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Policing Authority review ‘absolutely essential’ amid reports of homicide misclassification– Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

9 February, 2018 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has welcomed news that the Policing Authority has ordered an independent review into the misclassification of homicide figures.

Speaking today, Teachta Ó Laoghaire said;

“It is very welcome and very valuable that the Policing Authority is to conduct an independent review of the misclassification of homicide figures.

“Anything that helps us establish the factual situation in relation to these cases is welcome. I note that the Policing Authority expressed concerns that each review was carried out by the person who investigated the cases originally.

“The Gardaí have stated that they believe all these cases, even if misclassified, have been properly investigated. The Minister for Justice has said that he accepts that.

“It is extremely worrying to hear that there is a possibility that homicide figures have been misclassified.

“I understand a disclosure has been made to the Justice committee by people within An Garda Síochána who dispute this, and believe that the cases were not investigated properly.

“It is even more serious and almost outright scandalous if it is the case that possible murders and manslaughters were not properly investigated in the first instance.

“The report on Morning Ireland into this protected disclosure of two babies whose deaths were recorded as ‘sudden death’, but in fact had alcohol in their system, is deeply unsettling.

“We need to establish what has happened here; what the truth of the situation is, and ultimately restore public confidence in the Gardaí’s crime statistics.

“I welcome the Policing Authority decision to review. However, I am also very concerned at the fact that Minister Flanagan has so far refused to even give a timeline for the Garda review in to these matters. I am concerned that it is not being given the priority it deserves.

“The Gardaí should also implement the Garda Inspectorate report of putting in place a Director of Data Quality.”

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