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Morris Tribunal findings highlight Minister's negligence

15 July, 2004


Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has accused the Minister of Justice of negligence for failing to make comprehensive Garda reform a top priority for his Department.

Speaking in reaction to the publication of the preliminary report of the Morris Tribunal, Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

"The Tribunal's findings are extremely serious and underscore the urgency of comprehensive Garda reform. But we have known for a long time now that the present system has led to a culture of impunity for Garda misconduct. This is not new. Therefore, while it is positive that the Minister did not suppress the report, the fact that he has continually pushed Garda reform to the bottom of the priority list in favour of his personal pet projects in my view constitutes negligence on his part.

"Given the findings of gross negligence at senior Garda level, it is totally inappropriate to refer this matter to an internal group hand-picked by the GardaCommissioner. It must be dealt with by a fully independent Garda Ombudsman, which but for the Minister's foot-dragging could have been established by now.

"It is past time for decisive action. Impunity for police misconduct in this state must end. Up and down the chain of command, all Gardaí responsible for corruption and negligence must be brought to justice. Proper systems for Garda accountability must also be established to ensure that nothing like this canhappen again. This is a matter for the Minister, not the Garda Commissioner. The question is, is he up to the job?" ENDS

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