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Martin Kenny expresses concern over lack of staff and training in DNA evidence

15 July, 2019 - by Martin Kenny TD

Sinn Féin’s Justice spokesperson Martin Kenny TD, has expressed deep concern that the review of DNA samples sent to the Garda National Forensic Co-ordination Office (NFCO) found serious shortcomings.

Deputy Kenny said:

“When nearly half of the Gardaí interviewed said they had not received training in the taking, submission, retention or destruction of DNA from crime scenes, we have a problem.

“The advances in forensic science and the use of DNA have been a major boon to criminal investigation and the presentation of evidence. 

"However, it seems according to the Garda Professional Standards Unit there are a number of issues in how the NFCO manages and monitors the recording of DNA material.

“Again it comes down to lack of oversight, lack of governance and lack of staffing.

"Commissioner Drew Harris will have to take urgent action on this matter so that the important evidence provided by the collection of DNA samples will not be compromised.

“It beggars belief that Gardaí are admitting that they are training themselves from 'how to' videos online and this must be rectified urgently.”

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