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Ombudsman Commission must deliver community trust and confidence in Gardaí

13 June, 2007


Responding to reports that the new Gardaí Síochána Ombudsman Commission received almost 400 complaints in its first month of operation Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh said he is concerned at the carry-over from the Gardaí into the Commission but is hopeful that it will be effective in building community trust and confidence in the Gardaí.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "I Welcome the fact that the new Ombudsman Commission has come on stream. Sinn Féin hopes that it will be effective in terms of both developing and running a transparent and independent complaints system but also in terms of building community trust and confidence in the Gardaí.

"I would encourage members of the public who have suffered or are aware of Garda abuse to bring forward their complaints to the Ombudsman Commission. We will be keeping an eye on the situation and while we are hopeful that the Ombudsman Commission will deliver greater accountability we are deeply concerned at the carry-over from the Gardaí into the Commission in terms of retired Garda officers and seconded Garda officers from An Garda Síochána who may be responsible for advising and directing the commission's investigations.

"Sinn Féin is aware of a serious complaint that has been submitted to the Ombudsman Commission. We are fully confident in the bona fides of that complaint and it will act as a litmus test of the effectiveness of the new Ombudsman Commission for our party. We hope that there will be a positive outcome to that case.

"I wish the Commissioners well in what is already proving to be a heavy work load and we truly hope they will deliver for civilians and communities." ENDS

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