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Garda interrogations must be video-taped - Ó Snodaigh

30 November, 2005


Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has called on the Government “to instruct the Minister for Justice Michael McDowell to adopt, even at this late stage, the full Patten model for Garda reform including a Garda Ombudsman.” Speaking during a debate on the Dean Lyons case in the Dáil today he said, “Sinn Féin intend to table an amendment to the criminal Justice Bill which will introduce a statutory requirement for all Garda interrogations relating to serious crimes to be video-taped.”

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, “In light of the Dean Lyons case and others and to prevent future travesties of justice Sinn Féin is calling on the Government to instruct the Minister for Justice Michael McDowell to adopt, even at this late stage, the full Patten model for Garda reform including a Garda Ombudsman with at least equivalent powers to the PSNI Ombudsman to fulfil a complaints investigation function as is the Government’s obligation under strand 3 of the Good Friday Agreement to ‘ensure at least the equivalent level of protection.’

“Sinn Féin intend to table an amendment to the to the Criminal Justice Bill which will introduce a statutory requirement for all Garda interrogations relating to serious crimes to be video-taped, following from the recommendation of the Martin Committee in 1990 and also that the corridors of Garda stations be taped as well where regular beatings occur that result in vulnerable people signing confessions for crimes they didn’t commit. Rather than taking on the role of proper police work, the investigative laborious slog, many Gardaí would prefer the easy way of forcing confessions out of people.”

Also speaking during the debate Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD Seán Crowe said, “Tragically the case of the late Dean Lyons is just one illustration of the consequences of having a police force that is a law onto itself and has been suffering from a culture of corruption and impunity.  It is essential to the stability of the Garda Síochana and to the survival of public confidence in the Gardai that this government’s response holds all the Gardaí involved in the apparent set-up of Dean Lyons fully to account.  Sadly, Mr. Lyons will not see the outcome of any investigation into the wrongs done to him by this state but Michael McDowell as Minister for Justice must take it upon himself to ensure that any Commission of Investigation established to look into the case is enabled to ask the right questions.

“I would like to take this opportunity to demand full public enquiries into the deaths of young John Moloney who died within minutes of leaving Garda custody in Rathfarnam in 2003 and Terrence Wheelock who, like Brian Rossiter, fell into a coma while in Garda custody last June.” ENDS

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