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Morris report shows need for root and branch reform of Gardaí

1 June, 2005

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice, Equality and Human Rights, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, has said that the latest report from the Morris Tribunal shows a need for "root and branch reform" of the Gardaí.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "Those who claim that nobody has anything to fear from the Gardaí if they are innocent should read this report carefully, that includes PD senator John Minihan who had the nerve to challenge me on this point yesterday. The second report from the Morris Tribunal clearly shows that root and branch reform of the Gardaí, the way the force is managed and how complaints against them are dealt with, is urgently needed.

"This report explodes the myth of a few rogue cops in Donegal. It points to a whole managerial system that allowed such activity to happen unhindered and unpunished. Indeed the comments of Garda Commissioner Noel Conroy last week, in offering a defence of the actions of the Gardaí involved in the investigation into the death of Richie Barron and the subsequent efforts to frame Frank McBrearty and Mark McConnell, shows that the mindset that was involved in the original investigation goes right to the top of the force. Clearly it is long past the time for the establishment of the fully independent complaints procedure under a single Garda Ombudsman. Indeed, the Good Friday Agreement commitment to equivalence in human rights protections north and south requires the establishment of a single Garda Ombudsman.

"On the back of this report Sinn Féin is again calling for the Morris Tribunal to include in its terms of reference the assassination of Donegal Sinn Féin Councillor Eddie Fullerton. In view of these most recent findings, serious questions remain unanswered in relation to the conduct of the Garda investigation into this murder of an elected representative of the Irish people." ENDS

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