Room to improve on government's GSOC proposals - Mac Lochlainn
In the wake of serious scandals concerning the Gardaí earlier this year, Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Padraig Mac Lochlainn welcomed the much anticipated Garda Síochána Bill 2014 to the floor of the Dáil today.
He welcomed many of the proposals contained within the bill but cautioned that there was still need to strengthen some of the provisions.
“I am very pleased to welcome this bill to the house today. It is fair to say we have been waiting a long time for it.
“It has been a very disturbing period in terms of the whole area of the administration and application of justice in this State.
“Public confidence has been fundamentally undermined by the incompetence, and at times arrogance, that this government has shown in overseeing all the episodes that have emerged in the recent months and, indeed, years.
“We will seek to amend the Bill to ensure that GSOC will have access, on a statutory basis, to the PULSE system to assist in their investigations. This amendment would include a Criminal Justice Inspectorate encompassing An Garda Síochána; The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission; The Director of Public Prosecutions; The Probation Service; The Courts Service and The Irish Youth Justice Service.
“Our amendment will also include the recommendation of a single Ombudsman as opposed to the three commissioners as laid out in the Bill. This would ensure a greater degree of accountability and that there is no possibility of dissenting opinions or divergence in the Ombudsman’s findings.”