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Posts Tagged ‘gardai’

New Book on the Morris Tribunal and Police Accountability in Ireland

April 12, 2010 1 comment

A new book by one of our regular contributors, Vicky Conway, has been published this week by Irish Academic Press. Entitled The Blue Wall of Silence: The Morris Tribunal and Police Accountability in the Republic of Ireland, it provides the first in-depth analysis of the impact of the most significant tribunal in the history of policing in Ireland. For those not familiar with the Tribunal, it examined and upheld serious allegations of negligence and corruption in the policing district of Donegal concerning the framing of two men for a murder when in fact the victim had died in a hit and run incident, the planting of hoax IRA bomb finds, the planting of weapons on a travellers halting site and the planting of an explosive device on a telecommunications mast. Read more…

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Gardai work to rule

March 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Today the Gardai begin their first offical day of work to rule. Described by the GRA as a ‘withdrawal of goodwill’ the Gardai will not be using their own phones, cameras or laptops in the course of their work. They will no longer take work phone calls during personal time, which will disrupt the much relied on scheme of rostering Gardai at short notice. Further, they will not participate in a voluntary scheme of attending at court as witnesses without being summonsed which could pose significant problems to criminal trials. Read more…

Categories: Policing Tags: ,

Terence Wheelock

March 11, 2010 17 comments

As Yvonne noted yesterday, the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission have published their report into the death of Terrence Wheelock. They found no evidence that Mr Wheelock had been phsyically or sexually assaulted in custody but did make a number of recommendations as regards Garda procedure, which Yvonne has detailed. The Wheelock family remain dissatisfied and have announced that they are seeking a full public inquiry and have threatened to take a case to the European Court of Human Rights.

At this point a number of observations can be made about the both the findings contained in the report but also the procedure adopted by the Commission. Read more…

Categories: Policing Tags: ,

Conway on Budget 2010: The Irish Criminal Justice System

December 10, 2009 2 comments

This post is contributed by our regular contributor Dr. Vicky Conway. You can read about Vicky on our Contributors page.

The most apparent implication of Budget 2010 for the criminal justice system has been the threat of strike action by members of the Garda Representative Association (covering circa 12,000 members of the force), on the basis of the public sector pay cuts. The government, on the advice of the AG has warned of the criminal implications of such action, a statement reinforced by the Garda Commissioner. Prof Dermot Walsh has argued however, that there is in fact no legal bar on strike action, only on joining a trade union. The GRA does not appear, at the time of writing, to have made a statement on the Budget, but given AGSI’s response, that it is ‘an attack on its members’, we may well see a ballot of GRA members on strike action in the coming weeks. Let’s not forget other workers, such as prison officers, who may also choose to strike. In the past prison strikes have required Gardaí to serve in prisons, which clearly is problematic if they too are striking.

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Guest Post: Kieran Walsh on Murphy and Interagency Co-operation

November 30, 2009 3 comments

We are delighted to welcome this guest post on the Murphy Commission Report from Kieran Walsh of UCC and Griffith College Cork. You can learn some more about Kieran on our Guest Contributors page

One of the major issues highlighted in the Murphy Commission’s report is the lack of inter-agency cooperation on child protection issues. Any allegation of abuse requires that a massive infrastructure springs to life to ensure that the complaint is handled appropriately. This is true at the investigative stage as well as the stage of ensuring the rights of the victim to appropriate aftercare. As a result, the various agencies involved – the Gardaí, the HSE and depending on the circumstances, the organisation of which the perpetrator was a member – need to follow clear and unambiguous guidelines outlining the various steps which should be taken. The Murphy Report highlights the lack of coordination within the Catholic Church as well as the lack of coordination, stemming in part from governmental inaction on child protection.

The church issued a set of instructions on the matter of child sex abuse in 1922 entitled Crimen Solicitationis. A new version was issued in 1962. The Report makes clear that these were, as official church documents, written in Latin but there was never an official English translation. Quite apart from the linguistic difficulties, evidence was given by Cardinal Connell that he was not aware of the 1922 document when he became Archbishop, that the 1962 version may never have reached the Archdiocese and that its existence was unknown until the late 1990’s, and that he had never met anyone who had ever even seen it. That the document which was supposed to set out the procedure for dealing with sex abuse complaints was unknown to the Irish church hierarchy is a surprise, that such ignorance helped to engender a culture of indifference is not. It was only in 2001 that the Vatican issued a more widely available set of instructions, Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela.

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