Doherty expresses alarm at Insurance industry funding of Garda Insurance Fraud Unit
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said he is alarmed and deeply uncomfortable at the prospect of the insurance industry funding a new Garda Insurance Fraud Unit. He said that industry funding of a police service or section of it was a very dangerous precedent.
Deputy Doherty said:
“I am alarmed and deeply uncomfortable at the proposal that the insurance industry should fund a new Garda Insurance Fraud Unit. There is a clear need for such a unit. However, it is the role of An Garda Síochána to form such a unit and it should be funded by the State.
“The insurance industry is under investigation by the competition authorities in the State and at EU level over anti-competitive practices. It is twelve months to the day that dawn raids on certain insurers and on Insurance Ireland were carried out as part of an investigation into anti-competitive practices.
“It is not appropriate for private business to fund bespoke sections of An Garda Síochána. The independence of An Garda Síochána is sacrosanct and a direct funding relationship with private interests undermines that independence.
“Insurance fraud is theft and must be pursued rigorously and prosecuted. More action needs to be taken out to stamp out insurance fraud including through setting up a Garda Insurance Fraud Unit and introducing a new crime of insurance fraud. Just as important however, is challenging the insurance industry to stop settling suspicious claims and ensuring that claims found to be suspicious or fraudulent are reported and acted upon.”