Time for one Garda Ombudsman - Mac Lochlainn
Responding to news that the Chairman of GSOC, Simon O' Brien, has resigned, Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has called on Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald to replace the current three person Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission model with one Garda Ombudsman as is the case in the North of Ireland and as recommended by the Oireachtas Justice Committee.
Deputy Mac Lochlainn said:
"The resignation of the GSOC Chairman, Simon O'Brien provides an opportunity for Minister Fitzgerald to make a change to how this important organisation is led.
“Last year, we in the Oireachtas Justice Committee recommended that there be one Garda Ombudsman as is the case in the North of Ireland.
“Of course, it is now standard practice in Ireland and across Europe for just one Ombudsman to lead the oversight of policing or other public services.
“This allows for a clear and authoritative decision making process with better accountability. Of course the Ombudsman will rely on the advice and guidance of his or her team but the buck stops with them.
“Legislation will soon pass through the houses of the Oireachtas giving substantial new powers to the GSOC. The organisation must be properly resourced and structured to meet its responsibilities to the Irish people. It's time for one Garda Ombudsman to lead that change.”