Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy TD has backed the call by the Garda Siochána Ombudsman Commission for extra resources to investigate serious allegations made by garda whistleblowers.
Deputy Murphy said:
“It is unconscionable that a request more than a year ago by GSOC for 12 extra staff for its dedicated Protected Disclosures Unit has gone largely unmet. How is this unit expected to operate only on a part-time basis with a total of three staff members?
“It is disturbing to hear the Chairperson of GSOC, Ms Justice Mary Ellen Ring, admit today that the commission had failed people who have come to it with protected disclosures due to a lack of staff and resources. How can we expect gardaí to come forward with protected disclosures if they can’t have full confidence that they will be listened to and their reports handled appropriately?
Deputy Murphy added:
“There is a sinking sense of ‘here we go again’ with this failure to resource GSOC to deal with some of the deep cultural problems within our police force. We have already seen how the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement was starved of qualified staff during mission critical years when it was preparing its prosecution of Sean Fitzpatrick, which ended in a collapsed trial.
“Far too often we see important oversight and investigatory bodies starved of resources. But the public always ends up paying the price one way or another. Over the last few decades around €500 million has been spent on tribunals and other inquiries. This is a key reason why the Social Democrats want to see a properly resourced and empowered independent Anti-Corruption Agency.”
14 January 2018