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McDowell must initiate investigations into Garda corruption in other divisions - Ó Snodaigh

17 August, 2006

Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has called on Justice Minister Michael McDowell to initiate investigations into garda corruption in jurisdictions outside Donegal after reports from the Morris Tribunal today highlighted suspicions of insubordination in other divisions. Speaking today Deputy Ó Snodaigh welcomed moves by Minister McDowell to tighten discipline within the Gardaí but said they did not go far enough.

He said, "Sinn Féin has long argued that Garda corruption is not a problem confined solely to Donegal and that in fact it is rampant throughout the twenty-six counties. Today's reports from the Morris Tribunal reinforce our analysis of the situation and highlight the need for investigations into corruption in other divisions. I would call on Minister McDowell to initiate those investigations as soon as possible.

"The Minister's proposals to deal with discipline within the Gardaí are welcome as are any proposals that help to tighten discipline within the Gardaí. However they do not go far enough. What is needed is a single Garda Ombudsman withpowers at least equivalent to those of Nuala O'Loan's office covering the Six Counties including retrospective powers to deal with pervious disciplinary matters that have not been dealt with satisfactorily hitherto.

"The Morris Tribunal also finds that An Garda Siochana has been plagued by mass insubordination and that discipline has been severely eroded. This comes as no surprise and has been highlighted for many years now by many people including Republicans. The fact that this was allowed to continue for so long under the noses of Garda top brass shows that this problem goes right to the top. If this culture of corruption is to be rooted out of the Gardaí then people must be held to account including those right at the very top." ENDS

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