirmed to me that they are over burdened and under resourced. It is clear that additional resources are required if the commission is to do the job it was established to do.

"The proposals to limit the admission of complaints about the Gardaí would have to be carefully considered with great caution. The old Garda Complaints Board was replaced for a reason. It was ineffective and corrupted as it involved Gardaí investigating Gardaí and we are all too well aware of the entrenched Garda culture of 'looking after your own'.

"In the interests of public confidence complaints against the Gardaí must be dealt with promptly, thoroughly and independently. This will not happen if we return to the dark days of the Gardaí investigating themselves.

"Therefore, it is essential that the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission is properly resourced to do the job it was established to do." ENDS

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