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Taoiseach and Tnaiste

leave Zappone isolated as


Cabinet left struggling with
Tusla crisis
Truth Treason in the Empire of Lies, cover up whitewash crimes and
corruption
Web of deceit at heart of Garda smear
probe
Niall O'Connor and Kevin Doyle
PUBLISHED
11/02/2017
2
In happier times: Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald and Katherine
Zappone last year Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The stability of the minority Government has
been thrown into serious doubt over its
disastrous handling of the Tusla scandal.

Fine Gael ministers have reacted with fury after it emerged


Children's Minister Katherine Zappone failed to inform the
Cabinet of the litany of blunders by the State's Child and
Family Agency.
Both Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tnaiste Frances Fitzgerald
last night moved to distance themselves of any blame -
leaving the Independent minister isolated and humiliated.
The revelation that Tusla circulated a file containing a false
allegation of child sexual abuse against garda whistleblower
Maurice McCabe has plunged the agency into crisis.
A full investigation is now under way into how a counsellor
mistakenly "copy and pasted" allegations of child
molestation on to the McCabe file, which is believed to have
been seen by a number of garda.

2
2
Mr Justice Peter Charleton
But the ramifications of the scandal are now threatening the
future of the minority administration, with Fine Gael
ministers lining up yesterday to attack Ms Zappone.
Several ministers confirmed that Ms Zappone sat silently as
the terms of reference for the Commission of Investigation
into an alleged smear campaign against Sgt McCabe were
agreed at last Tuesday's Cabinet meeting. She then travelled
to the United States to visit relatives.
In a statement issued yesterday afternoon, Ms Zappone
defended her handling of the case, insisting she had
informed "relevant government colleagues" of the facts. Her
spokesman later declined to say who these individuals were.
However, the Tnaiste was categorical last night that she had
no knowledge of the Tusla link to the alleged smear
campaign until it was reported in the media on Thursday.
"She of course did not inform me about any details in
relation to confidential Tusla records," Ms Fitzgerald said.
Earlier in the Dil on Thursday, she twice denied any
knowledge of a Tusla link.
A spokesperson for the Taoiseach said that he was also not
aware, although both admit knowing about the meeting
between Ms Zappone and Sgt McCabe - the country's most
high-profile whisteblower - in advance.
The meeting, which was requested by Sgt McCabe's wife
Lorraine, took place on January 25.
At that meeting Sgt McCabe outlined to the minister Tusla's
handling of the case but Ms Zappone did not alert the Justice
Minister, who was at the time studying the review of two
protected disclosures made in relation to Sgt McCabe's case.
Well-placed sources told the Irish Independent last night
that the Tusla files on Sgt McCabe would have quickly
emerged during the course of Mr Justice Peter Charleton's
investigation - but accepted it would have been better if the
Justice Minister knew in advance of setting the terms of
reference.
Opposition parties were yesterday accusing Ms Fitzgerald of
misleading the Dil when she said she had no knowledge of
State agencies outside of An Garda Sochna being linked to
the alleged smear campaign.
However, sources close to the Tnaiste last night said her
Dil statement was completely accurate at the time and she
had done "absolutely nothing wrong".
Senior Fine Gael figures lashed out at Ms Zappone, with
several ministers accusing her of effectively blindsiding the
Justice Minister.
Several TDs also said they believed the saga had moved the
administration closer to collapse. Fianna Fil described the
situation as "crazy" and said Ms Zappone's credibility was
now "at risk". But Michel Martin's party has decided to
adopt a 'wait and see' approach.
The Cabinet will meet on Tuesday to discuss expanding the
terms of reference to include the Tusla link.
http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/taoiseach-and-tnaiste-leave-
zappone-isolated-as-cabinet-left-struggling-with-tusla-crisis-
35441776.html

Zappone: I won't reveal


identities of 'relevant
government colleagues'
Children's Minister under fire as Tusla
controversy escalates
Niall O'Connor and Laura Larkin
PUBLISHED
10/02/2017


3
Childrens Minister Katherine Zappone. Photo: Tom Burke
Children's Minister Katherine Zappone has
said she will not reveal the identities of the
"government colleagues" with whom she said
she discussed the shocking blunder by Tusla
regarding garda whistleblower Maurice
McCabe.

Ms Zappone has been under mounting pressure over


whether she properly informed the Cabinet of the "copy and
paste" blunder by the State's child and family agency.
There has been widespread shock after it emerged a false file
containing allegations of child sexual abuse remained on the
TUSLA database for almost two years - without the
knowledge of the McCabe family.
Ms Zappone said she became aware of the circumstances
surrounding Tusla after being contacted by Mrs McCabe on
January 18. She said she then met the couple a week later.
In a statement this afternoon, Ms Zappone insisted she
informed relevant Government colleagues in the period
since the meeting with the McCabe family.
"Minister Zappone has met with Mrs Lorraine McCabe and
Sgt Maurice McCabe. She has heard first hand of the
devastation caused to them by the false allegations against
Sgt Maurice McCabe, the statement reads.
Since then her office has been in regular contact with Mrs
and Sgt McCabe and Tusla - which has led to the offer of a
public apology.
The Secretary General of the Department of Children and
Youth Affairs held a meeting with Senior Tusla Personnel on
Friday January 27.
Tusla provided DCYA with a chronology and analysis of the
case - which my Department gave to Mrs and Sgt McCabe on
Saturday 28th January.
She does not state who these "relevant colleagues" are and
whether they are members of Cabinet. The statement does
not say whether she passed on this information to Taoiseach
Enda Kenny or Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald.
This evening, the minister's spokesperson refused to divulge
the names and refused to say whether these individuals were
members of Cabinet.
"We are not deviating from our statement." the spokesperson
said.
Senior Fine Gael sources say it would be "incredible" if Ms
Zappone had not discussed the issue with Tnaiste and
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald.
Ms Fitzgerald told the Dil yesterday that she was unaware
of any other state agencies being linked to the growing
controversy.
The statement added that Tusla informed the Secretary
General of the department that the issue is now under
review.
Tusla informed the Secretary General that they have
instituted a case review to extrapolate all relevant
information in order to provide a more detailed analysis.
"Minister Zappone informed relevant Government
colleagues during the course of this period.
"Minister Zappone was always of the view that Tusla would
form part of the investigation by the Commission of Inquiry.
Earlier, the chief executive of Tusla refuted any inference
that Tusla was involved in any sort of collusion with gardai in
relation to mistaken and false allegations which were linked
to whistleblower Maurice McCabe.
Fred McBride, speaking on RTE News at One, said that he
"absolutely refuted any suggestion there was collusion
between Tusla and the gardai".
A PrimeTime investigation on Thursday revealed that a
mistaken allegation of digital rape of a child was linked to
garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe due to a 'clerical error'.
Mr McBride said "there is no doubt that mistakes have been
made" and a full review of what occurred will take place.
Mr McBride said he had issued a letter of apology to the
McCabes today and has offered to meet the family personally
to apologise in person if necessary.
He said the reason for the delay is that he wanted the
apology to come from him personally and he wanted to know
the detail of what had occured.
Tusla have a responsibility to ensure that all information was
investigated Mr McBride said.
"If that information turns out to be inaccurate and that was
the case here... it is incumbent on us to correct that
information as quickly as possible and that's where mistakes
were made," he said.
Mr McBride said he escalated the matter to the Department
of Children and Youth Affairs "within days".
http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/zappone-i-wont-reveal-identities-
of-relevant-government-colleagues-35440339.html

Garda convicted of
assaulting two women in
dispute over 15 payment
for lift home
Verdict will have 'devastating
consequences' for man who survived US
shooting

Ralph Riegel Twitter


EMAIL
PUBLISHED
11/02/2017

1
Garda Brian Hanrahan outside Nenagh District Court yesterday
Photo: Liam Burke
A Garda who survived a holiday shooting in
the US was convicted of assault causing harm
to two young women in a row over a 15 fee
for a lift home.
Garda Brian Hanrahan (34) had vehemently denied before
Nenagh District Court that he punched the two women in an
unprovoked attack near an isolated Tipperary cemetery last
year.
However, Judge Elizabeth MacGrath convicted the young
Newcastle West-based garda of assault causing harm.
"Having studied the evidence very carefully... the court is
satisfied that Mr Hanrahan is guilty of the two charges," she
said.
Judge MacGrath noted that an independent witness, a
security guard driving home, had seen a man holding a
woman by her hair near Lisboney cemetery.
Judge MacGrath noted inconsistencies in Hanrahan's
evidence, including his initial claim in a 999 call made from
the scene, that he had been confronted by some six or eight
people.
"I have found that Mr Hanrahan's account on the night in
the 999 call was not accurate," she said.
Judge MacGrath also noted that, in his 999 call, Hanrahan
said those confronting him were "a f***ing crowd of
psychopaths".
When Judge MacGrath convicted him of the two assaults,
Hanrahan bowed his head.
The young women assaulted, Aisling King and Emer Kelly,
began crying.
Judge MacGrath adjourned sentencing until April 27 to allow
probation and psychological reports to be prepared.
"The attitude (of Hanrahan) on the night ... and other
issues ... does give rise to concern," she said.
Judge MacGrath noted that the garda had been mugged, shot
and seriously injured while he was on holiday in New
Orleans in the US in 2015.
Daniel O'Gorman, solicitor for Hanrahan, said the
convictions would have "devastating consequences" for the
young garda.
Hanrahan is a married father of two whose children are aged
just six months and three years.
Ms Kelly and Ms King had sobbed while giving evidence
about the assaults, which occurred when they had asked the
young garda for a promised 15 payment for a lift home.
Read more: Garda shot on holidays convicted of assaulting
two women on night out
In victim impact statements, they said that they had always
respected garda but, after the assaults, they were now afraid.
"I couldn't believe that a guard could do this to me.
"The garda are meant to be there to help you," Ms Kelly said.
Hanrahan, who was off duty at the time of the incident last
March, insisted he only acted in self-defence after he claimed
one of the young women "launched herself" at him in a row
over the lift fee.
Michelle O'Connell, for the State, said garda became aware
of an incident in Nenagh at around 4am on March 6.
Ms Kelly was in Nenagh with her friends Aisling King and
Ellen Nyhill in her new car.
Hanrahan had been out socialising, and then approached
them and agreed to pay 15 for a lift.
"He was rude. He said that Nenagh was full of scumbags,"
Ms Kelly said.
The women asked Hanrahan to get out of their car at
Lisboney cemetery.
"Aisling went to drive off but I said I will ask him for the
money," Ms Kelly said.
"He pulled my hair and beat me to the ground."

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/garda-convicted-of-
assaulting-two-women-in-dispute-over-15-payment-for-lift-home-
35441741.html
Taoiseach and Tnaiste
'knew about Zappone's
meeting with
whistleblower - but did not
know about Tusla blunder'
'Zappone of course did not inform me
about any details in relation to
confidential Tusla records' - Tnaiste
Kevin Doyle and Niall O'Connor
PUBLISHED
10/02/2017
Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tnaiste Frances Fitzgerald Picture:
Collins
The Taoiseach and Tnaiste knew about a
meeting between Childrens Minister
Katherine Zappone and garda whistleblower
Maurice McCabe but insist they were not
aware that Tusla held an inaccurate file on Sgt
McCabe.
In a statement this evening, Tnaiste Frances Fitzgerald said
she knew that her colleague, Childrens Minister Katherine
Zappone, planned to meet with Mr McCabe but added:
She of course did not inform me about any details in
relation to confidential Tusla records.
It came after Ms Zappone issued a statement stating she
informed relevant Government colleagues of the copy and
paste blunder involving Sergeant McCabe.
The minister, who is currently in the United States, has
refused to say who those government colleagues are.
There has been widespread shock after it emerged a false file
containing allegations of child sexual abuse remained on the
TUSLA database for almost two years - without the
knowledge of the McCabe family.
Ms Fitzgerald has now said that she was informed me in
January that Ms Zappone intended to meet with Sgt McCabe.

Childrens Minister Katherine Zappone. Photo: Tom Burke


She of course did not inform me about any details in
relation to confidential Tusla records, Ms Fitzgerald said.
An inquiry is being set up by the Government into an alleged
smear campaign against Sgt McCabe.
Whistleblower Maurice McCabe outside Leinster House in 2014
Photo: Tom Burke
The Terms of Reference of the proposed Commission put
before the Oireachtas by me refer specifically to a complaint
of criminal misconduct against Sgt McCabe and whether this
allegation was used against him, the Tnaiste said.
I have always been scrupulous to avoid any comment in the
Dil on what was at issue in the criminal complaint against
Sgt. McCabe, referred to in the terms of reference.
Sergeant Maurice McCabe Photo: Tom Burke
Had I put into the public domain anything which indicated
or implied the nature of the complaint against Sgt McCabe I
would be rightly open to criticism, the Tnaiste said.
She added: At the heart of the issues to be examined by the
Commission is whether senior Garda were involved in a
campaign to use information to damage Sgt McCabe.
I agreed to take on board amendments designed to put
beyond doubt that the examination of any smear campaign
would not be confined.
Fianna Fil TD John McGuinness spoke on RTE's Six One
News this evening and said a criminal investigation is
needed into how the Tusla file was created and by whom.
Mr McGuinness also said that Tusla's apology to Mr McCabe
was today delivered to his next door neighbour and then
passed on to the family.
Children's Minister Katherine Zappone is facing mounting calls to
explain her actions after being directly informed of the shocking Tusla
blunder surrounding Maurice McCabe in January.
Fine Gael ministers have today expressed their deep surprise
at why Ms Zappone did not formally inform Cabinet of a
meeting with Sgt McCabe and his wife in January.
Ms Zappone, who is currently in the United States, has yet to
respond to the questions. Her spokesman has not responded
to requests for comment today.
Independent.ie has learned that in January, Sgt McCabe's
wife Lorraine contacted the office of Health Minister Simon
Harris and asked to speak to the minister about a "Tusla
issue".
Mr Harris's secretary informed Ms McCabe that Tusla falls
under the remit of the Department of Children.
A meeting then took place with minister Zappone, during
which the situation surrounding the file on the McCabe
family was outlined to the minister.
It's still not clear who in government Ms Zappone spoke to.
Tanaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald told the
Dail yesterday that she was unaware of any such involvement
by a state agency.
Labour TD and former Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan is
among those who have called for clarity about what Cabinet
knew about the controversy before drafting the terms of the
commission of investigation into an alleged smear campaign
against Maurice McCabe.
"I am also calling on Minister Zappone to immediately
provide clarity as to whether she briefed her Cabinet
colleagues on her knowledge of the TUSLA file on Maurice
McCabe. We have heard this morning that she was fully
aware of the details of the case at the end of January.
"If she did not bring this information to Cabinet, she
urgently needs to explain why she withheld such relevant
information from her Cabinet colleagues when they were
agreeing to the establishment of a commission of
investigation."
Political reaction to revelations on RTE's Prime Time that a
mistaken allegation of digital rape of a child was linked to the
garda whistleblower has been swift.
Health Minister Simon Harris has said the child and family
agency should apologise immediately and did not need to
wait for the commission of investigation into an alleged
smear campaign against Mr McCabe concludes.
"I think they should explain why an apology hasn't issued to
Sergeant McCabe, when it was clearly their intention to do
so," he added. "I think they should issue that apology
forthwith," he told Newstalk Breakfast.
Meanwhile, Fianna Fil's Dara Calleary said his stomach
churned as he watched the program on Thursday night. He
spoke on RTE's Morning Ireland and said the situation was
"absolutely incomprehensible"
The notion that a very serious report can be made on the
basis of a cut and paste job is absolutely incomprehensible
given the seriousness of the job TUSLA have to do on a daily
basis, he said.
Where are the checks and balances and have they reviewed
the processes in light of what has come out given that they
have done an investigation into this in January of 2017?
I think that TUSLA need to urgently answer their appalling
failings and how the situation arose. How Maurice McCabe
was not informed? How files were opened on his children,
including two adult children without being informed? And
why they haven't issued an apology?
Also speaking on RTE this morning Labour Leader Brendan
Howlin said:
"It beggars believe that matters of such seriousness could
firstly have happened, that somebody could have the most
vile of accusations circulated about them by the state. That is
a possibility and we have to fully investigate that," he said.
Tusla, which is responsible for the protection of children, has
said it is in the process of apologising to Mr McCabe.
http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/taoiseach-and-tnaiste-knew-
about-zappones-meeting-with-whistleblower-but-did-not-know-about-
tusla-blunder-35440910.html

John Wilson claims


Maurice McCabe has
been treated
criminally
By Denise Canavan -
10th February 2017
Former Garda and Whistleblower John Wilson on the
verge of tears, has described the treatment of Maurice
McCabe as the worst scandal in the history of the Irish
Republic. Speaking on this mornings Joe Finnegan
Show, Mr Wilson called for action and accountability.
http://www.shannonside.ie/podcast/john-wilson-claims-maurice-
mccabe-criminally-treated/
Ah Noirin time to hang your clogs up The games are coming
to an end ...

Calls for Garda Commissioner to step aside


Mary Lou McDonald, Sinn Fin Deputy Leader, calls on Garda
Commissioner Nirn O'Sullivan to step aside
MARY LOU MCDONALD, SINN FIN DEPUTY LEADER, CALLS ...|BY STRATA3 -
HTTP://WWW.STRATA3.COM/
Ireland is without doubt the most corrupt country in the developed
world. People always say we need whistleblowers but when you see
the depths the system will go to in order to protect itself from exposure
then it's understandable why more don't come forward. The most
frightening thing for any parent is the thought of losing a child.
Imagine Tusla sending social workers around to your house as a threat
that you will lose your children if you don't keep your mouth shut? The
people involved come from the same stock as the devils who sent little
boys and girls off to industrial schools to be tortured and raped by the
religious orders, none of them were held to account and the same evil
is alive and well today. Is Tusla taking over where the church left off?
In other countries, whistleblowing is recognised and
rewarded. Ireland, however, is different.
In almost every case - from An Garda Siochna to the Army
to the HSE - the outcome is reprisals against the
whistleblower of the most appalling nature,

Ireland never rewards


whistleblowers like Maurice
McCabe and me - it punishes us
Ireland treats whistleblowers differently to most other countries as I found
out, writes Dr Tom Clontan.
February 11, 17

Tom Clonan
INVESTIGATIVE REPORTERS HAVE over the past
day revealed details of false allegations of child sexual abuse
leveled at garda whistleblower, Sergeant Maurice McCabe.
After initially being reported by Mick Clifford in the Irish
Examiner, Thursdays Prime Time report by Katie Hannon
gave the Irish public a shocking and deeply disturbing insight
into the torment and vilification endured by Irish
whistleblowers.
It is impossible to imagine what Maurice McCabe and his
family have suffered since he made the simple but
momentous decision to blow the whistle on garda
wrongdoing.
Maurice McCabes motivations, actions and findings have been
comprehensively vindicated by a series of official enquiries and
reports. There is no doubt as to Maurice McCabes probity and
integrity. However, as is the case for anyone who speaks truth
to power in Ireland, Sergeant McCabe has not been rewarded.
Instead, he has been punished.
He has endured prolonged hostile scrutiny from sections
within the political establishment, senior gardai and Im
ashamed to say it some journalists. While it may be
impossible to fully comprehend the level of suffering endured
by this man and his wife and children, it is all too easy to
identify the toxic dynamic of whistleblower reprisal that
operates in Ireland.
In other democracies, the social value of whistleblowing is
widely recognised and rewarded. For example, in the United
States, whistleblowers are often awarded financial incentives
sometimes multi-million dollar rewards for calling a halt to
unethical, illegal or dangerous practices in the workplace.
Ireland, however, is different. In almost every case whether
the whistleblower is in An Garda Siochana, the Army, the HSE
or the banking and financial services sector the outcome of
whistleblowing is inevitably whistleblower reprisal of the most
appalling nature.
What happened to me
I have personal experience of whistleblower reprisal. As a
young army officer and captain, between 1996 and 2000 I
conducted a PhD study into the experiences of female soldiers,
sailors and aircrew in the Irish Defence Forces. I was given
formal written permission by the military authorities to
conduct this research. Furthermore, I was instructed in writing
by the general staff to comply with the regulations of the
university and lodge the thesis to the library of Dublin City
University, where it remains as a published document in the
academic repository.
Unfortunately, like Sergeant Maurice McCabe in An Garda
Sochna, I found evidence of widespread wrong-doing within
our Defence Forces. I found evidence of explicitly
discriminatory and illegal policies and practices within the
Defence Forces as they applied to women. Some of these sexist
policies and practices were in breach of international law,
including the Geneva Conventions, EU law and Irish equality
legislation. Indeed, some of the policies were in contravention
of some of our Irish constitutional guarantees around equality.
The senior officers who promulgated and implemented such
policies were in breach of their solemn oath of allegiance to
Bunreacht na hEireann.

My research also found evidence of shockingly high levels of


bullying and harassment of female personnel within the Irish
Defence Forces. There were extreme levels of sexual violence
against women with female soldiers reporting experiences of
sexual harassment, sexual assault and allegations of rape.
Like Sergeant Maurice McCabe an idealistic and committed
garda as a young officer, I was completely devoted to the
Irish Defence Forces. The day I was commissioned as an officer
was the proudest day of my young life.
Targeted character assassination
When I uncovered the systematic and systemic regime of
misogyny and violence towards women within the Defence
Forces, in my naivety I fully expected my superiors to act upon
my findings and bring an end to this toxic and dysfunctional
culture. However, this was not the case. Instead, I was
promptly sent to Coventry by the majority of my former
colleagues and friends.
I was immediately isolated and my findings completely
ignored. I retired from the Defence Forces in December 2000
to pursue an academic career. In the summer of 2001, when
my research findings were reported in the national
newspapers, I was fully introduced to whistleblower reprisal
Irish style.
Like Maurice McCabe, I was targeted in a sustained campaign
of character assassination. Amongst other things, I was
physically assaulted by a former colleague in front of my
infant children in the city centre. I was subjected to months
of constant abusive texts, phone calls and silent calls by former
colleagues. I was threatened by staff officers at Defence Forces
Headquarters with a campaign of dirty tricks. I was told that
my research findings constituted a threat to the reputation of
the organisation. One senior officer to whom I turned for
advice and support informed me that when the reputation of
the organisation is at stake, character assassination is a
legitimate tactic. He further warned me that when the
organisation cant go for the ball, theyll go for the man.
Eventually however, at my behest, the then-Fianna Fail
Minister for Defence, Michael Smith, launched an independent
government enquiry into my research, called the Study Review
Group. It reported in 2003 and fully vindicated my research
findings, conclusions and recommendations. Thankfully, the
Defence Forces are now a better place to work for both men
and women and considered to be an example of best practice
for equality, diversity and dignity by the international military.
The effects of a whispering campaign
Over the years, I still encounter the negative consequences of
reprisal for being a whistleblower. For example, in 2008, I had
to enlist the support of the NUJ when I was informed by
officers at DFHQ that they could not guarantee my physical
safety if I attended a press conference in McKee Barracks.
Over the years, Ive had time to reflect on the ruptured
friendships and the loss of my relationship with the
organisation an extension of my family. It is a traumatic,
upsetting and bewildering experience. To this day, I still get
phone calls from duty editors and producers who have received
negative briefings about me. The whispering campaign
endured by Maurice McCabe is all too familiar to me.
However, my experience pales into insignificance compared to
that of Sergeant McCabe and other brave Irish
whistleblowers who have tried to the right thing in our
dysfunctional and toxic polity. I often wonder how Ireland
would have fared if there had been enough brave
whistleblowers in our banking and financial services sector
during the so-called Celtic Tiger. If they had been listened to,
perhaps our children and grandchildren would not have been
burdened with 85 billion in debt.
I would appeal to Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister Frances
Fitzgerald to follow the example of a previous Minister for
Defence in dealing with the concerns raised by Maurice
McCabes case. A root and branch reform of An Garda
Siochana is required with at a minimum, the levels of
oversight and governance that we expect of the PSNI. And I
would appeal to all right-thinking Irish citizens: please cherish
our whistleblowers. They embody the change that is required
in order for Ireland to survive as a political, economic and
social entity.
http://www.thejournal.ie/readme/tom-clonan-whistleblowers-3233836-
Feb2017/?utm_source=twitter_self

Someone needs to be
jailed over McCabe
allegations Wilson
By Kevin McGillicuddy -
10th February 2017

A former Garda whistleblower claims that someone


needs to be jailed over false allegations of sexual abuse
leveled at Maurice McCabe.
It emerged this week that untrue allegations of sex
crimes were made against the Garda whistleblower and
passed on the child and family agency Tusla
Gardai were notified of the allegations, but Sergeant
McCabe was never informed.
The controversy surrounding the whistleblower
scandal has led to increasing calls for the Garda
Commissioner to step aside during investigations.
Opposition parties such as Sinn Fein and Labour say
Nirn OSullivans position as head of the force is
untenable.
John Wilson, was was previously a Garda stationed in
Mullingar, told the Joe Finnegan Show that the false
claims must result in someone being jailed
TREASON COVER UP WHITE WASH CRIMES FROM REFERENDUM
RIGGING, ELECTION RIGGING, EVEN GARDA CORRUPTION IN OUR
FORCES AND THIS PRICK COVERS IT UP.
Can anyone edit it Nirn O'Sullivans head?
The people I spoke to made it very clear that they didnt
report on the briefing against Maurice McCabe because they
sensed it was bullshit. And bullshit they first heard years
ago, But let me be really clear. Lots of people working a
journalists have known the police force was spinning this shit
for years. For. Years.So the fact we mostly heard about it
today? Well that means that lots of people the people who
fill newspapers and make news TV ??? They all have been
keeping their mouths shut.'
5 Things You Need
To Know About
Maurice McCabe
and Police
Corruption
In Ireland.
FEBRUARY 11, 2017 / SOUNDMIGRATION
.entry-meta
.entry-header
5 Things You Need to Ask About Maurice McCabe
and Police Corruption In Ireland.
1. The allegations that Maurice McCabe sexually
abused a child are a fabrication by the police
designed to assassinate his character. By
extension those allegations seek to undermine his
actions as whistle-blower around abuses of power
within An Garda Siochana.
So we need to ask:
Does the Irish police force have agents or allies
across state agencies in this case as state agency
set up precisely because of past failures to protect
children that are willing to make shit up to protect
public inquiry around abuses of power within the
police force.
Tusla has be able to disprove that idea. Its clear that
their internal processes of documenting potential
abuse cases have been utilised by the Irish police
force as a mean of smearing multiple whistle-blowers.
How is it that a state agency that is meant to have
overall responsibility for child protection in Ireland
seem susceptible to the whims of a police force acting
in ways that are paranoid and outside the control of
any democratic oversight?
2. There is clear evidence that An Garda Siochana
systemically use black propaganda organised
and run from the highest levels of the
organisation- against its own officers who speak
out about failings and abuses within the force.
In 2015, racist policing action meant that two Roma
children were taken forcibly from their families.
Someone within the police force helpfully briefed
journalists about the background to this. They saw this
was fucked up. Shortly after this the head person of
An Garda Siochana press office was arrested and
their phone seized. This was a police officer held with
high regard with many working journalists.
Shortly after some cops, not official press officers,
started calling journalists saying Aw here we found a
bit of child porn on yer mans phone.
So lets be clear about this. People within the police
force starting openly smearing against a former Garda
press officer, calling journalists suggesting to say the
former head of Press had links to child abuse.
Precisely at the time that the new Commissioner
OSullivan and her husband sought to make clear that
a new regime was in town.

No one reported it at the time, probably cos they knew


it was bullshit. But also probably because they knew
how dirty the cops can get

But the actuality of that means that lots of journalists


knew that allegations of child abuse were being
thrown around against police officers, by other police
officer. This made clear that being supportive of
whistle-blowers comes at a cost to working journalist.
This tin pot dictator stuff. And everyone from RTE
down played along, quite simply because they had to.

Sources close to me told me about the arrest of the


press officer and the seizing of the phone on the
weekend of that week. It was clear that this was an
attempted shutdown by OSullivan of all leaks
following the embarrassing racist policing that saw two
Roma children taken from their respective families.

The new regime wanted to be watertight. What wasnt


clear then, but is now, is that allegations of child
abuse or paedophilia seem to have been an adopted
tactic indealing with disloyal officers within the police
force
Noirin Osullivan worked as head of operations before
becoming Commissioner. This is not a wet behind the
ears gig. That job entailed being on top of all work
that is being done in the name of the organisation.
OSullivan worked for years as a policer fixer making
the shit that needed to happen happen.
She got the job of Commissioner against the advice of
police whistle-blowers who called for an outsider to
take the position simply because outsiders would be
able to tackle systemic corruption that existed within
the force.
The previous Commissioner had to jump ship that
grey space between pushed/untrusted/resign with
pension following a series of high profile scandals
that including spying on GSOC in Abbey Street,
(GSOC being the nominal oversight body of the police
force) and the illegal recording of phone calls of
arrestees with their solicitors. Pretty fucked up shit.
Days into the jobs she installed her husband into a
role which included and still does oversight of all
evidence of allegations of abuse within the force.
At the time the new regime took power, some
journalists mumbled, Fine Fail and Fine Gael said
nothing and other police whistle-blowers stood aghast
as a new cabal, with a much tighter media team, took
over a force that remained substantially unchanged.
The former head press officer of the cops was, from
his own testimony, ordered by the new Comissioner
and former operations manager, to continue
spreading smears to journalists about Maurice
McCabe and child sex abuse. He makes it clear that it
was part of his job ordered from the top to
discredit Maurice McCabe and fellow whistle-blowers
And its clear after speaking to journalists across print
and TV, the guy is a decent person, briefing and being
honest about good and bad across the force. And
here in lies a more big questions.
How do you tell stories from within a police forces if
you dont access to them?
Everybody know Paul Williams is an extension of the
top police hierarchy. They say. He tells.
Heres the rub. We need whistle-blowing cops. And we
need newsrooms that support journalists to tell the
story. Thats a really centrist, liberal demand. There is
nothing radical in that, except that it is radical in
Ireland
Not all people who are cops and talking to journalists
are propagandists and smearers.
Its clears what we have here a lot of decent human
beings who may or may not be right wing in their
view of the world and signed up to a police force with
the desire to do good being screwed over in the
most horrible of ways.
3 Many journalists working in Ireland have been
long aware of black propaganda being run by An
Garda Siochana. The national broadcaster, RTE, is
listed in the terms of references of the lastes in a
series of unending investigation of police abuses.
This arises from Paul Reynolds being briefed
about an another unreleased report there he
parroted Garda spin slating Maurice McCabe.
The RTE broadcast Primetime that carried the story of
Tusla being used by the police force is also the RTE
that worked hand in glove with police smearing of
Maurice McCabe. The state broadcaster needs to
take responsibility for being promoters of police spin
regardless of the Primetime show.
And this is the rub. People folks like you and me
have already decided that RTE and other national
media platforms are not our friends. But its also true
thay we dont have our own ell resourced institutions of
investigation and research. We dont have major
media space made to interrogate common themes
and common sense.
Newrooms or printrooms. for the most part dont give a
fuck. And that cannot be underestimated in how
abuses of power reproduce themselves.
. Then you put into the mix that the police forces can
organise it so that it looks you might be a pedo. Quite
strong unsavoury forces, even for the most curious of
investigators. So we should genuinely tip our
collective hats to working journalists pursuing this.
But lets go again.
Journalists were contacted by the police and told
about what we now know to be false allegations
against Maurice McCabe. As far as I can find, the only
journalist in the country to repeat those allegations
albeit without naming McCabe is the police
mouthpiece Paul Williams.
The people I spoke to made it very clear that they
didnt report on the briefing against Maurice McCabe
because they sensed it was bullshit. And bullshit there
first heard years ago, But let me be really clear. Lots
of people working a journalists have known the police
force was spinning this shit for years.
For. Years.
So the fact we mostly heard about it today? Well that
means that lots of people the people who fill
newspapers and make news TV ??? They all have
been keeping their mouths shut
4. Noirin OSullivan took position as head of the
police after a period of turmoil where it was
suggested that the force was spying on GSOC a
nominal oversight body and it was revealed that
the force had for years been illegally recording
conversations between people arrested and their
solicitors.
In that mix of things that the time, in something that
still has not been resolved properly, we found out that
the cops have been using ISMI catchers without any
regulatory oversight. These are tools of mass
surveillance that capture metadata from all of the
thousands of phones in the area at at any particular
time. This was and could be still for all we know
right now active police spying on a general public
without even the suggestion of any democratic
oversight.
5 The evidence before us now suggest that an
officer in An Garda Siochana used their own child
to fabricate a smear of child sex abuse against
Maurice McCabe. That is perhaps one of the most
grim sentences a person could write. You need a
pause there dont ya.
A police officer convinced or forced his own kid to be
part of a complaint to Tusla abuse simply so that
officer could attack McCabe.
The rationale? McCabe reported police abuses by this
officer and his complaints were upheld.
So thats some scummy shit. A cop, who internal
complaints were upheld against, sought to take
revenge using his own child. Actually. What. The.
Fuck.???
Whats compounds that is that is the hierarchy of the
police and most of the force and silent journalists
backed that scumbag rather than Maurice McCabe.
You dont get more more authoritarian than that. You
can laugh or feel scared about Trump. But our own
police force leaders? They are out of control.
And the real gig is how do we as people push
back against that.
Fintan O'Toole: The smearing
of Maurice McCabe is either
appalling or chilling
The explanation for the false file on Garda whistleblower
Maurice McCabe defies belief
about 10 hours ago Updated: about 3 hours ago

Fintan O'Toole
Sgt Maurice McCabe: The unavoidable question is whether there was collusion to
smear McCabe between some person or persons in the Garda and some person
or persons at Tusla. Photograph: Cyril Byrne
There are two ways of looking at what we know about the
smearing of Maurice McCabe: a benign scenario and a
malign scenario. The benign interpretation is appalling.
The malign interpretation is chilling.
In one case, we are dealing with a cock-up of frightening
proportions. In the other, we are dealing with a conspiracy
that threatens the fundamental rights of every citizen of the
State.
At best, we have a child protection system whose integrity
has been undermined by astonishing incompetence.
At worst, we have a situation in which the two State
agencies with the greatest power to destroy the lives and
reputations of citizens have gone rogue.
Either way, it ought to be clear this is a scandal of immense
gravity and import. It demands a response far beyond the
setting-up of a commission of inquiry which has no powers
to impose any sanctions on anybody. Nothing less than a
full-scale criminal investigation is required. Our problem is
that, since An Garda Sochna is at the very heart of this
affair, this investigation can be credible only if it is led by
officers from outside the State.
The benign scenario might be summed up in the title of the
childrens horror fiction series A Series of Unfortunate
Events. If it were fictional, however, it would be
unpublishable. It relies on coincidences so extreme as to
strain the credulity of the least-demanding reader.
This benign story yokes together two wildly disparate
elements. The first is Maurice McCabe being a problem for
the State. He is a good cop who becomes a pain in the neck
because he cant just keep his head down and ignore the
laziness, incompetence and fecklessness of some of his
colleagues.
Routine abuse
He sees the routine abuse of the PULSE system and of the
penalty points system which is supposed to save lives by
stopping carnage on the roads.
McCabe becomes a threat, not just because of his
allegations but because his superiors at very high levels in
the force look into them and decide theres nothing there.
Instead of being a set of very serious but essentially local
problems in Cavan, the dismissal of McCabes allegations
now raises questions about the integrity and competence of
some elements of senior Garda management. And that in
turn is a political question it spins outwards into the
Department of Justice, the Minister for Justice and
therefore the Government.
The HSE has said now taken responsibility for the admin
error which falsely accused Maurice McCabe of child sex
abuse.
The HSE has claimed garda and Tsla were notified of the
mistake in 2014 but the allegations were left on McCabe's
file until January 2016.
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/fintan-o-toole-the-smearing-of-
maurice-mccabe-is-either-appalling-or-chilling-1.2971456

Tsla knew McCabe sex claims


were false but kept them on file
for two years, HSE claims
The HSE said it was one of its staff members not Tsla which made the
error relating to the McCabe allegation.
February 11, 17
THE HSE HAS this afternoon issued an apology to Sergeant
Maurice McCabe for thedistress caused over the mishandling
of a sexual abuse allegation wrongly made against him.
In what has become an increasingly complex case, the HSE
said that it undertook an immediate review of internal
procedures once they realised an administrative error had been
made.
The HSE said in July 2013, there was an allegation of
retrospective abuse made against McCabe and that, in line
with process, the HSEs National Counselling Service referred
this allegation to Tsla.
A spokesperson said: The HSE wishes to confirm that there
was an administrative error made by a staff member of the
HSEs National Counselling Service (NCS) in the referral made
at that time. This administrative error was brought to the
attention of the National Counselling Service in May 2014.
Despite the HSE today claiming they contacted Tsla and
garda in 2014, the inaccurate sexual abuse claim remained on
Tslas file until at least January 2016 when a member of its
staff contacted McCabe with a view to interviewing him to
ascertain whether or not he was a threat to children.

The HSE said the National Counselling Service responded


immediately in May 2014 by bringing this error and a
corrected report to the attention of Tsla and an Garda
Sochna. It stressed that the National Counselling Service
would have had no further involvement in this matter once
the corrected report was provided to Tsla and garda.
Additional supervisory procedures were put in place in relation
to the staff member who made the administrative error.
The spokesperson added: The HSE apologises unreservedly to
Mr McCabe and his family for the distress caused on foot of
this error. The HSE is making arrangements to offer this
apology formally to Mr McCabe as soon as possible.
Labour leader Brendan Howlin, who used Dil privilege to
highlight the McCabe case earlier this week, said a criminal
investigation is now needed to address the scandal.
However, Health Minister Simon Harris said on the Saturday
with Claire Byrne show on RTE Radio One that a commission
of investigation has already been set up and that it should be
allowed to do its job.
http://www.thejournal.ie/hse-maurice-mccabe-apology-smear-3234572-
Feb2017/?utm_source=facebook_short
This was not an administrative or a clerical error. It is fatuous to present it
as such. It was character assassination pure and simple.
Garda commissioner should have been sacked a long time ago. If the
government continues to refuse to act on this then they need to be brought
down too.
Just listened to minister Harris on RT if he thinks talking relentlessly in a
low counselling voice will get Government off the hook he can think again.
This government is culpable and will be gone in short time as Michael
gathers his war counsel yet again out manoeuvred by SF seeking a logical
way of keeping Sullivan in her job.
Never voted SF and they be may peoples Trump but when our
establishment parties seek to pervert the our justice system its time for a
change of Trump proportions. Im no radical voter but time has come for
change
I dont trust the Garda Commissioner. I dont have any confidence in her.
She cannot be relied upon not to obstruct all or any inquiry process. I will
have no trust in the inquiry outcome if the commissioner remains in
position.
The cancer needs to be cut out of all official bodies. It needs to be done
now. Suspend everyone involved on full pay and get to the root of this by a
proper criminal investigation . Have hearted measures are not good
enough. Fobbing this off to a feeble inquiry is not good enough
Can anyone post a timeline to when this commission of inquiry was set
up with its full terms of reference.
Fitzgerald claims the first time she was informed of Tulsas role in the Mc
Cabe affair was in last ( Thursday) night media
Yet Zappone has always of the view that Tulsa would form part part of the
investigation by the Commission of inquiry
How and where did Zappone express this view, and to whom? Did
Fitzgerald accept terms of remit for the inquiry without even questioning
why Tulsa was even being mentioned or why they being mentioned with
this view. Did Fitzgerald not question why a juniot minister held this view
or why that Minister was becoming embroiled in the MC Cabe????
These statements are not adding up!

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald has said


there will be a Commission of Investigation
following the publication of the Guerin Report.
The report looked into allegations that serious
crimes were not investigated properly by garda.
It found there is cause for concern as to the
adequacy of the investigations into complaints
by Sergeant Maurice McCabe and also for the
personal and professional consequences for the
whistleblower.
Ms Fitzgerald said the Government is taking
steps to remedy what she said are systemic
failings uncovered in the report.
Ms Fitzgerald said the Guerin Report is clear that
operational policies and procedures within An
Garda Sochna were inadequate in the cases
examined.
She said this included performance and
professional standards, consistency of approach,
recording and management, and supervision of
individual cases.
Ms Fitzgerald said the report raises fundamental
questions about the treatment and response to
victims of crime, which must be addressed as a
matter of priority.
She welcomed the fact that acting Garda
Commissioner Noirn O'Sullivan had recognised
the need for a sea change in the force and she
would be backing her in any changes she felt
necessary.
The minister said the process of reform was
already under way.
Ms Fitzgerald said she views with the utmost
gravity the concerns raised by Mr Guerin about
procedures for dealing with complaints in the
Department of Justice and she intends to ensure
that the issues raised are dealt with
comprehensively and robustly.

Asked if there might be resignations in her


department, she said if root and branch changes
were needed they would happen.
McCabe 'vindicated' after report's
publication
Sgt McCabe has said he feels vindicated after
the publication of the report.
He said a huge weight has been taken off his
shoulders and that of his family.
Sgt McCabe said he wanted to go on record as
the report has been issued.
He said he had not yet read all of the report, but
he believes that what he has read concurs with
what he has being saying about how his
allegations were handled by garda and the
Department of Justice.
Sgt McCabe also thanked Fianna Fil leader
Michel Martin for handing his dossier to the
Taosieach.
He said he is looking forward to co-operating
with the Commission of Investigation and that
his allegations are investigated.
Sgt McCabe said he can move on from today,
but he also noted that he is still restricted in his
use of the garda PULSE system.
Commissioner O'Sullivan has said garda will
cooperate fully with the Commission of
Investigation.
She said: "The report by Mr Sean Guerin SC is
detailed and extensive.
"I am currently studying it closely in conjunction
with my senior management team to identify
immediate actions that can be taken as part of
our process of change that is currently under
way."
However, there was no reference in her
statement to Sgt McCabe's access to the PULSE
system.
Kenny says terms will be established in
weeks
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said the terms of
reference for the Commission of Investigation
will be finalised in the coming weeks.
Speaking in Co Galway this afternoon, Mr Kenny
said nobody was immune from being brought
before the law on issues of criminality.
He said the recommendations and conclusions in
the report would now be considered by the
Government.
Mr Kenny said the structure and way in which a
Commission of Investigation would operate
would be considered in the coming weeks.
He described the setting up of a commission as
a "deep and far reaching process".
The Taoiseach said it was essential that the way
in which justice was administered was dealt with
as part of any part of garda reform.
Call for comprehensive commission of
investigation
The Guerin inquiry was established to examine
the actions taken by garda, the Department of
Justice, the Minister for Justice and any other
public body on the allegations by Sgt McCabe of
garda misconduct.
The report also states that An Garda Sochna
does not seem to have been able to hold heed
to the voice of a man held in high regard by his
immediate superiors.
It said a comprehensive commission of
investigation needs to be established to
investigate a number of incidents.
Disciplinary proceedings are recommended
against a probationer garda.
The report found the effectiveness of the PULSE
system should be reviewed.
In his conclusions, Mr Guerin said that in An
Garda Sochna "a critical voice is in danger of
being heard as a contrary voice".
"The paradigm of the whistleblower is an
unattractive one ... is seen as someone who is
not on the team," he said.
He said the challenge of "accommodating and
learning from legitimate criticism is always going
to be a difficult one, especially in a disciplined
force".
The report said the complaints made by Sgt
McCabe "all have their origin in what he
perceived to be a failure" of An Garda Sochna
in the Bailieboro district "to apply itself with
discipline and determination to the investigation
and prosecution of crime".
The report said it is beyond its scope to make
any determination of the complaints made by
Sgt McCabe.
However, it said the documents examined "give
cause to share the concern expressed in them".
It said there is cause for concern as to the
adequacy of the investigations that have taken
place into Sgt McCabe's complaints and whether
"all appropriate steps" have been taken.
Mr Guerin said Sgt McCabe co-operated with the
review in an "unfailingly courteous and obliging
manner".
Mr Guerin said he interviewed the sergeant on
four separate occasions, totalling just under 19
hours.
He said Sgt McCabe made himself available
upon request and freely and openly discussed
the matters that were the subject of the review.
He said Sgt McCabe's complaint about his
experience within the An Garda Sochna since
making his complaints calls for examination.
Mr Guerin said this is beyond the scope of his
terms of reference, but said extensive
documentation he has seen, which was given to
then minister for justice Alan Shatter by Sgt
McCabe's solicitors in September 2012,
expresses Sgt McCabe's concerns and needs to
be examined.
The report notes no malice on the part of Sgt
McCabe in the making of his various complaints,
as noted in the Byrne-McGinn report.
Mr Guerin said the time he has spent with Sgt
McCabe leads him to "no different conclusion".
He said it would be better to get the testimony
of the men and women who worked with Sgt
McCabe in the years before he made the
complaints.
The report concluded that Mr Shatter did not
heed the voice of Sgt McCabe despite the high
esteem in which he was held.
Mr Guerin said that was despite the minister
having specific statutory powers in the area of
complaints from members.
Mr Guerin said there was a "near total absence"
in the papers he had examined of written
records of submissions made, or advice given, to
the minister by his officials.
He said he had seen no written internal records
of decisions made by the minister.
Mr Guerin said the approach adopted "had the
result that there was no independent
investigation" of Sgt McCabe's complaints.
He concluded that the absence of written
records was a "matter of some concern", saying
it appeared that the minister had acted "on foot
of advice received by the commissioner",
without that advice being questioned or
analysed.
Guerin regrets lack of documentation from
GSOC
Mr Guerin has said it was unfortunate that he
received no documentation from the Garda
Sochna Ombudsman Commission.
In his introductory comments to the report, Mr
Guerin said that Simon O'Brien from GSOC wrote
to him on 13 March to indicate that the
gathering of the relevant material was under
way as a priority.
However, on 23 April, Mr Guerin received a letter
from solicitors on behalf of GSOC raising
"various preliminary legal and practical issues"
that he said might usefully have been raised at
an earlier stage.
Mr Guerin said he does not understand why the
obstacles to seeing them were first identified to
him in correspondence delivered shortly before
close of business on the eve of the date upon
which the report was due.
He said the lack of documents from GSOC has
been an obstacle to any assessment as part of
the review of the adequacy of the investigations
conducted by GSOC.
He did say however, that it did not interfere with
the other work of the review.
GSOC said this evening that it had gathered a
good deal of documentation for the Guerin
review, but felt it necessary to seek assurances
about its use.
It said it was regrettable the review did not see
its files.
"While we were aware of the tight timescale, we
were not aware of an exact fixed deadline date,"
GSOC said.
GSOC said a complainant referred to in the
report currently has a case open with the
organisation.
It said that case was subject to an investigation
and a judicial review.
GSOC said it had wished to discuss this issue
with Mr Guerin before his report was published.
Concern over Bailieboro Garda Station
The report makes a list of suggestions for
matters relating to Bailieboro Garda Station that
should be considered and examined under the
terms of reference of a commission of
investigation.
It calls firstly for an examination into "the
general conduct of policing at Bailieboro Garda
District in 2007/2008".
It also recommends an examination of:
- the management and operational structure and
resource allocation for Bailieboro garda district
to include:
- the number of probationary garda assigned to
Bailieboro district at the relevant times
- the number and experience of sergeants
available to supervise and monitor the
probationary garda
- the significance - if any - of the absence of an
inspector permanently allocated to Bailieboro
Garda Station
- the stability, continuity and experience
available at district officer level in Bailieboro
district at the relevant times
- the arrangements in operation for the
supervision and monitoring of probationary
garda in relation to their operational - and
specifically investigative duties
It also calls for the standard of accommodation
at Bailieboro Garda Station and its possible
impact on the policing function to be considered.
Martin calls for discrete inquiry
Mr Martin this afternoon said the Guerin Report
recommendation that a Commission of
Investigation be held into the issues raised by
Sgt McCabe must be honoured.
Speaking on RT's News at One, Mr Martin said a
discrete inquiry into these specific areas would
be the correct course of action.
He said a long, unwieldy inquiry could result if
the terms of investigation were broadened.
Mr Martin said the report was a vindication of
Sgt McCabe.
He said the lesson to be learned was that no
matter how difficult and inconvenient it may be
for people in authority, they must listen.
Sinn Fin's justice spokesperson called on the
Government and the acting Garda Commissioner
to immediately restore full rights to Sgt McCabe.
Pdraig Mac Lochlainn told RT's News at One
Sgt McCabe still did not have access to the
PULSE system and he was the subject of ongoing
harassment and bullying.
Mr Mac Lochlainn said he asked Sgt McCabe if
any senior garda officer had sought to help him
and protect him from harassment and Sgt
McCabe had answered "no".
Mr Mac Lochlainn said the Guerin Report was a
vindication of Sgt McCabe.
Sinn Fin leader Gerry Adams said the behaviour
of garda management outlined in the report
constituted a betrayal of the brave men and
women of the force. He called for reform of the
justice system.
Independent TD Clare Daly said there was a
need for a reconstituted garda force, where it
was unlikely there would be a place for many of
the current senior management.
Wilson calls for transparency
Garda whistleblower John Wilson has said the
Guerin Report highlights the need for a new era
of transparency and accountability in An Garda
Sochna.
He said the vast majority of garda are decent
hard-working individuals who carry out their
duty in the most difficult and dangerous
circumstances.
He said the Government owes it to them that
confidence be restored.
The retired garda said that Sgt McCabe is an
honourable police officer who is still being
denied access to the PULSE computer system
and is still being victimised and harassed.
He also said the interim Garda Commissioner
should "lift the phone and talk to him".
Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar has said Alan
Shatter took responsibility for the mistakes of
many people when he resigned.
Mr Varadkar said he did not think for one second
that Mr Shatter "was the bad guy in all of this".
He said it seemed the trust he had placed in
garda management and GSOC, to carry out
investigations, seemed to have been misplaced.
Speaking at the sod turning for the Gort-Tuam
motorway in Co Galway this afternoon, Mr
Varadkar said the Guerin Report created a
number of big questions for the Government.
He said a lot needed to be done to restore public
confidence in the justice system.

GRA says commission of inquiry will shed


light on allegations of garda misconduct
Maurice McCabe - allegations of
17/09/2014
A senior member of the Garda Representative
Association (GRA) says he will not "speculate" on
whether Maurice McCabe was right to bring allegations
of garda misconduct into the public domain.
The whistleblower's actions were vindicated in the
findings of a report by senior counsel Sen Guerin
published last May.
However the GRA is objecting to the delay in setting up a
commission of inquiry, which the Government promised
after the publication of the Guerin report
Cavan-based garda James Morrisroe, a member of the
GRA executive committee, says the inquiry would bring
more information to light.
"His (Guerin's) recommendations are that a commission
of inquiry be set up to look into the allegations - and let's
be clear about this: they're only allegations at the
minute, they're not facts," Gda Morrisroe said.
When asked if he thought Maurice McCabe was right to
put these allegations in the public domain, he replied:
"Well that's for the commission of inquiry to sort out - it's
not for me to speculate on that".
http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/gra-says-commission-of-inquiry-
will-shed-light-on-allegations-of-garda-misconduct-642264.html
Sgt McCabe in favour
of external criminal
investigation
Updated / Saturday, 11 Feb 2017

Sgt Maurice McCabe wants a broader investigation


This is the actual article body
Labour Party Leader Brendan Howlin has said
Sergeant Maurice McCabe is in favour of an external
criminal investigation into his treatment.
Speaking on RT's Saturday with Claire Byrne, Mr
Howlin said he spoke with Sgt McCabe this morning
and that he said he is "of the view that something much
broader" is needed.
A Commission of Investigation is to examine whether
there was a smear campaign against Sgt McCabe
orchestrated by senior garda.
The HSE this afternoon apologised unreservedly to
Sgt McCabe and his family for the distress caused after
a counsellor from the HSE's National Counselling
Service sent a file in August 2013 containing false
allegations of sexual abuse against Sgt McCabe
to Child Protection Services, now Tusla.
In the statement, the HSE said it is satisfied that correct
procedure was followed once this error was brought to
the attention of its National Counselling Service in May
2014.
Read: HSE statement in full
https://static.rasset.ie/documents/news/hse-statement-
in-relation-to-garda-mccabe.pdf

"An immediate internal review of guidelines, practices


and protocols was undertaken within the National
Counselling Service to ensure that such an error would
not reoccur. Appropriate training was also undertaken,"
the statement read.
The HSE also said it was making arrangements to offer
its apology formally to Sgt McCabe as soon as
possible.
Questions were asked yesterday about how much the
Cabinet knew about the false allegation against Sgt
McCabe after it emerged he met Minister for Children
Katherine Zappone ahead of the publication of the
terms of reference for the Commission of Investigation.
Mr Howlin said an external inquiry would entail an
investigation headed by police officers from a force
outside of Ireland, Mr Howlin said.
This would require emergency legislation, he added.
The Labour leader also said Sgt McCabe was
"wounded" by everything that has happened.

Sinn Fin calls for Fianna Fail to withdraw support


for Govt
Sinn Fin has called on Fianna Fil to withdraw its
support for the Government over its handling of the Sgt
McCabe controversy.
Sinn Fin President Gerry Adams said his party will
shortly decide it if would table a no confidence motion
in the Government next week.
He said the Government was stumbling from crisis to
crisis and "taking the public for fools" in the Sgt
McCabe controversy.
"The Taoiseach should do the right thing - the people
deserve an election," Mr Adams told reporters in west
Belfast.
"The Fianna Fil leader should do the right thing and
withdraw his support from this Government."
Mr Adams said: "It's very, very clear that this Fine Gael-
led Government is a Government without any authority.
"It stumbles from crisis to crisis to crisis.
"People are scandalised by the way the Government is
taking the public for fools in relation to the whole
policing Garda McCabe controversy."

Zappone did not brief


Cabinet on
'confidential
information'
Updated / Friday, 10 Feb 2017

A spokesperson for Minister Katherine Zappone said that she had


informed "relevant Government colleagues" of the circumstances of
the case involving Sgt McCabe and Tusla
This is the actual article body
A spokesperson for the Minister for Children has said it
would have been "highly inappropriate" for Katherine
Zappone "to brief the Cabinet on confidential, highly
sensitive and personal information which one could
reasonably assume was the subject of a protected
disclosure".
Questions arose today over how much the Cabinet
knew about a false allegation of sexual abuse against
garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe after it
emerged that he met Minister Zappone ahead of the
publication of the terms of reference for the Charleton
Commission of Investigation.
The Commission of Investigation under Mr Justice
Peter Charleton will investigate claims made by the
former head of the Garda Press Office Superintendent
Dave Taylor that he was told to brief the media that
claims made by Sgt McCabe were motivated by malice
and revenge and had no substance.
It will now also investigate any links between Garda
Commissioner Nirn O'Sullivan and former
commissioner Martin Callinan about an alleged smear
campaign against Sgt McCabe.
A spokesperson for Minister Zappone today said that
she had informed "relevant Government colleagues" of
the circumstances of the case involving Sgt McCabe
and Tusla since she first heard about it last month. But
the spokesperson for Ms Zappone said she will not be
commenting further on who she informed.
This evening in a statement, Tnaiste and Minister for
Justice Frances Fitzgerald said that Ms Zappone
informed her "in January that she intended to meet with
Sgt McCabe. She of course did not inform me about
any details in relation to confidential Tusla records".

A Government spokesperson said Minister Zappone


had told Taoiseach Enda Kenny she was going to meet
Sgt McCabe in advance of her meeting with the
whistleblower.
The spokesperson said the minister did not state the
contents of the meeting. He added it was the
understanding of the minister that there would be
ongoing contact and the talks were not finished.
A spokesperson for Ms Zappone said the minister was
always of the view that Tusla would form part of the
investigation by the Commission of Investigation.
The spokesperson added that Ms Zappone became
aware of the circumstances when Sgt McCabe's wife,
Lorraine, contacted the office of the Minister for Health
on 18 January 2017.

Ms Fitzgerald, who yesterday agreed to broaden the


terms of reference for the commission of
investigation, said she is proceeding to finalise the
terms, while the Government spokesperson reiterated
that Tusla will be included in the terms of reference.
Minister for Health Simon Harris said that he had no
knowledge that Mrs McCabe had contacted the
department and no meeting was requested.
Speaking on RT's News At One, he said he did not
know who was briefed by Minister Zappone.
Mr Harris called on Tusla to answer questions "very
quickly", saying answers needed to be found and Tusla
could and should put more information into the public
domain.
Sgt McCabe's solicitor has said he would have thought
that Minister Zappone's meeting with his client last
month would have been part of the Cabinet discussion
on the establishment of the commission.
But Sen Costello said he had every confidence in Mr
Justice Charleton and had no doubt he would exercise
every power given to him.
Tusla's apology delivered to McCabe's neighbour
Fianna Fil TD John McGuinness has said a criminal
investigation is needed into how the Tusla file on Sgt
McCabe was created and by whom.
Speaking on RT's Six One News, he said there are
many unanswered questions including who knew about
the file, what circle in the garda knew about it and why
Sgt McCabe and his family were put to such pain in
relation to the investigation.

Mr McGuinness said the Tusla information should have


been included in the terms of reference of the Charleton
inquiry "in a very specific way".
He also called for Garda Commissioner Nirn
OSullivan to stand aside to allow a "far more
comprehensive investigation to take place". He will ask
his Fianna Fil colleagues and party leader Michel
Martin to agree with that position, he said.
Mr McGuinness also stated that Tusla's apology to Sgt
McCabe today was delivered to his next door
neighbour, an 80-year-old lady, and it was subsequently
passed on to the family.
He said no one accepts this was a copy and paste error
and said there is something seriously wrong in Tusla.
Sinn Fin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald has said
that Ms Fitzgerald's statement is not credible.
In a statement, Ms McDonald said: "It is alarming that
the Tnaiste, having misled the Dil yesterday, should
continue her cycle of evasion this evening.
"Her version of events is not credible. I repeat my call
for the Tnaiste to correct the record of the Dil.
"She should resign if she is not prepared to do so."

Follow

Conor McMorrow

Sinn Fein's has accused Tnaiste of mis-leading Dil Asks


her to make a full statement or else tender resignation
5:40 PM - 10 Feb 2017
 46 46 Retweets54 54 likes
Earlier, Ms McDonald insisted the terms of reference of
the Charleton Commission had to be rewritten to take
account of the Tusla revelations, and she reiterated her
call for Commissioner O'Sullivan to step aside.
Clerical error of 'monumental proportions' - Howlin
Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin has said it
beggared belief that there could have been a
discussion at Cabinet about the issue, without the
information known to Ms Zappone surfacing. He said if
this had happened, the minister had to explain why this
was the case.

Speaking in Galway this morning, Mr Howlin said if the


minister had briefed the Cabinet about what she and
her department knew about the involvement of Tusla,
then the Minister for Justice needed to explain why this
information was not given to the Dil during yesterday's
discussions on the latest Commission of Investigation.
He said it was vital that there was complete clarity on
the issues and that they were fully encompassed by the
investigation.
The Labour leader said if this was a clerical error it was
one of "monumental proportions" and if it was
something more sinister, then that needed to be
established and fully investigated.
Describing the revelations highlighted on RT's Prime
Time last night as "shocking", he said the suffering
endured by Sgt McCabe at the hands of "agents of the
State" was beyond belief.
Mr Howlin also reiterated his call for Commissioner
O'Sullivan to step back from her position while the
investigation was carried out. He said it was proper, in
the interests of the force, that this happened.
He said he was not aware of any of the allegations in
question during his time in government and that he only
became aware of the full detail of the allegations
relating to Sgt McCabe last night.
Sinn Fin leader has called for a
General Election. The last one
was called 1yr and 1 week ago
Tnaiste issues statement this
evening as the political crisis
grows
Martina Devlin: Garda's
integrity on the line after
claims whistleblower was
demonised by his
superiors

Martina Devlin Twitter


EMAIL
PUBLISHED
11/02/2017

1
Whistleblower Garda Sergeant Maurice McCabe arriving for a private
session of the Dil Public Accounts Committee at Leinster House in
2014 Photo: Tom Burke
Remember when An Garda Sochna was a
term used with widespread respect? When
Irish people were proud of their police force
for upholding its end of the bargain between
citizens and law-enforcers with honour?
T
Those days are gone. The respect is vanishing, the trust is
dented. As of this week, garda integrity hangs in the balance.
If senior officers are found to have orchestrated a smear
campaign against whistleblower Maurice McCabe, as
claimed, then the credibility of the force will be
compromised. Only root-and-branch reform to make it fit for
purpose, as happened with the RUC, will restore its
reputation.
Hell hath no fury like a Guard ( of any rank ) with a greivence ! Why are
there no whistleblowers in the Army , Nursing , fire Brigades , Customs ,
Prison Officers , teachers Since the foundation of the State , Guards have
nursed grievances real or perceived , about promotions , being disciplined,
being transferred and many other 'perceived 'wrongs' . Guards don't
suddenly get a conscience about 'wrongdoing ' unless it's triggered by
something that manifests itself in the form of being treated wrongly or
unfairly in that persons eyes. There is a syndrome in the Guards which
presents itself as 'if I m wronged and 'going down ' I ll bring everyone else
down with me . While 'whistleblowing ' is a noble thought or concept in
theory , the 'whistleblower ' must be , like Caesar's wife , above reproach .
The media must therefore examine if the whistleblower to paraphrase a
well known politician 'was doing the State some service 'because it was the
noble and correct thing to do or is it motivated by 'Guard with a grievence '
syndrome
Respect for the Guards like everybody else must be earned, never shown.
They lost that respect when they held the country to ransom by
threatening to strike. And threatening peaceful water protesters on their
human basic rights and democracy,
They put themselves ahead of nurses who despite having a University
degree work harder and earn less.
The garda today are getting away with bullying, beaten up homeless,
illegal guarding evictions with sheriff which was never any gardas job
under article 40 of our constitution no Garda interference,
They demanded more than anybody else at a time when the country is still
borrowing to pay the for the day to day running the country.
Debt that will be repaid by by taxpayers there children and grand children.
At a time when the health service is in a state of crises.
The garda some are corrupt greedy selfish scum that dont respect the irish
tax payers who pay there wages, not the government us the irish people the
disrespect and beat up and throw them about because they are protesting
peacefully, but when the garda want to illegally protest considering we are
legally allowed to protest, but when the Garda protest and they are
breaking the law,
Two laws one for breaking and one for not dont make these two laws right
They may say that their work puts them in danger, but they knew that
when they signed up.
Remember when An Garda Sochna was a term used with widespread
respect?"
That was before successive governments took them off the streets and
turned them in to their private police force and roadside revenue
collectors.
It's ironic that this has now become a national scandal. Fair play to the
whistleblowers.
The one thing not mentioned in this whole shameful episode is the silence
of the Assoc of Gda Sgts and Inspectors a group who are not media shy
when it comes to appearing on national television seeking pay rises yet
here is a fellow Gda Sgt and comrades comrade being put through the
wringer - their silence is deafening.
http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/martina-devlin/martina-
devlin-gardas-integrity-on-the-line-after-claims-whistleblower-was-
demonised-by-his-superiors-35441684.html

Guerin Report on Garda Handling Of


Sergeant Maurice McCabes
Allegations
May 10, 2014
If you thought Sergeant Maurice McCabes
whistle-blowing was all about getting penalty
points looked after, think again. This is about
murders, beatings, sex assaults and other
investigations, all botched or worse by
the Gardai. Its about a man of principle,
victimised by the organisation he works for
simply because he told the truth.
The Guerin report systematically forges its
way through a series of complaints raised by
McCabe, and finds every one of them credible
enough to warrant a formal inquiry. These are
the same complaints that former
Commissioner Martin Callinan found, as he
put it, frankly disgusting.
Chapter by chapter, Guerin sketches out a
series of pictures ranging from horror to farce.
* A young woman dead because her killer was
freed on bail when Gardai failed to provide a
court with vital information.
* An Assistant Commissioner wrestling with
McCabe in a hotel lounge for possession of a
box of documents.
A Garda approaching the victim of an assault
and negotiating payment of compensation
instead of prosecuting the culprits.
Gardai unable to obtain video of an attack in
a pub even though it had been shown on
CCTV to a large audience.
Gardai losing a priests computer after seizing
it for technical examination on suspicion of
child pornography. Following complaints by
McCabe aganist a senior officer, he himself
was later subjected to disciplinary procedures,
even though he had nothing to do with the
case.
Professionals in a Monaghan town reluctant to
cooperate with any investigation for fear of
retaliation.
Gardai advising victims of crime to withdraw
complaints.
Garda falsifying entries in the operational
database to cover up malpractice.
Assault, false imprisonment, death threats,
intimidation. It goes on and on.
Finally, we have the unedifying spectacle of
the Garda Commissioner being invited by the
Minister to investigate complaints against
himself and giving himself a clean bill of
health. It was Alan Shatters casual
acceptance of Callinans hubris-filled reply,
combined with his own failure to
understand his legal obligations that finally
made it impossible for him to stay in the job.
Few people emerge well from this review,
apart from Maurice McCabe himself. Guerin
makes it clear that McCabe is a policeman of
the highest integrity who genuinely believes in
his role on behalf of the community.
An Garda Sochna comes across as an
antiquated, hidebound relic, with attitudes
rooted in 1920s Ireland, and rigid managerial
structures that mask an almost complete
absence of real discipline. In Guerins
words, discipline is not merely the absence of
insubordination and in this 336-page
document, he shows us a force without
direction, without vision but also without fear
of consequences. We see unprofessional
local Gardai misusing their positions to
intimidate anyone who might criticise them.
We see a hierarchy utterly blind to any
suggestion of wrongdoing, in the habit of
setting up sham investigations and completely
resistant to what it sees as interference.
What we see in this report is a deeply
dysfunctional police force, barely tolerant of
the government and the public it serves. We
see an organisation with a rigidly top-down
structure, impervious to change, suspicious of
everyone and aggressively resistant to
criticism. We see bumbling incompetence. We
see a club of people, many of whom regard
membership as a way to do favours for their
friends and to derive personal gain for
themselves.
Despite the outstanding example of Maurice
McCabe, what we do not see is widespread
professionalism, but as we speak, it has just
been announced that Maurice McCabes full
access to the Garda IT system has been
restored, thus confirming that all the attempts
to dismiss him as a troublemaker was only so
much guff and hot air.
Martin Callinan "Disgusting" comment to
Public Accounts Committee
Mar 21, 2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZn_TdjvF-U

The old nonsense wont wash any more. Its


not a problem with Monaghan or Cavan or
Donegal. Its a problem with the nature and
the structure of the organisation, and it needs
a proportionate response. Its about time we
had a complete reform of our national police
service and its about time all the old
dinosaurs were sent out to graze the primeval
forests they came from.
It wont be done without a struggle though. Id
hate to be a source close to Martin Callinans
dog right now.
Leo Varadkar Calls on Callinan to
Retract Disgusting Slur Against
Garda Whistle-Blowers
March 21, 2014

I bet Leo Varadkar was that annoying toddler


who tried to pull the chin-whiskers of elderly
aunties, but its hard not to like his bull-in-a-
china-shop indifference to other peoples
sensitivities. When he came straight out and
called Martin Callinan on his bullshit, Varadkar
was only saying what everyone else in the
country thinks. Come off it, Martin.

Who believes Callinan when he says that his


disgusting comment was about inappropriate
access to confidential information?
I dont.
Trying to justify his comments, this is what
Martin Callinan said:
I want to clarify that my use of that term was
not in reference to the character of either Sgt
McCabe or former Garda Wilson, but the
manner in which personal and sensitive data
was inappropriately appearing in the public
domain without regard to due process and fair
procedures.
What I heard when the Garda Commissioner
addressed the Public Accounts Committee
was something quite different. I heard him
saying that, of thirteen thousand Gardai, only
two whistle-blowers were making allegations
of corruption and malpractice, and he found it
disgusting.
Dont take my word for it. Judge for yourself
what you think Martin Callinan said.
Martin Callinan "Disgusting" comment to
Public Accounts Committee
Mar 21, 2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZn_TdjvF-U

Here is the head of our national police force


which, unfortunately, is also the national
security agency, attempting to rubbish
suggestions of malpractice in his force. This
is the same police chief who dismissed out of
hand the critical findings of a High Court
judge, Peter Smithwick, with a bland
soundbite: this is not the force I lead.
Callinans pugnacious defence of the force he
leads might have been laudable in an earlier
era, but not today, and especially not in the
wake of a report from another High Court
judge, Fred Morris, who absolutely excoriated
the force for its systemic corruption. After
seven years, no action has been taken on foot
of the Morris Tribunals findings.
Of course, this has always been a society
based on the nod and the wink, and whether
Martin Callinan would acknowledge it or not,
he is as much a product of our nod-and-wink
culture as anyone else. Who hasnt been
friendly with a Garda willing to get a summons
squared or a ticket fixed? Well, the answer is
that plenty of people arent in that fortunate
position, but theyd be the people who dont
matter anyway. The poor, the unimportant,
the weakest.
For the rest of society, as often as not, it has
always been possible to get minor charges
fixed, depending on your relationship with the
right people in our police force who,
incidentally, need not be at a senior level. In a
monastic organisation such as an Garda
Sochna, everyone is equal. Templemore
stays in the blood long after youve hopped on
the last train out of it.
Its ironic that Sergeant Maurice McCabes
access to the PULSE system is strictly limited
given the fact that other more junior Gardai
routinely plug their USB sticks into it and
download information that can, at best, be
described as gossip about unconvicted
citizens. Its doubly ironic, in an age of viruses
and trojans, that those Gardais laptops could
easily be used by their children to access the
web, to interact on Facebook, Twitter,
Snapchat or a dozen less reputable networks
and therefore that confidential PULSE data is
vulnerable to hacking by anyone wishing to
read it.
Some IT technicians have suggested that the
simplest way to access the PULSE system is
to turn up at a Garda station with an
aluminium case, catch the eye of the Garda at
the desk and point to the door. I believe them.
Thats how Ireland works, unfortunately, and
yet a decent Garda is only permitted to access
the system under strict supervision, because
he tried to expose corruption.
Its good that Leo Varadkar rejected the
disgusting slur on two honourable policemen,
and called on the Garda commissioner to
retract it. Its good that Joan Burton agreed
with him. Its good that Pat Rabbitte, however
equivocally, supported the call to vindicate the
whistleblowers. Its also good that Willie
ODea, of all people, called on the
commissioner to stop digging when hes in a
hole.
This is Ireland, however, and thats why I have
no confidence that Callinan will do anything
other than reinforce his bunker.
In this land, we dont retract and we dont
resign, even when weve lost the confidence
of half the cabinet and all of the people.
Martin Callinan Decommissions
Himself
Posted by Bock on March 25, 2014
I dont know why it comes as such a shock to
everyone that Martin Callinan has resigned as
Garda Commissioner. His goose was cooked
from the second he uttered the word
disgusting to the Dil Public Accounts
Committee, and his feeble efforts to clarify
what he said only made matters worse.
Besides that, his casual dismissal of the
Smithwick inquirys findings marked him as a
man who valued blind loyalty to the Force
above all else.
As if that wasnt enough, his failure to
cooperate fully with the Garda Ombudsmans
office and his blind rejection of the possibility
that gardai might have been involved in the
GSOC bugging betrayed his origins as a
dyed-in-the-wool Templemore Guard.
Martin Callinan, like all Commissioners,
comes from deep within the Garda culture, an
organisation that displays many
characteristics of a secret society within a
society. He started at the age of 19, spent a
little while being indoctrinated in the monastic
environment of the garda training college, and
then went on the beat before working his way
up through the ranks, as did all his
predecessors. As did his deputy. As did the
Assistant Commissioners. As did, in fact,
everyone from sergeant up.

Things have changed a little in recent years,


with graduate recruitment, but its still too early
for those changes to have a significant impact.
The entire senior structure of an Garda
Sochna is drawn from a very narrow and
limited slice of humanity, with its own fixed
beliefs and mythologies. No doubt there are
individuals of exceptional ability among them
I could mention a few names but such
an incestuous promotional structure cant be a
healthy model for any organisation. The only
other similar structures in the country are the
Catholic clergy and organised criminals.
Weve seen time and again how rigid and
inflexible the Garda management mindset is.
By the very nature of the way senior staff are
appointed, the force is inevitably stuck two or
three decades in the past. Its very telling that
no member of an Garda Sochna made it
onto the shortlist for appointment as PSNI
chief constable. They werent up to scratch.
This would be a good time to cast the net
wide in the search for a replacement. Ideally,
the successful candidate wouldnt be two or
three years away from retirement, as most
commissioners have been . With luck, the
new appointee would have a broad and varied
experience of business, policing and
management. Perhaps it wouldnt be too
much to ask for a Commissioner who places a
value on openness, and the ability to
communicate in plain English. And maybe it
would be a good thing to appoint an individual
with a wide and varied range of personal
interests and accomplishments.
The force, through its own inability to cope
with criticism, has left itself open to radical
change. There will be a police oversight
body of some kind. The Ombudsman will
have far greater powers. There will be
accountability. The last thing the guards need
now is an apparatchik with a siege mentality
and an obsession with secrecy, but even more
than that, its the last thing the country needs.
Are you as baffled as I am by all this stuff
about who knew what and when, who first
called and what letters went to what
ministers?
Normally, when I find myself completely
stumped, theres a good reason and yes, I
know what youre going to say: that could be
because Im completely stupid. It could
indeed, or it could be because the whole thing
is bullshit.
Why does it matter what Callinan told Shatter
or what Kenny kept to himself? What
difference does it make when Mire Whelan
knew about the taping of prisoners phone
conversations in police stations? How does it
help if Shatter resigns?
Our national police force, An Garda Sochna,
is shown to be utterly dysfunctional, yet
people are still arguing about personalities, as
if that made the slightest difference. In the
21st century, we struggle with a policing
structure that owes its origins to the early 19th
century, a rigid, authoritarian edifice in which
dissent is discouraged and original thinking
considered subversive.
Is it any wonder that rigid, authoritarian people
would rise to the top of such an organisation?
And yet, An Garda Sochna is only a
microcosm of Ireland as a whole, a product of
our educational system, our social structures
and our national inability to admit we might
ever be mistaken. When the latest OECD
international survey shows that Irish
teenagers are no better than average at
problem-solving, we need to start asking
ourselves what has gone wrong, not only with
our national police force, but with the entire
country.
Unless we can teach our children critical
thinking at a very early age, were doomed to
repeat the cycles of incompetent disaster that
have characterised our new nation. The days
of accepting rigid beliefs and repeating them
by rote are over. The days when we think
theres some shame in being wrong are over.
Successful people rejoice in being wrong
because it makes them stronger the next time,
but here in Ireland, we have a fear drummed
into us, the fear of originality. The fear of
admitting we made a mistake.
The ability to acknowledge mistakes without
recrimination is what has made some
countries and some corporations extremely
powerful. It means that individuals arent
afraid of taking a chance, because nobody will
blame them if they were wrong.
Unless we learn this sort of thinking, we have
no hope. Unless we rebuild institutions like
An Garda Sochna from the ground up, were
condemned to repeat forever Flann OBriens
recurring, prophetic nightmare of The Third
Policeman.
[UPDATE] It now turns out that Callinan
resigned because of revelations that the
Gardai had been trampling on suspects rights
for decades.
Alan Shatter Resigns
May 7, 2014
Alan Shatter isnt the bonniest baby you ever
saw, but hes gone out with the bathwater all
the same in the wake of the hairy baby, Martin
Callinan, and that other melancholy baby,
Oliver J Connolly, the confidential recipient
who confidentially received an elbow in the
ribs from Shatter in the first place.

Im sorry Shatter is gone, though I wont miss


his right-wing economic views or his uncritical
support of Israeli policies. However, I will miss
his progressive approach to social issues, Ill
miss the fact that we no longer have a justice
minister without ties of any sort to the Catholic
church, and Ill miss the fact that he was
preparing to face down the entrenched
monopolies of the legal profession. With
Shatter gone, it will be a tougher job to tackle
the outrageous and inefficient legal practices
that bedevil our country, and it might well be
the end of the initiative to deliver same-sex
marriage. I suspect the Iona Fringe are more
than pleased by todays announcement.
Shatter in office was a very different man from
Shatter in opposition. Condescending,
patronising and supercilious, the Brightest Boy
in the Class made little effort to disguise his
contempt for those of inferior intellect you
and me, in other words. Dont get me wrong
Ive always argued that we need a higher
calibre of intellect in our cabinet ministers than
the sort of apes weve had to endure over the
years, and perhaps thats where the answer to
the Shatter conundrum lies. After all, in
stooping to the sort of shallow political jibe he
used against Mick Wallace, Shatter made
himself no better than the old-style Fine Gael
fools he previously towered over. Likewise, by
letting the mask drop, by being unable to hold
back a little bit of gossip about a
parliamentarian, Shatter exposed the
uncomfortably close relationship a justice
minister in Ireland has with the head of the
police force, thus reminding us that our
democracy isnt quite as secure as some
would have us believe.
Weve always known that An Garda Sochna
is given to unprofessional practices, but the
Wallace case is downright sinister. Heres an
elected representative, Mick Wallace, stopped
at traffic lights, illegally talking on his mobile
phone when two guards pull up beside him.
They dont stop him, question him, caution
him or issue a ticket. Nothing official has
happened and yet, somehow, an account of
the non-incident finds its way to the Garda
Commissioner, who duly passes it on to the
Justice minister. Thats the really worrying bit.
Who considered this apparently innocuous
encounter at a traffic light sufficiently
important to pass it up through the ranks? And
why?
Not too long ago, another elected member of
our parliament, Clare Daly, was arrested on
suspicion of drunk driving. She was
handcuffed, brought to the station and a
sample was taken for testing. The next
morning, Gardai released details of the arrest
to the press. The tests subsequently showed
that Clare Daly did not exceed the blood
alcohol limit.
When the Garda ombudsman commission
reported suspicions that it had been bugged,
Shatter hurried to rubbish the suggestions,
even though the implications of such activity
threatened our democracy at a very profound
level. Likewise, when Garda whistleblowers
John Wilson and Maurice McCabe sought to
expose activities such as fabrication of
evidence or, as we used to call it, framing
innocent people, Shatter and the Garda
Commissioner closed ranks.
Thus it was that Shatter the maverick had
morphed into Shatter, the authoritarian
establishment man.
What a pity. Shatter has courage. Hes sharp,
intelligent, articulate and socially liberal. Even
Luke Ming Flanagan, of all people, lamented
his loss on radio today, but Shatter had to go
when the Guerin Report came out. Even
though we havent been given the opportunity
to read it, the report seems to criticise
his handling of all those things the GSOC
fiasco, the whistleblowers, the penalty points
scandal and his breach of the law by revealing
what he knew of the Mick Wallace non-event.
In his dignified resignation letter, Shatter
complains that Guerin failed to interview him
but otherwise acknowledges his colleagues of
both parties and also the officials he worked
with.
I doubt weve seen the last of this fellow, and
while I cant say that I agree with all, or even
much, of what he stands for as a politician, I
can say this: hes not a gobshite.
In Irish political terms, thats praise indeed.
http://bocktherobber.com.cdn.ie/wordpress/wp-
content/uploads/2014/05/Alan-Shatter-resignation-letter.pdf

Its Time to Reform an Garda


Sochna
February 26, 2014
What is wrong with us? Why cant we just
admit what everyone knows, that there is
something fundamentally wrong with the
Guards?
Talk to any solicitor in any one-horse town
anywhere in Ireland, and theyll tell you that
guards routinely perjure themselves in court.
They all know it, and yet, when one of those
solicitors, by being a faithful political hack,
manages to attain a seat on the District Court
bench, the amnesia kicks in. The newly-
forged District Judge somehow forgets what
he or she has always known when defending
clients: the Guards are dodgy.
They are. Compare them to their PSNI
colleagues north of the border if you want an
instruction in professionalism. The PSNI
stands up straight and calls the world Sir while
an Garda Sochna scratches its arse and
asks the world for All-Ireland tickets.
Who doesnt know that the Guards are
dodgy? Who hasnt encountered some thick
bully intent on losing hearts and minds by
intimidating law-abiding citizens? Who isnt
aware of the hawk system? We all know that
the Guards are dodgy. We all know that they
behave in a manner very similar to organised
crime gangs, including intimidating solicitors
who make the mistake of opposing them.
Enda Kenny knows it, unless he grew up in a
different, parallel-universe Mayo where dodgy
guards dont exist. Of course he knows it, and
if he doesnt, Enda Kenny should not be a
politician.
I wouldnt be so sure that Alan Shatter knows
it, since he has such a privileged cosseted
background, but as a practising solicitor, he
should have at least an inkling of wrongdoing.
Its time for a fundamental reform of the
guards. Its time for a proper policing
authority. Its time to separate the function of
national security and policing. Its time
commissioners were appointed by an
independent authority instead of the
government.
The training of Irish clerics and Irish police has
followed a broadly similar path throughout the
20th century and the early decades of the
21st. So has the management of the two
organisations, and as a consequence, both
organisations have failed to move with the
times, while those at the top are resistant to
criticism and those on the front line showed a
distinct enthusiasm for abusing their power.
Trainee police are fed certain propositions that
they are required to believe and implement, of
which more later, but the comparison doesnt
stop there. The Catholic church was in the
habit of hammering home its message by
keeping the faithful in constant fear and
occasionally by conducting a minor crusade
against some perceived vice or transgression,
however frivolous and unjustified that
campaign might be, and the Gardai do
precisely the same thing. More of that later
too.
Its all about power, not fairness.

Whats more, and while we all agree that the


majority of priests and policemen are decent,
honest people, there is a significant number of
nasty abusive types in their ranks, people
happy to use the power of their uniform for
personal gain or gratification. But just as the
Catholic church had its Ryan and Murphy
rinquiries, so an Garda Sochna had its
Morris Tribunal, and all three reports found
that the rottenness permeated the entire
organisation, though a culture of cover-up and
a reluctance on the part of senior
management to face up to the truth.
But how could bishops or Garda
commissioners face up to a truth that they
themselves had experienced at first hand in
their formative years? The bishops went
through the same seminaries as the abusing
priests, and the senior Garda officers went
through the same training school as their
crooked colleagues. Abusive men managed
to become instructors. Bishops and
commissioners alike served under such men,
and they were required to avert their eyes
even though they knew full well that abuse
was taking place. Nobody wants to be a
Serpico when they have a mortgage to pay
and a family to raise. Or in the case of
priests, a housekeeper you might have
become very fond of. How would the cultureof
silence not become deeply ingrained?
The problem is obvious: single-tier entry. In
most successful organisations, bright, talented
people are recruited straight into positions of
authority, but not in the church and not in the
Gardai, although things have started to
change there. For generations, the Irish
police were all inducted at a young age and all
went through the same formation and
indoctrination process, again rooted in the
1930s and geared towards producing a 1930s
authoritarian plod, even though the times had
moved on. There was no recruitment of
qualified people from outside. No
professional management techniques were
employed in running the force. Front-line
police were engaged in stamping forms at
desks, just as they do today.
I know somebody who worked in IT, and part
of his job was to maintain computer systems
in Garda stations. Even though he had an
official pass, he made a point of not using it.
Instead, hed walk up to the desk, point at the
door and wave his briefcase. They always let
him in without checking his identity.
He got friendly with the Gardai, as always
happens when people work together, and
sometimes theyd ask him to fix their personal
computers. When he took the machines
home, hed find private confidential police files
on Irish citizens, casually downloaded from
the police computer system and stored on the
same laptops that the cops children might
later be using to browse the internet.
Security? None. He found a complete lack
of professionalism in every way, from
slackness in managing the door security to
failure to protect the data.
I suppose part of the reason why cynicism
evolves in any hierarchical organisation,
whether church or police force, is the
knowledge that in order to succeed you must
toe the party line or else become a maverick
and do as you please without getting caught.
Being a maverick might mean that you feel
you have no hope of recognition, or it might
mean that you were always in it for personal
gain, and youre quite happy to remain at the
bottom, taking whatever you can.
But for those who think they can rise through
the ranks, there are certain formulae that must
be repeated, even if they dont believe a word
of it, and so it was for young parish priests as
much as for young sergeants. Admittedly, we
dont have any young parish priests these
days, but all the same, lets extend the
comparison. Back in the 1930s, a new parish
priest might decide to impress the bishop by
stamping out public dancing and other lewd
practices, or he might call to every house and
demand daily attendance at Mass. It was
nonsense. He didnt believe in any of it
himself, but it got him noticed by the bishop,
and even if he didnt get a promotion, at least
hed be safe from undue scrutiny.
Oddly enough, the very same dynamic is at
work today in the Garda Sochna.
I know it sounds like an anachronism from the
1930s, and so it is, but when senior officers
meet up for strategic discussion, someone
always trots out this mantra. Control the pubs
and you control the streets. Anyone who
dares to disagree is shouted down, and I
know this from a very well-placed source
indeed. Its a meaningless clich that might
have had some value 70 years ago but today
makes no sense at all. Nevertheless, every
time some new, recently-shaving lad makes
Sergeant, he feels the need to send his
minions out raiding the pubs to make sure
they obey the closing hours.
Im told that a new lad with peach-fuzz on his
cheeks has won his stripes in our local station
and is trying to stake his claim as top dog on
the streets. How? By trying to intimidate
grown adults. By alienating the very people
whose goodwill our police force needs in an
era far removed from the 1930s, an era when
the police are in real danger. An era when
they need the support of the middle ground.
What are they doing instead? Just like the
priests, by being utterly stupid, theyre losing
the faithful. People will not be bullied.
Unless Sergeant Peach-Fuzz s a total idiot, he
must know that this activity has no value
whatever. Therefore, I can only conclude that
the young lad has made a very cynical
calculation indeed. His career is worth more
than the goodwill of the general population.

Its time our national police force had no


political influence of any kind exerted on it.
Its time for change.
The Smithwick Tribunal Report
December 5, 2013
I expected more from Peter Smithwick than
the report he delivered into accusations of
Garda collusion in the murders of Harry Breen
and Bob Buchanan.
Unfortunately for the families of those men,
were no wiser now than we were twenty
years ago about what happened, since the
learned judge made no findings of fact in his
summation of the Tribunals deliberations. He
hasnt even made a finding that would stand
up to the level of scrutiny required of a civil
court in Ireland and in Britain.
Peter Smithwicks conclusions seem to be
based entirely on his own personal intuition
about what happened on the 20th March,
1989, and those intuitions seem to be based
entirely on intelligence, otherwise known as
supposition, supplied very late in the day by
the British Army who, as we all know, have no
agenda whatsoever.
Dundalk Garda station was under surveillance
by the IRA from another house, and therefore
there is no need to assume the existence of
an informer, as Peter Smithwick has done.
Clearly, the Judge is not familiar with
Occams Razor. As he confirms in his report,
there is no evidence of Garda collusion in the
murder of the RUC men and yet certain
individuals have been vilified and identified as
participants in the operation to kill the two
officers. I think this is wrong.
I also think its wrong that our Justice minister
should be apologising for the crime when
there is no evidence to confirm Garda
involvement, other than the feelings of one
man, Peter Smithwick. You might say hes an
eminent judge, and to that Id reply, which of
them is not eminent? Which of them is not
fallible?
Nevertheless, surprisingly for a senior jurist,
Peter Smithwick has set the evidential bar
extremely low in this case.
For the families, at least they now know the
facts of the murders, largely due to the
evidence supplied on behalf of the IRA,
ironically, but they still dont know how the
plan was formulated, or who transmitted the
precise details of the two officers movements
on the day they died. And theyll never know,
sadly because the IRA will never give up that
information.
There may have been Garda involvement,
and then again there may not, but Peter
Smithwicks report doesnt settle that question
one way or the other since in the end, he
acknowledges that hes not dealing in facts,
but only in feelings, hunches and intuition. In
his report, Smithwick draws attention to the
fact that an Garda Sochna were less than
helpful in his investigations and alludes to
failings in the force, just as his colleague Fred
Morris did seven years ago. At that time,
Morris drew attention to the fundamental
problems afflicting our national police force.
The spirit wearies, he remarked, in a
memorable summing up of his dealings with
them, and here we are again, all this time
later, with the Commissioner dismissing the
findings of yet another judicial inquiry.
Smithwick might not be able to produce
evidence about the Jonesboro murders, but
he knows about his own dealings with the
Guards, and he condemns them in his report
for putting their own good name above
everything else.
What did the Garda Commissioner say? The
force described in this report is not the force I
lead.
This is nonsense. Martin Callinan rose
through the ranks. He knows all about hawks.
He knows all about planting evidence. He
knows all about Guards standing together to
perjure themselves. He knows all about the
culture of an Garda Sochna, which regards
itself as a group separate from Irish society
and which demands deference with the
implicit threat that you might suffer if you dont
provide them with favours.
Im personally aware of lawyers who have
taken cases against this force and who have
later been victimised in a tangential way. As
one lawyer says, They might not do anything
to you personally, but maybe your kids are in
town. Theyll be stopped, theyll be
breathalysed every night.
I knew a Guard years ago who boasted of
placing pornography under a suspects bed in
order to cause conflict between him and his
wife.
In Ireland, we have a combined intelligence
service and police force, which is never a
good thing. Police should deal in facts and
leave the factoids to the spooks who are
trained to know the difference between
supposition, rumour and hard information.
Our police force is gossip-led and this is a
major problem for every Irish citizen,
especially since our police force is so
unprofessional that not a single one of them
made the shortlist in the interviews for PSNI
chief constable.
We need to thank Judge Peter Smithwick for
alerting us, yet again, to the dismal state of
our police force, but Im afraid he didnt throw
a whole lot of light on the brutal murders of
Bob Buchanan and Harry Breen, two ordinary
cops shot down like dogs by people with no
mandate to represent the rest of us.
People otherwise known as thugs.
How much did the Irish taxpayer shell out for a
poorly-proofread report detailing the witness
evidence and a summary setting out what the
good judge felt in his heart of hearts? I dont
know, but I suppose it must have been several
million euros.

The Morris Tribunal and the Wall of


Silence
May 7, 2008

The sixth report of the Morris Tribunal was


published today.
If youve been reading this site for a while, you
might know something about the disgraceful
behaviour of the Gardai in Donegal that led to
the setting up of the tribunal. They framed,
suspects, beat them up in custody,
manufactured evidence, lied to their superiors
and ultimately tried to lie their way out of the
tribunal.
But Mr Justice Fred Morris is a crafty old bird
and he saw through the lies. Ill just give you
a flavour of what he said in his report and you
can read the whole lot on the tribunal web site
if you want to. Have a look at these extracts
in Morriss own words:
* Once again, the Tribunal was faced with
Garda who were determined to hide the truth
of what happened. They made statements to
their superiors which were in many instances
minimalist in their detail and failed to give a
fully truthful account; in a number of instances
the statements were a complete fabrication.
* It was disturbing to find a deep seated
reluctance to concede that a colleague had
acted incorrectly or wrongfully or that the
complaints made by the detainees were true
the wall of silence was maintained.

Unfortunately, this approach extended to and


was encouraged by senior officers in this
investigation and in the overall approach
adopted by An Garda Sochna to external
complaints.

The deficiencies observed by the Tribunal in


the manner in which An Garda Sochna
acted in these matters, by their nature, are not
peculiar to Donegal. Issues of accountability,
tunnel vision, the proper investigation of
offences, the treatment of persons in custody,
and responsible leadership of criminal
investigations, are all issues related to
general policing.

The Tribunal has already referred to the wall


of silence that has been experienced in
dealing with policemen at home and abroad
when they are faced with allegations of
misconduct. This may be viewed with the
other phenomenon of Garda speak which the
Tribunal has encountered over the last
number of years, and an understanding by
Garda that they are expected only to give the
minimum amount of detail in respect of any
controversy in which the Garda are involved.

Garda should give a full and truthful account


in every statement which they make in all
cases whether civil or criminal. It is regrettable
that such a basic proposition in relation to
telling the truth should have to be spelt out in
this way.

False evidence was manipulated by members


of An Garda Sochna in an effort to implicate
suspects whom the Garda believed were
responsible for the Late Richard Barrons
death. Proper methods of investigation were
not employed. Statements were not properly
taken from witnesses.

Lies and negligence led to the arrest of


innocent people and the disruption of their
lives, at a terrible human and social cost for
some of them.

The most obvious forensic manifestation of


this disaster was the procurement from Mr.
Frank McBrearty Junior of a false confession,
which coincided to a large extent with the
incorrect theory upon which the investigation
had proceeded. The statement itself was the
product of a complete and systematic failure
of policing at a number of levels, from the
most senior officers leading the inquiry, to
those conducting the interviews of certain
witnesses and suspects, and a failure to
analyse statements and evidence obtained.

In this jurisdiction, unfortunately, this has not


been a unique occurrence. The Tribunal is
now aware of the case of the Late Dean
Lyons, in which a false confession was also
obtained by members of An Garda Sochna
in the course of a murder investigation. Thus,
in two very serious recent inquiries, two
detainees have yielded false confessions in
respect of crimes of which they were
innocent.
This is only a small sample of the things Mr
Justice Morris has to say about our police
force. He accuses them of dishonesty,
incompetence, and institutionalised abuse of
suspects throughout Ireland. Despite what
the Justice Minister, Brian Lenihan suggested
today, it was not the work of a small number of
policemen in Donegal. This problem is
nationwide, and anyone who takes the trouble
to read Morriss reports will be able to see that
plainly.
At a time when we need it more than ever, our
police force is in deep trouble because of a
lack of professional management,
professional standards and professional
skills. Its a cloistered, monastic cabal that
regards the population at large as the enemy.
Its quite willing to harass the average citizen
for a minor infringement while at the same
time being more than happy to avoid
confrontation with the serious criminals who
threaten the very existence of civil society.
If our police force is such deep trouble, then
we, the citizens are in very serious danger,
and nobody in government seems to have the
imagination to see that and do something
about it. Fred Morris has done a tremendous
job protecting our democracy, and yet Brian
Lenihan cynically tried to bury the report by
releasing it on the same day a new Taoiseach
takes office. This is a disgrace, but its
revealing. This shows you a political mindset
that cant see the danger in having a corrupt
and demoralised police force.
We are in big trouble.
oull remember Mr Justice Frederick Morris,
chairman of the Morris Tribunal, investigating
the Donegal guards. Well, he hasnt gone
away, you know. Yesterday, his reports on
three modules of his investigation were
released and they make interesting reading.
Its worth quoting what he says about our
police force nationwide:
The Tribunal has been staggered by the
amount of indiscipline and insubordination it
has found in the Garda force. There is a
small, but disproportionately influential, core
of mischief-making members who will not
obey orders, who will not follow procedures,
who will not tell the truth and who have no
respect for their officers.
You remember John White, dont you? This is
the sergeant who vehemently denied farting at
a suspect. He accepted that he had
imprisoned two entirely blameless women,
intimidated them, shouted at them, kicked
chairs around the interview room and shown
them post-mortem photos of a dead man. But
he definitely didnt fart at them.
Well, John White, as you may know, was
recently acquitted of planting a sawn-off
shotgun at a tinkers camp so that he could
later find it and arrest some people. The
State failed to meet the criminal burden of
proof , which is proof beyond all reasonable
doubt, and so White was let off.
In his reports, Fred Morris said that White did
actually plant the shotgun. Whats this about?
Well, there was a murder in 1998, and White
got a hint from somewhere that the tinkers
were involved. So he decided that the best
way to investigate it would be to plant a
shotgun at the camp, and then arrange a
search party so that he could arrest the
suspects when they found the weapon. Which
is exactly what happened. A search warrant
was issued by Supt Kevin Lennon (of whom
more later), the gun was duly found and the
tinkers arrested. They were held for a while
but never charged.
Lets just quote Morris on the search warrants:
The lies that have been told by Det Sgt White
and Supt Lennon on this aspect make it
impossible for the Tribunal to establish exactly
when they were issued. Charming.
After White was charged with planting the
gun, the Tribunal found that three other
guards formed a conspiracy to corruptly invent
a story as a defence for him. They tried to
frame two guards who had nothing whatever
to do with the matter, in an effort to implicate
them in planting the gun. Morris again: All
three men were determined to make trouble
at every hands turn and to create as much
black mischief through lies as would defeat
any legitimate inquiry for the truth.
Then you have the bomb on the transmitter.
Lets talk about the bomb on the transmitter.
The local people in Ardara had a television
deflector mast that re-broadcast TV signals to
peoples homes at no cost. Then the whole
thing was regulated in such a way that
businessmen could charge you for giving
exactly the same service as you had before
for free, which was a great help to the ordinary
people of Ireland. I believe it might have been
introduced by the well-known crook, Ray
Burke as minister for Communications. There
were protests, understandably. Somebody set
fire to a container-load of equipment
belonging to the new operator of the TV
service, and White was determined to make
arrests. What did he do? Did he take
fingerprints? No. Did he deduce through
inescapable detective logic who the
perpetrator must have been? He did not. Did
he set up surveillance and painstakingly build
a case? Did he fuck. He planted a fake bomb
on the mast, made out of bangers, and then
he arrested three local guys for it.
Right, well what about the silver bullet affair?
Well, we have to go back in time a little,
because I know this could be confusing to a
lot of people. It certainly confuses me. This is
an offshoot of the earlier attempt to set up the
McBrearty family for a murder that never
happened. Briefly, a man called Richie Barron
was knocked down and killed in Raphoe. As a
matter of interest, nobody has ever
determined who was responsible for the hit-
and-run killing, and it remains a mystery to
this day, though if you read through the facts,
you would have to be very dense not to come
to certain conclusions. Morris speculates on
this in his earlier report, and hints heavily in a
certain direction though hes obviously
constrained in saying what he really thinks.
But whatever else you can say on the matter,
the Guards were determined to secure a
conviction for it, and anybody would do, it
seems. Well, almost anybody. They decided to
frame the McBrearty family who owned a pub
and night-club in Raphoe, and falsely arrested
a large number of people as well as
fabricating evidence.
After the Guards failed to pin anything on the
McBreartys concerning the death of Richie
Barron, they launched a campaign of
harassment against them that involved
stopping them on the road, objecting to their
pub licences and using agents provocateurs,
including the dimwit, Bernard Conlon. Let me
give you a little background on Bernard
Conlon. This guy, it would be safe to say, is as
thick as a fucking plank. He has convictions
for burglary, theft, malicious damage,
indecency, malicious damage and cattle-
maiming. Cattle maiming? Whats that? Does
Bernard say to his mother, Im away out now
and damage a few cattle there, aye, right
enough, damage a couple of cows and that
there. Seeya later, hey. OK. Whatever it
might be, thats Bernard. Not the sharpest
knife in the drawer. One sandwich short of a
picnic. One pint short of a hangover. One
banana short of a fruit salad. One lunatic short
of an asylum.
So Bernard was encouraged to go into
Frankies as the McBrearty establishment was
known. And he was encouraged to have a few
pints, which I dont imagine was a difficult
task. And he was encouraged by White to
have a drink after hours so that he could be
found on in a raid on the pub, as part of the
harassment campaign.
Now, you might remember Mark McConnell
and Michael Peoples, members of the
extended McBrearty family. These guys had
previously been arrested in connection with
the supposed murder of Richie Barron, and
subjected to harsh treatment by the police,
though they were innocent because there was
no murder.
Bernard Conlon, now living in Sligo, made a
statement to the guards that he had been
approached by two men who threatened him
by showing him a silver-coloured bullet.
Theres one for you and another for White.
He later stated that the two men were Mark
McConnell and Michael Peoples. The Sligo
police investigated and the two men were
picked up for questioning. At the same time,
Sgt White and Sup Lennon, discovered that
Conlon knew the two men by sight and should
have identified them immediately, but didnt
bother to tell the Sligo guards because it
suited them to have the men harassed.
Anyway, they were too busy prosecuting the
McBreartys for licensing breaches and
anything else they could think of. (To me this
is all a bit fishy, but its as far as the Tribunal
can go on the evidence put forward. I dont
think Lennon or White became aware of
anything, and Morris hints at this in his report).
Jesus Christ Almighty. Where are we going
here? What are we talking about?
Well, were talking about our national police
force, of whom Morris has been hugely
critical. He has explicitly stated that the
malaise is not confined to Donegal but is
nationwide and extends throughout the force.
Were talking about an organisation that
guarantees our constitution, and yet which
contains many members who think
themselves above the law. Were talking about
the survival of our country as a democracy.
This is something I quoted in an earlier piece,
from an earlier Morris report. The spirit
wearies at the lies, obfuscations,
concealments and conspiracies to destroy the
truth that would be apparent to any
reasonable person. After these reports, Im
more worried than ever.
The opening quote is worth repeating: The
Tribunal has been staggered by the amount of
indiscipline and insubordination it has found in
the Garda force.
The RUC was closed down for less.
GARDA DENY EVERYTHING

The Morris Tribunal took a further twist today


when Garda Joan Gallagher denied ever
having done anything. Throughout the
questioning, Gda Gallagher addressed the
Tribunal in the Garda Dialect.
I gave my entire fucking life to camogie, you
pathetic piece of fucking slime, insisted Gda
Gallagher. Apart from pucking sliotars, I never
done one other thing in my entire life. I dont
even remember joining the fucking Guards, so
I dont. In fact, I never joined the Guards, and
any bastard who says I did is a liar and a
prick, so they are, right enough. From I was a
wee fucking weeun, all I wanted in my hand
was a camn. Aye. Thats right. Fuckin
right. Aye, surely.
Pressed on this point by counsel for the
Tribunal, Gda Gallagher went on to explain
that apart from playing camogie, she had
literally never done anything at all.
Counsel: Did you go to school?
Gda Gallagher: No! You lying fucking
bastard!
Counsel: Did you ever push a sheep off a
cliff?
Gda Galagher: Certainly not, you miserable
lying fucker!! Well take your children away!
Counsel: As a child, did you play with your
friends?
Gda Gallagher: I played camogie, on my
own. Stand up, you fucker. Do you want a
thick fuckin lip?
Counsel: Did you have a social life?
Boyfriends, perhaps?
Gda Gallagher: I wanted no boyfriend. I had
my camn in my hand and thats all I
needed, you snivelling little prick.
Counsel: But surely, when you applied to join
the Gardai . . .
Gda Gallagher: I deny that, you wanker! I
deny every fucking thing youre suggesting.
That man was drunk and aggressive and he
assaulted eleven gardai on the bus. I saw him
do it and we all swore to it in court Oh, sorry,
you wee arsehole, what was the question
again?
It was another day of dramatic developments
at the Morris Tribunal. In an emotional
statement, Detective Sergeant John White
denied breaking wind in a suspects face.
Read my lips, said Sgt White. I did not fart
at that woman.
The statement followed earlier admissions by
another detective in the Donegal division.
Garda John Dooley confirmed that two
women, Roisin McConnell and Katrina Brolly,
were called lying bitches, one was forced to
pray to her dead father while the other had
her hair pulled as gardai accused Mrs
McConnells husband Mark of murder. Both
women were forced to look at graphic post-
mortem photographs of the dead mans body.
Garda Dooley has given a sworn statement
admitting that he, along with Sgt White and a
female garda, abused the women in custody.
Admitting that he had lied to the Tribunal, Sgt
White said that both women were abused and
mistreated during their time in custody. He
went on to state that they were blameless and
their treatment while in custody was
inexcusable. He said his role was to break the
suspects and that the strident, aggressive
methods he used were similar to those
employed by the Gardai in investigations
everywhere he had worked. For many years
previously, Sgt White was based in Dublin.
However, Sgt White, clearly close to tears,
said in a whisper, I might have done a lot of
bad things in my time, but I didnt fart. After a
pause during which he withdrew behind a
screen to collect himself, an emotional White
revealed to a hushed courtroom that, due to a
troublesome condition, he is unable to fart.
Its not physical, he confided, Its emotional.
When I was younger, I used to fart the whole
time. Morning, noon and night. But not any
more. Its ruining my life and I just dont know
what to do about it.
At this point, Sgt White became visibly upset,
and the Chairman adjourned the Tribunal for
the afternoon. Thanking Sgt White for his
frankness, Mr Justice Morris remarked that if
all men with this problem could speak so
openly about it, perhaps society would show
more understanding towards this distressing
complaint. Perhaps, Mr Morris suggested, Sgt
Whites aggressive, bullying behaviour was
simply an attempt to compensate for his
inability to fart.
In a further development, it has emerged that
Sgt White is shortly to travel to Guantanamo
Bay as part of a special research project into
the use of cabbage in interrogation.
WHO KILLED RICHIE BARRON?
Three questions.
Who was drunk-driving in Raphoe on the night
of the 13th October 1996 ?
Who knocked Richie Barron down, and drove
away?
Why did the guards try so hard to frame the
wrong people for Richie Barrons death?
Answer these questions and youve solved
the whole Morris Tribunal riddle. The answer
seems obvious to me.
THE WORSE GARDA IN EUROPE
Did you ever hear of Frank Shortt?
Probably not, but I wont be long telling you
who he is.
Frank Shortt owned a bar in Donegal, and in
1995 he was convicted of allowing drugs to be
sold on his premises. The bastard, you might
say. Indeed.
In its judgement last Wednesday, the Irish
Supreme Court increased an earlier award to
Frank Shortt for miscarriage of justice from
1.93 million euros to 4.5 million euros.
He was imprisoned, lost his business, his
family and his health and was struck off as an
accountant because Irish policemen lied to
put him in jail. As Mr Justice Hardiman
remarked in his judgement, Frank Shortt was
perjured into prison by the Irish police.
This was one of the most damning
judgements ever handed down by the Irish
Supreme Court and continues a long line of
disastrous investigations into the most inept
and corrupt police force in Europe.
You only have to read the Morris report to see
what these guys are like.
Heres Mr Justice Morris, quoted in an earlier
post:
The Tribunal has been staggered by the
amount of indiscipline and insubordination it
has found in the Garda force. There is a
small, but disproportionately influential, core
of mischief-making members who will not
obey orders, who will not follow procedures,
who will not tell the truth and who have no
respect for their officers.
These are the people we pay to stand
between us and the criminals. Maybe we
should reconsider. Maybe we need to pay
criminals to stand between us and the
Guards. Maybe there isnt any difference.
CORRUPT GARDA, POLICE AND
THIEVING EVIL GREEDY FUCKS,
DISHONEST
I see that the membership of an Garda
Siochana are upset at the prospect of our
having a police reserve. They dont think its a
good thing to have amateurs carrying out a
policing role, and, instead, they want more
trained Guards on the streets to fight crime.
All well and good, but heres a curious
paradox for you: even though this is true, the
Gardai are still talking bullshit. To understand
why, you have to analyse carefully the words
in the first paragraph, because certain
unwarranted assumptions are being made
there. Dangerous assumptions, based on
complacency and mental laziness, not to
mention dishonesty.
Firstly, as far as using amateurs in a policing
role goes, wheres the evidence that we have
anything but rank amateurs at the moment?
This is a force which is capable of setting the
most astonishing priorities for the use of its
supposedly limited resources. Such as? Well,
for instance such as sending four or five police
to break into a house at dawn and arrest a
woman for non-payment of a parking fine! If
you dont believe me, scan recent news
reports about this case. Not only did they drag
the woman from her bed, handcuff her and
force her into a police car, they then crashed
the car and injured their prisoner, who was
duly awarded damages by a court of law.
What??
But, youll say, thats only one isolated case. Is
it? Well, what about the genius strategic
planner who decided it was a good idea to
raid an alcohol-free teenage disco because it
was being held in a hotel bar, even though the
bar counter was locked? Or the hero who
went camping in the Aran Islands, had a few
drinks and later returned to his tent, got into
his uniform and promptly raided the pub for
serving after hours.
And while were on the subject of formidable
Garda intellects, could somebody throw light
for me on the planning for the Love Ulster
march? Anybody?
Hello Mr Guard. Grand stretch in the evening,
thanks be to God. Grand stretch right enough.
Oh, hello, Mr March-Organiser. I see the
nights are closing in a bit.Thats right. We
wont feel it now till Christmas. No. Look, we
were thinkin of havin a wee bit of a march
there, right enough. Wee march.
Were ya now? Gob, theres great dryin out
today all the same.
Aye. We were thinkin of maybe marchin a
couple of loyalist bands down OConnell
Street there to the GPO, comin up till Easter
time, maybe the day of a big Celtic match.
And that there.
Right. Right. A kind of march, as such.
Aye. Past that there huge pile of loose bricks.
Do you see any problem with that there?
Loose pile of bricks and all? Marchin bands?
Flutes? Sash? Celtic? And that there. Right
enough?
Oh God no. Therell be no problem with that.
Not at all. Thatll be grand. Seeya on the day,
so. Grand. Fine. Isnt there a grand stretch in
the evening, thank God, all the same?
Yes indeed. All isolated cases.
Im beginning to feel weary.
I was in a quiet pub not too long ago, just on
closing time on a Tuesday night, when two
Guards walked in, ordered everybody out and
waited in the street until the place was empty.
That was their priority at 11:30 on a Tuesday
night in Limerick. To clear six or seven people
from a pub where there has never been the
slightest trouble. And furthermore to wait in
the street until all the desperate miscreants
had vacated the establishment. Now, this
might seem like a trivial matter, and thats
exactly what it is. A small, ridiculous incident.
However, I think it illustrates perfectly the
hollowness of all this talk about Garda
resources. Trained, highly-paid police are
using their time in such petty pursuits. It points
towards a total absence of any sense of
perspective, an inability to manage resources
in any meaningful sense, an inability to
prioritise and an almost complete lack of
management in any modern sense. Another
isolated case.
Im sure everybody has their own isolated
cases they could tell you about, and ultimately
every example is an isolated case, but so is
every arbitrary arrest, every unfounded
prosecution and every instance of perjury.
Perjury? Jesus Christ, now hes calling the
Guards liars!
OK. Dont listen to me, then. Instead have a
look at these quotes:
* the spirit wearies at the lies, obfuscations,
concealments and conspiracies to destroy the
truth that would be apparent to any
reasonable person
* This entire matter could have been ended
within months had there not been a
determined effort to conceal the truth in favour
of a twisted version of reality
This process of investigation has been
delayed by contempt for the truth.
Some Garda witnesses told lies or simply
refused to answer on the basis of a warped
interpretation of the right to silence.
When an obligation to answer was in place,
lies replaced silence. The extent of this was
both astonishing and wearisome. It has
wasted time and money in abundance.
Who do you think wrote these things? Was it
some rabid kaftan-weaving peace-marching
Ego Worrier, such as my good self? No. It was
not. The author of these remarks was, in fact,
Mr Justice Frederick Morris, President of the
High Court, and he expressed these views in
May 2005, in his report on the Donegal Garda
division. Less than a year ago.
Dont get me wrong. I think we need a strong
professional police force. I just dont think we
have one. Instead of a police force, it seems
to me that we have a clan, a tribe, which
regards the rest of society with suspicion and
approaches people sometimes with
undisguised aggression. Who hasnt been on
the receiving end of boorish, disrespectful
behaviour by some Guard on a power trip?
Annoying though such an experience can be,
Im afraid this has a more worrying
consequence. Any force such as our own
must police by consent, and unfortunately it
seems that many members of the force are
busily eroding the support of the very law-
abiding people they need on their side.
It seems to me that the root of this problem
lies in the culture of the training regime. Many
guards in a quieter moment will tell you that
they learned in Templemore to see everybody
as a potential criminal. Often overlooked and,
to my mind, very revealing is the terminology
used by our police force in referring to
individual officers. Do you know of another
country where police refer to each other as
members?
GARDA Anti-social Behaviour Orders are
ready to roll. According to todays papers, the
adult version will be available for the new
year, with childrens asbos following in a
couple of months. I see also, however, that
the Guards wont be ready to implement it
because their Fancy-Dan computer system
isnt up to the job.
I refer, of course, to the PULSE system,
introduced about ten years ago to a great
fanfare. The PULSE acronym, you might
already know, is one of those tortured plays
on words beloved of geeky tekkie people:
Police Using Leading Systems Effectively. I
didnt like it when it came out, and I still dont
like it. When they introduced it, I called up the
Commissioner and explained my concerns.
Why dont you use my one instead? I
demanded. Cops Using New Technology
Successfully.
He wouldnt listen to me, the ignorant git, and
thats why theyre stuck now with PULSE.
So anyway, they cant enforce the asbos
because they have no skobe database,
though this doesnt seem such a problem to
me. After all, how much organisation does it
take to round up scumbags and shoot them?
You dont need their names, just a three-item
checklist.
Haircut? Check!
Ear-stud? Check!
Tracksuit? Check!
Good work lads. Just line them fuckers up
there and stand back. Good man.
To my way of thinking, we wouldnt need
asbos if the Yanks would only think again
about whacking Saddam. Dont
misunderstand me now. Im not against his
hanging because I think the death penalty is
repellent. In fact, theres plenty of fuckers out
there who should swing. No, I just think
hanging him is a terrible waste. After all, even
though he is a monster and a mass-murderer
and a tyrant and a despot, hes also very
experienced. Hes a tyrannical, monstrous,
despotic mass-murderer with years of
experience at suppressing opposition. I think
Saddam is the very man we need to sort out
scumbags. Never mind these fuckin asbos.
Just give Saddam a pardon and send him
over here. Well look after him and make him
Minister for Skobes.
THE IRISH PEOPLE ARE LOSING TRUST
IN GARDA POLICE FORCE

Anti-social Behaviour Orders are ready to roll.


According to todays papers, the adult version
will be available for the new year, with
childrens asbos following in a couple of
months. I see also, however, that the Guards
wont be ready to implement it because their
Fancy-Dan computer system isnt up to the
job.
I refer, of course, to the PULSE system,
introduced about ten years ago to a great
fanfare. The PULSE acronym, you might
already know, is one of those tortured plays
on words beloved of geeky tekkie people:
Police Using Leading Systems Effectively. I
didnt like it when it came out, and I still dont
like it. When they introduced it, I called up the
Commissioner and explained my concerns.
Why dont you use my one instead? I
demanded. Cops Using New Technology
Successfully.
He wouldnt listen to me, the ignorant git, and
thats why theyre stuck now with PULSE.
So anyway, they cant enforce the asbos
because they have no skobe database,
though this doesnt seem such a problem to
me. After all, how much organisation does it
take to round up scumbags and shoot them?
You dont need their names, just a three-item
checklist.
Haircut? Check!
Ear-stud? Check!
Tracksuit? Check!
Good work lads. Just line them fuckers up
there and stand back. Good man.
To my way of thinking, we wouldnt need
asbos if the Yanks would only think again
about whacking Saddam. Dont
misunderstand me now. Im not against his
hanging because I think the death penalty is
repellent. In fact, theres plenty of fuckers out
there who should swing. No, I just think
hanging him is a terrible waste. After all, even
though he is a monster and a mass-murderer
and a tyrant and a despot, hes also very
experienced. Hes a tyrannical, monstrous,
despotic mass-murderer with years of
experience at suppressing opposition. I think
Saddam is the very man we need to sort out
scumbags. Never mind these fuckin asbos.
Just give Saddam a pardon and send him
over here. Well look after him and make him
Minister for Skobes.

Fennelly Report, and the Government


are silenced
The Fennelly Commission was set up in the midst of a string
of controversies to dog Enda Kenny, the justice minister, and
the garda and so we have to look at the political context of
everything thats flowed from it,

THE Fennelly Commission of Inquiry was set up in record


time in the white heat of a political controversy on March 24
last year.
Its primary remit was to investigate the systemic recording
of telephone calls at regional Garda stations, a practice that
had come to light as a result of a court case over the
previous few months.
However, the recording issue was just the latest of a string of
controversies that had dogged Enda Kenny, his minister for
justice and the garda on a near weekly basis in the first
quarter of 2014. As such, Fennelly and everything that has
flowed from it, is all about political context.
The controversies had eroded political capital which Mr
Kennys people believed would accrue following the exit of
the troika the previous Christmas. It was against this
background that Fennelly was set up with no preceding
scoping inquiry or even public controversy.
Then, contrary to the usual practice, Fennelly was set up
with no preceding scoping inquiry, or even public
controversy. All of that was enough to raise questions about
the real purpose of Fennelly, but when the resignation of
garda commissioner Martin Callinan was thrown into the
inquiry nearly as an afterthought, the questions began to
multiply.

Martin Callinan
By March of last year, the Government had it up to its ears
with Garda controversies.
Problems with abuse of the penalty points system had first
surface nearly 18 months previously. It wasnt dealt with
properly, and the persistence of the garda whistleblower Sgt
Maurice McCabe ensured that the issue remained in the
public spotlight. In January, he had appeared before the
Public Accounts Committee, a forum he had sought out in
desperation after his efforts to highlight the abuse ran into
the sand elsewhere.
Sgt Maurice McCabe
A week before Sgt McCabes appearance behind closed
doors, Callinan gave evidence. In the course of a long day,
he responded to questions about McCabe and retired garda
John Wilson by suggesting their actions were disgusting.
The remark generated controversy, but Mr Callinan
ultimately appeared to have weathered the storm.
A few weeks later, The Sunday Times published a story that
the Garda Sochna Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) had
investigated a suspected case of the bugging of its office.
Since the business of GSOC was investigating the garda,
suspicion for any such actively immediately fell on elements
within the force.
Then justice minister Alan Shatter reacted by hauling in the
chair of the GSOC Simon OBrien to be carpeted for not
informing the minister that such a probe had taken place. Mr
Shatters primary concern was not whether GSOC had been
bugged, but that he hadnt been informed of any
investigation into the suspected bugging.
The commissioner and Garda associations also condemned
GSOC. The controversy rumbled on until a retired High Court
judge John Cooke was appointed to investigate the whole
affair.
If that wasnt enough to occupy Mr Shatter and Mr Callinan,
Sgt McCabe had more. The turbulent cop met Michel
Martin, at the request of the Fianna Fil leader one Friday
evening in Portlaoise in February.
He furnished Mr Martin with a dossier of at least 10 cases
that highlighted incompetence and cover-up within the force.
The most serious case involved the release on bail of a man
who went on to murder a young woman in 20007. The court
which released him had not been informed that he was
already on bail for a serious assault.
These cases had all been investigated internally in the force,
and Mr Shatter had been informed about them, yet had not
seen it necessary to appoint an outside body to investigate.
Mr Martin informed Mr Kenny of the dossier and brought his
concerns to the floor of the House. Within days, Mr Kenny
decided to appoint a senior counsel to do a scoping exercise
and determine whether a full commission of investigation
was required.
With two probes under way, and the penalty points matter
also parked, it looked as if the Government and the force had
moved past the controversies for the foreseeable. Then
along came the most able of them all, Leo Varadkar to
deliver a major headache to his boss.
At a road safety conference on March 20, Mr Vardakdar in his
capacity as minister for transport, called on Mr Callinan to
withdraw his disgusting remarks. He said the service
rendered by the two men in highlighting abuses had been
distinguished.
Four days previously, the chair of the Road Safety Authority
Gay Byrne had used his Lyric FM programme to call on Mr
Callinan to apologise to the two men, but a government
minister adding his tuppence worth cranked up the pressure
by a rate of knots.
The following day, Mr Kenny was asked about Mr Varadkars
intervention. Id certainly have a preference that if any
minister who has an issue to raise that they raise it at the
Cabinet or raise it when we could have discussions or deal
with them, rather than have them aired in public, he said.
The problem was that Mr Kenny and those around him had
let the matter sit for two months, and had no intention of
saying anything that might generate controversy,
irrespective of how valid the issue might be.
Labour quickly moved to ensure they wouldnt be outflanked
on the right in calling for proper accountability in the force.
Ruairi Quinn, Eamon Glimore, and Joan Burton all rallied to
Leos standard.
As the weekend approached, garda sources made it plain
that Mr Callinan felt he had nothing to apologise for.
That was the background behind what transpired over the
next few days.
On Sunday, March 20, Mr Kenny got word from his attorney
general about the telephone recording issue. In the course of
preparing for a case being taken against the force and the
state by Ian Bailey, the tape recording regime had been
discovered in Bandon garda station.
Further inquiries revealed that this was standard practice.
Potentially, an appalling vista was opening up. What if there
was some privileged material taped? Could this lead to
convicted offenders being released from prison?
One way or the other, another controversy was arriving from
over the horizon for the government. On the Monday
evening, Mr Kenny dispatched the secretary general of the
Department of Justice Brian Purcell to the home of Mr
Callinan. Despite a close working relationship, it was unheard
of for Mr Purcell to visit Mr Callinan at home not to
mention at 11pm with little notice.
Brian Purcell
According to Mr Kenny, Mr Purcell was to convey the
Cabinets concern about the issue that was emerging.
Crucially, whatever about his handling of the other
controversies, there was precious little blame that could be
attributable to Mr Callinan for what was emerging about the
taping in stations.
The following morning, Mr Callinan resigned. Later that day,
Mr Shatter announced that a commission of investigation
was being established into the recording in stations. There
was no scoping inquiry, nothing to examine whether this was
a serious issue of a ball of smoke.
With Mr Callinan now gone, and a commission set up to
investigate the latest scandal, the political heat could be
taken out of garda matters.
Except, the manner of Mr Callinans departure opened up a
new controversy. Was he sacked? If so, the Taoiseach had
acted outside his powers. A commissioner can only be
removed on foot of a cabinet decision.
Michel Martin got stuck into Mr Kenny in the Dil. You
essentially sacked him. You sent a senior civil servant out to
the commissioner the day before the cabinet meeting, he
said.
Michel Martin
Mr Kenny denied any such allegation and again claimed
after the publication of the report yesterday that he had
been vindicated.
In the end, the Government decided to shovel Mr Callinans
departure into Fennelly. This took the heat out of the latest
scandal, but was arguably an abuse of the commission of
investigation process. In any self-respecting parliament,
questions in relation to the departure of a garda
commissioner would be dealt with by a parliamentary
committee.
Thats not how we do things here. Fennelly took over a year
to investigate an issue that involved interviewing a few
dozen people at most, and examining a small number of
files.
Three of the witnesses including the Taoiseach were
recalled by the chairman to give further evidence after a
conflict arose.
Finally, there is a result, but one that is unlikely to answer
fully the questions about Mr Callinans departure, quell the
political fallout or the reasons why the matter was not
examined in the proper forum of parliament.
Fennelly Report
https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/
2325124/fennelly-report.pdf
Report on Whistleblower's Claims Recommends No Action Be
Taken. ... "The Houses of the Oireachtas have been totally
vindicated by the report." ... Publication
A report into allegations by a whistleblower working with the
banking inquiry has recommended no further action be taken.
Senior counsel Senan Allen was asked to investigate claims by a
former investigator with the committee. In his report back to the
Oireachtas commission he rejected the allegations. It is
understood he made one finding, which was that no further
action was required.
A source said: "The Houses of the Oireachtas have been totally
vindicated by the report."
The whistleblower worked as part of the investigation team at the
committee and made a number of allegations about those
working with the inquiry.
The whistleblower submitted an 82-page document under the
Protected Disclosures Act
Alan Shatter quit after Taoiseach
phoned him and made it clear he
had to go
Enda Kenny called the Justice Minister early yesterday morning
after reading damning Guerin report into handling of garda
whistleblowers
8 MAY 2014
Alan Shatter finally quit his Cabinet post yesterday after
the Taoiseach phoned him and made it clear he had no
choice but to go.
Last night it emerged that Enda Kenny made a crunch call
to the Justice Minister yesterday morning after reading a
damning report into his handling of allegations made by
garda whistleblowers.
The Taoiseach called the Attorney General at 6 am after
reading Sean Guerin's report and then contacted Mr
Shatter.
It is believed he made it clear to his Justice Minister that
he had no choice but to resign.
The news emerged as Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore
were locked in talks last night to discuss the findings of
the Sean Guerin report.
The Taoiseach and Tanaiste explored the 300-page report
which pushed Minister for Justice Alan Shatter out.
It is believed the two discussed the resignation of Mr
Shatter and the damning allegations contained in the
report.
Sources close to Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe
said he had not seen the report but had been interviewed
four times by Mr Guerin.
It is believed the sergeant had no idea Minister Shatter
would step down as a result of the inquiry.
The replacement will be announced at 10.45 tomorrow
with the successor then whisked to Aras an Uachtarain to
seal the deal.

Sarah Bardon

Alan Shatter has stepped down as minister for justice.


4:38 PM - 7 May 2014

Sarah Bardon

Taoiseach Enda Kenny says the report by Sean Guerin into


Garda malpractice is the reason for Minister Shatters
resignation.
4:40 PM - 7 May 2014
Enda Kenny told the Dail: "In the interests of the entire
situation, he made up his mind and tendered his
resignation which I accepted with reluctance."
The Taoiseach also revealed the Guerin report is likely to
be published on Friday morning, after the Attorney
General has had an opportunity to assess the
confidentiality impact.

Sarah Bardon

Sean Guerin recommends a Commission of Investigation


into claims of Garda malpractice by Maurice McCabe
4:45 PM - 7 May 2014
The Taoiseach announced that a special commission of
investigation will be set up to look at the handling of
serious allegations against the gardai.
Alan Shatter wrote a resignation letter in which he said to
Enda Kenny: "I believe you are an extraordinary
Taoiseach doing an extraordinary job."
The resignation letter mentioned the fallout from the
Guerin report could create "difficulties for the Fine Gael
or Labour parties" in the period up to the election.
He said: I am anxious that any controversy that may
arise on publication of the Report does not distract from
the important work of Government or create any
difficulties for the Fine Gael or Labour parties in the
period leading into the European and Local Government
elections."
He added: It is my judgment that the only way in which
such controversy can be avoided is by my offering you my
resignation from Cabinet."

Sarah Bardon

Enda Kenny to announce Shatter replacement later this


evening. Guerin report to be released on Friday.
4:41 PM - 7 May 2014
It comes in the wake of a report which found Mr Shatter
broke Data protection laws by revealing a run-in Mr
Wallace had with the cops live on national television.
Following publication of that report yesterday, Mr
Wallace called on him to quit.
Speaking last night, Deputy Wallace said the Minister
believes he is above the law and must resign
immediately.
He said: He breached the Data Protection laws, he
abused his office. He should step down.
Alan Shatter must step down after he broke the law by
revealing personal information about him, Mick Wallace
insisted last night.
The Justice Minister contravened the data protection laws
by revealing a run-in Mr Wallace had with the cops live on
national television.
Data Protection Commissioner Billy Hawkes rejected
Minister Shatters claim that it was in the public interest to
release this information.
Data Protection Commissioner, Billy Hawkes

Speaking last night, Deputy Wallace said the Minister


believes he is above the law and must resign immediately.
He said: He breached the Data Protection laws, he abused
his office. He should step down.
Minister Shatter said he was considering his options but it is
believed he will appeal the decision.
But Mick Wallace last night insisted Mr Shatter used the
information for personal gain and had abused his office.
The Independent TD: As to what I do with it remains to be
seen.
I have got to take legal advice as to how to proceed. I dont
know of all of the options available to me.
Mr Wallace did not rule out seeking damages under data
protection laws.
If he does take the matter to court, there is no cap on the
amount he could be awarded as it is at the discretion of the
court and was unpredictable.
One legal source said last night it could be anything.
During a heated Prime Time debate on the penalty points
system last May, Mr Shatter revealed the TD had been
stopped by gardai at the Five Lamps in Dublin for using his
handset behind the wheel.
He added the Wexford TD was cautioned and warned not to
do it again but there was no official record of the incident.
Former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan gave the
information to the minister who then told the nation.
Garda commissioner Martin Callinan (right) and Justice Minister
Alan Shatter (Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire)

The report by Data Protection Commissioner Billy Hawkes


said the Minister broke the law but insisted Mr Callinan was
in the right as he was obliged to keep the minister informed
of such matters.
In a statement last night, Mr Shatter said he had already
apologised to the TD and admitted it was a mistake to reveal
the information.
But it is believed he will appeal the reports findings.
He said: As the Data Protection Commissioner recognises,
both sides have a right of appeal and I am at present
examining the decision closely with a view to taking any
appropriate further legal steps as may be advised.
The decision which the Data Protection Commissioner has
made in this complex area of the law raises issues of
fundamental importance which I believe need to be further
considered in the public interest.
I do not intend to comment any further at this time. In his
submission to Mr Hawkes, Mr Shatter said it was legitimate
to counter Deputy Wallaces criticism of Garda discretion by
revealing how he benefited from it.
He said he made the revelation in the presence of Mr
Wallace who had the chance to defend himself but did not.
Mr Shatter added: The public deserved at the very least to
be apprised of the inconsistency in his position.
He had previously benefited from the exercise of discretion
by An Garda Siochana in relation to a road safety matter
which discretion he now wrongly characterised as unlawful.
I would stress I did not accuse Deputy Wallace of any
wrongdoing or unlawful conduct.
I believed at the time detailing that inconsistency was
appropriate and legitimate.
lt challenged his assertion that members of the public
should never be assisted by the exercise of the Garda
discretionary powers under discussion. However, the
Commissioner disagreed and said it was not necessary in
pursuit of his legitimate interests.
Mr Wallace last night insisted Mr Shatter had no option but to
resign as Justice Minister.
TD Mick Wallace said he couldn't remember being stopped by
gardai

However, he admitted he wasnt hopeful it would happen.


He said: I dont expect the Minister to stand down.
I dont expect the Taoiseach to get up and say he has lost
confidence in him.
The Taoiseach continues to support him 100% and he will
continue to do so. It is clear the people of Ireland have lost
confidence in the Minister for Justice.
He claimed Mr Shatter had abused his office to score cheap
political points but it had come back to haunt him.
Mr Wallace added: He challenged the Commissioners
findings it was one excuse after another.
But I think the minister feels he should be above the law and
that the Minister for Justice shouldnt be held accountable.
The minister, given that he is a lawyer, knew what he was
doing.
He was using information he got from the Commissioner,
albeit in a legal fashion.
For the minister to use it to score political points and
undermine my argument with regard to the fixed charge
notice is politicising the issue.
It is using information for his own personal use in an
unfair manner.
The Government looks set to back Mr Shatter over the
debacle but with a series of reports on Garda-related
issues coming down the line, it is shaping up to be a few
tough months for the minister.
A report by John Cooke into bugging of Garda
Ombudsman offices and an inquiry into Garda
malpractice by Sean Guerin are due to land on the
Cabinet desk in the coming days.
The incident occurred on RTEs Prime Time on May 16 last
year, when Mr Shatter revealed Wexford TD Mick Wallace
had been cautioned by gardai for using his mobile while
driving.
Following a complaint by Deputy Wallace, Data Protection
Commissioner Billy Hawkes has determined that Mr
Shatter is guilty of breaching the legislation in a draft
decision, due to be issued later this week.
On the episode of Prime Time, Mr Shatter and Mr Wallace
were discussing the issue of Garda discretion, in relation
to the penalty points scandal.
Mr Shatter said: As Deputy Wallace knows, even without
issuing a ticket the gardai exercise discretion.
Deputy Wallace himself was stopped on a mobile phone
last May by members of An Garda Siochana and he was
advised by the garda who stopped him that a fixed ticket
charge could issue and he could be given penalty points.
But the garda apparently, as I am advised, used his
discretion and warned him not to do it again.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny and ex-Justice Minister Alan Shatter are
set to clash after a spokesperson for the Fine Gael leader said
he had no plans to correct Dil comments he made about the
garda whistleblower controversy,writes Fiachra Cionnaith,
Political Reporter.
In a statement issued after the publication of the O'Higgins
Report this morning, Mr Shatter said he has been "vindicated"
and that the 363-page document proves he did nothing wrong.
The former Justice Minister - who was forced to resign over a
number of garda controversies in 2014 - said the report
contradicts the previous Guerin report, and that he now expects
Mr Kenny to "correct the Dil record" and remove the earlier
document from circulation.
"If the Government, as it must, accepts the O Higgins
Commission findings in full, the Taoiseach now has a duty to
correct the Dil record," Mr Shatter's statement read.

"The Government also has a duty to ensure the now discredited


adverse conclusions and opinions contained in the Guerin report
are acknowledged to be in error and corrected, and that the
report is withdrawn from circulation in its present form."
However, speaking to reporters at a post-Cabinet briefing this
afternoon, a spokesperson for Mr Kenny said the Taoiseach has
no plans to correct comments he made in the Dil about Mr
Shatter or to contact the former TD.
Asked if a Dil correction will take place, the spokesperson said:
"The Taoiseach's comments were based on the Guerin report of
the time."
He confirmed Mr Kenny has no plans to contact Mr Shatter about
the issue at this stage, but added: "He's never turned down a
phone call."

Full statement from Alan Shatter:

I want to thank Mr Justice Kevin OHiggins and his team for the
manner in which the Commissions investigation was conducted,
their careful and thorough approach to establish the truth and to
ensure the application of fair procedures.
I welcome that the OHiggins Commission, having conducted an
independent sworn statutory Commission of Investigation, has
concluded that, when Minister for Justice, I took very seriously
the complaints and allegations of 23rd January 2012, made by
Sgt Maurice McCabe through the Confidential Recipient and that
there were compelling considerations which justified my
response to them.
(These are detailed in Para 13.123 & 124 of the Commissions
Report). Contrary to the Guerin Reports assertion that I failed to
heed the voice of Sgt McCabe, I also welcome that the
OHiggins Commission found that I had very substantial
concerns about Sgt McCabes complaints and that at all times I
dealt professionally, promptly, reasonably and
appropriately with them.
Moreover, contrary to the Guerin Report, the OHiggins
Commission also found that I was intimately aware of the
relevant applicable legislation, as were officials in the
Department of Justice.
The OHiggins Commission also rejects the contention of Sgt
McCabe, given credence in the Guerin Report, that in my initially
seeking a report from the Garda Commissioner on the serious
allegations made by Sgt McCabe I was asking the Commissioner
to investigate himself.
The Commission concludes that my doing so was an obvious,
prudent and sensible thing to do and had I acted otherwise I
would have been open to justified criticism.
I further welcome the conclusion that I cannot be faulted for
not taking further action concerning a request for an inquiry,
made in September 2012 by Sgt McCabes solicitors, in
circumstances where Sgt McCabe continued to assert a claim of
confidentiality over relevant correspondence and enclosures.
The Commission acknowledges this prevented the obtaining of
observations from the then Garda Commissioner as a
preliminary step before deciding whether to establish such an
inquiry.
In fact, the Commission finds that my personal input in seeking
to resolve this difficulty displayed personal and active concern
on my part.
I am relieved that the truth has been established and that the
OHiggins Commission unreservedly accepted my evidence
that I never held views, opinions or attitudes wrongly attributed
to me by Mr Oliver Connolly, the former Confidential Recipient
and recorded and transcribed by Sgt McCabe. These got
widespread currency and resulted in substantial controversy.
The Report states that my evidence on this matter was
unchallenged and uncontradicted in the hearing before the
Commission.
Both Sgt McCabe and Mr Connolly were present and legally
represented at the relevant hearing.
One of the matters of major concern was the alleged Garda
failings preceding the appalling murder of the late Sylvia Roche
Kelly in 2007.
Charges made against me of ignoring the concerns of Sgt
McCabe connected to this tragic event have now been
independently established to be unfounded.
The OHiggins Commission acknowledges that I was aware that
a complaint had been made by Mr Lorcan Roche Kelly to GSOC
which was engaged in an independent investigation into what
occurred.
The Commission describes GSOCs investigation as thorough
and necessarily lengthy with certain aspects ongoing.
It is very regrettable that Mr Roche Kelly, prior to my appointment
as Minister for Justice, as the Commission finds, was not well
served by the fact that a considerable period of time elapsed in
GSOC deciding whether it or An Garda Siochana on its behalf
should conduct the required investigation and due to some
confusion within GSOC as to the relevant statutory provisions.
In short, the findings of the OHiggins Report, like the earlier
Cooke and Fennelly Reports, have unequivocally established
that, when Minister for Justice, I dealt properly and truthfully with
Garda related matters that gave rise to substantial controversy in
the Spring of 2014 and many false allegations by opposition
politicians, including Micheal Martin, the Fianna Fail leader of the
opposition.
The conclusions of the OHiggins Commission totally contradict
and are incompatible with the adverse findings made against me
in the Guerin Report.
The OHiggins Commission rightly praises Sgt McCabe for
highlighting deficiencies in investigations, failures in procedures
and practices, and poor conditions in Bailiboro Garda station.
It records that eleven, but not all of his complaints had previously
been upheld by the internal Garda Byrne/McGinn Investigation
concluded in 2010.
Some of the complexity of dealing with issues raised by Sgt
McCabe is derived from the fact, as found by the OHiggins
Commission, that he is prone to exaggeration at times.
In this context, the Commission records that some of his
complaints have been upheld by it whilst others have proven to
be overstated or exaggerated.
Some of a very serious nature were determined to be without
foundation or any evidence or unreasonable.
A number of complaints of long duration were withdrawn during
the course of the Commissions hearings.
The Commission found there was not a scintilla of evidence for
his hurtful allegations that former Garda Commissioner, Martin
Callinan, was guilty of corruption and arranged to have a
Superintendent placed on a promotion list, this being the primary
complaint received by me as Minister on 23rd January 2012
which was at the foundation of allegations made by Michael
Martin on the Dil plinth and later in the Dil Chamber in
February 2014.
What the Commission also described as hurtful allegations of
corruption made against Asst Commissioner Byrne, Chief
Superintendent Rooney and Superintendent Clancy and an
implied allegation against Superintendent Cunningham were all
also determined to be unfounded.
Of course, these allegations of corruption should never have
been made.
Garda related events in which I was engaged, when Minister for
Justice, which gave rise to substantial public controversy have
now been examined by three different independent retired judges
of our Superior Courts.
They have irrefutably established that serious charges and
accusations made against me, both inside and outside the Dil,
were entirely untrue.
For over two years, I have had to live with the public opprobrium,
criticism and abuse they generated. I hope that with the
publication of the OHiggins Report, I can now move on to a new
chapter.
It is clear from the OHiggins Report that the Garda failings
identified in it occurred well before my appointment as Minister
for Justice, at a time when Micheal Martin was in Government.
It is now for Micheal Martin to explain why, in February 2014, he
chose to ignore that all of the matters detailed in Sgt McCabes
letter of 23rd January 2012, save for the allegations of corruption
against the Garda Commissioner, related to events that occurred
in 2007/2008 when Fianna Fail was in Government, and why he
chose, together with his Fianna Fail colleagues, to accuse me of
undermining the administration of Justice in the State and to
target me with a torrent of false allegations about my conduct as
Minister for Justice.
The truth has now been irrefutably established. Now that we are
in the era of new politics, I hope that Michael Martin and all of
my accusers, then in opposition, will now reflect on how they
dealt with these matters and withdraw on the Dil record the
false allegations they made.
Before my resignation and in my resignation letter and also
following publication of the Guerin Report in engagements with
the Taoiseach and, later, on 19th June 2014, in the Dil
Chamber, I disputed the approach of Mr Sean Guerin SC in the
conduct of his Inquiry.
Both in my engagements with the Taoiseach and in the Dil
Chamber, I disputed his findings against me.
My concerns were entirely ignored by the Taoiseach and my Dil
contribution was not only ignored by all sides in the Dil
Chamber, including the Minister for Justice, but also ridiculed and
criticised by some commentators.
The Guerin Report was laid before both Houses of the
Oireachtas, its flawed conclusions and opinions were accepted in
full by the Government and the Taoiseach put on the Dil record
its adverse conclusions concerning my conduct as Minister for
Justice.
If the Government, as it must, accepts the OHiggins
Commission findings in full, the Taoiseach now has a duty to
correct the Dil record.
The Government also has a duty to ensure the now discredited
adverse conclusions and opinions contained in the Guerin
Report are acknowledged to be in error and corrected and that
the Report is withdrawn from circulation in its present form.
These are important issues of relevance to standards in public
life, fair procedures and the importance of truth in politics.
I will be writing to the Taoiseach on issues of relevance and
importance following on from publication of the OHiggins Report
and seeking a substantive response.
At a glance: the Guerin report
The 336-page report into Garda misconduct allegations
digested
Sat, May 10, 2014, 01:00

Carl O'Brien

Martin Callinan: Report found his response to Sgt Maurice McCabes allegations
was inadequate. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire
BackgroundThe Government commissioned barrister Sen
Guerin to review allegations of Garda misconduct by
whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe in February last year.

GSOC_Annual_Report_2014 GARDA SIOCHANA OMBUDSMAN


COMMISSION 9tH ANNUAL REPORT
https://www.gardaombudsman.ie/docs/publications/GSOC_Annual_R
eport_2014.pdf
Delayed inquiries deny
justice
September 16, 2014 2:38 pm

GRA General Secretary PJ Stone


Four months on from the publication of the Guerin Report, there is (at
the time of going to print) no indication of the terms of reference, or
who will comprise the inquiry to have been established in order to
fully investigate the allegations of garda malpractice made by
Sergeant Maurice McCabe detailed in the report. The impact of the
allegations made by the garda whistleblower prompted the
resignation of the former justice minister Alan Shatter, perhaps too
the retirement of former garda commissioner Martin Callinan and
the dismissal of the former confidential recipient. This highlights the
serious nature of this inquiry.
Overlooked by the media has been the impact on those perceived as
lower down the pecking order the adverse effect it has had on
those garda continuing to serve with their reputations tarnished by a
one-sided report detailing allegations like punches thrown.
Allegations are not established facts. These garda have yet to be
allowed to present their side of the story. The same is true of other
whistleblower allegations made in Athlone, where the member has
been identified on social media and yet is still denied the opportunity
to respond through an undue delay of the official investigation. Above
all, this shows a fear by those in authority of these untested
processes and this needs to be examined.
We are increasingly concerned that our members have been
maligned by allegations that have yet to be tested, and we believe
that the inordinate delay may be because those in the political elite
have been caught in the headlights perhaps bamboozled into
thinking they were on a winning team before the full nature of soured
relationships became apparent. All cannot be what it seems.
The Guerin Report is all about the allegations one man has made,
and everyone has taken it as doctrine. We dont understand this. It
appears that everyone has taken the allegations at face value, and
they have been reproduced throughout the media. In the Bailieboro
cases, why has no one asked why one man made secret recordings
of his conversations? Is everyone running scared because the
minister, the commissioner and the confidential recipient have
tumbled or is our society sleepwalking itself into a situation akin to
the emperors new clothes? Who will be the first to say stop?
Perhaps unwittingly, both sets of whistleblower allegations have been
unchallenged and amplified as a consequence of government
paralysis. Their blind acceptance and repetition may cause further
casualties in the political elite or may cost someone a significant
sum of compensation. That aside, the damage done to junior
members of the Force is incalculable. Some will have to fight harder
for career development to overcome the prejudice they will have
attached to their name after such a spell has been cast; an indelible
stain has unjustly marked their professional reputation. For some, the
damage done is far more personal. Some members have had their
confidence checked; others are now seemingly irreparably
disillusioned. This is unjust. They must be allowed their voice.

Now is the time to blow the whistle on this


ill-managed episode and restore public
confidence. Not everyone will emerge
unscathed by the truth; but the truth seldom
harms the honest.
Have no doubt about it, policing is a job for the mentally tough. It is
widely acknowledged that members of An Garda Sochna are
expected to deal with an increasing number of potentially traumatic
incidents than at any time in recent history. Ireland has become
increasingly violent with little or no value placed on life by some
sections of this society. The sheer number of recent gangland
murders in the capital is evidence of this; if any were needed.
Members of An Garda Sochna will generally be the first responders
to these incidents; going about their business in a professional
manner, being considerate and compassionate or firm as the situation
requires. All of this can take its toll, even on the mentally tough.
Increased gangland activity along with a stubbornly high rate of
suicide has had the effect of greatly increasing the possibility of a
member encountering a potentially traumatic incident. This increase
is in addition to other potentially traumatic incidents for members such
as of fatal or near fatal road traffic collisions, incidents of rape or
sexual assault. The list of potentially traumatic experiences is
limitless, as none of us knows all of the past experiences of a fellow
member (inside or outside the job) or what might trigger an
unpleasant memory or response from them during or after a given
situation. In my experience, and to their great credit, colleagues have
always used these past experiences to the benefit of victims and their
colleagues, using lessons learned in their own life to empathise,
understand and deal with the situation a little better.
Many people take to the gym to practice techniques and lift weights in
a bid to build a stronger physique. Whilst developing a faster punch
and a chiseled six-pack, they often ignore the most important part of
training; the mental workout. Of course, physical training is very
important and beneficial; though never as important as building
mental strength.
Building a strong mind takes time; some minds will be further down
the road than others. Having an understanding of why and how we
have these cocktails of emotions will erase some of the fear of fear.
Understanding the mechanics of adrenaline release will take away
some of its impetus. When we anticipate danger, we all experience
this unpleasant, strong emotion often referred to as flight or fight
syndrome. This is genetically hard wired in all animals and humans.
Its part of our survival mechanism; a primal instinct that has kept our
species alive since day one and kept us at the top of the food chain.
Having a clearer understanding will greatly help us to deal and cope
with these physiological changes.
The saliva glands will temporarily shut down causing a dry and/or
pasty mouth. In todays society, this is a common side effect
experienced by those who are expected to give a public speech; think
of the best man at the wedding, watch him move his food around the
plate, his meal will be picked at or completely avoided. To our hunter-
gatherer ancestors the dry mouth served a different purpose
modern man is no different. When we chew, saliva is excreted into the
mouth, enzymes within the saliva helps us to breakdown and absorb
nutrients within the food.
Many will have experienced a nervous or audible tremor when
speaking in public. The anticipation of the quivering voice has halted
many people from stepping out of their comfort zones. It says to
anyone in any language, that you are scared. In a potentially
threatening situation this could be your downfall and needs to be
controlled.
Those who experience it will often become monosyllabic and have
difficulty stringing a sentence together. This is because blood is drawn
away from certain areas of the brain and pumped to major muscles in
preparation for flight or fight; hence the reason for the saying he was
as white as a sheet. (pale face).
Tunnel Vision
For modern man this can be a help or a hindrance. Positively, it can
help because it enhances your concentration. Negatively, it distorts
our peripheral vision. Sadly, this is often why people get knocked out
on the street. When faced with an aggressive predator our peripheral
vision will be impeded as we focus on the threat directly in front of us;
the victim often being sucker punched and never seeing it coming.
Street thugs often use this to their advantage when setting up the
pincer approach.
Sweaty Palms
Sweating from your palms often happens when we are anxious or
anticipate danger. In fact, we sweat from many areas of the body
when stressed but the palms are often the most obvious due to
excessive rubbing of the hands. This is another side effect of
adrenaline release and occurs to cool down our core temperature
which rises rapidly in the face of danger. Other body language is
often displayed in an attempt to cool down; splaying of the arms, as if
carrying two basketballs under your arms to allow the sweat glands to
open. This is often observed in the pre-fight ritual when two men face
off splaying of the arms combined with pushing the chest out to
appear bigger.
Bowel Loosening
Digested food and fluid is no longer needed and is expelled (often
rapidly) depending on the (perceived) level of threat. Again the
uneaten (best mans) meal at wedding is a good example. The
amygdala doesnt distinguish between the sabre-tooth tiger or public
speaking; its a matter of perspective.
Auditory Exclusion
Many people who I have trained over the years have told me about
the temporary loss of hearing theyve experienced when attacked. I
have also experienced this myself while competing in kickboxing
tournaments. We see and hear with our conscious brain. This means
that the visual cortex and audible cortex have to take turns to process
information. When trying to function under extreme levels of
adrenaline stress, audible information is often muffled, dulled or
completely shut down. When the heart rate rapidly increases, this
causes blood to rush through the eardrums (as well as many other
parts of the anatomy). The speed at which it travel is so great that it
cancels out what the person is hearing.
The Denial Response
This is often seen in extreme circumstances. A teenage girl I
interviewed a few years back described horrific details of a sexual
attack upon her. As the assailant pinned her to the ground she
recalled how she said to herself, I could stick the point of my key in
his eye, but immediately thought she could never bring herself to do
such a thing. When in fact she had already actually done it,
simultaneously gouging his other eye with her thumb. Thankfully this
facilitated her escape.
Total Acquiescence
When large amounts of adrenaline are released within the
bloodstream, it is often shocking, nauseating and misunderstood.
When this happens it can evoke feelings of helplessness and abject
terror. Many victims of abduction have experienced extreme fear of
being raped and/or murdered. Complete hysteria or the freeze
syndrome may also occur. Victims who have experienced these
extremely traumatic situations often submit to their attacker because
of this overwhelming explosion of emotions.
Adrenaline Release (fast and slow)
Slow secretion of adrenalin is more commonly experienced. However,
it goes without saying that everyone will have experienced this on a
daily basis. While recently teaching members of Dublin Fire Brigade,
many members described to me how they always get a drop of
adrenaline each time the alarm bell sounds. This can happen dozens
of times during a shift.
Those with a more sedentary occupation may also feel a slow trickle
of adrenaline when they think about asking the boss for a promotion
or if someone cuts them off in traffic and yells at them out of the car
window. Going to the dentist, a dispute with a neighbor, an upcoming
exam; all can evoke slow secretion of adrenalin.
While adrenaline can add speed and strength to the bodys
responses, it can also have an anaesthetic effect while dulling pain.
The adrenaline dump also cause sensations very similar to those of
real fear. Consequently, many people will freeze when they
experience this.
Real fear is involuntary and happens when we are in pure survival
mode. Cortisol levels will also be greatly increased during this time
which helps to coagulate the blood in preparation for an attack on the
soft tissue. Many people I have spoken to say they did things they
dont believe they had any control over and could never have
prepared for such an event. Many areas of the brain are activated
immediately, the amygdala, thalamus, hypothalamus and midbrain
functions increase and basically say to the body, well take over from
here.
We must first acknowledge and accept that we all have feelings of
fear. One of the biggest obstacles I come across when teaching
(particularly men) is that the majority I meet are too scared to admit
they are scared. My belief is the harder the exterior, the weaker the
interior- fear of fear, if you will.
The bad news is that fear never goes away. But thats good. We can
learn to manage our fears in many ways. My own personal
experience; there is no better way to overcome and manage fear than
fear exposure itself.
Thankfully, members themselves and management at An Garda
Sochna have come to recognise that members, tough as they are,
can sometimes require a little help. Formalising of the peer-support
role was a welcome advance, although I personally feel most
members get peer-support from whoever they are close to on their
own units rather than the person necessarily nominated and trained;
often a quiet word with someone whos been there before can be
enough to get over these incidents.
The garda employee assistance officers or welfare officers also play a
fantastic role in offering support to members who may be struggling in
the aftermath of a traumatic experience, but outside of obvious
headline crimes, these officers do rely on the assistance of members
and management to let them know if someone may need their help. I
can still recall nearly a decade ago receiving a call from an employee
assistance officer who was determined that we meet face to face for a
chat. I assured him over and over that it was unnecessary but he was
determined and broke me in the end. We had a coffee and a brief
chat and I have to admit I was impressed by how at ease he made
me feel. At the end of the meeting I assured him that I was fine and
that I would, of course, get back in touch if I needed anything. I
admired his persistence as I think in some cases a phone call would
not be enough to gauge how a member is feeling whereas a lot more
can be achieved from a face to face meeting.

The recent launch by Commissioner OSullivan of a 24/7 confidential


Counselling Service for staff of An Garda Sochna should rightly be
heralded as a huge step forward in this area. The free, over the
phone service will offer immediate access to accredited counsellors to
members who may be struggling in their personal or professional
lives. This service can also provide some face to face counselling if it
is required. I would urge anyone who may be struggling but worried
about issues of confidentiality to use this service.
In May 2007, while still a probationer, an incident occurred which has
greatly affected myself and my family. My younger brother Sean was
stabbed to death while celebrating his graduation from secondary
school. To describe this crime as an incident, as I have just done,
seems not to pay it the seriousness it requires. To describe receiving
the news as earth-shattering would be more appropriate. But it is still
an incident from a policing perspective and as professional police
officers my colleagues investigated it appropriately. The members
who investigated this crime will not know the pain of my family, the
pain of an untimely funeral, birthdays missed, of anniversaries
observed and of the great void left by that missing guest at my up-
coming wedding. Nobody could understand our pain. But then I
thought again. My grandfather says we all have a cross to bear
through life; the heartbreak we suffer, the people we lose, the dreams
we leave unrealised. Though some must carry more weight than
others and some seem more suited to carry it; we all know suffering.
Many years later I was giving evidence at the Coroners Court, in a
case with entirely different facts to that of my brothers case. I hadnt
been reminded or felt particularly affected by the case up to this point.
It was undoubtedly sad but it hadnt affected me emotionally.
However, when I met the deceased mans mother her pain reminded
me of the pain of my own family and stirred long dormant feelings of
loss and sadness. I was able to get through the hearing and perform
my duties and was proud of how compassionately I had treated the
deceaseds family but the incident had a profound effect on me. I
became far more aware of my own wellbeing from that point on and
was determined not to take it for granted.
As I have asserted, I have no doubt that to be an effective police
officer a person must be mentally tough. But this toughness does not
include denying when we are in pain or refusing help. The toughness
I am talking about is carrying on, being resilliant, doing the best job
we can do in trying circumstances and taking care of ourselves so
that we can be the best, most well developed police officers and
individuals we can be.
Members of An Garda Sochna must investigate crime
professionally but bear in mind this can be a life changing experience
for those involved in the case, and members, while considering their
own wellbeing should draw on their own life experiences to offer a
compassionate as well as professional service in particular to
vulnerable victims.
We all suffer in life and every member of An Garda Sochna will
witness more than their fair share of pain and suffering, of death and
loss but the challenge has to be to remain compassionate and to use
our own experiences to give strength to our colleagues and to
ourselves. The organisation is blessed that it can draw on so much
collective experience both professional and personal and our
challenge must be to use this experience in the best possible way
while also protecting ourselves and our colleagues from undue harm
by making the appropriate supports available to them.
http://www.gardareview.ie/index.php/delayed-inquiries-deny-justice/

Due process and


presumed innocence?
Not for a garda
February 12, 2014
When it comes to basic human rights for
gardai, its one rule for them and another for
everyone else says John OKeeffe.
I could probably highlight a serious garda injustice every week.. On
balance I, and this magazine, must highlight the cases where it is felt
that not only was a grave disservice done to a garda or garda, but to
the force as whole and society. This following is a classic such
case.
Lets get one thing out of the way first shall we? The P word
pepper-spray. It appears that both the Garda Sochna Ombudsman
Commission (GSOC) and a section of a misguided and nervous
public, seem to imagine that this part of a gardas self-defence shield,
is a weapon of mass destruction. It was ever so. When An Garda
Sochna was first formed, some voices at the time expressed
concern as to whether members of the fledgling service should even
carry a baton.
Pepper-spray is certainly an inflammatory agent and should always
be used according to protocols and guidelines. Its effects are well
established, including immediate closing of the eyes. On average, the
full effect lasts for a maximum of 45 minutes.
A study from The Journal of Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual
Science found that single exposure of the eye to the spray is
harmless and they also found no lasting decrease in visual strength
from its application. Put simply, pepper spray neutralises a violent
arrestee so that they may be brought to custody thus avoiding injury
to themselves, the police officer or members of the wider public.
Incapacitants are preferable to a baton in many cases to avoid
injuries.
Police forces around the world must follow strict protocols as to when
and how pepper spray should be used. Once these are followed as
each situation dictates then the arrest of a violent individual should
always be a lawful one. But this is Ireland where not only may garda
be brought to account once for its use, but twice if the right result
isnt forthcoming in the first instance.
Retired Judge Michael Patwell highlighted a pepper-spray case in
question most recently. Garda Brendan Dowling and Fiona Sheehan
were both charged with using excessive force when pepper-spraying
a 16-year-old youth during an arrest in Cork in May 2012.
Perhaps we should know a little more about this teenager before
rushing to judgment? He admitted in court under oath that he was
drunk at the time and that he would happily lie to protect friends. He
had 22 previous convictions, including assault, threatening and
abusive behaviour and failing to follow Garda instructions. Indeed he
had managed to accumulate six convictions since the incident in
question. He had admitted to being the ring- leader of a violent and
sustained attack by a gang of youths on the occasion of his arrest.
His own mother described him as an absolute gurrier of the highest
order. Now that you have a fuller picture of the sort of feral savage at
play, I can advise you that he was pepper-sprayed by these garda
after he began head-butting the window of a garda car. Surprising?
Perhaps the only surprise was that the garda had as much restraint
as they did in the light of the offender before them.
As is the way of such persons, the offender then complained to the
GSOC and, subsequently the DPP directed that both Garda Dowling
and Garda Sheehan be charged with assault causing harm to the
teenager. Predictably, almost as soon as the hearing began, the State
withdraw the charges as, as far as the judge was concerned, there
there was no evidence he had heard, that showed that the garda had
used their incapacitant spray outside the law.
Judge Patwell has highlighted one particularly worrying statement
made after this case by the GSOC. It is important to note, however,
that there was no verdict, as the prosecution was withdrawn they
stated. He was of course very correct to be worried. The court held
that there was no evidence of any criminal wrong doing by either
garda in the use of pepper-spray and yet the GSOC issued a
statement that ensures a cloud of suspicion still hangs over both
officers, notwithstanding the judges statement at hearing.
A verdict was issued by any other name and yet the GSOC are
happy enough to abandon that small jurisprudential matter of the
presumption of innocence, by implying that since a strict verdict was
not handed down, the garda may still be guilty not innocent as the
fundamental cornerstone of our justice system demands but guilty.
You simply could not make it up. Furthermore, how the DPP could
have decided that the garda in question had a case to answer in the
first place, when the State subsequently gave the hearing little more
than two hours before withdrawing, is anyones guess.
Now these officers must not only live with the remarks that have
tainted them by the GSOC, but they must also await potential internal
disciplinary proceedings proceedings that will arguably also now be
tainted by that which has gone before. Being a garda in 2014 means
not just getting assaulted by the criminal community but by the DPP,
the GSOC and seriously questionable internal disciplinary processes.
Every other citizen only gets charged and tried once on the same
matter if youre a garda, you can expect to be beaten up as many
times as the system can get away with it.
This country has for some time now watched while its criminal justice
system has hurtled down the slippery slope of a mindless liberal
agenda. Caught in the stampede of righteous warriors and bleeding
hearts have been the men and women of An Garda Sochna. In the
unseemly rush to be seen to have institutions, such as our police
force, that are not above the law, we have instead created a two-
headed beast that now trample over the human rights of these
serving officers.
One rule for them another for everyone else. Citizen Sean or Mary
enjoys all the rights that we would expect in a modern day
democracy, yet Citizen Garda, becomes the sacrificial lamb for those
with a moderate education and a serious dollop of bitterness. Read
my lips everyone is innocent until proven guilty. There is no
nuanced version of this. It is very simple.
If only our own processes against those whom chose to protect and
serve us, were the same.

Report reaffirms right to


trade union status and
unique role
December 25, 2016 11:16 am

EDITORIAL: The Garda Representative Association received the final


Report by John Horgan and is examining the implications in
preparation for future negotiations towards new industrial relations
mechanisms in the garda sector. The Association had sought such a
Review for many years as the last significant appraisal was held in
1979; and this was negotiated as part of the Haddington Road
Agreement and was due to be completed by 1 June 2014 but was
subject to inordinate delays.
The status of this Report has yet to be established. While the findings
have the potential to modernise garda industrial relations and pay
determination, we must also acknowledge that the recent ad hoc
involvement of the Workplace Relations Commission and the
recommendation of the Labour Court in the recent pay dispute has
overtaken much of the original brief. There is a significant body of
work still to be done to address those grievances and desires that
have been outstanding for several decades, but there is positive
movement towards modernising the industrial relations available to
us, and to afford garda the same civil rights as other workers.
The Horgan Review does note that the number of garda has
decreased in the last eight years and this skewed the CSO figures
on average garda pay. Overtime for many garda has been a
necessity for the Force to remain operational. Unfortunately this
presents inflated earnings for those working long hours and extra
shifts that is not reflective of the national pattern. The findings do
acknowledge that overtime was not shared equally across the Force.
To ignore optimum staffing levels makes other pertinent calculations
difficult; the level of personal risk experienced by each individual
garda, the increased workload and necessary overtime required
within an understaffed police force and the impact on health, safety,
efficiency and welfare at work. John Horgan does note An Garda
Sochna provides the citizens of Ireland with an excellent police
service by any standardThe members of An Garda Sochna
perform a difficult and often dangerous job that is unique in Irish
society and all its members deserve to be rewarded appropriately.
The garda pension is in a sense deferred payment for work already
done. When members sign up in Templemore their pension
entitlement is part of their contract, and they contribute towards it
monetarily and through the risks that they take on behalf of the
people of this country. Not only are safety and welfare issues often at
the very base of their needs when facing imminent danger of assault
or the cumulative physiological effects of rotational shift working it is
the new smoking of occupational hazards. The garda pension has
often been curtailed early with many members succumbing to
critical illnesses resulting from occupational hazards. This cannot be
quantified but cannot be discounted in any review of the garda
pension scheme.
Horgan draws on the unique nature of police work and to draw An
Garda Sochna into line with modern norms and best practice
recommends that the Association should immediately plan to
become a registered trade union. Access to the WRC and Labour
Court should not be conditional on that decision, and makes it clear
from this Review that the criminal law and discipline regulations
should play no role in industrial relations.
The Association has sought trade union status since 1993; and in the
intervening years it has been repeatedly denied. Without the full
collective bargaining rights, including the right to withdraw labour,
members have been repeatedly abused by the civil power utilising the
codes and regulations of the Garda Sochna Act 2005. The Council
of Europe/Eurocop decision has not been addressed officially and
this has clearly stated that garda should be afforded the same civil
rights as other workers.
We are still awaiting trade union status with the associated civil
rights including full collective bargaining, which includes the freedom
to strike. Members are aware of international ideas and the civil,
social and industrial rights afforded police officers across Europe,
Scandinavia, North America, Australia and New Zealand has
demonstrated how far behind Ireland is, and needs to catch up.
For garda to be afforded equal status with other public
servants in the upcoming Public Service Pay
Commission [PSPC] this must include rights of
affiliation and the attendant freedom to withdraw
labour.

Lisbon Bound
November 16, 2015 5:33 pm

(l-r): Gerry Quinn, GNDU; Liam Hogan (Tour De Force committee); Enda
Kenny, TD; Keith Duffy, ISPCC; Terry Brennan (Tour De Force committee
John Twomey, Assistant Commissioner
An Taoiseach, Mr Enda Kenny TD launched the Tour De Force Cycle
2015 with members of Tour De Force and their charity beneficiaries
for this year, namely the ISPCC/Childline, GROW Ireland and the
Laura Brennan Charitable Trust.
This years cycle will see members of An Garda Sochna and friends
begin their journey from North of Lisbon, in Sao Martin De Porto,
Portugal on September 20th 2015 and will finish five days later after
some 550 kilometres in Santiago De Compostela, Spain. There are
over 50 cyclists involved who have put in months of training and
fundraising to participate. Keith Duffy, an ISPCC ambassador, is
participating in this years challenge.
Tour De Force was born when members of An Garda Sochna, who
through their love of cycling, came together to raise much needed
funds for deserving causes. Since 1991, after some 74,000
kilometres cycled, they have raised almost 1 million.
http://www.gardareview.ie/index.php/lisbon-bound/

European Police Table


Tennis Championships
November 16, 2015 5:31 pm
Views: 1232
Pictured the An Garda Sochna table tennis team at the opening
ceremony wearing the Irish team kit which was purchased with
sponsorship assistance from St Pauls Credit Union. (l-r): Garda Ian
Hutchinson, Garda Headquarters; Garda Stephen Joyce, Gort; Garda
Louise Long, Blackrock; Garda Ian Philips, Glenties; Sergeant Adrian
Flynn, Sligo; retired Superintendent Paul Moran, Press Office
The Garda team consisting of members from five divisions across the
country competed in the Union Sportive Des Polices DEurope Table
Tennis championships in Bulgaria recently.
The team had trained collectively in Athlone over the winter months
with Athlone Table Tennis Club under the guidance of Irish
international Karim Sabir.
The opening ceremony where each country has one member in their
police uniform is a very important part of the European Police
Championships. The honour to represent An Garda Sochna fell to
Garda Ian Philips of the Donegal Division.
The Garda team were drawn against France (pre tournaments
favourites) and Norway in the team competition.
The team of Garda Stephen Joyce, Sergeant Adrian Flynn and Garda
Ian Hutchinson had some great performances against the French and
Norwegian teams but lost out on qualification for knock out stages.

(l-r): Sergeant Adrian Flynn receiving the inaugural Union Sportive des
Polices DEurope Award from Mr Harry Brungger, USPE Executive
Committee
The womens singles competition started on the same day and Garda
Louise Long had a superb performance to claim victory over the
much fancied Krasimira Telbis, from the host nation Bulgaria, winning
in straight sets. Next up for Long was French international Caroline
Petit.
Long stormed into a two set lead with aggressive confident play but
her very resilient French opponent refused to be put away. The
exertions of her first victory took their toll on Long and in the intense
heat of the Varna stadium the French player hung on in which ended
with Long narrowly losing in the fifth set.
The singles mens tournament started the next day and again the Irish
team acquitted themselves well with all players pushing opponents
with some nail biting contests going all the way to duce and Sergant
Adrian Flynn taking sets off Nikolaus Petrou, Cyprus and Katalin
Donchea, Romania.
The mixed doubles team of Garda Louise Long and Garda Stephen
English had a very credible performance, losing out to the French
team of Reynald Resse/Amandine Chintemi in the quarter final in a
very exciting match with the Irish team taking the first set. However
the vastly experienced French side eventually won out.
Both of the doubles mens teams of Sergeant Adrian Flynn/Garda
Stephen Joyce and Garda Ian Hutchinson /Garda Ian Philips had
excellent performances at this level of competition with Flynn and
Joyce losing in the quarter final to the Czech Republic team of Martin
Matejisek/Milan Borik, having pushed the Czech Republic to duce
eventually loosing 12 10 in the first set.
Overall the Garda team contested two quarter finals mixed and mens
doubles and ended with a team finishing ranking of ninth.
At this level of competition their performances are very encouraging
for the sport within Ireland and An Garda Sochna.
An Garda Sochna received a further honour when Sergeant Adrian
Flynn, at the final awards and closing ceremony, received the
inaugural Union Sportive Des Polices D Europe
Merit/Recognition/Fair play award for his involvement in USPE
European Police Championships in table tennis for 20 years.
The Garda Table Tennis Club would also like to thank St Raphaels
Garda Credit Union for their contribution to the Garda team.
http://www.gardareview.ie/index.php/european-police-table-tennis-
championships/
Garda Training Video - Pre-selection
physical fitness test
Sep 24, 2015
Example of the pre-selection physical test for potential entrants
to An Garda Sochna.

This is a training video created in the Garda College, Templemore,


Co Tipperary.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXo3roYoCUw
Probationer Garda Peter Clifford talks
about his experiences
Dec 22, 2015
With thanks to www.careersportal.ie, here is Probationer Peter
Clifford talking about his experiences as part of the recruitment
campaign.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16JsptbuV-c

Garda Nan Hu
Jan 26, 2016
Interview with a member of An Garda Sochna giving advice and
sharing his work experience
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKcQhlex0S4
Review of the Garda Sochna Act, 2005 Submission of IHRC
(Designate) to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence
and Equality. 4 April 2014
https://www.ihrec.ie/download/pdf/ihrc_submission_to_review_of_an_
garda_siochan_act_2005_by_oireachtas_committee_on_justice_april
_2014.pdf
THE EUROPEAN CODE OF POLICE ETHICS Recommendation
Rec(2001)10 adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of
Europe on 19 September 2001 and explanatory memorandum
http://polis.osce.org/library/f/2687/500/CoE-FRA-RPT-2687-EN-500
European Convention on Human Rights
http://www.echr.coe.int/Documents/Convention_ENG.pdf
GSOC-Annual-Report-2007 Letter from Brian Lenihan we present to
you our second Annual Report, to be laid before the Houses of the
Oireachtas, as prescribed by the Garda Sochna Act 2005.
https://www.gardaombudsman.ie/docs/publications/GSOC-Annual-
Report-2007.pdf
IRISH HUMAN RIGHTS AND EQUALITY COMMISSION BILL 2014 For
European Illegal Migrant Garda
http://www.oireachtas.ie/documents/bills28/bills/2014/2014/b2014d-
memo.pdf
DRAFT MINUTES OF THE 27th MEETING OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE OF
REPRESENTATIVES OF ... April 2009 . 6. Charter of Rights ... Garda
Sochna and Human Rights The IHRC .island of Ireland
http://www.nihrc.org/uploads/documents/nihrc-general/joint-
committee/joint-committee-27-meeting-minutes-april-2009.pdf.pdf
The Law on Surveillance in Ireland - and Human Rights ...
Compliance of An Garda Sochna, April 2010 Statement
Human Rights Compliance of An Garda .
THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE (SURVEILLANCE) ACT 2009:
AN EXAMINATION OF THE COMPATABILITY OF THE NEW ACT WITH
ARTICLE 8 OF THE EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

http://corkonlinelawreview.com/editions/2010/CRIMINAL%20JUSTICEBARRY.pdf

Sorry for the exclusive focus on our ongoing Court cases


folks - but it's clear that this case in Castlebar is helping to
expose some truly awful and sinister actions on the part of
those entrusted with the proper administration of justice..
Here is our pending appeal application to the Supreme Court
- the question is, will it ever get past the post?
http://www.integrityireland.ie/Whats%20going%20on%20in
%20Ca

Whats going on in Castlebar Courthouse?


(From the draft application to the Supreme Court)

http://www.integrityireland.ie/Whats%20going%20on%20in%20Castlebar
%20%20SC%20application%20%20p.pdf
Detail of the Irish Times 'case study' commentary on
Stephen's efforts to raise awareness of the 'common
informer' process where ordinary members of the public CAN
actually take direct private action against errant authorities.

Caught red-handed, the only option 'they' have when faced


with the truth is to use even more underhanded tactics to
cover their tracks.. Right now that includes criminal collusion
and cover-ups by the DPP's Office, by Courts Service
Management and by 'certain named Judges'; including denial
of service due; failures and refusals to respond to
straightforward questions; and the cowardly tactic of brass-
necked stonewalling.. all the way to the top! How much more
of this do we need to see Ireland?
In light of Stephen's contrived arrest and imprisonment last
week, and due to blatant stonewalling by the Courts Service,
the DPP's Office, by Garda HQ and by the Minister for Justice,
this urgent request for assistance vs 'political policing' and
criminal acts by agents of the State was sent to all Dail
Deputies and Ministers - and to 25 Senior Judges. Two
Deputies have responded so far..
http://www.integrityireland.ie/Dear%20Senior%20Judges
%20&%2

Dear Senior Judges & Dail Deputies Jan 27th 2017 x 3


http://www.integrityireland.ie/Dear%20Senior%20Judges%20&
%20Dail%20Deputies%20Jan%2027th%202017%20x%203.pdf
An update on Colm and Stephen's recent 'adventures' with
Judge Aeneas McCarthy (& Co) detailing some of the
outrageous abuses of Court processes being carried out; the
appalling liberties being taken with the law and the
Constitution; and the criminal dirty tricks being visited on
anyone who dares to speak truth to power.
One thing that I have learned in the last 6 years. If you want justice,
you have to fight tooth and nail for it. Even then, you aren't
guaranteed the right outcome. Far more cases need to be taken to the
EUCHR. One judgment by the ECJ, going way back to the 1950s and
several times since, is that ANY intrusion on the individual MUST be
tested for necessity before any statutes are relevant. That is one of my
arguments currently being considered by the Supreme Court. I intend
to insist on it's ratification here.
/react-text I went the ECHR in 2011. no luck.
Now, that is REAL efficiency for you! It seems they are in a
real hurry to jail Stephen. How many of us have been
penalised for NOT following the Court rules to the letter? Yet
Peter Mooney (the guy who we have PROVEN is involved in
perjury, fraud, defiance of a Court Order, criminal damage,
perverting justice etc etc) has just bypassed all of the usual
regulations to ensure that we get 'promptly dealt with' in
Castlebar Circuit Court. A NOTICE came to Stephen by
registered post today - sent on Tuesday - assigning the date
of Friday Feb 10th for the appeal before a single judge... Of
course, it's just happenstance that this sidestepping of the
usual rules (see below) will almost certainly prevent us from
getting the required papers into the pending Supreme Court
appeal next week.. where we have tried our best to get the
Supreme Court to step in and take action regarding all of this
criminal activity and harassment by agents of the State..
District Court Rules:
[Form of notice, time for service]
1. Every appeal to the Circuit Court from a decision of the
District Court shall be by notice of appeal (Form 101.1 or
101.2 Schedule D) which shall be served upon every party
directly affected by the appeal within fourteen days from the
date on which the decision appealed from was given.
[Lodgment of notice]
2. The appellant shall, within the said period of fourteen
days, lodge the original of the notice of appeal, together with
a statutory declaration as to service thereof, with the Clerk
for the court area within which the case was heard.
No plea ever entered by Stephen; Legal Aid 'granted' but
then not allowed; applications for witnesses denied; Court
Orders defied by the State Prosecutor Vincent Deane; lies,
perjury, forged documents accepted by Judge Aeneas
McCarthy; evidence of serious criminal misconduct by senior
Gardai, Courts Service Staff and the DPP's Office completely
ignored - and then a quick switch-a-roo of the hearing dates
and bingo! Colm & Stephen are 'found guilty' in their
absence - WITHOUT even entering their rock-solid defences -
and have now received sentences of two months each in jail
from McCarthy - even though Colm is undergoing heart
surgery.... Absolutely ridiculous, scandalous and revolting
behaviour by yet another of our highly-paid (criminal)
District Court Judges, in collusion with the powers-that-be.
Criminal complaints and appeals are of course being filed
(again).. What next ireland? http://www.integrityireland.ie/To
%20SC%20in%20person%20for%

The story of Stephen's unlawful arrest and detention has


been picked up by German, Dutch and British media.

Co. Mayo, Ireland: Questionable Arrests Continue


In precisely the same part of Ireland as the Dochertys faced much of
their worst lawless persecution, a local anti-corruption campaigner has
just been arrested in highly questionable circumstances.
UKCOLUMN.ORG

In precisely the same part of Ireland as the


Dochertys faced much of their worst lawless
persecution, a local anti-corruption campaigner
has just been arrested in highly questionable
circumstances.
In the Docherty family's litany of persecution in
Ireland, much of the worst conduct by garda
(police), social workers and court
figures emanated from County Mayo in the north-
west of the Republic in 2014-15. In particular, they
experienced great unlawfulness while resident on
Achill Island off the west coast, a remote and
partly Irish-speaking island belonging to Co.
Mayo.
As it would happen, anti-
corruption campaigner Stephen Manning of
Integrity Ireland was also a resident of Achill
Island for several years, and in the same
timeframe as the Dochertys experienced similarly
inexplicable persecution by local authorities.
Space does not permit the rehearsal of his whole
case here, which is written up on the
aforementioned website. The below details are a
mere fraction of what Mr Manning has
encountered. They are provided to give readers a
sense of how many of the same techniques of
judicial and public-service lawlessness inflicted on
the Dochertys have been seen in other local cases
when embarrassment to authorities is at stake.
Mr Manning first encountered difficulties when
he rubbed up some established Co. Mayo
figures the wrong way, namely the Collins
brothers, second cousins to Ireland's Taoiseach
(Prime Minister) Enda Kenny, who happens to
represent Co. Mayo in Dil ireann (the lower
house of the Oireachtas, the Irish Parliament).
After years of frustration and stonewalling by the
statutory authorities, Mr Manning used the
unique provisions of Ireland's legal system to
appear as a lay litigant (i.e. prosecutor who is not
a lawyer), seeking private prosecutions against
those who he alleges have engaged in criminal
conduct against himself and his family.
While all common-law jurisdictions (although with
almost total restrictions in Scotland due to the
power wielded by the Crown Office and
Procurator Fiscal Service) provide for private
prosecutions, the Republic of Ireland's lay litigant
route to lodging court cases is particularly
effective. It arises from the historical provisions
for "common informers" and cannot be
abolished, as the Dublin Supreme Court has
upheld its provisions, but it provides such means
for embarrassment of the Irish authorities that it
seems Mr Manning has been regularly targeted to
prevent him from lodging cases.
During the protracted harassment he faced on
Achill, Mr Manning was maliciously accused
(among other difficulties he faced) of impropriety
regarding the changing rooms of a youth football
club on the island, and has cleared his reputation
in two court cases on that matter.
On 2 September 2015, a hearing in a case
involving Mr Manning broke down in disorder,
after which he found himself charged with
disorderly conduct, which he strenuously denies.
That case rumbles on to the present. Crucial parts
of the audio recordings (known in the Irish court
system as DAR) of the disorderly incident
miraculously "went missing", as has happened in
countless British police station and courtroom
cases, but somehow the garda and Courts
Service staff were able later to quote verbatim in
a Mayo courtroom exactly what had been said,
with precise timestamps, during the crucial "lost"
section of the fracas.
For this reason among others, all painstakingly
documented, Integrity Ireland has consistently
maintained that garda, and staff of the Courts
Service and of the Office of the Director of Public
Prosecutions, have perjured themselves. Integrity
Ireland also maintains that judges in this and
other cases have acted contrary to their oath and
to the common law which is so prized in Ireland
(for evidence from this week of the flagrancy of
abuse of court process in Ireland, in an unrelated
case, see Ben Gilroy's latest video update).
It is Mr Manning's attempts during January 2017
to gain leave to appeal to the Dublin Supreme
Court which appear to have prompted the latest
series of steps against him. His newest court
documents name ODPP staff, a Garda
superintendent and Courts Service staff as having
demonstrably listened to the "lost" recordings of
the fracas in which he found himself involved in
2015, and his attempts to have those same
officials take receipt of his documents have been
repeatedly thwarted, with seven judges refusing
point blank to handle them, some even running
out of their chambers when approached by him.
Specifically, Mr Manning had very recently
announced to the Supreme Court his intention to
name Judge McCarthy in an alleged criminal
conspiracy against him which also implicated
officials of all three of the aforementioned public
institutions. His last action with the Dublin
Supreme Court had been an attempt to have it
issue an order to the Courts Service directing the
latter to cooperate with his lawsuit, which named
a registrar of the Courts Service as having
obstructed him unlawfully by refusing to process
his documents.
Having been given a court date of Thursday 26
January for his appearance in Castlebar, Co.
Mayo, on his supposed Section 6 public order
offence relating to the 2015 court episode, Mr
Manning went on a visit to Dublin last weekend.
He was called at 11 am on Monday 23 January by
Castlebar garda, demanding to know why he had
not turned up for his hearing, which they insisted
he had been notified would be held that day and
for which Judge Aeneas McCarthy was "sitting
right now". He insisted that he and his fellow
defendant in the Castlebar case, Colm Granahan
(together with whom he had summoned a Garda
in May 2015 to testify, who had failed to appear in
court for either of their cases), had been given the
date of this Thursday for their appearance. Later
in the day, he returned to Co. Mayo.
Mr Manning was arrested at 5:04 pm on Monday
by garda at Ballyhaunis Railway Station, Co.
Mayo, on his return from Dublin. The three
policemen who approached him arrested him for
"contempt of court", a charge which has been
wide open to judicial abuse in the Republic of
Ireland for at least a generation and which,
uniquely among common-law jurisdictions, now
has precedents in Ireland for being invoked when
a judge is spoken to civilly outside court buildings
on the street.
The "contempt of court" arrest order, which was
signed by Judge McCarthy as a bench warrant,
related to Mr Manning's alleged failure to appear
at Castlebar Courthouse that same morning. The
warrant contains, as an assertion of fact, the note
that it had previously been successfully served on
Mr Manning and that he had thus been
legally subpoenaed. He was held overnight
at Claremorris Garda Station. The garda took
Judge McCarthy's word against Mr Manning's that
he had been notified of the court date being 23
January.
"Warrants" and "subpoenas" served on Mr
Manning's fellow litigant Colm Granahan in
related matters have likewise been unlawfully
delivered or not at all. Irregularities with warrants
have reached epidemic proportions in Ireland (as
in all United Kingdom jurisdictions), and the
issuing of improper warrants by local councils (a
separate category of case from Mr Manning's) has
even been condemned by the Dublin Supreme
Court lately.
Mr Manning had recently accused Judge
McCarthy, in a writ for judicial review at the High
Court in Dublin, of the following:
Judge Aeneas McCarthy presiding in the said case
has;
(1) acted in excess and breach of his jurisdiction
as a District Court Judge;
(2) that the Respondent has failed to observe
constitutional and natural justice; and
(3) has likewise failed to act according to his legal
duty inasmuch as the following Articles of the
Irish Constitution and the European Convention
on Human Rights have been breached, as well as
the laws and principles of common law and
natural justice.
Calls to Claremorris Garda Station by journalists
in the Netherlands and Germany
yesterday morning regarding the lawfulness of Mr
Manning's detention were handled politely but
reticently.
Mr Manning appeared in Castlebar Courthouse at
10 am yesterday (Tuesday 24th January 2017) and
was given a two-month custodial sentence,
suspended by means of making him sign a
recognisance. The conviction proceeded despite
his not having lodged a defence or even entered a
plea, and despite his not having Legal Aid, which
Judge McCarthy had given him one hour (sic) to
try to find. Mr Granahan was sentenced in
absentia at the same time. He was unable to
attend because he was undergoing heart surgery
that very day.
The Irish Examiner reported in 2011 that
Mr McCarthy was previously a prominent criminal
lawyer in Limerick in south-western Ireland and
that, once made a judge, he was keen to sit
in various district court areas. This phenomenon
of hypermobile Irish district and circuit
court judges has been seen in the Docherty case
(as noted in the transcript at the first link above),
as well as becoming increasingly common in
England and Wales in politically sensitive trials.
McCarthy is one of surprisingly many "movable
judges of the District Court" listed nationally.
The first ever history of the Dublin Supreme Court
by Ireland's leading legal correspondent
Ruadhn MacCormaic, published late last
year, contains several passages describing the
blatantly party-political nature of the horse
trading which is often resorted to when Irish
judge slots are to be filled, such as the following:
Political patronage was less of a factor the higher
up the courts chain a vacancy arose, but at the
lower courts, in particular the District Court,
lobbying was intense. Local solicitors would
contact their TDs [teachta Dla, members of
parliament], who would call or write to ministers
or their advisers to convey the message.
Candidates election agents would seek
preferment on the basis of their service to the
party. Family members of would-be judges would
turn up at weekend hurling matches, where they
would, supposedly by accident, bump into a TD or
a minister.
The Integrity Ireland project (which is
an Unincorporated Association, registered in
Ireland under Class 45: Provision of information
services pertaining to citizens' rights has recently
been named, along with Mr Manning personally,
as parties to an alleged 'defamation' in a
somewhat bizarre civil lawsuit undertaken by
another District Court Judge, James Faughnan that
has been widely discussed on social media,
in what appears to be a contrived and technically
unlawful attempt to silence criticism of the Irish
judiciary.
http://www.ukcolumn.org/article/co-mayo-ireland-questionable-
arrests-continue
c January 16th 2017
OUR MISSION" (says the Courts Service website, is..): "To
manage the courts, support the judiciary and provide a high-
quality and professional service to ALL users of the
courts." ...is that so Mr Ryan? Similar NOTICES (to this
attached) are going out to the various 'authorities' today..
http://integrityireland.ie/To%20B%20Ryan%20CEO%20Jan
%2016th
This could be useful if used against corrupt courts.
Looks like a less cumbersome process than going to Irish courts.
FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN
PARLIAMENT Updating the handling of relations with the
complainant in respect of the application of Union law
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?
uri=CELEX:52012DC0154&from=EN

Anyone may file a complaint with the Commission free of charge


against a Member State about any measure (law, regulation or
administrative action), absence of measure or practice by a Member
State which they consider incompatible with Union law.
Stage is set for US
watchdog to create first
whistle-blowing
millionaire in Ireland
Anyone supplying a tip-off on suspected
corporate wrongdoing could be in line
for a huge payout under an American
regulatory scheme
Greg Glynn
PUBLISHED
01/01/2017

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has received 65 tip-


offs from people in Ireland. Photo: Reuters
Since 2012, the US Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC), through its whistle-blower
programme, has received 65 tip-offs regarding
suspected corporate wrongdoing from
individuals in Ireland.
In that same period, over $111m (105m) in awards has
been paid to 34 whistle-blowers under the scheme.
Although the latest figures for 2016 show that tips from
Ireland are down slightly on last year, awards made to those
who do disclose continue to rise -with the potential for a
lucrative payout more real than ever.
With an award of more than $30m (28.4m) made to a
whistle-blower living in a foreign country in 2014 (the largest
award made by the SEC to date) - the stage remains set for
Ireland's first whistle-blower millionaire.
Dodd-Frank
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer
Protection Act became federal law in the US in 2010.
The Act recognises the valuable role whistle-blowers can play
in uncovering and prosecuting corporate wrongdoing by
offering significant financial incentives to encourage whistle-
blowers to come forward.
Under the Act, individual whistle-blowers who provide
"original information" on corporate wrongdoing to the SEC,
which leads to the wrongdoer being fined $1m or more, are
awarded between 10pc-30pc of the amount of the fine.
Whistle-blowers can submit information alone or jointly
with another individual. The information must be 'original'
(that is to say not known to the SEC from any other source),
and must come from the whistle-blower's independent
knowledge or analysis.
Significantly, the whistle-blower does not have to be an
employee of the organisation in question. The information is
submitted directly to the SEC's Office of the Whistleblower,
which was established by the Act to administer the
programme.
Whistle-blowing: The latest figures
There is no denying that, since its inception in 2012, the
programme has gone from strength to strength.
The Chief of the Office of the Whistleblower, in her foreword
to the 2016 Annual Report, describes the 'transformative
effect' the programme has had on the agency's enforcement
activities.
The continued success of the programme is borne out in the
figures: in 2016 the information and assistance provided by
34 whistle-blowers led to successful enforcement actions in
which more than $584m (554m) in financial sanctions
were ordered.
As in previous years, the number of tips received in 2016
continued to increase apace.
In 2012, 3,001 tips were submitted to the agency. The figure
for 2016 is 4,200, an increase of over 40pc. In financial year
2016, the agency issued awards totalling more than $57m
(54m) - higher than all award amounts issued in previous
years combined. Six of the 10 highest awards ever made were
in that same year: $22m in August; $17m in June; $5m-6m
in May; $4m in September; $3.5m in May and $2m in
March.
Notably an award of $16.5m (15.6m), which would have
been the third-largest in the programme's history, was
turned down by an employee of Deutsche Bank in August in
protest at what the employee saw as a failure of the SEC to
punish executives at the bank for misstating the bank's
accounts.
The Irish element
The majority of the tips received still come from within the
United States. However, tips received from outside the US
remain steady. In 2016, the Commission received
submissions from individuals in 67 foreign countries.
Canada, the UK and Australia remain the largest source of
tips from outside the US, with 68, 63 and 53 submissions
respectively. Although tips from Ireland fell slightly last year
(from 20 in 2015 to 14 in 2016), the overall trajectory since
2012, the first year for which records are available and
during which nine submissions came from Ireland, is
upwards.
The future
The 2016 Report indicates that awards under the programme
will continue to increase. As the Chief of the Office stated,
the SEC believes that "the continued payment of significant
awards, like those made this past year, will continue to
incentivise company insiders, market participants and others
with knowledge of potential securities law violations to come
forward and report their information to the agency".
As US foreign direct investment in Ireland remains steady,
the potential for Irish individuals to engage with, and
potentially uncover incriminating information regarding US
corporations endures.
The fact that whistle-blowers do not have to be an employee,
or even an insider of the company that they are reporting on,
to be eligible for an award, further underlines its wide
availability to anyone with relevant information on corporate
wrongdoing to benefit.
Given this, and the increasing level of the lucrative payouts
for some informants, the stage remains set for Ireland's first
whistle-blower millionaire.
Greg Glynn is a partner at Arthur Cox
Arragh sure it never happened here its all based upon lies as usual
http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/stage-is-set-for-us-
watchdog-to-create-first-whistleblowing-millionaire-in-ireland-
35331214.html
"GSOC legal bill increases five-fold!" Money Well Spent
Justice Ring? Under new leadership, GSOC continues to give
us the 'value and professionalism' we have come to expect
from Irish State agencies.. as they (secretly) advertise for
'additional resources'
39-Dec 28th 2016 to J Ellen Ring
http://www.integrityireland.ie/39-Dec%2028th%202016%20to%20J
%20Ellen%20Ring.pdf
GSOC legal bill increases five-fold!" Money Well Spent Justice
Ring? Under new leadership, GSOC continues to give us the
'value and professionalism' we have come to expect from
Irish State agencies.. as they (secretly) advertise for
'additional resources': http://www.integrityireland.ie/39-Dec
%2028th%202016%20to%20

we are all so proud of you standing up to ENDEMIC CORRUPTION in this


country and we will support you in court. In relation to the sad, sad
people which you are forced to deal with, if I may say a few words
about them. I read that in America that people with incurable diseases
are put into cryogenic suspension as we only have advanced to the
stage where miracles we can do at once the impossible takes longer.
The Gardai, the institutions , agents of the state and I specifically bring
it to your attention Ms Noreen O'Sullivan and Francis Fitzgerald by their
OWN OMISSION have shamefully failed in their oaths of office which I
personally feel is utterly disgraceful. These sad, sad people are surly
creatures of the night, they cannot be indigenous to this world, they
cannot be plant, they must be robotic and again by their BLATANT
FAILURES of their mandates are only fit for the scrapyard. Luke Ming
Flanagan commented: In fairness you have to put up with mad people.
Can there possibly be a happy ending for the ordinary, good members
of Irish society that DESPERATELY seek justice when corruption is
ENDEMIC in this country.
the commercial but where is the justice
Now, they're trying to stop people handing out information
flyers about 'national issues' (i.e. scandals) that are
somehow being 'overlooked' by the mainstream media.. by
invoking anti-littering laws of all things - in order to 'get the
names' of the dangerous subversives involved..

Know your rights and the law


Sep 21, 2013
Every week outside the G.P.O in Dublin various groups and
campaigns hand out leaflets to people passing by . For some
unknown reason this week 21/09/13 the city's litter warden didn't
like this but when challenged didn't have a lot to say both himself
and the Garda gave up and walked away .
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAfe83dPf00&feature=share
Guard loses the plot and is put in his place
by Meter Mick
Aug 8, 2014
While discussing what we can and can`t do this guard decides to
raise his voice and shout and everyone. Meter Mick stepped in
and put him in his place
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFa09ZGUKHQ
Garda sought access to hundreds of
private emails
Friday, March 22, 2013
By Noel Baker
Garda sought access to hundreds of personal emails and
other electronic accounts last year amid growing concerns
over the safeguards protecting privacy.
The first Microsoft Transparency Report, published yesterday,
found garda made 72 requests to the technology giant
relating to 222 different accounts.
In five cases, the contents of emails were provided to garda,
while non-content user information was revealed in 46 cases.
Separately, garda made four requests relating to seven
different Skype accounts no data was disclosed in relation
to any of these requests. In two other cases, Skype provided
general guidance to garda regarding the procedures for
accessing customer data.
Microsoft owns Skype and also operates Hotmail, its
successor Outlook.com, and Messenger, among other
services.
The report shows Ireland was one of five countries where
user content was disclosed the others were the US, Brazil,
Canada, and New Zealand.
Google received 34 data requests from garda in the first six
months of last year. Data was provided in just two cases.
Digital Rights Ireland chairman TJ McIntyre said Justice
Minister Alan Shatter needed to clarify a number of
questions over Garda requests for digital communications
data.
He said the public needed to know:
*The legal basis on which the emails are being read;
*What safeguards are in place to provide oversight of the
process, such as ministerial warrant;
*What mechanisms are in place to ensure no abuses take
place;
*If legislation covering the interception of
telecommunications messages covered digital data and if
the law needed to be updated.
Mr McIntyre said it would be worrying if existing laws
allowed Garda access to email contents without any outside
scrutiny [neither a ministerial warrant nor a court order
being required] and without any judicial oversight.
It has never been the case in Ireland that people are
notified after the fact about surveillance even if it should
never have been carried out, said Mr McIntyre.
He said existing laws on intercepting communications were
drafted prior to the advent of email and therefore might not
cover digital communication.
He said if somebody found their email account had been
accessed by garda without good reason, they could bring a
case to the European courts under an existing legal
loophole.
While oversight exists at High Court and circuit court level
for phone taps, Mr McIntyre said he did not believe the same
level of oversight existed for digital communications.
The Government has never come out one way or the
other, he said.
A spokesperson for the Department of Justice said it could
not address the questions raised by the report
http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/gardai-sought-access-to-
hundreds-of-private-emails-226189.html
Interception and Data Retention
Annual Report 2009/10
Jun 17, 2011 by TJ McIntyre

https://www.scribd.com/document/58099350/Interception-
and-Data-Retention-Annual-Report-2009-10#

Garda Letter to ISPs Requesting Blocking Mar 18, 2011 by TJ


McIntyre
https://www.scribd.com/document/51018185/Garda-Letter-to-ISPs-
Requesting-Blocking#
On the 2009 Act. So far as I can see the suggested amendments
were not made. My reading so far suggests that it is legal for the
Minister and Gardai to lie about surveillance - and indeed one can
see that it might not be much use if they were not. But there is no
effective oversight or route of complaint.
I. Introduction 1. The Irish Human Rights Commission (IHRC) is
Irelands National Human Rights Institution, set up by the Irish
Government under the Human Rights Commission Acts 2000 and
2001.[1] The IHRC has a statutory remit under the Human Rights
Commission Act 2000, to endeavour to ensure that the human
rights of all persons in the State are fully realised and protected in
the law and policy of the State. The IHRC seeks to ensure that Irish
law and policy set the standards of best international practice. Its
functions include keeping under review the adequacy and
effectiveness of law and practice in the State relating to the
protection of human rights, and making such recommendations
to the Government as it deems appropriate in relation to the
measures which the IHRC considers should be taken to
strengthen, protect and uphold human rights in the State. 2. On
the 19 November 2008, the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law
Reform (the Minister for Justice) referred the Scheme of the
Criminal Justice (Covert Surveillance) Bill 2008 (2008 Scheme) to
the IHRC pursuant to Section 8(b) of the Human Rights
Commission Act 2000. The IHRC was in the process of finalising its
Observations on the 2008 Scheme when the Minister for Justice
published the Criminal Justice (Surveillance) Bill 2009 (2009 Bill) on
the 17April 2009. In pursuance of its statutory mandate the IHRC
therefore considers it appropriate to make observations and issue
recommendations on the 2009 Bill as published. 3. The IHRC is
pleased to note that some of the concerns that the IHRC had
relating to the 2008 Scheme have been resolved in the 2009 Bill.
Overall the IHRC welcomes the 2009 Bill which provides the
necessary legal framework for surveillance activities. The 2009 Bill
contains a number of vital and welcome safeguards, such as the
requirement for judicial supervision of an authorisation for
surveillance in most circumstances.[2] The 2009 Bill further
provides that in applying for or authorising the exercise of
surveillance powers the officer, superior officer[3] or District
Court judge as the case may be should be satisfied that the
surveillance is the least intrusive means available having regard to
its objectives, that the surveillance is proportionate to its
objectives having regard to the likely impact on the rights of the
person and that the duration of the measure is reasonably
required to achieve its objectives.[4] The IHRC warmly welcomes
these and further safeguards contained in the 2009 Bill. 4. The
2009 Bill applies to surveillance carried out by An Garda Sochna,
the Defence Forces and officers of the Revenue Commissioners.
[5] In the case of An Garda Sochna the surveillance powers
relate to the investigation of arrestable offences, which are
offences for which a person can be punished by imprisonment for
a term of five years or more. In the case of both An Garda
Sochna and the Defence Forces the surveillance powers relate
to maintaining the security of the State. In the case of officers of
the Revenue Commissioners, surveillance powers relate to the
investigation of revenue offences as defined under section 1 of
the 2009 Bill[6] which are arrestable offences. 5. The IHRC notes
that the 2009 Bill does not apply to surveillance carried on by
private individuals. The Privacy Bill 2006 which has been at first
stage in the Seanad since July 2006, proposes that a tort would be
committed where a person wilfully or without lawful authority
violates the privacy of an individual by subjecting them to
surveillance as defined under section 1 of the Privacy Bill 2006.
The IHRC notes that the Privacy Bill has been delayed for some
time before the Houses of the Oireachtas. While it is outside the
remit of these present observations to comment in detail on that
legislative proposal, the IHRC urges the Government to advance
legislative reform to effectively protect the right to private life in a
manner that does not disproportionately impact upon the
protection of other human rights.[7] 6. The IHRC has a number of
specific concerns with the text of the 2009 Bill as published and in
making these observations aims to ensure that the 2009 Bill
complies to the fullest extent possible with Irelands obligations
under the Constitution and international human rights law. II.
Observations on the Criminal Justice (Surveillance) Bill 2009 (a)
Definition of a Surveillance Device i. Relevant Provisions of the
2009 Bill 7. Section 1 of the 2009 Bill includes definitions of
surveillance, surveillance devices and tracking devices. The
definition of a surveillance device is stated not to include an
apparatus designed to enhance visual acuity or night vision where
it is not being used to record any person; a CCTV within the
meaning of section 38 of the Garda Sochna Act 2005; or a
camera, to the extent to which it is used to take photographs of
any person or any thing that is in a place to which the public has
access. A tracking device is defined as a surveillance device that is
used only for the purpose of providing information regarding the
location of a person, vehicle or thing. ii. Relevant Human Rights
Law 8. Article 8(1) of the European Convention for the Protection
of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) provides the
everyone has the right to respect for their private life, family life,
home and correspondence. Article 8(2) of the ECHR allows the
State to justify interference with these rights where such
interference is in accordance with law and is necessary in a
democratic society in the interests of national security, public
safety, and for the prevention of disorder or crime among other
grounds. For an interference to be regarded as necessary in a
democratic society, it should be proportionate to the legitimate
aim pursued and there should be adequate and effective
safeguards in place to prevent arbitrary interferences with rights.
9. The Irish Constitution also protects the fundamental rights of
citizens in relation to, inter alia, privacy.[8] In Kane v. Governor of
Mountjoy Prison, the Supreme Court stated that an individual has
a right to enjoy privacy and that the absence of a specific
justification for surveillance could constitute an infringement of
his constitutional right to privacy.[9] Furthermore, Article 40.5 of
the Constitution protects the inviolability of the dwelling providing
that the dwelling []shall not be forcibly entered save in
accordance with law. In King v. Attorney General, Mr. Justice
Henchy stated that this phrase meant []without stooping to
methods which ignore the fundamental norms of the legal order
postulated by the Constitution.[10] 10. A central test applied
within constitutional law is that any interference with an
individuals rights must be justified by demonstrating that the
interference is in pursuit of a legitimate aim and that the
interference is proportionate to that aim. The classic statement of
proportionality in the context of Irish constitutional law is to be
found in the decision of Mr. Justice Costello in Heaney v. Ireland
as follows: The objective of the impugned provision must be of
sufficient importance to warrant overriding a constitutionally
protected right. It must relate to concerns pressing and
substantial in a free and democratic society. The means chosen
must pass a proportionality test. They must: (a) be rationally
connected to the objective and not be arbitrary, unfair or based
on irrational considerations; (b) impair the right as little as
possible; and (c) be such that their effects on rights are
proportional to the objective.[11] 11. The concept of private life is
inherently broad and the European Court of Human Rights
(ECtHR) in particular has explored the definition of private life as it
relates to surveillance powers on a number of occasions. The
ECtHR has declined to give an exhaustive definition of the concept
of private life.[12] However, the ECtHR has stated that there is a
zone of interaction of a person with others, even in a public
context, which may fall within the scope of private life.[13]
Information gathered in the public domain can fall within the
scope of private life where it is systematically collected and stored
in files held by the authorities.[14] In P.G. and J.H v. United
Kingdom the ECtHR pointed out that there are a number of
considerations of whether a persons private life is concerned in
surveillance measures that take place outside a persons home or
private premises.[15] Since there are occasions when people
knowingly or intentionally involve themselves in activities which
are or may be recorded or reported in a public manner, a persons
reasonable expectations as to privacy may be a significant,
although not necessarily conclusive factor.[16] Private life
considerations may arise once any systematic or permanent
record comes into existence of activities carried out by an
individual in the public domain.[17] 12. The monitoring of the
actions of an individual in a public place by the use of video
equipment which does not record the visual data does not as
such give rise to an interference with the individuals private life.
[18] On the other hand, the recording of the data and the
systematic or permanent nature of the record may give rise to
such considerations.[19] In Rotaru v. Romania and Amann v.
Switzerland the compilation of data by security services on
particular individuals, even without the use of covert surveillance
methods, constituted an interference with the applicants private
lives.[20] In the P.G. case, the recordings of the two applicants
voices in a police station and the subsequent analysis of the voice
sample was held to amount to an interference with the right to
private life notwithstanding that it took place in a police station in
the context of a police interview.[21] In the case of Peck v. United
Kingdom the disclosure to the media for broadcast use of video
footage of the applicants suicide attempt which was caught on
CCTV was found to be a serious interference with the applicants
private life, notwithstanding that he was in a public place at the
time.[22] 13. In the case of Perry v. United Kingdom the ECtHR
stated that the normal use of security cameras per se whether in
the public street or on premises, such as shopping centres or
police stations where they serve a legitimate and foreseeable
purpose, does not raise issues under Article 8(1) of the ECHR.[23]
However, in that case the police regulated the security camera so
that it could take clear footage of the applicant in the custody
suite and inserted it in a montage of film of other persons to show
to witnesses for the purposes of seeing whether they identified
the applicant as the perpetrator of the crimes under investigation.
The ECtHR stated that the permanent recording of the footage
and its inclusion in a montage for further use can be regarded as
processing or collecting personal data about the applicant.[24]
The ECtHR noted that the footage in question had not been
obtained voluntarily or in circumstances where it could be
reasonably anticipated that it would be recorded and used for
identification purposes and therefore concluded that there had
been an interference with right to private life under Article 8.[25]
14. The use of cameras by the police to take photographs to
observe or record the presence or actions of persons in public
places has been considered under the ECHR. In Friedl v. Austria
the former European Commission for Human Rights rejected an
Article 8 complaint in respect of the police photographing and
retaining the photographs of participants in a public
demonstration.[26] In that case, the demonstration was unlawful
and the demonstrators had been advised of that fact by the police
and asked to leave before the photographs were taken, the
photographs had not been entered into a data-processing system
and the authorities had taken no steps to identify the persons
photographed by means of data processing. However, it would
seem from S and Marper v. United Kingdom that the ECtHR may
take the same restrictive approach to the compilation and
maintenance of a database of photographs as it now does with
fingerprints.[27] iii. Analysis and Recommendations 15. CCTV
cameras operated in accordance with section 38 of the Garda
Sochna Act 2005, are excluded from the definition of a
surveillance device. Section 38 of the 2005 Act empowers the
Garda Commissioner to authorise the installation and operation
of CCTV for the sole or primary purpose of securing public order
and safety in public places by facilitating the deterrence,
prevention, detection and prosecution of offences. Section 38 of
the 2005 Act does not specify standards around the operation of
CCTV or the purposes for which CCTV footage can be used but
simply provides that the Garda Commissioner in authorising the
use of CCTV can specify such terms as he or she considers
necessary. The Department of Justice has issued a Code of
Practice for Community-Based CCTV Systems which sets out in
more detail standards in relation to the purposes of CCTV, the
processing of CCTV images and access to and disclosure of images
to third parties among other issues. This is a non-binding Code of
Practice and compliance with its terms is to be monitored by the
data controller who is managing and operating the system.[28]
16. As a general concern, the IHRC considers that there is
insufficient regulation and a lack of safeguards surrounding the
use of CCTV cameras for the investigation or detection of offences
in Irish law. The IHRC considers that further regulation of this area
is needed particularly where CCTV is used for purposes that are
not reasonably foreseeable. 17. The IHRC is concerned that a
camera, to the extent to which it is used to take photographs of
any person or any thing that is in a place to which the public have
access, is excluded from the definition of a surveillance device. As
stated above, the compilation and maintenance of a database of
photographs would appear to give rise to an interference with the
right to respect for private life. To ensure full compliance with
Article 8 of the ECHR, the IHRC considers that activities such as
photographing persons where it is carried out in a targeted,
ongoing and repeated manner for the purposes of monitoring
and/or recording the activities of such persons should come
within the definition of surveillance in the 2009 Bill and should
be subject to the same safeguards as other forms of surveillance.
Recommendations: 18. The IHRC recommends that the use of
CCTV cameras should be further regulated by law with adequate
and effective safeguards concerning its use, particularly where
CCTV footage is used for purposes that are not reasonably
foreseeable. 19. The IHRC recommends that the definition of
surveillance under the 2009 Bill should be extended to include the
targeted, ongoing and repeated photographing of persons for the
purposes of monitoring and/or recording the movements,
activities and communications of such persons.
Tracking Devices i. Relevant Provisions of the 2009 Bill 20.
Section 8 of the 2009 Bill provides for a separate system of
authorisation for tracking devices as defined in Section 1. This
section empowers the relevant authorities to monitor the
movements of persons, vehicles or things using a tracking device
for up to 4 months where the use of a tracking device has been
authorised by a superior officer. In applying for and authorising
the use of a tracking device, both the officer and the superior
officer must be satisfied that the requirements of subsections
4(1), (2) or (3) have been fulfilled and that the surveillance is
justified having regard to the matters referred to in subsections
4(5)(b) and (c). In addition, both officers should be satisfied that
the information or evidence sought could be reasonably obtained
by the use of a tracking device for a specific period of time that is
as short as reasonably practicable. Moreover, the authorising
officer must have reasonable grounds for believing that the
surveillance would be authorised under section 5. ii. Relevant
Human Rights Law 21. As stated above, the ECtHR has held that
private life considerations arise once any systematic or
permanent record comes into existence of activities carried out by
an individual in the public domain.[29] The tracking of the location
of a person, vehicle or thing and the recording of data relating to
this surveillance, regardless of whether such activity is carried out
in a public place, amounts to an interference with the right to
respect for private life. Where an interference with the right to
private life is authorised by law, there should be adequate and
effective safeguards in place to ensure that such interference is
not arbitrary. 22. In the case of Klass and Ors. v. Germany the
ECtHR stated that it considers that in the field of surveillance
where abuse is potentially so easy in individual cases and could
have such harmful consequences for democratic society as a
whole, it is in principle desirable to entrust supervisory control to
a judge.[30] However, in the Klass case, having regard to the
nature of the supervisory and other safeguards provided for by
the relevant legislation in Germany, it concluded that the
exclusion of judicial control did not exceed the limits of what may
be deemed necessary in a democratic society. Under the German
legal framework there were various judicial and parliamentary
safeguards in place that the ECtHR considered provided adequate
and effective guarantees against abuse by the authorities.[31] iii.
Analysis and Recommendations 23. The tracking of the
movements of persons, vehicles or things using a tracking device
for up to 4 months for purposes of surveillance and the recording
of data in relation to such movements amounts to an interference
with the right to respect for private life under Article 8 of the
ECHR. The IHRC considers that this type of surveillance should be
subject to the same types of safeguards provided for in relation to
the other types of surveillance envisaged under the 2009 Bill, in
particular, there should be judicial supervision of the use of such
devices. There is no explanation offered in the Explanatory
Memorandum to the 2009 Bill as to why surveillance activities of
this kind should be subject to less stringent safeguards than other
types of surveillance activity. The maximum duration of the
authorisation, 4 months, is also longer than that allowed for the
other types of surveillance. Recommendations: 24. The IHRC
recommends that consideration should be given to amending the
2009 Bill to provide that where the relevant authorities seek to
use a tracking device to track the movements of persons, vehicles
or things they should be required to apply to a judge for such
authorisation in accordance with section 5 of the 2009 Bill so that
the same safeguards are applied to the use of all types of
surveillance devices including tracking devices. 25. The IHRC
further recommends that the maximum duration for which the
use of a tracking device can be authorised should be reduced. (c)
Supervisory Powers and Complaints Procedure i. Relevant
Provisions of the 2009 Bill 26. Section 12 of the 2009 Bill sets out
the procedure to be followed for the designation of a High Court
judge to oversee the operation of the legislation and outlines the
powers and duties of the judge. The judge is required to report to
the Taoiseach from time to time and at least once every 12
months concerning any matters relating to the operation of
sections 4 to 8 of the 2009 Bill and the Taoiseach is required to lay
such report before the Houses of the Oireachtas. A person in
charge of a Garda station, or place under the control of the
Defence Forces or Revenue Commissioners, is required to ensure
that the designated judge has access to those places and
authorisations, written records of approval, reports and other
relevant documents that the designated judge may request. 27.
Section 11 provides for a complaints procedure. Where a person
believes that he or she might be the subject of surveillance he or
she can apply to a Referee for an investigation into the matter.
Where the Referee forms the view that a contravention of the
legislation was material and it is justified in all the circumstances,
he or she can refer the matter to the Garda Sochna
Ombudsman Commission (GSOC), the Minister for Defence in the
case of a contravention by the Defence Forces and the Minister
for Finance in the case of a contravention by the Revenue
Commissioners.[32] ii. Relevant Human Rights Law 28. Article 13
of the ECHR guarantees the availability at national level of an
effective remedy to enforce the substance of the ECHR rights and
to provide redress where an arguable claim has been raised
relating to an alleged violation of rights. In Klass v. Germany the
ECtHR acknowledged that the secrecy of covert surveillance
measures rendered it difficult, if not impossible, for the person
concerned to seek any remedy of his own accord, particularly
while surveillance is in progress.[33] However, the ECtHR stated
that what is required under Article 13 in the context of covert
surveillance is a remedy that is as effective as can be having
regard to the restricted scope for recourse inherent in any system
of secret surveillance.[34] In examining the German legal
framework for surveillance in the Klass case, the ECtHR noted that
the competent authority is required to inform the person
concerned as soon as the surveillance measures are discontinued
where notification can be made without jeopardising the purpose
of the surveillance. Following this notification, various legal
remedies become available to the individual before the German
Courts. The ECtHR concluded that the aggregate of remedies
provided for under German law satisfied the requirements of
Article 13 in that case.[35] iii. Analysis and Recommendations 29.
The IHRC welcomes the role of the judge who is empowered to
keep under review the operation of sections 4-8. In accordance
with Article 13 of the ECHR in the context of covert surveillance
there should be in place a remedy that is as effective as possible
having regard to the restricted scope for recourse inherent in any
system of secret surveillance.[36] The IHRC considers that in the
event that a report of the designated judge reveals a case in which
an individual has been the subject of surveillance in contravention
of the legislation, there should be some mechanism in place to
inform the individual concerned so that they can exercise any
further causes of action or remedies available to them. In
particular, such persons should be informed of the complaints
system under section 13 of the legislation. Furthermore, the IHRC
considers that in order to facilitate the supervising judge to
effectively exercise his or her supervisory powers, the Garda
Sochna, Defence Forces and Revenue Commissioners should be
required to furnish a report on the exercise of the surveillance
powers to the designated judge on a regular basis. 30. The IHRC is
further concerned that where a material contravention of the
legislation is detected in the course of an investigation by the
Referee, he or she will then refer the case to the Minister for
Defence or Minister for Finance as the case may be, rather than to
an independent complaints mechanism such as GSOC where the
contravention involves a member of An Garda Sochna. The IHRC
considers that the Ombudsman for the Defence Forces should
also be empowered to investigate contraventions of the
surveillance legislation where it involves a member of the Defence
Forces.[37] Similarly, in the case of the Revenue Commissioners
an appropriate mechanism, independent of the Minister for
Finance, should be empowered to investigate a contravention of
the legislation by the Revenue Commissioners.
Recommendations: 31. In the event that the investigation of the
designated judge under section 12 reveals that an individual has
been the subject of surveillance in contravention of the legislation,
the IHRC recommends the legislation should provide for a
mechanism to inform the individual concerned so that they can
exercise any further causes of action or remedies available to
them in particular under section 13. 32. In order to facilitate the
supervising judge to effectively exercise his or her supervisory
powers, the legislation should require An Garda Sochna, the
Defence Forces and Revenue Commissioners to furnish
information to the designated judge on a regular basis in relation
to the operation of their surveillance powers. 33. The IHRC
recommends that where a material contravention of the
legislation is detected by the Referee following an investigation
under section 13, he or she should be empowered to refer the
matter for further investigation to the Ombudsman for the
Defence Forces where the matter relates to a member of the
Defence Forces. Where a material contravention of the legislation
is detected by the Referee relating to surveillance by an officer of
the Revenue Commissioners an appropriate mechanism,
independent of the Minister for Finance, should be empowered to
investigate a contravention of the legislation. (d) Powers of
Surveillance not Extended to GSOC i. Relevant Provisions of the
2009 Bill 34. Section 17 of the 2009 Bill proposes to amend
Section 98(5) of the Garda Sochna Act 2005 so that the
provisions of the 2009 Bill once enacted will not be extended to
include the GSOC. Therefore GSOC will not be empowered to
carry out the surveillance envisaged within the scope of the 2009
Bill. ii. Relevant Human Rights Law 35. The ECtHR has established
positive procedural standards regarding the investigation of cases
relating to allegations of violations of the right to life and the right
to freedom from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment or
punishment under Articles 2, 3 and 13 of the ECHR.[38] In
accordance with this jurisprudence, for an investigation into such
allegations to be regarded as effective it should be capable of
leading to the identification and punishment of those responsible.
[39] The ECtHR has made it clear that this is not an obligation of
result, but rather an obligation of means.[40] The investigating
authority must have the mandate to establish the key issues of
responsibility and liability and must have taken the reasonable
steps available to it to secure the evidence.[41] Any deficiency in
the investigation which undermines the ability of the investigating
authority to establish whether an alleged violation of Article 2 or
Article 3 has taken place, will risk falling foul of this standard.[42]
iii. Analysis and Recommendations 36. The 2009 Bill makes
provision for not only An Garda Sochna to carry out surveillance
but also the Defence Forces and the Revenue Commissioners.
However, the 2009 Bill currently excludes GSOC from its remit.
GSOC is excluded from the 2009 Bill, notwithstanding that the
functions of GSOC include the investigation of complaints
concerning death of, or serious injury to a person[43] and the
investigation of alleged arrestable offences involving members of
An Garda Sochna.[44] As noted above, where there is an alleged
violation of Articles 2 or 3 of the ECHR by State agents, the
independent investigating authority must have the powers and
means to establish whether an alleged violation of the ECHR has
taken place. A failure to extend surveillance powers to the body
which is charged by the Oireachtas with independent oversight of
the police may seriously limit the capacity of GSOC to discharge its
functions effectively as they relate to the investigation of
arrestable offences. 37. Furthermore, excluding GSOC from the
surveillance legislation is out of line with good practice in other
jurisdictions including Northern Ireland[45], England and Wales.
[46] While surveillance may be used by GSOC very rarely, failure
to extend surveillance powers to this oversight body may
undermine public confidence in the ability of GSOC to effectively
investigate serious criminal wrongdoing by using means that are
increasingly regarded in many jurisdictions as essential for
countering serious crime. Recommendation: 38. The IHRC
recommends that section 17 of the 2009 Bill should be amended
to remove the proposal to amend section 98(5) of the Garda
Sochna Act 2005. In addition, the 2009 Bill should explicitly
include powers of surveillance for GSOC.
Codes of Practice for the Operation of Surveillance Powers i.
Relevant Provisions of the 2009 Bill 39. Section 16 of the 2009 Bill
provides that the Minister for Justice, Minister for Defence or
Minister for Finance as the case may be shall make regulations
prescribing any matter or thing which is referred to in the Act as
prescribed or to be prescribed by the relevant Minister. For
example, section 7(7) provides for regulations relating to the
written record of approval of a superior officer who has
authorised surveillance under section 7 and section 10(2) provides
that regulations shall be drafted prescribing the person or
categories of persons who are to have access to information
relating to surveillance authorisations. ii. Relevant Human Rights
Law 40. In its recent policy statement Human Rights Compliance
of An Garda Sochna the IHRC recommended that when
legislation governing Garda powers in key aspects of operational
policing is being drafted or reviewed, consideration should be
given, where appropriate, to including a provision to provide the
Minister for Justice with the power to issue supplementary codes
of practice to accompany statutory Garda powers.[47] The
purpose of a code of practice in this area would be to govern the
exercise of surveillance powers, in this case by An Garda
Sochna, the Defence Forces and the Revenue Commissioners. A
code of practice in this area would comprehensively set out the
policy and procedures to be followed, inform the relevant officers
decisions and regulate the relevant officers powers in a
transparent manner. Such a code of practice should be proofed
against and underpinned by the relevant human rights standards.
[48] The IHRC considers that the surveillance legislation should
provide the relevant Minister with the power to issue codes of
practice and should stipulate that the relevant Minister is required
to engage in an appropriate consultation process prior to issuing
the code (or codes) of practice.[49] 41. In addition, it is essential
that effective compliance measures are incorporated into Garda
codes of practice. Codes of practice should generally include a
requirement for contemporaneous record-keeping by members
of An Garda Sochna, the Defence Forces or the Revenue
Commissioners. Furthermore, the IHRC considers that when
appropriate a breach of a code of practice should invoke
disciplinary action.[50] iii. Analysis and Recommendations 42.
The IHRC considers that it is in the interests of the Garda
Sochna, the Defence Forces and the Revenue Commissioners
that further guidance be provided as to operation of surveillance
powers under the legislation. The IHRC notes that within the
United Kingdom, Section 71 of the Regulation of Investigatory
Powers Act 2000 obliges the Home Secretary to issue codes of
practice relating to the exercise of surveillance powers and duties.
[51] The IHRC is of the view that a detailed and accessible human
rights based code of practice in relation to the operation of
surveillance powers under the legislation is an important aspect
of ensuring that surveillance is accompanied by adequate and
effective safeguards. The IHRC further considers that effective
compliance measures should be incorporated into a code of
practice on surveillance and where appropriate a breach of the
code of practice should invoke disciplinary action.
Recommendation: The IHRC recommends that serious
consideration be given to including a requirement that the
Minister for Justice, Minister for Defence or Minister for Finance as
the case may be, issue a code (or codes) of practice in relation to
the operation of the legislation. Such code (or codes) should be
proofed against and underpinned by the relevant human rights
standards. Where a code of practice is issued effective compliance
measures should be incorporated into such as code and where
appropriate a breach of the code of practice should invoke
disciplinary action. Irish Human Rights Commission 4th Floor,
Jervis House Jervis Street Dublin 1 Tel: + 353 1 8589602 Fax: +
353 1 8589609 Email:info@ihrc.ie www.ihrc.ie

Superior officer is defined in Section 1 of the 2009 Bill to mean: (a)


in the case of the Garda Sochna, a member of the Garda
Sochna not below the rank of superintendent; (b) in the case of
the Defence Forces, a member of the Defence Forces not below
the rank of colonel; and (c) in the case of the Revenue
Commissioners, an officer of the Revenue Commissioners not
below the rank of principal officer.
[4] Section 4(5) of the 2009 Bill.

[5] Section 2 of the 2009 Bill.


[6] Revenue offences are defined in section 1 of the 2009 Bill to
mean the following: (a) section 186 of the Customs Consolidation
Act 1976; (b) section 1078 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997; (c)
section 102 of the Finance Act 1999; (d) section 119 of the Finance
Act 2001; (e) section 79 of the Finance Act 2003; (f) section 78 of
the Finance Act 2005.

[7] See further recommendations of the Law Reform Commission


in the Report on Privacy, Surveillance and the Interception of
Communications, 1998; Consultation Paper on Privacy,
Surveillance and the Interception of Communications, 1996.
[8] Article 40.3 protects the right to privacy which was recognised
as an unenumerated right in Kennedy et al. v Ireland [1987] IR
587.
[9] Kane v. Governor of Mountjoy Prison [1988] 1 IR 757. In this
case, the applicant was followed continuously by a large number
of Garda who were awaiting the execution of an extradition
warrant to Northern Ireland. The Supreme Court stated that the
absence of specific justification for the overt surveillance of an
individual could constitute an infringement of his constitutional
right to privacy and could be unlawful. However, on the facts of
the case, whereby Garda were expecting the Royal Ulster
Constabulary to issue a warrant in relation to subversive activities,
the Supreme Court held that overt surveillance was permitted.
The Supreme Court noted that such overt surveillance had to be
accompanied by a specific adequate justification.
[10] King v. Attorney General [1981] IR 233 at 257.
[11] Heaney v. Ireland,[1994] 3 IR 593, at 607.
[12] Niemietz v. Germany Judgment of 16 December 1992, (1992)
16 EHRR 97.
[13] Peck v. United Kingdom Judgment of 28 January 2003, (2003)
36 EHRR 41 at para 57.
[14] Rotaru v. Romania, Judgment of 4 May 2000, (2000) ECHR 192
at para. 43.

[15] P.G. and J.H. v United Kingdom ECtHR Unreported, 25


September 2001, Application No. 44787/98 at para. 57.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Ibid. para. 59.

[20] Rotaru v. Romania, Judgment of 4 May 2000, (2000) ECHR


192; Amann v. Switzerland, Judgment of 16 February 2000, (2000)
30 EHRR 843.

[21] P.G. and J.H. v United Kingdom ECtHR Unreported, 25


September 2001, Application No. 44787/98 at para. 62.

[22] Peck v. United Kingdom Judgment of 28 January 2003, (2003)


36 EHRR 41.

[23] Perry v. United Kingdom Judgment of 17 July 2003, (2004) 39


EHRR 76.

[24] Ibid. para. 41.

[25] Ibid. para. 43.

[26] Friedl v. Austria, Application no. 15225/89, 26 January 1995.


[27] S. and Marper v. United Kingdom Judgment of 4 December
2008, Application nos. 30562/04 and 30566/04. See further
Dermot P.J. Walsh, Human Rights and Policing in Ireland: Law,
Policy and Practice, 1st ed, Clarus Press, Dublin, 2009, pp. 162-175.

[28] Section 8 of the Code of Practice for Community-Based CCTV


Systems.

[29]See above para. 11.

[30] Klass v. Germany Judgment of 6 September 1978, (1978) 2


EHRR 214, at para. 49.

[31] Ibid. para. 50. See paras 51 et seq. of the judgment for an in-
depth discussion on the precise safeguards in place.
[32] Section 11(5) of the 2009 Bill.

[33] Klass v. Germany Judgment of 6 September 1978, (1978) 2


EHRR 214 at para. 68.

[34] Ibid. para. 69.

[35] Ibid. para. 72.

[36] Ibid. para. 69.

[37] See further Ombudsman (Defence Forces) Act 2004.

[38] Keenan v. United Kingdom Judgment of 3 April 2001, (2001)


33 EHRR 1357; McKerr v. United Kingdom Judgment of 4 May
2001, Application no. 28883/95; Shanaghan v. United Kingdom
Judgment of 4 May 2001, Application no. 377715/97; Jordan v.
United Kingdom Judgment of 4 May 2001, Application no.
24746/94; Kelly and Ors. v. United Kingdom Judgment of 4 May
2001, Application no. 30054/96.
[39] Jordan v. United Kingdom Judgment of 4 May 2001,
Application no. 24746/94, at para. 107.
[40] Ibid. para. 107.
[41] Ibid.
[42] Ibid.
[43] Section 91 of the Garda Sochna Act 2005.

[44] Section 82(1) and Section 98 of the Garda Sochna Act 2005.

[45] Under Section 56(3) of the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 1998
a person employed by the Police Ombudsman for Northern
Ireland shall for the purpose of conducting, or assisting in the
conduct of, an investigation have all the powers and privileges of
a constable throughout Northern Ireland and the adjacent United
Kingdom.
[46] Under Section 4(1) of the Independent Police Complaints
Commission (Investigatory Powers) Order 2004 certain officers of
the IPCC are prescribed as being capable of authorising
surveillance for the purposes of section 30 of the Regulation of
Investigatory Powers Act 2000.
[47] See further IHRC, Policy Statement Human Rights Compliance
of An Garda Sochna, April 2009, pp. 39-43.

[48] On human rights proofing see further ibid. pp. 37-39.

[49] Ibid. pp. 42-43.


[50] The IHRC previously recommended that disciplinary
proceedings should result where there has been a breach of the
Garda Code of Ethics by a member of An Garda Sochna. See
IHRC, Observations on the Scheme of the Garda Sochna Bill,
2003, November 2003. See further IHRC, Policy Statement Human
Rights Compliance of An Garda Sochna, April 2009, pp. 41-43.
[51] Part II of the Investigatory Powers 2000 Act (2000 Act) permits
the Home Secretary to issue one or more codes of practice
relating to the exercise and performance of the powers and
duties under Parts I to III of the 2000 Act, section 5 of the
Intelligence Services Act 1994 (warrants for interference with
property or wireless telegraphy for the purposes of the
intelligence services), and Part III of the Police Act 1997
(authorisation by the police or customs and excise of interference
with property or wireless telegraphy). Part I of the 2000 Act relates
to interception of communications; Part II of the 2000 Act relates
to acquisition and disclosure of communications data; and Part III
of the 2000 Act relates to surveillance and covert human
intelligence sources. The Home Secretary issued a code of
practice in relation to Covert Surveillance in 2002.

Repression in the Name of Rescue: The


Oireachtas Justice Committees Sex
Work Proposals
July 10, 2013,
cross-party support for increased Garda powers of covert
surveillance last June
WENDY LYON OF FEMINIST IRE ON THE BARELY NOTICED DRACONIAN
MEASURES RECOMMENDED BY THE JOINT OIREACHTAS COMMITTEE ON
JUSTICE, DEFENCE AND EQUALITY TO BE INCLUDED IN THE FORTHCOMING
LEGISLATION TO CRIMINALISE THE PURCHASE OF SEX.
Last month, the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and
Equality announced its support for legislation to criminalise the
purchase of sex. While this received some media coverage, little
notice was taken of the related recommendations put forward
simultaneously by the Committee some of which are frankly
draconian.
These include the following:
An offence of recklessly permitting a premises to be used for the
purposes of prostitution. Although a sex worker who operates alone
out of a premise is committing no crime under either the present or
proposed legislation, this would effectively criminalise indoor
commercial sex by penalising a landlord who fails to act against it.
According to a report commissioned by the City of Oslo, a similar
provision in Norways penal code (enforced under the ominously-
named Operation Homeless) has led to the eviction of sex workers
from their flats, and makes them less likely to contact police about
crimes committed against them lest the police then threaten their
landlords. It has also led to the racial profiling by landlords of
nationality groups associated with prostitution, who now find it
difficult to rent premises and must depend on third parties to secure
accommodation for them.
power for An Garda Sochna to have disabled or vested in them any
telephone number in use in the State that is suspected on reasonable
grounds of being used for the purposes of prostitution. This provision
could cut off sex workers access to communication by phone which
would affect them in all aspects of their life, not merely their sex work
activity. (While many sex workers use one phone for personal calls
and one phone for business, its unlikely the Garda could easily
distinguish between the two unless they were prepared to listen in to
all calls made or received by a suspected sex worker a civil liberties
breach reminiscent of the Snowden revelations.) Denying sex workers
the right to use telephones could also have adverse effects for their
safety, by making it impossible for them to use ugly mugs schemes
that alert them to dangerous clients, or preventing them calling for
help if attacked.
that the accessing of web sites whether located in the State or
abroad that advertise prostitution in the State should be treated in
the same way as accessing sites that advertise or distribute child
pornography. Leaving aside the question of whether it is appropriate
to treat seeking out sex from an at least potentially consenting adult
as comparable to seeking out abuse of a child, this proposal makes
no distinction between those who seek out sex and those who
advertise it. Thus, sex workers themselves could be liable to
prosecution (and presumably placement on the sex offenders
registry) by accessing these sites for the purpose of advertising.
Outreach health and social service workers who engage with sex
workers through these sites, as well as sex industry researchers,
would also be affected. It goes without saying that this proposal would
require a significant expansion of the apparatus already in place to
monitor Irish internet usage.
Shockingly, these proposals received unanimous endorsement from
the Committee which includes Labour members Ivana Bacik, Anne
Ferris and Sen Kenny; Sinn Fins Pdraig Mac Lochlainn; and
independents Finian McGrath and Katherine Zappone, all of whom
might have been expected to have at least some concerns for the civil
rights and liberties that would be eviscerated by the
recommendations.
Of course, support for repressive legislation is nothing new among
the Irish moderate-left. It was, after all, a Labour minister that
extended Section 31 to ban Sinn Fin spokespersons from the
airwaves, and Labour and some of the left independents vote to
renew the Offences Against the State Act every year. But it is one
thing to support measures like these against persons suspected of
paramilitary or gangland involvement, and quite another to support
them against persons who in the ideology of those leading this
campaign are believed to be victims themselves. It is deeply ironic
that at a time when the State is facing a multi-million euro payout to
women of a previous generation whose human rights were
suppressed in the name of saving them, an Oireachtas committee is
now making new proposals to do the same.
http://www.irishleftreview.org/2013/07/10/repression-rescue-
oireachtas-justice-committees-sex-work-proposals/
REPORT BY THE COMMISSIONER FOR
HUMAN RIGHTS
MR. THOMAS HAMMARBERG
ON HIS VISIT TO IRELAND
26 - 30 November 2007
For the attention of the Committee of Ministers and the
Parliamentary Assembly
REPORT BY THE COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS ...
processes and strategic behaviours for human rights
compliance ... in his meeting with Garda the police .
Introduction
1. The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Mr.
Thomas Hammarberg conducted an official visit to Ireland from
26 to 30 November 2007 upon invitation by the Irish
Government. The visit was part of a continuous process of
regular country missions by the Commissioner to all Council of
Europe member states to assess their effective respect for
human rights

1
The Commissioner was accompanied by Mr. Lauri Sivonen, Ms.
Silvia Grundmann and Mr. Stefano Montanari, members of his
Office.
2. In the course of his visit the Commissioner met with An
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot
Ahern, Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform Brian
Lenihan, Minister for the Environment, Heritage & Local
Government John Gormley, Minister for Health and Children Mary
Harney, Minister of State for Children Brendan Smith, and
Minister of State for Integration Conor Lenihan. Mr. Hammarberg
visited Dublin and Cork and held discussions with representatives
of local authorities, parliamentarians, members of the judiciary,
specialised ombudspersons, members of the Irish Human Rights
Commission (IHRC), as well as civil society representatives.
Furthermore, the Commissioner delivered the IHRC Annual
Human Rights Lecture in Dublin and, in Cork, addressed the
participants of a seminar on guardianship and migrant children
jointly organised by the Centre for Criminal Justice and Human
Rights of the University College Cork and the Irish Refugee
Council. He also made several institutional visits to facilities and
sites with human rights relevance.2
3. The Commissioner expresses his great appreciation for the
generous co-operation of the Irish authorities at all levels in
facilitating the visit and wishes to thank the Minister for Foreign
Affairs and his Department for their shared commitment to the
objectives of the mission. Moreover, he extends his gratitude to
all people met during the visit for their open attitude and frank
exchange of views. The Commissioner is particularly pleased to
have had the opportunity to meet with many civil society
representatives who shared their expertise and valuable insights
regarding the human rights situation in Ireland.
4. The purpose of this report is to identify opportunities for
improving the protection and promotion of human rights in
Ireland. The Commissioner considers that following on from an
open dialogue with the relevant authorities during his visit, this
report should serve as a tool for progression, future co-operation
and follow-up. He calls upon the authorities and institutions
concerned to contribute their collective expertise for further
strengthening of human rights protection in Ireland. Continuous
efforts are required in every member state to uphold human
rights to a high standard. Such work can only be efficient and
constructive when it is carried out through permanent dialogue
with all stakeholders.
5. This report begins with a brief assessment of the national
system for human rights protection in Ireland and is followed by
chapters dealing with specific human rights concerns the
Commissioner wishes to highlight. It is based on information
acquired during the visit along with statements, reports and
statistics provided by the authorities and civil society
organisations in Ireland. Naturally, relevant reports prepared by
human rights monitoring mechanisms of the Council of Europe
and other international organisations are also referred to. This
first assessment report of the Commissioner in
relation to Ireland does not provide an exhaustive analysis of the
human rights situation in Ireland but rather reflects what the
Commissioner considers to be the priorities for improving the
protection of human rights in the country.
2. National system for protecting human rights
2.1 Status of international human rights standards
6. Ireland ratified the European Convention on Human Rights and
Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) in 1953. The Northern Ireland
Peace Agreement (Good Friday Agreement), which was reached
in multi-party negotiations on 10 April 1998, provided for the
establishment of a Human Rights Commission in Ireland and for
a Human Rights Commission in Northern Ireland. Under the Good
Friday Agreement, the Commissions are charged with promoting
and protecting human rights in their respective jurisdictions and
with working together in order to promote the protection of
human rights on the island of Ireland.
7. On 30 December 2003, the European Convention on Human
Rights Act 2003 entered into force implementing the European
Convention into Irish law subject to the Irish Constitution of
1937. Since then, people have been able to claim the rights and
freedoms of the European Convention before domestic courts. As
this legal framework is regularly used by the domestic courts, the
Commissioner considers the Human Rights Act 2003 to be a core
instrument in upholding and promoting human rights in addition
to the fundamental rights guaranteed in the Irish Constitution of
1937.
8. Ireland has ratified most of the Council of Europes and other
key international human rights treaties, including the Revised
Social Charter and its collective complaints procedure. In 2007,
Ireland signed the Convention on Action against Trafficking in
Human Beings, and the Convention on the Protection of Children
against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse. The Commissioner
welcomes these steps and strongly encourages Ireland to ratify
these instruments. Likewise, the Commissioner calls upon the
Irish authorities to ratify Protocol No. 12 to ECHR on the general
prohibition of discrimination and the Convention on Cybercrime,
as well as to sign and ratify its Additional Protocol concerning the
criminalisation of acts of a racist and xenophobic nature
committed through computer systems. Among UN treaties,
Ireland has signed but not yet ratified the Optional Protocol to
the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel,
Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OP-CAT).3 The
Irish Government is currently reviewing domestic law in view of
possible changes to meet OP-CAT requirements regarding the
mandates of bodies intended to constitute the foreseen visiting
mechanism to places of detention.
9. Ireland has neither signed nor ratified the Convention on the
Participation of Foreigners in Public Life at Local Level, the
Convention on the Legal Status of Migrant Workers or the
International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All
Migrant Workers and Members of their Families. The
Commissioner invites the Irish authorities to reconsider adhering
to these treaties as they would enhance the protection of the
rights of migrants and foreigners in Ireland.
2.2. The Irish Constitution and its envisaged reform
10. The Constitution of Ireland was adopted in 1937 by a
referendum and may only be amended in the same manner. It
established an independent state based on a representative
democracy and guarantees certain fundamental rights specifically
stated in Articles 40-44 which have been further developed and
extended by the jurisprudence of superior domestic courts. 4
Efforts are currently being made to implement a constitutional
reform as part of the Agreed Programme for Government of June
2007 with a focus on children. The proposed new article on
children would change current family and criminal law and aim at
improved protection of children. A joint Oireachtas (Parliament)
Committee has been set up to consider the wording and make
further recommendations.5
2.3 The judiciary and access to justice
11. The Irish judiciary comprises superior and lower courts. The
superior courts, i.e. the Supreme and the High Court, have been
established directly under the Irish Constitution. The Supreme
Court is the court of final appeal and is obliged to hear all
appeals which are brought before it, albeit in some cases
legislation in a particular area may limit appeals to points of law
only. Its decisions as to the interpretation of the Constitution and
the law are final. The High Court also has authority to interpret
the Constitution while its main function is to take up the most
serious criminal and civil cases and certain appeals from lower
courts. When sitting as a criminal court it is called the Central
Criminal Court its trials occur before a jury. The lower courts
have been set up by ordinary law. The Circuit Court when dealing
with criminal matters, sits with a jury which decides the guilt or
innocence of an accused. The criminal jurisdiction of the District
Court is limited to minor matters which may be tried summarily
without a jury. If District Courts hear childrens cases, they sit as
the Children Court. Due to the volume of cases in the areas of
Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Waterford, there are dedicated sittings
of the District Court as Children Court. The Children Courts hear
all charges against children under 18 years of age except those
which the judge, due to their gravity or other special
circumstances, decides to transfer to the Circuit Court. The
procedures in the Children Court are summary ones if the childs
parent or the young person has been informed of his/her right to
trial by jury and has waived this right.
12. In addition, the Constitution makes provision for the
establishment of Special Courts to secure the effective
administration of justice where the ordinary courts would be
unable to do so. The only example so far is the Special Criminal
Court which tries those accused of being members of paramilitary
organisations or of leading organised crime, normally without a
jury. Finally, a number of separate tribunals or determination
bodies have been set up with reference to Article 37.1 of the
Irish Constitution. These include the Equality Tribunal6, the
Labour Court, the Censorship Board and the Refugee Appeals
Tribunal7.
13. Against the background of increased migration to Ireland, the
Commissioner underlines that access to justice should not be
hampered by insufficient knowledge of local languages and,
therefore, underlines the importance of the availability of
interpretation and translation services.8 Furthermore, access to
justice is often conditioned by financial resources and the
availability of legal aid for those who lack sufficient means. While
the right to civil legal aid has been recognised in Ireland since
1979,9 the current scheme of civil legal aid has been criticised as
being limited in its scope and application.10 The Irish Human
Rights Commission in its Strategic Plan 2007-2011 highlights the
need to ensure that vulnerable groups (such as asylum-seekers,
refugees, migrant workers, ethnic minorities including Travellers,
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, homeless people,
prisoners and people with disabilities) will be in a position to
access justice through the courts. Furthermore, civil society
representatives have pointed out that judges are not always
sufficiently trained to deal with members of these groups as well
as children. The Commissioner underlines the importance of
regular training for all members of the judiciary. He also stresses
the need for a comprehensive and accessible scheme of legal aid
that reflects the actual cost of living.
14. Concerning the length of court proceedings, the
Commissioner notes with satisfaction that Ireland has had very
few cases before the European Court of Human Rights in which a
violation for excessive length has been found. In 1999, a Courts
Service was established as an independent agency to manage
and support the courts with a view to reducing waiting time,
especially in criminal and family law matters. Additional judges
were also appointed. The report Justice Matters of the Irish
Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) of July 2007 finds that the
situation has vastly improved with the establishment of the
Courts Service, yet voices some concern regarding the adequate
funding of the Irish court system. The Commissioner encourages
the Irish authorities to monitor the situation so as to ensure that
the length of proceedings remains reasonable.
2.4 Complaints bodies and human rights structures
15. The Irish Ombudsman, who is independent in the
performance of her functions, investigates complaints about the
administrative actions of Government Departments, the Health
Service Executive, local authorities and An Post. 11 The
Ombudsman is appointed by the President following a
recommendation passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas and
she reports to the Parliament. The Ombudsman can investigate
an action on the basis of an individual complaint as well as her
own initiative. She is empowered to issue recommendations, but
her findings are not binding. Where it appears to the
Ombudsman that the response to a recommendation which she
has made is not satisfactory she may make a special report on
the matter to the Parliament. Under the Disability Act 2005 she
can deal with complaints related to the accessibility of public
buildings. The Ombudsman also acts as the Information
Commissioner, set up under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 1997. The Information Commissioner may review
the decisions of public bodies in relation to requests for access to
information.
16. The Ombudsman cannot investigate complaints related to
recruitment or terms of employment as this is within the remit of
the Equality Tribunal. Moreover, the Ombudsmans mandate does
not cover aliens or naturalisations and actions taken in the
administration of prisons or other places of custody. An extension
of the remit is foreseen in an Ombudsman (Amendment) Bill
soon to be published. It does not appear to address the latter
gaps, although the Ombudsman has actively sought an extension
and is one of the few Ombudsman offices in Europe being
restricted in these matters.
17. The Ombudsman for Children aims at ensuring that the
Government and other decision-makers take the best interests of
children into account. She is appointed by the President following
a recommendation passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas, and
she reports to the Parliament. The main areas of work of the
Ombudsman are independent complaints handling,
communication and participation, research and policy. In
accordance with the Ombudsman for Childrens Act 2002, the
Ombudsman for Children does not have a remit if a case is or has
already been dealt with by a court; it affects or relates to
national security (including police) or military arrangements;
relates to the recruitment or appointment of staff or to a contract
of services or employment; concerns exams results; relates to
decisions about asylum, immigration, naturalisation or citizenship
status; or concerns the running of prisons or other places of
detention (i.e. police stations) with the exception of childrens
detention schools where the Ombudsman for Children does have
a role in investigating their management.
18. The Data Protection Commissioner, who reports to the
Parliament, is responsible for upholding the rights of individuals
set out in the Data Protection Acts 1988 & 2003 and enforces the
obligations of data controllers. The Commissioner is appointed by
the Government and is independent in the exercise of his or her
functions. He receives and investigates individual complaints and
takes whatever steps may be necessary to resolve them. The
decisions of the Data Protection Commissioner can be appealed
to the Circuit Court. An independent Garda Sochna
Ombudsman Commission was introduced by the Garda Sochna
Act 2005 to deal with all police complaints. It replaced the Garda
Sochna Complaints Board on 9 May 2007.12 In addition there
are other specialised ombudsperson institutions such as the
independent Pensions Ombudsman and the Ombudsman for the
Defence Forces. The Equality Authority is an independent body
established in 1999 to combat discrimination and promote
equality of opportunity under the Employment Equality Act 1998
and the Equal Status Act 2000.13
19. The Irish Human Rights Commission (IHRC) was established
in accordance with the Good Friday Agreement as an
independent national human rights institution in line with the
Paris principles14. In line with the Human Rights Commission Acts
2000 and 2001, it comprises 15 members appointed by the
Government for a period of 5 years, with at least 7 members of
each sex. The mission of the IHRC is to endeavour to ensure that
the human rights of all people in the state are fully realised and
protected in law, policy and practice. It is empowered to make
recommendations to the Government on measures to strengthen,
protect and uphold human rights. The Commission is currently
administratively associated with the Department of Justice,
Equality and Law Reform. In the opinion of the Commissioner, the
already widely recognised independence and impartiality of the
Irish National Human Rights Commission could be further
enhanced by rendering it directly accountable to the Parliament
through the presentation of its annual reports.
20. As a non-statutory co-regulatory body, the Press
Ombudsman took up office in January 2008. Appointed by the
Press Council of Ireland, he may receive complaints from
members of the public and considers whether the case is in
breach of the Code of Practice for Newspapers and Periodicals.
The Press Ombudsman also has the option of referring difficult
cases to the Press Council. The Press Council comprises 13
people with a lay majority of seven members, including the
Chairman, who are chosen by an Appointments Committee and
drawn from suitably qualified persons representative of a broad
spectrum of civil society. The remaining six members of the Press
Council provide senior editorial and journalistic expertise and
perspectives reflective of the media industry.
21. During his visit the Commissioner met with members of
many human rights structures and was impressed by their
dedicated work for the protection of human rights. He notes
however, that due to the number of different bodies and the fact
that some of them have been established only recently, it may be
difficult for the general public to see where their individual
concern might be best placed. The Commissioner welcomes that
each of these structures already provides information on its
mandate and procedures to the public in an easily
understandable format. However, he encourages the Irish
authorities to make available more comprehensive and
comparative information to guide the potential complainant
better in finding the relevant complaints body. The Commissioner
underlines that in order to be effective and trusted by the public,
the independence and adequate funding of human rights
structures is of particular importance. The Commissioner
acknowledges the constant efforts taken by the Irish Government
to resource the national human rights institutions and
encourages them to continue their endeavour.
22. The Commissioner is aware of the ministerial veto enabling
members of the Government to stop an investigation conducted
by the Ombudsman or the Ombudsman for Children.15 He
understands that the provision is not aimed at preventing the
scrutiny of discretionary administrative decisions by the two
Ombudspersons but rather excluding value judgments which are
better assessed by the Oireachtas. There are counterbalancing
provisions which require the Ombudsman to inform the
complainant of when the veto is exercised and the Minister to
give his reasons in writing to the Ombudsman. In fact, the veto
has never been used. The Commissioner encourages the Irish
authorities to revise the current provision for the sake of clarity
as it could be perceived as an impediment to the independence of
the Ombudspersons. Moreover, the Commissioner notes the
current gaps in the mandates of the Ombudsman as well as the
Ombudsman for Children related to questions of asylum and
migration and places of detention. He observes that the
ratification and implementation of the Optional Protocol to the UN
Convention against Torture (OP-CAT) will provide a timely
opportunity for reviewing the current mandates of human rights
structures with a view to optimising their effectiveness and
independence as well as closing any remaining gaps in needs for
protection.
2.5 Police
23. The Commissioner attaches great importance to the role of
the police authorities in protecting human rights. The Irish
authorities have faced serious allegations of police misconduct in
the past and have reacted by setting up a special tribunal in
2002, headed by Mr. Justice Morris, which has so far published
five reports leading to a number of reform measures to
strengthen transparency and accountability.16 In 2004, an
external audit report of the An Garda Sochnas (the Irish Police)
structures, policies, processes and strategic behaviours for
human rights compliance was published, based on the Council of
Europe manual Policing in a Democratic Society Is your police
service a human rights champion?. The Police are currently
implementing a human rights action plan.
24. During the visit, officials of the Irish Police pointed out that
human rights play an important role in police training on all
levels. Training, manuals and guidelines aim at enabling the Irish
police to perform their functions in a manner compatible with the
obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights.
Efforts are being made to increase the recruitment of women and
members of minorities, including Travellers, in the police service.
A working group to review police training and development
opportunities for personnel has also been established.
25. The Commissioner recalls that policing in a democratic
society requires that police authorities are willing to be monitored
and held accountable for their actions. In this context,
independent monitoring and complaints bodies are especially
apposite. The Commissioner was delighted to meet with a
member and staff of the newly established Garda Sochna
Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) set up in May 2007. 17 The
primary task of the Police Ombudsman Commission is to
investigate complaints made by the public concerning the
conduct of Garda members as well as to investigate cases
referred to it by the Garda Commissioner. The Ombudsman
Commission is headed by three Commissioners, appointed by the
President of Ireland, and is endowed with a support staff of
around 80 persons, about half of them investigators and many of
them recruited from abroad to ensure independence.
Comprehensive information material is available on line and in
print to explain the role of the GSOC. After an investigation, the
Commission may initiate mediation as well as disciplinary action
or transfer the file to the prosecutor if police misconduct has
been revealed. The Commissioner is of the opinion that the
independent Police Ombudsman Commission can serve as a
model to other countries and encourages the Irish authorities to
continue its further development based on the experience
gained.
2.6 Civil society
26. The Commissioner was encouraged to observe a very active
civil society sector covering all aspects of human rights in
Ireland. During his visit the Commissioner met with numerous
NGO representatives and is very grateful for having been able to
share their expertise and valuable information on the human
rights challenges they have encountered.
27. Regarding restrictions on tax-free donations to NGOs, the
Commissioner is aware that the current definition of political
purpose in the relevant legislation is so broad that it may
constitute an impediment for legitimate advocacy activities of
NGOs. In September 2007, the OSCEs Office for Democratic
Institutions and Human Rights recommended that the Electoral
Act 1997 be amended to limit the definition. Furthermore, there
seems to be no clarity on whether the promotion of human
rights, equality and social justice will be considered as charitable
purposes under the Charities Bill 2007 currently under review by
Parliament.
28. As to the dialogue between the Irish authorities and civil
society, the Department of Foreign Affairs has established a
formal framework for regular contacts with NGOs through their
joint standing committee on human rights established in 1997.
Other departments interact with civil society on specific policy
issues. However, there are plans to establish a systematic
approach for civil societys consultation in the area of integration
with the help of a task force. During the Commissioners visit,
several NGOs expressed their concern about the reaction of the
Irish authorities when they publicly questioned the role of Pavee
Point, an NGO representing Travellers and Roma, in providing
humanitarian assistance to a group of Roma families from
Romania in summer 2007.18 A senior civil servant had been
instructed to carry out a review of Pavee Points role in the
matter with potential consequences regarding Government
funding to the NGO.
29. The Commissioner underlines the need for constant and
constructive dialogue between the authorities and civil society
representatives. He encourages the Irish authorities to continue
to facilitate and support direct interaction with civil society at all
levels to ensure that the experience and expertise of civil society
representatives can benefit policy formulation and
implementation.
2.7 Human rights education
30. Human rights education is an essential part of a national
human rights policy. It ensures that individuals have an
understanding of their human rights and those of others, thereby
promoting critical thinking and mutual respect. In Ireland, after
the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, priority was given to the
advancement of human rights, although no national action plan
on human rights education has been developed despite the
commitments made during the UN Decade for Human Rights
Education (1995-2004). State bodies, human rights structures
and NGOs are involved in providing human rights education on
various levels. The Department of Education and Science with the
National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) are
responsible for formal education and curriculum.
31. For primary education (between the ages of 4-12) the NCCA
published guidelines on the integration of intercultural education
across the primary school curriculum in 2005. Human rights
issues are addressed in the primary school curriculum through
the Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) programme,
which is mandatory. Although human rights terminology is not
used, the programme aims at developing an awareness of how to
interact fairly with others, learning to treat others with dignity
and respect and to appreciate differences. In addition, the Lift-
Off initiative was launched in 2001 by Amnesty International in
association with the Irish National Teachers Organisation and the
Ulster Union of Teachers to encourage the development of a
human rights culture as a cross-border human rights education
pilot project for primary schools. The Lift-Off initiative has
developed support materials covering all stages of the primary
curriculum, available free of charge to schools. A first evaluation
has been largely positive but finds that mainstreaming is
needed.19
32. For secondary education (between the ages of 13-18) the
NCCA published guidelines on the integration of intercultural
education across the curriculum in 2006. For the junior cycle,
Social, Personal and Health Education is mandatory. In addition,
a mandatory course on citizenship education including a series of
modules in human rights education called Civic, Social and
Political Education (CSPE) has been developed in close
cooperation with NGOs; CSPE is an exam subject. The NCCA is in
the process of overhauling the senior cycle curriculum and has
stated that the proposed re-balancing of the curriculum at senior
level will provide new opportunities for the inclusion of additional
areas of study with a focus on citizenship, human rights and
global issues.
33. As part of the CSPE programme, teacher training on human
rights issues is provided by the Curriculum Development Unit of
the City of Dublins Vocational Education Committee. Amnesty
International is providing human rights education through in-
service training for primary school teachers and principals and
through post-graduate seminars at higher colleges of primary
education. At universities, a number of human rights centres
have been developed in association with law faculties at
University College Galway, University College Dublin and
University College Cork. Human rights are featured in law
courses. The Irish Human Rights Commission and Amnesty
International also deliver lectures on human rights at
universities. As for training of public servants and professional
bodies, the Law Society of Ireland organises regular lectures on
human rights law and has developed a case-study for the first
year syllabus for trainee solicitors. The Irish Human Rights
Commission has committed itself to developing a human rights
education programme for civil and public servants, legal
professionals and the judiciary, among others.
34. Civil society organisations, including NGOs, voluntary and
community groups, religiously affiliated organisations and
advocacy groups, have been actively promoting human rights in
their educational activities for many years, some of them having
worked closely with the NCCA and the Development Education
Unit of Irish Aid on developing education projects in the past. The
National Youth Development Education Programme (NYDEP) is a
partnership between the National Youth Council of Ireland and
Irish Aid at the Department of Foreign Affairs. The programme
aims to integrate development education, including anti-racist
and intercultural education, into the core programmes of youth
organisations. There are also programmes for community based
actions in which NGOs and the IHRC have cooperated, such as
training courses to community and womens groups on economic,
social, and cultural rights, with particular reference to the themes
of poverty and womens rights.
35. The Commissioner welcomes the wide range of on-going
initiatives in the field of human rights education in Ireland. He
encourages the Irish authorities to strengthen their efforts in the
context of immigration bringing new challenges to Irish society.
He recalls that a coherent and coordinated approach in human
rights education in schools might substantially reduce the risk of
bullying in schools, which was described as a problem to the
Commissioner during his visit. The need for human rights
education of professionals should be assessed and addressed, in
particular in the health sector and the judiciary. Furthermore, in
view of the many activities undertaken and planned for, it would
be useful to prepare a base-line study to assess the extent to
which human rights are currently integrated into education and
training. Such a study would also help identify further needs for
ensuring that human rights awareness reaches all walks of
society and facilitate the preparation of a national action plan on
human rights education.
2.8 National coordination of human rights issues
36. In his primary role under the Irish Constitution, the Attorney
General acts as an advisor to the Government in matters of law.
During his visit, the Commissioner was pleased to learn that in
fulfilment of this mandate, the Office of the Attorney General
routinely considers the compatibility of draft legislation with the
Irish Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights
and advises accordingly. During his visit, the Commissioner also
learned that the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform
reviews legislation for compatibility with equality legislation.
37. However, the Commissioner notes that currently there is no
national action plan for human rights in Ireland nor any
comprehensive coordinating mechanism among the authorities in
this field. The purpose of such an action plan should be to
improve the protection and promotion of human rights through a
comprehensive and coherent approach involving all stakeholders
including representatives of civil society. The United Nations has
provided guidance for the preparation of human rights action
plans, which should include a baseline study to analyse the
current human rights situation and the structural framework for
human rights protection.20 The Commissioner is convinced that
such an analysis would be useful for clarifying the respective
responsibilities of relevant authorities and institutions and
identifying and addressing any remaining protection gaps. A
national action plan on human rights should be viewed as a
coordinated and inclusive process for the continuous
improvement of human rights protection in Ireland.
3. Childrens Rights
38. Children in Ireland are generally defined as all persons below
the age of 18, in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the
Child to which Ireland is a state party. Ireland has a relatively
young population as children represent approximately one-
quarter of the total population. However, many children in Ireland
live under the risk of poverty. Despite progress made due to
Irelands rapid economic development since the mid-1990s, the
EU Survey of Income and Living Conditions 2004 demonstrate
that around 100,000 children, that is one in 10, were living in
consistent poverty. Another 230,000 children, nearly one in four,
were at risk of experiencing poverty.21 The need to tackle child
poverty has been addressed in numerous policy documents, 22 the
most recent one being Irelands National Action Plan for Social
Inclusion 2007-2016 (NAP inclusion). One of its four policy
objectives is to ensure that children reach their true potential by
significantly reducing the number of children experiencing
consistent poverty to between 2% and 4 % by 2014, and
eventually eliminating it by 2016. The Action Plan aims at
providing targeted pre-school education, reducing literacy
difficulties and tackling early school leaving as well as
maintaining child income measures at 33-35% of the minimum
adult social welfare payment rate.
39. More generally, over the past years, childrens rights have
been a growing topic of discussion in Irish society, resulting in
the creation of the offices of a Minister of State for Children and
an Ombudsman for Children as well as the publication of the
National Childrens Strategy 2000-2010. The strategy aims at
bringing greater coherence to policy-making for children and
young people. In an effort to find out what issues are of concern
to children and young people in Ireland, the Ombudsman for
Children ran a participatory project called the Big Ballot. In her
meeting with the Commissioner, the Ombudsman for Children
informed him of its results: of the over 70,000 votes cast by
children, one-third ranked family and care as the most
important issue for children.23
40. The Commissioner welcomes the initiatives taken to combat
child poverty and to promote the possibilities for children to be
heard, in particular through the establishment of the Office of the
Ombudsman for Children. He calls on the Irish authorities to
promote equal opportunities through an effective implementation
of the National Action Plan for Social Inclusion so as to protect all
children against the negative impact of economic hardship.
Furthermore, he encourages the Irish authorities to monitor the
effects of their National Childrens Strategy with a view to further
enhancing childrens rights and well-being.
3.1 Constitutional reform
41. In November 2006, An Taoiseach announced his intention to
hold a referendum on childrens rights to amend the Constitution.
After his re-election in June 2007, An Taoiseach and his new
Government confirmed this intention and continued work on the
Twenty-Eighth Amendment of the Constitution Bill 2007 published
in February 2007. The new Article 42.A would change current
family and criminal law. With regard to family law and child
welfare, under this article the State will acknowledge and affirm
the natural and imprescriptible rights of all childrenand ensure
that the best interests of the child are put centre stage in the
adoption and care systems and in all custody disputes. In
November 2007, an all-party parliamentary Committee was
established to examine the amendment and to report back to the
Oireachtas within four months of its establishment. The date of
the referendum had not been decided at the time of writing this
report.
42. The Government initiative, while in principle welcomed by
Irish society, has stimulated broad and critical discussion on all
levels. NGOs24, experts25 and the Ombudsman for Children26 have
expressed their concern that the approach taken by the
Government is not going far enough to meet the
recommendations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the
Child27 as it does not make the best interests of the child
principle generally applicable.
43. With regard to criminal law and child protection against
abuse, the Government proposes to allow the use of so-called
soft information28 about suspected child abusers and to
introduce legislation to make it impossible to claim the defence of
honest mistake about the age of the victim. While there seems
to be a general consensus that the current criminal law needs to
be revised due to a lack of adequate protection for children, the
proposed change is of concern to civil society. This change may
severely reduce defence rights and might lead to
disproportionate criminal sanctions of sexual activities between
teenagers. Furthermore, it appears to afford little control over
the gathering of soft information and its use with regard to
suspected child abusers.
44. The Commissioner noted with satisfaction that in June 2006
the Irish Government appointed two independent legal experts as
Special Rapporteurs on Child Protection to keep under review
legal developments and to audit them. The experts submitted
their annual reports. covering various aspects of the proposed
constitutional amendment, to the Oireachtas in November 2007.29
The concerns raised in the context of defence and information
rights should be carefully assessed in the light of Article 6 of the
European Convention on Human Rights and its interpretation by
the European Court. The Commissioner urges the Irish
authorities to seize the opportunity and include in their proposal
for constitutional amendment the best interests of the child as a
general principle, in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of
the Child.
3.2 Corporal punishment
45. While corporal punishment30 in Ireland is prohibited for
children in detention and schools as well as all places where a
child is in public care, and violence against children is prohibited
under the Children Act 2001, parents can still use chastisement
under common law.31 Following a collective complaint brought by
the World Organisation against Torture (OMCT), the European
Committee on Social Rights ruled in 2005 that Irelands common
law reasonable chastisement defence is in violation of Article 17
of the Revised European Social Charter. The UN Committee on
the Rights of the Child in 2006 reiterated its previous
recommendation to ban all forms of corporal punishment,
including within the family.32 NGOs representing children have
expressed their disappointment that although the Irish
Government has made a commitment to introduce legislation in
line with developing social standards, no draft legislation, nor
any timeline for its introduction, has been proposed.33
46. The Commissioner has called on all States party to the
European Convention on Human Rights to explicitly prohibit
corporal punishment, including in the family. The issue is
currently under review in Ireland. In late 2007, the specially
appointed Child Rapporteur delivered his expert opinion to the
Oireachtas. He warned that Ireland might be liable to a legal
action under Article 3 of the European Convention banning
torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and
recommended legislative change invoking the principle of
proportionality.34
47. The Commissioner wishes to refer to the ongoing Council of
Europe information activities in this field.35 He recalls that
although legal reform is needed, sustained public education and
awareness-raising, including the promotion of positive parenting,
is also necessary to end legal and social acceptance of violence
against children. He welcomes the ongoing review in Ireland and
urges the Irish authorities to bring Irish law in line with
international standards.
3.3 Separated and missing children
48. Separated children are defined as children under the age of
18 who have been separated from both parents, or from their
previous or customary primary caregiver, but not necessarily
from other relatives.36 Separated children may be seeking asylum
because of fear of persecution or the lack of protection due to
human rights violations, armed conflict or disturbances in their
own country. They may be the victims of trafficking for sexual or
other exploitation, or they may have travelled to Europe to
escape conditions of serious deprivation.37 Data on separated
children in Ireland vary significantly from one authority to
another,38 but the Irish authorities have indicated that the total
number amounts to 5,369 between 2000 and 2007 of which
2,635 were reunited with family members. 1,939 children applied
for asylum during the period 2000 to 2007. All separated children
who enter Ireland are placed in the care of the Health Service
Executive (HSE)39, with 180 children in care at year end 2007. It
is reported that the proportion of social workers allocated to
separated children seeking asylum is considerably lower than
that allocated to Irish children in care, even though both groups
are protected by the same Child Care Act 1991. In Ireland, there
is no regular practice of providing separated children with a
guardian ad litem to support and represent them during the
asylum procedure, where the child is especially vulnerable.
However, under the National Childrens Strategy the Government
has made a commitment to provide a guardian ad litem for all
separated children. It should be noted that although a
representative of the Refugee Legal Service is present at the
asylum process, this does not amount to independent legal
counsel.
49. The majority of separated children aged 16 to 18 in Ireland
do not reside in children's care centers, but in privately managed
hostel accommodation with no professional care staff. Children
under the age of 16 are placed in foster care or in a residential
placement with professional care staff. The Transition Supports
Project40, has two youth outreach workers who regularly visit
separated children in their accommodation and develop special
programmes for them. The hostels are not covered by the
National Standards for Childrens Residential Centres and its
system of internal and external complaints. The Health
Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) and its Social Services
Inspectorate (SSI) are responsible for inspecting accommodation
facilities where children are placed. NGOs have reported that
nearly all hostels failed the inspection, but no inspection report
has so far been made public.
50. The Commissioner notes that some consideration has been
given to adapting the asylum process to children in the proposed
2008 Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill, in particular by
incorporating the principle of the best interests of the child within
some provisions. He is, nevertheless, concerned that this
principle is not generally applicable in all provisions of the Bill
relating to children. The current absence of guardians ad litem
for each child is also a matter of concern. Guardians play a
particular role in ensuring that the voice of a separated child is
heard during the asylum procedure and that his or her best
interests are taken into account in an objective manner. 41
51. The Representative of the UN High Commissioner for
Refugees in Ireland expressed concerns to the Commissioner
regarding separated children who are not identified as such by
Irish immigration officials at a port of entry partly due to the
absence of standardised methods for age assessment. Moreover,
the Commissioner is of the opinion that separated children should
be exempt from procedures related to safe third countries and
safe countries of origin, so-called manifestly ill founded
applications, and Dublin II transfers. Similarly, in the light of the
European Courts case law, they should not be detained on
immigration grounds or refused entry to the State. 42 He therefore
welcomes that under the proposed Immigration, Residence and
Protection Bill children may not be detained on immigration
grounds.
52. The inadequate level of care provided to separated children,
along with the lack of mechanisms for identifying separated
children who enter the country, has been directly linked to
instances of children going missing. These children may be in
inherent danger of being trafficked for exploitation. 43 The HSE
reports that 313 children had gone missing from their care
placements between 2001 and 2005 and that 35 of these were
subsequently located, giving a net figure of 278 children missing.
53. In 2007, Ireland signed both the Convention on action
against trafficking in human beings and the Convention on the
protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual
abuse.44 Both Council of Europe conventions are victim focussed,
aiming at their protection and support through a variety of
means, including social ones. In October 2007, the Minister for
Justice, Equality and Law Reform published the Criminal Law
(Human Trafficking) Bill 2007, which contains provisions
criminalising trafficking in children for the purpose of labour
exploitation and the removal of organs for exploitative
purposes.45 NGOs and the Childrens Ombudsman have however
criticised the Bill for lacking effective measures for victim
support. The criticism was partly met in the draft Immigration,
Residence and Protection Bill, published in January 2008, which
contains provisions for a so-called reflection and recovery period
for victims of trafficking. While welcoming these positive
developments, the Commissioner notes that the proposed 45-day
reflection period may not be long enough in the case of
traumatised children.
54. The Commissioner is deeply concerned with the high number
of children who have gone missing from accommodation centres
in Ireland. A child who finds him or herself in the care of the
state should be afforded an equal level of protection and rights as
Irish children, while particular attention needs to be paid to the
prevention of disappearances. Unaccompanied minors lack the
protection normally provided by families and are consequently
particularly vulnerable. This is even more so when children have
been traumatised through forced participation in armed conflict.
In order to provide adequate care for separated children, and
especially the more vulnerable ones, accommodation centres
should be staffed by vetted and professional personnel. Children
should also be given information adapted to their age regarding
the dangers of human trafficking. Moreover, the provision of
guardians ad litem for each child would benefit the objective of
preventing disappearances as well. Finally, the role currently
played by NGOs in providing support for victims of trafficking
should be recognised and supported by the authorities.
3.4 Access to education
55. In the past, the Irish authorities have been criticised for
under-spending on education, resulting in poor infrastructure and
equipment and large class sizes,46 as well as for a lack of choice
due to the fact that the overwhelming majority of primary
schools in Ireland are Catholic schools. It should be noted in this
context that the vast majority of primary schools in Ireland were
originally established by religious authorities, mainly the Catholic
Church, and that they still continue to run most of them. While
the 2006 budget saw an increase of 500 teachers and much
progress has been made in improving the infrastructure, 47 the
lack of choice remains a problem. The Commissioner visited
Glanmire Community College, a non-denominational school in
County Cork and met with staff and students. The growing
diversity of Irish society has seen an increase in the demand for
multi-denominational or non-denominational schools that the
current practical and legislative infrastructure is unable to meet,
in particular when schools are obliged to enrol Catholic applicants
first. The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance
has recommended that the greater demand for non-
denominational or multi-faith schools should be met.48 During the
visit of the Commissioner, several NGOs expressed concerns
about the segregation of non-catholic migrants in education.
They highlighted the case of a school in Balbriggan which was
almost entirely composed of African pupils who had not been
admitted to Catholic schools due to the priority given to Catholic
applicants. This case had attracted particular controversy and
criticism as regards insufficient preparation for residential and
educational integration of immigrant communities.
56. The Commissioner encourages the Irish authorities in their
efforts to provide education in a safe and stimulating
environment and that the teacher-pupil ratio should be such as
promotes active learning for all groups of children. He notes with
satisfaction that the Irish Government intends to meet the needs
for providing adequate school facilities for the estimated increase
of 100,000 children entering Irish primary schools over the next
seven years. The Commissioner underlines that providing quality
education accessible to all children is one of the most efficient
ways of preventing inequality, poverty and social exclusion. He
welcomes the new state model of community national school to
be piloted in three locations from September 2008. The model
aims at facilitating religious education for various denominational
groups. There are also plans to set up a tri-religious,
intercultural, interdenominational primary school in County
Kildare, teaching children of Christian, Jewish and Muslim
backgrounds together. Moreover, the Commissioner appreciates
the new school enrolment policy of the Archdiocese of Dublin,
which has recently set aside a one-third quota for non-Catholic
children in two pilot schools located in areas of massive
population growth. He encourages the authorities to
systematically address the increasing demand for choice within
the educational system while involving all stakeholders including
children in the process.
3.5 Access to mental health care
57. In January 2006, the Government adopted a mental health
strategy A Vision for Change in an effort to address deficits in
the Irish mental health system. Despite a certain progress being
observed, the lack of implementation of this strategy has come
under criticism by health professionals, NGOs, the Ombudsman
for Children and the Committee for the Prevention of Torture
(CPT).49 On the one hand, the question of whether the current
law permits persons who have been detained in the Central
Mental Hospital and who are no longer in need of in-patient care,
to be released subject to conditions, is unclear and is the subject
of litigation.50 On the other, there are not enough places for those
in need of hospitalisation. This can result in police detention as
an interim measure for a disturbed person, notwithstanding that
this practice has been ruled illegal by the High Court. 51 The
Commissioner visited the Central Mental Hospital which has been
in operation since the 1850s as a secure psychiatric institution for
those found criminally insane or in need of therapeutic
intervention - frequently involuntary - in a secure setting. It has
been the subject of a number of reviews, the most recent of
which was commissioned by the Mental Health Commission. Its
2006 inquiry report highlighted many concerns that, despite
progress in some areas, continued to prevail in the institution
and concluded with several recommendations.52
58. During his visit it was apparent to the Commissioner that the
principal buildings of the Central Mental Health Hospital were not
suitable to meet todays care standards, a fact that has met with
general consensus. In the Irish Minister for Health and Childrens
meeting with the Commissioner, she confirmed plans to build a
new facility in the vicinity of Thornton Hall, North of Dublin,
projected to be completed in 2012. As Thornton Hall will be the
site of a new prison complex, NGOs and clinicians expressed their
concern to the Commissioner that locating a hospital nearby a
prison could lead to stigmatisation of mental health patients.
Furthermore, they were concerned about the inaccessibility of the
location, which could make efforts for the gradual reintegration of
patients more difficult. The Commissioner was impressed by the
high level of professionalism demonstrated by the staff in the
Central Mental Hospital and their commitment to the social
reintegration of patients. The Commissioner encourages the Irish
authorities to provide adequate facilities to replace the current
Central Mental Hospital, which would continue to facilitate the
effective reintegration of patients.
59. The Childrens Rights Alliance has raised concerns about child
and adolescent psychiatric services being under-developed and
under-funded. As a result, sixteen- and seventeen-year-old
children continue to be treated through adult services and in
adult psychiatric centres and have to endure long waiting periods
(sometimes 3 - 5 years) for assessment. The Irish prison
chaplains report refers to 3,000 children on waiting lists for
assessment and 300 children being treated every year in adult
psychiatric hospitals.53 Moreover, there also appears to be
significant gaps in community-based care and access to services
for those at risk of self-harm, including children. 54 Such criticism
has also been expressed by the Ombudsman for Children who
has stressed that the stigma surrounding mental health issues is
preventing children from seeking assistance.55 She has called on
the Irish Government to implement their mental health policy A
vision for change with a particular focus on children. This would
entail the extension of current social services provided to children
and families at risk to a seven-day 24-hour service, the
establishment of child and adolescent mental health teams at
local level and the development of appropriate in-patient
facilities.
60. The Commissioner underlines that placing children who are in
need of psychiatric treatment in adult facilities is in breach of the
UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. He recalls that the
European Court of Human Rights has previously found Ireland in
breach of the European Convention on Human Rights for
temporary placement of a mentally ill minor into a penal
institution in 1997 due to the lack of available places for care. 56
He calls on the Irish authorities to provide sufficient and
adequately resourced separate facilities for mentally ill children.
Furthermore, he encourages the Irish authorities to facilitate
early intervention at local level and to substantially reduce
waiting periods for assessing and treating children.
4. Juvenile Justice
4.1 Juvenile Justice System
61. Juvenile justice is administered through the Irish Youth
Justice Service. The service was established as an executive
office of the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform in
December 2005 with a remit to implement the criminal justice
provisions of the Children Act 2001, as amended by the Criminal
Justice Act 2006. These provisions relate to sanctions in the
community, restorative justice, diversion projects and the
operation of detention schools. There are plans to invest in the
youth justice system under the National Development Plan,57 to
publish a National Youth Justice Strategy and to develop a youth
justice research programme. During his visit the Commissioner
met with the Director of the Youth Justice Service.
62. The general age of criminal responsibility in Ireland is 12
years. However, an exception is made for 10 and 11-year-old
children charged with the most serious offences on the statute
book (murder, manslaughter, rape or aggravated sexual assault),
who face trial in the Central Criminal Court.58 While the
Commissioner welcomes that proceedings can only be taken
against a child under the age of 14 with the consent of the
Director of Public Prosecutions, he is nevertheless concerned that
the current rigid exception makes it possible to charge a very
young child with the most severe crimes in an ordinary criminal
court not specially equipped to deal with children.
63. The Commissioner acknowledges the progress made through
the Children Act 2001. He highlights the right to be heard and to
participate in any proceedings that can affect children and the
introduction of sentencing principles to be applied by all courts,
such as age and maturity as mitigating factors and the possibility
to proceed with education, training or employment without
interruption.59 The Commissioner is nevertheless concerned about
the absence of guidelines to the principles which are numerous
and can sometimes be contradictory.60 The Commissioner
encourages the Irish authorities to ensure full implementation of
the Children Act 2001 and its principles, for example by providing
guidance and specific training to the judiciary.
64. The Commissioner notes that children appearing before the
Children Court are protected by giving them anonymity and that
in 2006 this protection was extended to children prosecuted in
higher courts facing more serious charges in a trial by jury.
However, exceptions apply and anonymity can be lifted in the
public interest or to facilitate the enforcement of an Anti-Social
Behaviour Order (ASBO). During his visit, the Commissioner
discussed the issue with members of the judiciary and underlined
that in a world of strong media attention for juvenile crimes, the
right to privacy of children must be carefully balanced against the
freedom of the press, taking due note of the specific vulnerability
of children. In this context, the Commissioner recalls that
incorporating the principle of the best interets of the child into
the Irish Constitution would provide for a reference point for the
courts when having to decide whether to lift anonymity.
65. The Commissioner welcomes that the Children Act 2001
contains the principle that detention must be a measure of last
resort. He acknowledges the efforts being made to divert young
people from the criminal justice system by providing for a range
of alternative sanctions such as the Garda (Police) Diversion
Programme and community sanctions. Under the Garda Diversion
Programme police officers can caution a child and work with
children and their families to identify together which action is
needed to address a childs offensive behaviour. The Irish
Government informed the Commissioner that under this
Diversion programme, the number of Diversion Projects has
increased from 64 in 2006 to 100 today, with a further increase
to 168 projects planned by 2012. While the effectiveness of the
programme is widely acknowledged, criticism has been raised as
to severe under-funding and lack of independent oversight.61
Furthermore, under the Children Act 2001, a range of new
community sanctions for children was introduced, to be operated
by the Probation Service. However, it appears that the new
system of community sanctions is not yet fully in place across the
whole country.
66. Ireland has introduced Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs)
in the Criminal Justice Act 2006 to respond to anti-social
behaviour by both adults and children. In the case of children,
the police can but are not required to try other interventions like
a warning and a meeting with parents similar to the Diversion
Programme prior to applying to a district court for an ASBO. If an
ASBO is breached, it constitutes a criminal offence to be
sanctioned by either a fine or detention for behaviour that was
not in itself criminal , a point for which the ASBO legislation has
been criticised. Furthermore, it is not clear whether the system
will be independently monitored.
67. The Commissioner is not aware of any ASBOs having been
issued so far. However, in his meeting with Garda the police
confirmed that ASBOs will be applied in accordance with the 2008
policing priorities issued by the Minister for Justice, Equality and
Law Reform in November 2007. The Commissioner is concerned
that violating a civil obligation can be transformed into a criminal
offence resulting in detention despite the Children Act 2001
containing the principle that detention must be a last resort.
Welcoming the transposition of this principle into Irish law, the
Commissioner calls upon the Irish authorities to review the
current ASBO system and make it mandatory for the police to
explore all possible alternatives to detention and to ensure
independent monitoring of the ASBO scheme.
4.2 Detention
68. Since 2006 under Irish law,62 children should only be detained
under the detention school model of care, education and
rehabilitation. However, as an interim measure, 16- and 17-year-
old boys may continue to be detained in St. Patricks Institution,
a prison in which adults up to the age of 21 are also kept. In view
of the report recently published by the CPT, the Commissioner
chooses to concentrate on the detention of children in the
present report and will not refer to the detention of adults more
generally.63
69. St. Patricks Institution is part of the Mountjoy prison
complex in Dublin dating back to 1850. It accommodates young
people between the ages of 16 and 21, and it is the only prison
establishment in Ireland for children 16 years old. The
Commissioner visited St. Patricks and spoke with staff members
and with juvenile prisoners in private. He acknowledged the
progress made since the CPT visit in October 2006, which had
resulted in numerous changes albeit within the limits of an
outdated facility. The Commissioner visited the new unit for 16-
and 17-year-old inmates opened in April 2007 as well as the new
exercise room, training kitchen, workshops and teaching
facilities. He was pleased to learn that there is communal eating
for the children in the new unit and that multi-disciplinary teams
hold weekly health care meetings. Furthermore, a net had been
placed over the exercise yard to prevent drugs being thrown over
the perimeter wall. Prison authorities informed the Commissioner
of plans to implement further drug prevention measures such as
increased security at the entrance.
70. Additional staff has been appointed, in particular to run
occupational activities, for drug prevention and psychological as
well as psychiatric support. The Integrated Sentence
Management (ISM) system that is being introduced in the Irish
Prison Service will also be available for young offenders currently
in St. Patricks. The system entails the implementation of an
individual risk and needs assessment leading to care and post-
release plans. The Commissioner was also informed of plans to
close St. Patricks and to build a modern prison complex in
Thornton Hall outside Dublin, which could still hold minors as
inmates.
71. The Commissioner visited Trinity House School, Oberstown,
Lusk County Dublin, a detention facility for boys under 16 and
met with some of them. A new unit for girls in the vicinity had
been opened in September 2006. The Commissioner was
impressed by the commitment shown by the staff members and
the facilities, in particular the step-down unit which aimed at
preparing children for their release by accommodating them in a
normal house on the site. He also learned of plans to equip all
bedrooms with showers and toilets in the course of 2008. In the
past, inspectors of the Department of Education and Science had
criticised Trinity House on its care plans as some children had
none and others lacked clear goals. During his visit, the
Commissioner was assured that there was an individual care plan
for each child, the child being involved in the development of the
plan. Staff members, however, pointed out that an increasing
number of children was placed in detention for a relatively short
period (less than two years) which made it difficult to develop
and implement a meaningful care plan providing for education
and social integration. Staff members thought it would be
beneficial to have on-site family accommodation to enable
visiting parents not living in the vicinity to stay overnight, a need
that was also expressed by the children spoken to.
72. The Commissioner appreciates the change of law providing
that child offenders may no longer be imprisoned but should be
subjected to the detention school model when detention is
considered unavoidable. The Commissioner is, however,
concerned with the current interim provision resulting in
imprisonment for children in an out-dated facility together with
adult prisoners up to the age of 21. He is perplexed about the
plans of the Irish authorities to continue imprisonment in an
adult facility as a further interim measure in Thornton Hall as this
appears to contradict the current policy on youth justice. He is
aware of the Minister for Childrens announcement, following
recommendations made by an expert group, to build a new
detention school complex in Lusk, County Dublin. The
Commissioner urges the Irish authorities to live up to their
commitment as expressed in the Children Act 2001 and
discontinue the imprisonment of children, making the detention
school model available whenever detention is deemed necessary.
5. Non-discrimination and womens rights
5.1 Legal and institutional framework
73. The legal basis of Irish anti-discrimination measures are the
three Equality Acts: the Employment Equality Act 1998, the Equal
Status Act 2000 and the Equality Act 2004. The Equality Act of
2004 was introduced to amend the other Acts to ensure
compliance with the EU Employment Framework Directive and
the Racial Equality Directive.64 These Acts prohibit discrimination
on the grounds of gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual
orientation, marital status, family status and membership in the
Traveller Community. The major distinction between the
Employment Equality Act and the Equal Status Act relates to their
scope. The Employment Equality Act prohibits discrimination in
the sphere of employment and vocational training, whereas the
Equal Status Act prohibits discrimination in the provision of goods
and services.
74. A number of concerns have been raised in respect of Irelands
compliance with the EU directives. It is a matter for dispute
whether the EU Directives have been fully transposed and, thus,
the European Commission has taken formal action against
Ireland. The Equal Status Act does not cover all state functions,
activities and controlling duties while the available sanctions do
not appear to be dissuasive enough. Finally, some exemptions
have been allowed regarding non-citizens in the field of education
and same-sex couples in the field of social welfare. Ireland does
not recognise non-married or same-sex partnerships, which may
result in discrimination against children born outside of marriage,
unmarried fathers and gay men.65 NGOs argue that this situation
is incompatible with Articles 8 and 14 of the European
Convention on Human Rights. The Irish authorities have informed
the Commissioner that a Civil Partnership Bill is currently being
drafted.
75. Under the Employment Equality Act 1998, two equality
bodies were created, namely the Equality Authority and the
Equality Tribunal. The latter is the enforcement body of the
Equality Legislation. The Equality Authority is an independent
body which is charged with informing the public on equality
provisions and engaging in dialogue with various stakeholders in
Irish society. Individual complaints are dealt with by the Equality
Tribunal as the independent and quasi-judicial body to treat
complaints of alleged discrimination under equality legislation. Its
decisions and mediated settlements are legally binding. Its
director reports directly to the Minister for Justice, Equality and
Law reform. The Equality Tribunal is seen as a major
achievement as it operates in a transparent manner, all of its
decisions being publicly available.
76. During his visit, the Commissioner learned that there is a
waiting list at the Equality Tribunal and a substantial backlog of
cases resulting in delays of up to three years. This is apparently
caused by inadequate resources being allocated to the Tribunal.
The Commissioner was also informed of plans to relocate the
equality bodies from Dublin to Roscrea and Portarlington as part
of Government decentralisation and of concerns that the
relocation would result in the Equality Authority being removed
from its key partners, such as NGOs, trade unions, Government
bodies and the business sector. He was therefore pleased to hear
that a liaison office will be kept in Dublin. The Commissioner
urges the Irish authorities to ensure and enhance the functioning
of the Equality Authority and the Equality Tribunal and, in
particular, to provide adequate funding to the latter to minimise
the backlog of cases.
5.2 Gender discrimination and womens rights
77. Some figures shed a light on the position of women in
Ireland. As of November 2007, only 18.4 % of the total seats in
the Irish Parliament were filled by women,66 even though it
should be acknowledged that women have long played an
important role in Irish politics, frequently as ministers and twice
as heads of state. As a positive development, the gender pay gap
has narrowed from 13 % in 2004 to 9 % in 2006, which is below
the EU average of 15 %.67 In April 2007, the Irish Government
published a National Womens Strategy 2007-2016 with over 200
actions to address needs for the economic and social inclusion of
women and with a budget of 58 million for the period up to
2013.
78. In relation to sexual and reproductive rights, it should be
noted that since 1983 under the Irish Constitution the right of
the unborn is guaranteed with due regard to the equal right to
life of the mother.68 No legal definition or case law exists as to
whether the "unborn" refers to the foetus at the point of viability,
from the moment of conception or at some other point during
pregnancy. Since the 1992 Supreme Court judgment in the X
case,69 abortion is legal if the life of the woman is in danger.
However, despite criticism of the constitutional provision in the
judgement, there is still no legislation in place implementing the
judgment and, consequently, no legal certainty when a physician
may legally perform a life-saving abortion. In practice, abortion is
largely unavailable in Ireland in almost all circumstances. Some
NGOs argue that the legal limbo leads to a situation which
disproportionately favours the interest of the foetus over the
rights of pregnant women, thereby jeopardising womens health
and well-being and resulting in abortions performed illegally or
abroad.70 During the visit, the Irish authorities informed the
Commissioner that there were currently no plans to legislate for
abortion on the grounds of the X case.
79. Some civil society representatives advocate that access to
abortion services should be granted to all women in the country,
particularly when a woman's health is at risk, she is pregnant as
a result of rape or incest or there is evidence of severe foetal
anomaly. There have also been calls to hold a referendum to
offer the voters an opportunity to remove from the Constitution
the 1983 Amendment and to clarify the language with regard to
the unborn. Moreover, NGOs have underlined that certain
vulnerable women, especially young and migrant women, have
particular difficulties in accessing abortion services abroad. These
concerns are illustrated by the case of 17 year-old Miss D from
April 2007. When Miss D, who was placed in the care of the state
by virtue of an interim care order, learned that she was carrying
an anencephalic foetus, a fatal condition whereby a large part of
the skull and the brain is missing, she wished to terminate her
pregnancy but was prevented from travelling until a High Court
decision allowed her to leave the country.71
80. The Commissioner is concerned that despite the already
existing case law allowing for abortion under limited
circumstances, no legislation is in place to ensure this happening
in practice. This leads to serious consequences in each individual
case but especially in such cases in which vulnerable women such
as minors and migrants are concerned. In this context, he recalls
the European Courts judgment against Poland in which a
violation of Article 8, the effective respect for private life, was
found due to defective domestic abortion legislation.72 He urges
the Irish authorities and the legislator to ensure that legislation is
enacted to resolve this problem and that adequate medical
services are provided in Ireland to carry out legal abortions in
line with the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court.
81. Transgender persons in Ireland informed the Commissioner
that they experienced discrimination on account of their gender
identity. Ireland, unlike nearly all Council of Europe member
states, does not have a procedure for birth certificate recognition
for transgender persons. The European Court has found several
countries including the UK, France and Lithuania in breach of the
ECHR for such a lacuna.73 In Ireland, Dr. Lydia Foy has been
seeking to obtain a birth certificate reflecting her female gender
since April 1997. Upon her appeal, the High Court on 19 October
2007 delivered a landmark judgment ruling that the state is in
breach of Article 8 of the ECHR, and in February 2008 issued a
declaration of incompatibility to be put before Parliament if the
state does not decide to appeal the judgment within two months.
Furthermore, NGOs have expressed concerns about the
discrimination of transgender people in other fields, but in
particular in the health sector. The lack of trained staff and
familiarity with the specific problems of transsexual persons
render transgender people vulnerable to unpredictable and often
hostile responses when they use medical services. Moreover, it
should be noted that transgender persons are not protected by
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t. Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989, which is currently
under review. The Commissioner welcomes the High Court
decision bringing clarity as to the states responsibilities towards
transgender persons. He expects that legislation bringing the
current birth registration law in line with domestic case law and
the standards of the European Convention on Human Rights will
be in place soon.
5.3 Violence against women
82. Violence against women including domestic violence remains
a persisting problem in all Council of Europe member states.
Ireland is no exception. The authorities have taken several
measures to combat violence against women including the
adoption of Domestic Violence Acts, the establishment of a
central Garda Sochna (Police) Domestic Violence and Sexual
Assault Investigation Unit which provides assistance to police
divisions countrywide and the introduction of the Garda Policy on
Domestic Violence. Yet, the UN Committee on the Elimination of
Discrimination against Women has noted the high prevalence of
violence against women and girls in Ireland and at the same time
the low prosecution and conviction rates of perpetrators.74 It is
estimated that fewer than 1 in 10 complainants in cases
concerning sexual violence report their experiences to the
criminal justice system.75 It should be acknowledged that the
conviction rate in cases that are brought to the courts is around
70% (figures for 2004) and that Ireland has severe penalties for
those convicted of rape or assault. Yet the Rape Crisis Network in
Ireland claims that only 5 % of rape cases reported to police
result in conviction in Ireland. NGOs also recommend further
training for police, prosecutors and judges in this field and the
establishment of a specialised court. Safety and barring orders
can be applied against perpetrators.
83. The National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual
and Gender-based Violence (Cosc) was set up in June 2007 with
the responsibility of ensuring a well-coordinated response to
domestic, sexual and gender-based violence against women and
men, including older people. Regarding violence against women,
the Irish authorities informed the Commissioner that Cosc aims
at supporting state and non-governmental structures already
working in this area and to collaborate closely with service
providers who support victims and treat perpetrators. Civil
society representatives have pointed out that NGOs providing
support services to victims are under-funded which results in
women having to wait for counselling services. This has
particularly negative consequences for vulnerable groups of
women such as migrant workers, women asylum-seekers and
their children, women with disabilities, Traveller women and
women who experience complex problems.
84. The Commissioner visited a womens shelter in Cork in
operation since the mid-seventies and was impressed by the
long-term commitment demonstrated by staff. He learned about
the new challenges resulting from increased migration to Ireland
such as language and cultural barriers making the work more
complex. He also discussed these issues with the authorities as
well as with civil society representatives. The Commissioner
welcomes the measures taken to combat violence against women
including the recent establishment of Cosc and the fact that its
remit extends beyond domestic violence. In view of its broad
mandate, he calls on the authorities to provide Cosc with
adequate resources for the effective fulfilment of its tasks. He
highlights the need to ensure effective support for women victims
of violence through services supplied by both state and civil
society operators.
6. Measures against racism and xenophobia
85. In recent years, Ireland has experienced rapid growth in
ethnic and cultural diversity as a result of immigration. The
census 2006 shows that 10 % of the population were foreign
nationals while the same figure for 2002 stood at 5.8 %.
According to the data on ethnic and cultural background in the
2006 census, 94.8 % of the population are considered White
(including the Irish Traveller community at 0.5 %), 1.3 % Asian
and 1.1 % Black. Among religions, Islam is now placed as the
third largest religion in Ireland with Muslims numbering 0.8 % of
the population after Roman Catholics (86.8 %) and members of
the Church of Ireland (3 %). ECRI has identified Travellers (see
the following chapter) and visible minorities, especially Africans
and Muslims, as particularly vulnerable to racism and intolerance
in Ireland.76
86. The Irish Police (An Garda Sochna) publish statistics on
racially motivated incidents in their annual reports. In 2006, 174
offences were reported while the figure for 2005 was 94, 84 in
2004, 62 in 2003 and 100 in 2002.77 These offences fall mainly
under the categories of assaults, public order offences and
criminal damages. Racist incidents are also reported to the
National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism
(NCCRI), which is a Government sponsored independent expert
body. In 2006, 65 incidents and, in 2005, 119 incidents were
reported to the NCCRI. According to the Equality Tribunals
Annual Report 2006, 146 cases were referred to the Tribunal by
employees claiming racial discrimination in the employment field,
a 76 % increase in comparison with 2005. It was estimated that
about half of the racism claims were successful and that they
amounted to a third of the Tribunals workload. Moreover, ECRI
has noted that some Irish media have portrayed asylum-seekers,
refugees, migrant workers, Travellers and Black and ethnic
minorities in a negative light.
87. Irish penal law does not specifically define racist offences,
nor does it expressly provide for the racist motivation of a crime
to be considered as an aggravating circumstance in sentencing.
However, the Irish judges may, on a discretionary basis, take the
racist motivation of the perpetrator into account among other
pertinent elements. ECRI and the UN Committee on the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) have recommended
to the Irish authorities that the racist motivation of a crime
should be specifically legislated for as an aggravating
circumstance.78 The Irish authorities are in the process of
completing a review on the Irish penal law provisions related to
measures against racism. The scope of the review also includes
the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989 with particular
reference to the proposed EU Framework Decision on Combating
Racism and Xenophobia. An expert study on the subject,
commissioned by the Government and carried out by the Centre
for Criminal Justice at the University of Limerick, should be
published in early 2008.
88. Ireland is currently implementing a National Action Plan
against Racism which runs from 2005 to 2008. Its principal
objectives are 1) effective protection and redress against racism,
2) economic inclusion and equality of opportunity, 3)
accommodation of cultural diversity in service provision, 4)
recognition and awareness of cultural diversity and 5)
participation of cultural and ethnic minorities in Irish society.
There are 240 action items divided among the major objectives.
While civil society representatives have expressed their support
for the objectives of the action plan, they have highlighted the
need for its effective implementation and monitoring. Local anti-
racist and diversity plans have been drawn up in some cities and
towns including Galway, Dublin Inner City Partnership and Fingal
County Council. In their discussions with the Commissioner,
representatives of local authorities pointed out that although
current manifestations of racism and xenophobia in Ireland were
fairly low-key, it was important to persist in working against such
tendencies, especially since a possible economic downturn could
risk bringing about increased xenophobic and racist sentiments.
89. In June 2007, a Minister of State was appointed with the
specific responsibility of developing an Irish policy for the
integration of migrants. The Minister for Integration informed the
Commissioner of his intention to set up a Task Force on
Integration in 2008, supported by a consultative Forum for
Integration composed of the different stakeholders concerned by
integration. As regards the relations between the police and
minority groups, the Garda Racial and Intercultural Office was
already established in 2001 to improve communication and
consultation with ethnic minorities. Moreover, 500 ethnic liaison
officers have been appointed to improve communication with
ethnic minorities. However, NGOs have expressed concerns that a
measure aimed at introducing ID cards for third country nationals
only, as part of the proposed Immigration, Residence and
Protection Bill, could result in ethnic profiling in terms of selective
identity checks.
90. The Commissioner welcomes the National Action Plan against
Racism as well as the local anti-racist and diversity plans, while
stressing that their implementation requires resources and
should be carried out in close cooperation with civil society,
ethnic and cultural minority representatives. It is also obvious
that work against racism must be continuous and that new action
plans are prepared to follow-up those that are completed.
Monitoring the results of action plans should be accompanied by
continued efforts to improve and consolidate data collection on
racist and xenophobic incidents. The Commissioner also
highlights the positive role the recently established Press Council
and Ombudsman (see under 2.4) can play in stemming racist and
xenophobic discourse in the media. He reiterates the
recommendations made by ECRI and CERD to reform Irish
legislation so that the racist motivation of a crime is considered
as an aggravating circumstance. Furthermore, the Commissioner
encourages the Irish authorities plans to prepare a
comprehensive integration policy in cooperation with all the
stakeholders concerned. Such a policy, which in the
Commissioners opinion should cover all ethnic and cultural
minorities resident in Ireland, should aim at facilitating the
integration process of minorities in all walks of life.
7. Situation of Travellers
91. According to the 2006 Census there are 22,435 members in
the Irish Traveller community. The Travellers themselves estimate
that the real figure may in fact be well above 30,000. According
to Traveller representatives, only a minority of Travellers
currently follow the traditional life-style of travelling. Ireland has
ratified the Framework Convention for the Protection of National
Minorities (FCNM) and acknowledges that the Traveller
community is protected under the Convention, even if the state
does not recognise the Traveller community as a minority ethnic
group. The distinct cultural identity of Travellers is nevertheless
acknowledged. Ireland has not adhered to the European Charter
for regional or minority languages.
92. Both the Advisory Committee of the FCNM and ECRI have
assessed the situation of Travellers in Ireland in their 2006
reports.79 They have reported that Travellers have been subjected
to discrimination and racism in the fields of education,
employment, housing, health care, media reporting and
participation in decision making. The proportion of Traveller
children entering and completing secondary education is
substantially below the national average, although their
participation rate has increased significantly in recent years. 80 In
2006, the Equality Tribunal took two decisions related to
education, finding discrimination on the ground of membership in
the Traveller Community. In 2002, 72 % of Traveller men and 60
% Traveller women were unemployed. According to the Equality
Tribunals Annual Report 2006, 18 cases related to the Traveller
ground and 25 cases related both to the Traveller and racism
grounds under the Equal Status Acts were brought to the Tribunal
in 2006. Also in 2006, the Equality Authority held 88 case files
related to the Traveller ground under the Equal Status Acts.
93. In the field of housing, there have been short-comings in the
implementation of statutory obligations for the provision of
Traveller stopping sites and group accommodation by local
authorities. The life expectancy of Travellers is estimated to be
significantly lower than that of the majority population, although
recent data is lacking. Some Irish media have continued to
promote negative stereotypes concerning Travellers. The level of
participation of Travellers in elected bodies remains low at all
levels, while Travellers are not always represented on the key
bodies which implement public polices on Travellers, such as the
High Level Group on Traveller Issues.
94. The Irish authorities have responded to the situation of
Travellers through a number of sectorial policy initiatives. In
implementing the Housing (Traveller Accommodation) Act 1998,
local authorities are required to prepare and adopt Traveller
accommodation programmes, the second of which covers the
period 2005-2008. The Traveller Education Strategy was
published by the Government in November 2006 with the aim of
ensuring Traveller equality in terms of access, participation and
outcomes. An All Ireland Traveller Health Study was launched in
July 2007. It is also expected that the implementation of the Ten-
Year Framework Social Partnership Agreement 2006-2015 will
improve the employment and educational opportunities of
Travellers. However, Traveller representatives have criticised the
newly established Press Council for not including the prevention
of biased reporting about Travellers specifically in its draft code of
conduct.
95. The Commissioner visited Traveller-specific accommodation
at Avilla Park and the nearby St. Marys temporary halting site in
Dunsink Lane, north of Dublin, and talked with residents at both
sites as well as with representatives of the local authorities. Avilla
Park consisted of 40 recently built houses, while at St. Marys the
Traveller families lived in run-down caravans with very basic
sanitary facilities in a land area currently considered for
redevelopment. Future plans for Traveller accommodation in the
area were pending decisions regarding the redevelopment.
96. While the Commissioner acknowledges the significant efforts
made by the authorities to address the situation of Travellers, he
considers that a great deal of work remains to be accomplished.
Since a multisectorial approach is necessary, policy coordination
and effective monitoring of results are essential. In order to
promote participatory governance and to produce sustainable
results, it is especially important that the authorities work closely
with the Travellers themselves when preparing, implementing
and monitoring policies and programmes designed for Travellers.
During his visit to Cork, the city authorities pointed out that the
active participation of Traveller representatives in their Traveller
Interagency Group had been central to the effectiveness of its
work. The Commissioner urges the Irish authorities to adopt a
Traveller inclusive approach in all policy and coordination bodies
dealing specifically with Traveller-related issues both at national
and local level, including the High Level Group on Traveller
Issues. The Commissioner also encourages further efforts to
involve Travellers in political decision-making. Traveller
communities should be adequately represented in local councils,
and the possibility of reserving a specific seat for the Traveller
community in the Irish parliament, perhaps in the Seanad, would
merit serious consideration.
97. Traveller representatives have made it known to the
Commissioner that many Travellers wish to be recognised as
members of an ethnic minority group in Ireland. The UN
Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has
encouraged Ireland to work more concretely towards recognising
the Traveller community as an ethnic group, while the Advisory
Committee of the FCNM has underlined the relevance of the
principle of self-identification stemming from Article 3 of the
Framework Convention.81 The Commissioner encourages active
dialogue on the question between the Traveller Community and
the authorities. Furthermore, the Commissioner considers it
essential that Travellers are effectively protected against
discrimination and racism under national and international law.
While it is true that Travellers are specifically protected against
discrimination under the Traveller ground in the Irish anti-
discrimination legislation, it is also clear that Travellers can be
victims of racism more generally. It is therefore essential that
Travellers are acknowledged as potential victims of racism in the
implementation of the national action plan against racism and the
work of the recently established Press Council and its
Ombudsman. Travellers should also benefit from non-
discrimination provisions under the race ground at national,
European and international levels.
8. Treatment of migrants and asylum-seekers
98. Ireland's asylum system is a relatively new one as only in the
mid-1990s did asylum-seekers begin to enter the country in
significant numbers. However, its asylum legislation and
institutions did not become operative until the end of 2000.
Coupled with this has been the transformation of Ireland from a
country of net emigration, with a high unemployment rate and
depressed economy, to a multicultural country of net immigration
and a fast growing economy. The Irish government seeks to
address the challenges posed by this development in its January
2008 Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill. The new
legislation aims at reviewing, amending, consolidating and
enhancing the current body of legislation, which dates back to
1935. In addition, selective EU law will be implemented.
8.1 The current immigration and asylum framework
99. Ireland is not a member of the Schengen system and has
made reservations to the Amsterdam treaty in the areas of visa,
immigration and asylum. Ireland may, however, opt in, on a case
by case basis, the relevant EU legislation and has chosen to do so
in a number of areas. Among the core directives and regulations
in the area of asylum and immigration laws, Ireland has
transposed the following: The Refugee Qualifications Directive,
the Dublin II Regulation (including the EuroDac Directive), the
Directive on Mass Influx, and the Free Movement of EU-Citizens
and Family Members Directive.82 In the process of transposition is
the Minimum Standards on Asylum Procedures Directive83, which
along with the Refugee Qualification Directive will be
implemented through the proposed Immigration, Residence and
Protection Bill. Ireland has opted out of the Directive on Minimum
Standards for the Reception of Asylum Seekers and the Directive
on Family Reunification.84
100. On the domestic level, refugee determination in Ireland is
currently regulated by the Refugee Act of 1996 and the European
Communities (Eligibility for Protection) Regulations of 2006.
General immigration is regulated by the Aliens Act 1934, the
Aliens Order 1946, the Immigration Acts 1999, 2003 & 2004 and
the Illegal Immigrants (Trafficking) Act of 2000. Citizenship is
regulated by the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, which was
amended in 2005 following a change in the Constitution to the
effect that constitutional guarantees of Irish citizenship for
persons born in Ireland to non-Irish parents have been removed.
The current administrative structure for processing asylum
applications is made up of the Office of the Refugee Applications
Commissioner (ORAC) and the Refugee Appeals Tribunal (RAT).
RAT was established as an independent mechanism to process
asylum appeals from the ORAC, but has been criticised for a
number of reasons, among them lack of publicity and alleged
bias on the part of board members, who are paid by the number
of cases processed. The draft Immigration, Residence and
Protection Bill provides for the establishment of a new and
independent Protection Review Tribunal in place of the RAT. The
new body would be required to improve transparency and
consistency, and may have full-time members. It may also
publish selected decisions based on their general relevance.
8.2 The proposed Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill
101. In January 2008, the Irish Government published the draft
Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill to replace the current
body of legislation governing immigration and protection for
asylum-seekers.85 The Bill introduces a single procedure for
reviewing applications for protection, including applications for
refugee status, subsidiary protection and other applicable
residence permits. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for
Refugees in Dublin (UNHCR) and several NGOs have welcomed
this step hoping that it will speed up the currently lengthy
proceedings, which in a
number of cases take three to five years. The draft Bill also
introduces a new status of long-term resident which grants
benefits generally on par with Irish citizens for those immigrants
who have at least five years residence in Ireland.86
102. Like the earlier proposal from April 2007, the 2008 draft Bill
has been criticised for lacking sufficient clarity as it retains, to a
large degree, the principle of ministerial discretion and does not
put core areas such as family reunification on a statutory basis.
The proposed Bill does not provide an independent appeal
mechanism for immigration decisions and may facilitate the
summary deportation of undocumented foreigners, without the
right for a review. Another issue that has been highlighted by
NGOs is the continuation of the Carriers Liability that was first
introduced in the Immigration Act of 2003, imposing penalties on
airlines and ferry companies for transporting people not in
possession of proper documentation to Ireland. Furthermore,
under the draft Bill judicial review for rejected asylum-seekers
would be more restricted and applicants may be deported while
awaiting such review.
103. The Commissioner welcomes the Irish Governments
initiative to provide a comprehensive immigration system,
including in particular the introduction of a single procedure for
determining applications for refugee status, subsidiary protection
and other leaves to remain. The Commissioner hopes that this
improvement would have a significant impact on the length of
proceedings for the determination of asylum applications. In
relation to the Bills aim to transpose the Refugee Qualification
and Asylum Procedure Directives, it should, however, be
underlined that the EU Directives concerned only set minimum
standards. The Commissioner therefore calls on Ireland to
implement them in the spirit of improving the protection of
refugees, as is stated in preambular paragraph 8 of the
Qualification Directive.
104. The Commissioner notes that the new Bill contains an
explicit prohibition of refoulement. 87 However, the UNHCR Office
in Dublin has raised numerous concerns related to exceptions to
the rule, including its procedural implementation in the context of
the asylum seekers arrival in the country.88 The Commissioner
shares these concerns and furthermore points to the proposed
power to remove undocumented migrants summarily, which
appears not to provide a full assessment of the individual case.
The implementation of the principle of non-refoulement and the
extraterritorial protection granted by Article 3 of the ECHR call for
due process in the form of access to appeals and a right to
remain, pending a final decision or judgment, in all cases where
deportation might lead to serious harm or torture, inhuman or
degrading treatment. Moreover, the Commissioner notes with
concern that the proposed Immigration, Residence and Protection
Bill contains provisions enabling courts to direct costs of so-called
frivolous and vexatious proceedings to the legal representative
of the applicant. With regard to the imperative importance of
independent legal counsel to the safeguarding of human rights,
the Commissioner calls for a review of these provisions.
105. The Commissioner has also been made aware of a debate
regarding the establishment of closed reception or detention
centres for asylum applicants. The draft Immigration, Residence
and Protection Bill has been criticised for introducing increased
powers of detention for asylum-seekers.89 In this context, it
should be recalled that already in its report of October 2006, the
Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) called upon the
Irish authorities to urgently review the current arrangements for
accommodating persons detained for immigration offences.90 The
Commissioner stresses that as a rule asylum-seekers should not
normally be subjected to detention when they have not
committed any offence and that when failed asylum-seekers are
kept in pre-deportation detention they should not be
accommodated in the same facilities as sentenced criminal
offenders.
8.3 Asylum-seekers
106. In 2006, Ireland received 4,314 applications for refugee
status. This is more or less on a par with 2004 and 2005, where
4,769 and 4,324 applications respectively were received, and a
significant drop from early 2000 figures, which reached above
10,000. In 2007, 3,985 asylum applications were received, the
lowest annual total since 2002. The number of applications
outstanding at the first instance, the Office of the Refugee
Applications Commissioner (ORAC) at the end of 2006 was 924.
This represents a significant reduction from the end of 2005
where more than 1,600 cases were pending and the end of 2004
with more than 3,600 cases pending. The Refugee Appeals
Tribunal (RAT) received a total of 3,172 cases and had 2,500
cases pending at the end of 2006. This reflects not only the
capacity of the RAT but also a delay caused by a decision to
hold cases pending a Supreme Court judgment in relation to
publications of decision by the RAT.
107. Since September 2003, all newly arrived asylum-seekers
have been required to reside and remain in the accommodation
allocated to them by the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA)
while their application for refugee status is being considered.
Failure to comply with this is an offence that may lead to
penalties.91 Asylum-seekers are provided with three meals a day,
but are not allowed to store or cook food on the premises of the
centre.92 They are not entitled to take on paid work. The
Commissioner visited Kinsale Road Accommodation centre near
Cork airport and spoke to staff members and residents in private.
The facility is relatively new, and offers good conditions, including
on-site basic medical care. There were, however, no apartments
available for families with children; each family shared one room,
which resulted in very limited private space. Civil Society
representatives have informed the Commissioner that this is a
general problem in Irish reception centres. Reports from
independent inspectors engaged by the RIA also indicate that
deficiencies exist in certain centres, such as lack of recreational
facilities, overcrowding and problems of safety.93 The Irish
authorities have informed the Commissioner that the safety
concerns raised in the inspection reports had been addressed
subsequently by proprietors.
108. While acknowledging that the facility visited is, in general,
of a good standard, the Commissioner is concerned about the
current state of accommodation for families and of the
deficiencies reported by independent inspectors. The
Commissioner is also concerned about the low degree of personal
autonomy asylum-seekers may retain throughout the process,
knowing that it can take three to five years to have an asylum
application determined. The Commissioner recalls that ECRI has
recommended the introduction of provisions allowing temporary
work permits for asylum-seekers.94 In addition to strengthening
the autonomy of asylum-seekers and providing revenues for the
receiving country, access to the labour market may actually
facilitate reintegration into the country of origin by making it
possible for the asylum-seeker to return home with a degree of
financial independence or acquired work skills. For these reasons,
the Commissioner calls upon the Irish authorities to consider
providing asylum-seekers with temporary work permits, possibly
in the context of the legislative change proposed.
8.4 Family reunification
109. Family reunification in Ireland is primarily governed by
administrative schemes based on the discretion of the Minister
for Justice, Equality and Law Reform. Family reunification for
holders of protection permits, however, is regulated by the
Refugee Act, and for EU-citizens by the European Communities
(Free Movement of Persons No. 2) Regulations 2006. The lack of
provisions regarding groups other than refugees and EU-Citizens
has been criticized by Civil Society representatives for lacking
transparency and for the ad hoc and frequently inconsistent
nature of decisions. Criticism has also been raised regarding the
lack of family reunification opportunities for non-married couples
and same-sex couples as well as of the requirement of foreign
nationals to notify the Minister of an intended marriage.
110. The Commissioner recalls that following the European
Courts case law for Article 6.i of the ECHR, the importance of
accessibility, clarity and foreseeability should not be forgotten. He
is therefore concerned about the lack of statutory regulations
regarding family reunification for groups other than holders of
protection permits and EU citizens and recommends the
introduction of statutory provisions for all groups of people. In
view of the dynamic interpretation of the concept of family life
by the European Court of Human Rights, the Commissioner
encourages the Irish authorities to consider the introduction of
broader provisions allowing family reunification to include less
traditional types of family life. The Commissioner also calls for
taking into account the important principle of the best interests
of the child in any decision relating to family reunification of
children.
111. NGOs have expressed concerns about Irelands transposition
of EU law on the free movement of persons, as regards family
reunification. According to the current Irish law, non-EU nationals
married to EU-nationals residing in Ireland are required to show
evidence of lawful residence in another EU member state prior to
arrival in Ireland before they can receive a residence permit. The
objective of the requirement has been to address pro forma or
sham marriages, but it has also affected a large number of de
facto marriages. This provision and its consistency with EU law
has been challenged in a case pending with the Supreme Court,
with about 120 similar cases being on hold. The European
Commission is examining the matter. Meanwhile, some non-EU
spouses have received letters of intent to remove them from the
country. The Commissioner encourages the Irish authorities to
await the outcome of the pending procedures before removing
the people concerned from the country.
9. Fight against terrorism: extraordinary renditions
112. The term extraordinary rendition describes the kidnapping
of an individual by the agents of a State and the transfer of that
person to a secret prison in another State where s/he can be
tortured or subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment and be interrogated and detained indefinitely without
recourse to the courts, to lawyers or to any of the mechanisms
set up to protect the human rights of the individual.95 Ireland was
one of the member states listed in Senator Martys report, of 7
June 2006 for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of
Europe (PACE), to have allegedly engaged in passive collusion in
such extraordinary renditions conducted by the United States of
America (US) in their fight against terrorism, by allowing
Shannon airport to be used by US aircraft as a stopover for
refuelling.96
113. Since December 2005, the Irish Human Rights Commission
(IHRC) has called on the Irish Government to seek agreement
from the US authorities to inspect aircraft landing at Shannon
Airport and other Irish airports. However, the Irish authorities
have asserted ever since that they received assurances from the
US administration that prisoners have not been and will not be
transported illegally through Irish territory, and that there is no
evidence to the contrary. In December 2007 the IHRC published
an extensive analysis of the legal situation including
recommendations to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign
Affairs.97 The report concludes that diplomatic assurances are not
in themselves sufficient to fulfil a States obligations to safeguard
against torture or ill-treatment. It rejects the Irish Governments
position that evidence about suspect aircraft must first be
produced and given to the police, arguing that placing the burden
to gather evidence on private citizens was inadequate. In its
report, the IHRC refers to the numerous international enquiries
and reports being made, such as the January 2007 report of the
European Parliament, the Council of Europes PACE reports and
the investigations by the Secretary General of the Council of
Europe under Article 52 of the ECHR. IHRC finally recommends
that the authorities put in place an effective inspection regime to
ensure that no foreign aircraft which might be suspected of
involvement in the illegal practice of extraordinary rendition may
land and refuel in Ireland.
114. During his visit, the Commissioner discussed the position of
the Irish Government with the Minister for Foreign Affairs,
underlining that the European Convention on Human Rights
contains an absolute prohibition of torture and degrading
treatment and of aiding and abetting it in any form. The mere
suspicion that the government of a country bound by the
Convention could have done so seriously undermines the
credibility and authority of the authorities possibly involved. It is
therefore indispensable, not only for such a government but for
the credibility of the entire human rights protection system, to
actively seek clarification of such suspicions. The Commissioner
notes that in his response to the IHRCs report the Minister for
Foreign Affairs continued to rely on diplomatic assurances while
reiterating that the Irish Government was totally opposed to the
practice of extraordinary renditions.98 The Minister also referred
to several alleged cases of extraordinary rendition which had
been investigated by the police without producing any relevant
evidence. Moreover, the Minister called for a review of the
Chicago Convention governing civil aviation with a view to
considering whether further steps can be taken to provide
adequate safeguards against the possibility of extraordinary
renditions. The Commissioner welcomes the call for a review of
the Chicago Convention and appreciates the efforts of the Irish
Police to investigate alleged renditions. However, recalling
Resolution 1507 (2006) of the Council of Europe Parliamentary
Assembly, the Commissioner calls on the Irish Government to
take effective measures to prevent renditions taking place
through Irish territory and airspace, and to review the current
inspection and monitoring arrangements with a view to ensuring
that effective and independent investigations are carried out into
any serious allegation of extraordinary renditions.
10. Recommendations
The Commissioner, in accordance with Article 3 paragraphs b, c
and e and with article 8 of Resolution (99) 50 of the Committee
of Ministers, recommends that the Irish authorities:
National system for protecting human rights
1. Ratify Protocol No. 12 to the European Convention on Human
Rights and the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human
Beings.
2. Adjust the legal aid scheme to the extent that it reflects actual
cost of living standards.
3. Review the mandates of the different human rights complaints
bodies with a view to optimising their effectiveness and
independence as well as closing current protection gaps, with
particular reference to the remits of the Ombudsman and the
Ombudsman for Children.
4. Provide comprehensive and comparative information to the
public on the mandates and functions of different complaints
mechanisms.
5. Facilitate the interaction of authorities with civil society
representatives at all levels to ensure that their experience and
expertise can benefit policy formulation and implementation.
6. Conduct a base-line study to assess the extent to which
human rights are integrated into education and training, so that
further needs can be identified and addressed for ensuring that
human rights awareness reaches all walks of society.
7. Develop a national action plan on human rights as an inclusive
process for continuously improving human rights in Ireland.
Childrens rights
8. Implement the National Action Plan for Social Inclusion 2007-
2016 so as to significantly reduce the number of children
experiencing consistent poverty.
9. Use the opportunity of the proposed constitutional amendment
to incorporate the best interests of the child as a general
principle in the Irish Constitution, in line with the UN Convention
on the Rights of the Child.
10. Prohibit corporal punishment of children in a comprehensive
way.
11. Provide for professional care in the accommodation facilities
for separated children and assign a guardian ad litem to each
separated child.
12. Address the increasing demand for choice within the
educational system, in particular with regard to cultural and
religious diversity.
13. Provide adequately resourced separate facilities and services
for minor psychiatric patients, and make early intervention at a
local level possible for such children.
Juvenile justice
14. Ensure full implementation of the Children Act 2001 and its
sentencing principles, for example, by providing guidance and
specific training to the judiciary.
15. Develop further the system of alternative sanctions for
juvenile delinquents and ensure adequate funding for the system
across the country.
16. Review the current system of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders so
that it does not lead to an increased use of detention and ensure
its independent monitoring.
17. Apply the Children Detention School model when the
detention of juvenile offenders is deemed a necessary measure
and discontinue the imprisonment of children in adult facilities.
Non-discrimination and womens rights
18. Review the resource needs of the Equality Tribunal to
minimise its backlog of cases.
19. Clarify the scope of legal abortions through statutory law in
line with domestic jurisprudence and provide for adequate
services for carrying out such abortions in Ireland.
20. Change the law on birth registration in such a way that
transgender persons can obtain a birth certificate reflecting their
actual gender.
21. Provide the National Office for the Prevention of Domestic,
Sexual and Gender-based Violence with adequate resources for
the effective fulfilment of its broad mandate while, in particular,
ensuring effective support for women victims of violence through
services supplied by both state and civil society operators.
Measures against racism and xenophobia
22. Monitor the implementation of the National Action Plan
against Racism and the local anti-racism and diversity plans in
close cooperation with civil society and ethnic and cultural
minority representatives, while preparing new action plans to
succeed the current ones.
23. Improve data collection on racist and xenophobic incidents.
24. Provide for the racist motivation of a crime to be considered
as an aggravating circumstance in Irish criminal law.
Situation of Travellers
25. Work closely with Travellers when preparing, implementing
and monitoring policies and programmes designed for the
Travellers.
26. Promote the participation of Travellers in political decision-
making at local and national level.
27. Ensure that Travellers are effectively protected against
discrimination and racism under national and international law.
Treatment of migrants and asylum-seekers
28. Ensure that the right to remain in Ireland during the
procedure is granted to asylum-seekers who appeal asylum
decisions which raise questions in relation to Article 3 of the
European Convention on Human Rights.
29. Reconsider the provision in the proposed Immigration,
Residence and Protection Bill which would direct costs for so
called frivolous and vexatious proceedings to the legal counsel
of the applicant.
30. Provide family accommodation to families with children
seeking asylum in Ireland.
31. Introduce temporary work permits for asylum-seekers.
32. Introduce statutory provisions regulating family reunification
for all groups of people.
33. Implement the principle of the best interests of the child in
decisions within the field of immigration and refugee law related
to children.

Fight against terrorism: extraordinary renditions


34. Review the current inspection and monitoring arrangements
in Ireland with a view to ensuring that effective and independent
investigations are carried out into any serious allegation of
extraordinary renditions.
APPENDIX 1
List of authorities, civil society organisations
and institutions met or consulted
Authorities
Members of Government
Mr. Bertie Ahern, An Taoiseach
Mr. Dermot Ahern, Minister for Foreign Affairs
Mr. Brian Lenihan, Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform
Mr. John Gormley, Minister for the Environment, Heritage & Local
Government
Ms. Mary Harney, Minister for Health and Children
Mr. Brendan Smith, Minister of State for Children
Mr. Conor Lenihan, Minister of State for Integration
Attorney General
Mr. Paul Gallagher
Oireachtas
Mr. Michael Woods, Chairman, Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs
Ms. Jan OSullivan, Vice Chairman, Joint Committee on Health
and Children
Mr. Sean Connick, Government Convenor, Joint Committee on
Justice, Equality, Defence and Womens Rights
Supreme Court
The Hon. Mr. Justice John L. Murray, Chief Justice
High Court
The Hon. Mr. Justice Richard Johnson, President
Director of Public Prosecutions
Mr. James Hamilton
Ombudsman for Children
Ms. Emily Logan
Garda Siochna Ombudsman Commission
Mr. Conor Brady, Commissioner
Equality Authority
Mr. Niall Crowley, Chief Executive Officer
Irish Human Rights Commission
Dr. Maurice Manning, President
Department of Foreign Affairs
Ms. Kathryn Coll, Director, Russia, Eastern Europe and Central
Asia Section
Mr. Andrew Noonan, Desk Officer, Eastern Europe and Central
Asia Section
An Garda Sochna
Mr. Fachtna Murphy, Commissioner
Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service
Mr. Pat Folan, Director General
Irish Youth Justice Service
Ms. Michelle Shannon, Director
City of Dublin
Mr. Paddy Bourke, Lord Mayor of Dublin
City of Cork
Mr. Terry Shannon, Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork
Ms. Catherine Clancy, Councillor
Civil Society
University Institutes
o Centre for Criminal Justice and Human Rights (CCJHR),
University College Cork
o Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland,
Galway
Non-governmental organisations
o Age Action Ireland
o Amnesty International
o Childrens Rights Alliance
o Free Legal Advice Centres
o Gay and Lesbian Equality Network
o Inclusion Ireland
o Integrating Ireland
o Irish Council for Civil Liberties
o Irish Family Planning Association
o Irish Penal Reform Trust
o Irish Refugee Council
o Migrant Rights Centre
o National Network of Womens Refuges and Support Services
o National Womens Council of Ireland
o Pavee Point
o People with Disabilities in Ireland
o Rape Crisis Network Ireland
o Transgender Equality Network Ireland
Institutions and Sites
o Accommodation Centre for Asylum Seekers, Kinsale Road, Cork
o Central Mental Hospital, Dublin
o Cuanlee Womens Refuge, Cork
o Glanmire Community College, Co. Cork
o St. Patricks Institution for Young Offenders, Dublin
o Traveller specific accommodation at Avilla Park and temporary
halting site at St. Marys, Dunsink Lane, North of Dublin
o Trinity House Detention School, Oberstown, Lusk, Co. Dublin
International Organisation
Mr. Manuel Jordo, Representative of the UN High Commissioner
for Refugees in Ireland
Other
The Commissioner delivered the IHRC Annual Human Rights
Lecture at the National Gallery in Dublin entitled Current
Challenges to Human Rights Protection in Europe. He also
delivered the keynote address at a Seminar on Guardianship and
Migrant Children co-organised by the CCJHR and the Irish
Refugee Council.

APPENDIX 2

Response of the Irish government


As a founding member of the Council of Europe, Ireland
considers the promotion and protection of human rights as a key
policy priority, both domestically and on the international stage.
Ireland remains a strong supporter of the work of the Council and
in particular attaches the highest importance to its efforts in the
core areas of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
Respect for human rights is a long-held value of the Irish state
and of successive Irish Governments. In 2003, the European
Convention on Human Rights was given further effect to in Irish
law, allowing citizens to rely on its provisions in domestic court
proceedings. This complemented the very extensive protection of
citizens fundamental rights already afforded by the 1937 Irish
Constitution and by the body of Irish law.
One of the unique aspects of the Council of Europes work in the
area of human rights is the standard-setting and monitoring work
carried out under its aegis. This is evident in the mandate of the
Commissioner for Human Rights. The Government recognises
that the Office of the Commissioner plays an important role in
the architecture of human rights protection in Europe.
The Government takes note of the Commissioners
comprehensive report on Ireland. It is the result of a productive
and active dialogue between the Commissioner and the Irish
authorities both in advance of and during his visit in November
2007, and the Government is grateful for the Commissioners
kind words on the quality of co-operation with him.
The recommendations it makes will be considered carefully by
the Irish authorities, who are committed to continuing to identify
and implement improvements in protection of the human rights
of all citizens of and residents in Ireland.
The Government looks forward to continued cooperation with the
Commissioner for Human Rights in the future.
Ireland would like to take this opportunity to make the following
comments.
Recommendation 1: Ratify Protocol No. 12 to the
European Convention on Human Rights and the
Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings
The Government attaches high priority to tackling the issue of
human trafficking including putting in place the necessary
legislative and administrative frameworks to enable Ireland to
ratify the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human
Beings at the earliest time possible.
The Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform now has a
dedicated Anti- Human Trafficking Unit with a mandate to
develop and support the implementation of a new national
strategy to address human trafficking. The Unit will act as a pivot
at national level, facilitating a well-focused, coordinated approach
to tackling the sordid and heinous crime of human trafficking. It
will also engage constructively with the NGO community, which
will have an important part to play, particularly in relation to
follow-up service provision to victims of human trafficking.
Two key pieces of legislation the Criminal Law (Human
Trafficking) Bill 2007 and the Immigration, Residence and
Protection Bill 2008 are currently being considered by the Irish
Parliament. When they are enacted and the necessary
administrative arrangements are in place, Ireland will be in
compliance with various international anti human trafficking
instruments, including the Council of Europe Convention against
Trafficking in Human Beings. The intention would be to then ratify
the Trafficking Convention.
Ireland welcomes and supports the Council of Europes
commitment to constantly improve and develop the international
body of law for the protection against discrimination, including
Protocol No 12 to the ECHR.
As a signatory to Protocol 12, which seeks to enlarge the original
prohibition on discrimination in Article 14 of the ECHR, Ireland
keeps the question of ratifying the Protocol under review. The
major issue is the lack of clarity as to the precise extent of the
obligations imposed on States Parties by the very broad general
prohibition on discrimination in Article 1 of the Protocol. We will
watch closely how the European Court of Human Rights
interprets the scope of this Article when it comes to rule on
individual cases. The open, non- exhaustive list of discrimination
grounds in the Protocol contrasts with the prescriptive list of
discrimination grounds enshrined in Irelands Employment
Equality and Equal Status Acts and in EU anti-discrimination law.
Recommendation 2: Adjust the legal aid scheme to the
extent that it reflects the actual cost of living standards
The Civil Legal Aid Board provides legal aid to persons of modest
means in accordance with the provision of the Civil Legal Aid Act,
1995. The Board has received increases in funding in recent
years, and its allocation in 2008 is almost 27 million with an
additional 9.89 million for Refugee Legal Aid.
The financial eligibility limits under the Civil Legal Aid scheme
reflect actual cost of living expenses. Certain amendments were
made to the qualifying criteria which extended the number of
people who can qualify on income grounds and also had the
effect of improving access to the scheme.
A study has been commissioned to analyse actual eligibility levels
of the civil legal aid scheme and the early indications from this
exercise are that a substantial proportion of the population
qualifies for civil legal aid.
Ireland also operates a criminal legal aid scheme which provides
for the granting of free legal aid, in certain circumstances, for the
defence of persons of insufficient means in criminal proceedings.
In 2008, the criminal legal aid scheme had a significant budget
allocation of 45.6 million. The decision to grant free legal aid in
criminal proceedings is a purely discretionary matter for each
court. It is based on the applicants means and allows that he or
she may have legal aid where the court is satisfied that this is
essential in the interest of justice, having regard to the gravity of
the charge.
Ways of improving the provision of state services against the
background of increased migration to Ireland are reviewed on an
ongoing basis. A strategic study with a view to the development
of quality and cost-effective interpretation and translation
services for Government service providers is due to be completed
by mid 2008. It will assess the strengths and weaknesses of the
current provision from the perspective of providers and users of
services, identify models of good practice and develop preferred
options for future provision.
Recommendation 3: Review the mandates of the different
human rights complaints bodies with a view to optimising
their effectiveness and independence as well as closing
current protection gaps with particular reference to the
remits of the Ombudsman and the Ombudsman for
Children
The Irish Government recognises the importance of independent
complaints bodies which function to maintain public confidence
and support in the organs of public administration.
Bodies such as the Equality Authority, the Irish Human Rights
Commission and others are required by legislation to submit an
annual report on their activities to the relevant Minister (these
reports are also usually laid before parliament).This enables the
Government to continuously monitor the work of the various
complaints bodies, including issues such as their mandates,
effectiveness and independence. The more recently established
bodies need to optimise their effectiveness and assert their
independence on the basis of their existing mandates before
these are reviewed individually in due course.
The current national social partnership agreement, Towards
2016 - Ten-Year Framework Social Partnership Agreement 2006
2016, includes a commitment to review expenditure on the
equality infrastructure provided by the Equality Acts to reduce
the incidence of discrimination. As part of this exercise, the
Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and the Board of
the Equality Authority plan to carry out a value for money review
of the Equality Authority.
On 31 March 2008, the Government published a Bill providing for
the establishment of a Legal Services Ombudsman who will be
independent in the performance of his or her duties. The
functions of the office will include receiving and investigating
complaints as well as developing initiatives to improve public
understanding of issues relating to complaints against members
of either branch of the legal profession.
The Government welcomes the Commissioners
acknowledgement of its efforts to resource the national human
rights institutions and of the dedicated work for the protection of
human rights done by the members of many human rights
structures whom he met during his visit.

The Government notes the Commissioners comments concerning


the Ombudsman's remit. Subject to Government approval, it is
expected that legislation will be published in the near future to
update the Ombudsman Act 1980 and significantly expand the
remit of the Ombudsman, although there are no proposals to
include the asylum/immigration area, or places of detention.
There are also no proposals to amend or review the provision in
the Ombudsman Act (at section 5(3)) which permits a Minister of
the Government to request the Ombudsman not to investigate
particular actions.
The Ombudsman for Children does not have statutory functions
relating to the inspection of, or investigation of complaints in
prison institutions. The statutory powers of inspecting prison
institutions and hearing prisoner complaints are vested in the
Inspector of Prisons and the Prison Visiting Committees.
However, if an individual detained in the Irish prison system and
who is less than eighteen years of age wishes to see the
Ombudsman for Children, the Irish authorities will facilitate
access for that person.
At the invitation of the Governor, the Ombudsman for Children
has visited St. Patricks Institution which currently accommodates
16 and 17 year old boys, as a temporary measure. Once the Irish
Youth Justice Service takes on responsibility for them, 16 and 17
year old boys will automatically be included in the Ombudsmans
remit.
The Ombudsman for Children has a statutory role relating to the
investigation of any actions or complaints in the four children
detention schools which accommodate boys up to the age of 16
years, and girls up to the age of 18 years who are remanded or
committed by the criminal courts.
Recommendation 4: Provide comprehensive and
comparative information to the public on the mandates
and functions of different complaints mechanisms
The report acknowledges positively that each of the many human
rights structures in Ireland already provides information to the
public on its mandate and procedures in an easily understandable
format.
On the issue of helping members of the public to understand
where best to direct their individual concerns, the website of The
Citizens Information Board which contains comprehensive
information on State services, includes a booklet "Where to
complain" giving detailed advice along the lines recommended by
the Commissioner. The booklet is currently being updated to
reflect the many relevant developments since 2004. See:
http://www.citizensinformationboard.ie/publications/publications
_booklets.html
The public can also get relevant information from the network of
Citizens Information Services and from the national Citizens
Information Phone Service. In 2007, information, advice and
advocacy services provided from 268 locations dealt with more
than 600,000 callers while the national Citizens Information
Phone Service had over 100,000 callers.
Recommendation 5: Facilitate the interaction of
authorities with civil society representatives at all levels
to ensure that their experience and expertise can benefit
policy formulation and implementation
The Irish Government recognises the important role of civil
society and appreciates the valuable input made by civil society
during the policy formulation and implementation processes.
Appropriate mechanisms are designed to meet the needs of
specific policy issues as they arise and these generally
incorporate the invitation of submissions from the public and
representative groups followed by engagement with specific
groups on details of proposals. Examples of involvement of civil
society in policy formulation in recent years include the
consultative processes which supported the development of inter
alia the National Womens Strategy, the preparation of the
Immigration Residence & Protection Bill and the National Action
Plan to Prevent and Combat Trafficking in Human Beings. In the
Integration area, the planned establishment of a Task Force on
Integration as well as the establishment of a Ministerial Council
will also enable stakeholders to input into Integration policy.
Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) was formally introduced in
Ireland in June 2005. It is a far reaching instrument applicable to
all proposals for primary legislation and other significant
regulations. Consultation and the consideration of social,
economic and environmental impacts, including impacts on the
rights of the citizen, are integral elements of the RIA process. In
addition, equality proofing tools have been developed as a
mechanism to ensure that policies and programmes do not
adversely impact on any vulnerable groups protected by national
equality legislation.
Ireland has a very strong social partnership structure and has
had seven social partnership agreements to date including the
current "Towards 2016" agreement. The Social Partnership
structure allows for extensive interaction and negotiation
between the Government and the Social Partners - that is, the
main trade union, employer and farming organisations as well as
the community and voluntary sector.
Recommendation 6: Conduct a base-line study to assess
the extent to which human rights are integrated into
education and training so that further needs can be
identified and addressed for ensuring that human rights
awareness reaches all walks of society
The wide range of on- going initiatives in the field of human
rights education in Ireland is known to the Commissioner and is
welcomed in his report. Insofar as the school system is
concerned, the Government does not see the added value of a
base line study of human rights education.
The human rights perspective permeates the curriculum of
primary and post-primary schools. From developing the young
childs awareness of how to interact fairly with others, treat them
with dignity and respect and learn to appreciate difference, the
curriculum gradually widens to include, through the teaching of
history and geography for example, the themes of poverty,
discrimination, prejudice, racism, sustainable development and
environmental awareness among others. Mental health issues
and child protection issues, specifically bullying, are also
featured. Human rights education is a core element of both Social
Personal and Health Education (SPHE) which is a mandatory part
of the national curriculum in primary schools and in lower second
level education and Civic Social and Political Education (CSPE)
which is an examinable subject taken by all junior cycle pupils.
Senior cycle programmes in Politics and Society and in SPHE are
currently being developed.
In relation to the reference in paragraph 35 of the report to
human rights education for professionals, in particular the
judiciary and the health sector, information has been provided to
the Commissioners Office on human rights programmes and
research at 12 third level education institutions in Ireland.
Information has also been provided on the Judicial Studies
Institute, which provides for the ongoing education of the
Judiciary. Arrangements will be made to draw the Commissioner's
comments on the need for human rights education of the
judiciary to the attention of the Judicial Studies Institute. See
also response to recommendation 14.
The principles of equality, maximum participation and choice for
individuals are basic elements of the approach to health care
training in Ireland. Human rights awareness is already addressed
in the curriculum for training nurses and midwives. The
Government has noted the Commissioners point in relation to
the need for human rights education for health sector
professionals generally.
Recommendation 7: Develop a national action plan on
human rights as an inclusive process for continuously
improving human rights in Ireland
The promotion and protection of human rights is an important
element of Irelands domestic and foreign policy. To target areas
of concern in a human rights context, Ireland has developed a
number of National Action Plans, including those related to
racism, women and social inclusion. The emphasis in these plans
is on a whole of system approach, with particular focus on
mainstreaming issues into the formulation of public policy. Our
approach is further informed by a desire to develop the most
effective strategies to address human rights issues.
Ireland has also developed a number of National Strategies to
tackle specific areas of concern. Among these strategies are
those relating to children and childcare, disability, health,
homelessness, prison policy, the Traveller Community and youth
justice. Work is currently underway to develop a strategy in the
area of violence against women.
Ireland keeps policy regarding the promotion and protection of
human rights under constant review. Priority is given to
consideration of recommendations arising from the reporting
mechanisms of the Council of Europe and the United Nations. The
Irish authorities continue to closely monitor strategies and
experiences elsewhere to see if they can usefully be applied in
Ireland.
Recommendation 8: Implement the National Action Plan
for Social Inclusion 2007-2016 so as to significantly
reduce the number of children experiencing consistent
poverty
Ireland is determined to achieve a very high level of social
inclusion. The main policy instrument in this area, which builds
on progress already achieved, is the National Action Plan for
Social Inclusion (NAPinclusion) which aims to reduce consistent
poverty to between 2% and 4% by 2012 and to eliminate it by
2016. Moreover, the National Development Plan 2007-2013
includes a commitment to spend nearly 50 billion over that
period on social inclusion targets, including over 12 billion for
children's needs. Most recently, Budget 2008 included a 194
million improvement in income supports to combat child poverty
focused on increases in the early childcare supplement and in
child benefit. The increases in Child Benefit came into effect on 1
April 2008.
The latest survey results from the Central Statistics Office (CSO)
for 2006 show that the overall consistent poverty rate is on a
downward trajectory.
A key focus of education policy is to prioritise investment in
favour of those most at risk and to optimise access, participation
and outcomes at every level of the system for disadvantaged
groups. Investment in tackling educational disadvantage has
increased significantly in recent years. In 2008, some 800m is
being provided for targeted initiatives at all levels - an increase of
some 70m on the comparable 2006 figure and a 75% increase
on the comparable figure for 2003. Under the social partnership
agreement, Towards 2016, the Government and the social
partners have agreed to work together towards the goal that
every child should leave primary school literate and numerate
and that the proportion of the population aged 20 24
completing upper second level education or equivalent will
exceed 90% by 2013. It has also prioritised the tackling of early
school leaving. The first integrated educational inclusion strategy
for 3 to 18 years olds from disadvantaged communities, DEIS
(Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools), was launched in
2005. It provides for a standardised system for identifying levels
of disadvantage and an integrated School Support Programme
(SSP) which will cover 873 schools. On full implementation, it will
involve an additional annual investment of some 40m. Details of
implementation measures to date and priorities for 2008 have
been provided to the Commissioner.
Recommendation 9: Use the opportunity of the proposed
constitutional amendments to incorporate the best
interest of the child as a general principle in the Irish
Constitution in line with the UN Convention on the Rights
of the Child
The Irish Government notes the Commissioners comments
regarding the proposed amendment to the Constitution. It awaits
the conclusions of the Joint Committee on the Constitutional
Amendment on Children following its examination of the Twenty-
Eighth Amendment of the Constitution Bill 2007 before
proceeding further.
Recommendation 10: Prohibit corporal punishment of
children in a comprehensive way
The Irish Government notes the Commissioner's comments in
relation to the full prohibition of corporal punishment and the
acknowledgement of the need for sustained public education and
the promotion of positive parenting, aside from legal reform. The
Government is actively promoting a policy of positive parenting
and further developing family support services. As the
Commissioner is aware, research already underway will inform
further consideration of this issue.
Recommendation 11: Provide for professional care in the
accommodation facilities for separated children and assign
a guardian ad litem to each separated child
The Office of the Minister for Children and the Health Service
Executive (HSE) are working towards the provision of appropriate
services which meet the needs of separated children. The HSE
are devising a National Operational Policy for separated children.
This is at an advanced stage and will support the principle that all
children in the care of the HSE should receive the same standard
of care whether they are separated children seeking asylum or
indigenous children in care. The policy will also reflect the
principle of good practice that younger children under 12 should
be placed in foster care, while older, less vulnerable young people
can be placed in residential care or supported lodgings as
appropriate. When implemented, this policy will fulfil the
Commissioners recommendation in relation to the professional
care for these minors.
New national protocols regarding missing children are currently
being drafted and will be finalised shortly. The HSE are in
consultation with the Garda (police) Missing Persons Bureau on
this matter.
A number of staff in both the Office of the Refugee Applications
Commissioner (ORAC) and the Refugee Appeals Tribunal (RAT)
have received specialised training in dealing with cases of
unaccompanied minors. This training is currently facilitated by
the UNHCR and involves presentations to practitioners from child
care experts focusing on issues such as psychological needs,
child specific aspects of the refugee process, the role of the social
worker and other issues particular to refugee determination for
separated children.
Specific provision of guardian ad litem services for separated
children would need to be considered in the context of a wider
range of policy considerations which go beyond the needs of this
particular group of children. Full implementation of the National
Operational Policy regarding the care of these minors (referred to
above) will also impact on the potential need for such services.
See also response to recommendation 33.
Recommendation 12: Address the increasing demand for
choice within the educational system, in particular with
regard to cultural and religious diversity
As noted by the Commissioner the demand for choice is being
actively pursued by the Department of Education and Science in
consultation with the key stakeholders in education.
The current shape of our school system reflects the historical
reality that the vast majority of primary schools in this country
were established by religious authorities mainly the Catholic
Church. Such schools have traditionally welcomed pupils from all
backgrounds and continue to do so and many have large
numbers of non-Catholics enrolled. There has been an increase in
the number of patron bodies seeking recognition for new schools
and in recent years most of the new schools opened have been
multi-denominational in ethos.
In February 2007 the Minister for Education and Science
announced her intention to devise a new model of primary school
patronage which has the capacity to cater for the wishes of
parents of all faiths and of none within the framework of a single
patron model and a single board of management structure. The
framework for the new model would be representative of and
designed to cater for the diversity of religious beliefs within an
area served by a primary school. It was stated that the new
model was not intended to replace the existing models but to
provide an additional option, likely to be used particularly in
growing areas. It is important that all schools have the range of
pupils that is fully representative of their wider communities,
both Irish and non-Irish.
Following consultations with key stakeholders in the intervening
period, the Minister has announced that the new State model of
community national school, under the patronage of County
Dublin Vocational Education Committee (VEC), is to be piloted in
three locations in Dublin from September 2008. A core principle
of the new model is that the school would facilitate religious
education for various denominational groups as part of the school
day.
In March 2008 the Minister for Education and Science announced
that she is planning a major conference this June to consider the
implications of the new societal diversity on the future
organisation of schools in Ireland. This conference will also focus
on the balance between parental choice and capacity to deliver;
the need to ensure that all schools are inclusive and the
implications of this for enrolment policies.
The Government is very conscious of the need to ensure timely
provision of extra accommodation for the estimated 100,000
extra children who will enter our primary schools over the next
seven years or so. To this end, 95 million or 30% - extra is
being provided for primary school buildings in 2008, bringing
total capital expenditure on the building programme to nearly
600 million next year. This has been acknowledged with
satisfaction by the Commissioner.
There are now almost 2,000 English language support teachers in
the system catering for the needs of immigrants in primary and
post-primary schools at a cost of approximately 120 million per
annum; this is up from 260 support teachers in 2001/2002.
The above initiatives confirm that the Government is actively
addressing the increasing demand for choice within the education
system and is involving the key stakeholders, as the
Commissioner has recommended.
Recommendation 13: Provide adequately resourced
separate facilities and services for minor psychiatric
patients, and make early intervention at a local level
possible for such children
Government policy for the development of Child and Adolescent
mental health services is outlined in A Vision for Change. It
recommends the recruitment of additional Child and Adolescent
Multidisciplinary Mental Health Teams and the development of
additional in-patient accommodation.
In 2008 eight additional Multidisciplinary Teams will be recruited
and 18 additional beds provided. Construction of two 20 bed
units (in Cork and Galway) for children and adolescents will also
commence in 2008.
With reference to paragraph 58 the Governments decision to
relocate the Central Mental Hospital (CMH) to Thornton Hall, Co
Dublin is consistent with A Vision for Change" which
recommends that the CMH should be replaced or remodelled to
allow it to provide care and treatment in a modern, up-to-date
humane setting and that capacity should be maximised. The new
hospital facility will provide a therapeutic, forensic psychiatric
service to the highest international standards, in a state-ofthe-
art building. This redevelopment of the CMH will constitute a
separate capital development project independent of the prison
complex to replace Mountjoy Prison. It will be built on its own
campus with an entrance and an address separate to those of the
prison complex; it will be owned and managed by the Health
Service Executive (HSE) and it will retain its identity as a distinct
therapeutic health facility.
Recommendation 14: Ensure full implementation of the
Children Act 2001 and its sentencing principles for
example by providing guidance and specific training to the
judiciary
Ireland is committed to supporting the rights of children and
young people and the Government encourages the detention of
children only as a very last resort. To achieve this goal the
Government established the Irish Youth Justice Service.
Last year, the Government agreed the allocation of additional
resources to allow for the effective implementation of the
Children Act 2001. The additional resources include staff for the
Probation Service, 28 new Juvenile Liaison Officers and three
additional District Court Judges.

In the area of juvenile justice the Irish Youth Justice Service


plays a key role in the implementation of the Children Act 2001
by leading and driving reform in this area. This has led to the
development of a National Youth Justice Strategy for the period
2008-2010, which has recently been approved by Government.
With regard to the specific reference to providing guidance and
specific training to the judiciary, it should be noted that the Irish
Constitution guarantees the independence of the judiciary.
The Judicial Studies Institute was established by the judiciary in
1996. The role of the Department of Justice Equality & Law
Reform is limited to the provision of funding for training and a
sum is provided annually to the Institute. The Institute produces
a journal periodically and organises conferences, seminars and
lectures for judges with the object of enhancing their knowledge
and understanding of the law and legal principles with particular
regard to new developments. The Commissioner's
recommendations will be brought to the attention of the
Institute.
Recommendation 15: Develop further the system of
alternative sanctions for juvenile delinquents and ensure
adequate funding for the system across the country
The Government is committed to continuing the development of
alternative sanctions for juvenile offenders. The Children Act of
2001 emphasised the importance of diverting young people from
the criminal justice system. The provisions of the Act provided for
the introduction of a range of new Community Sanctions for
children to be operated by the Probation Service. The number of
Garda (police) Youth Diversion Projects has been increased
significantly and the full range of Community Sanctions is being
implemented. Twenty nine new projects were established in
2007, bringing the total number of such projects to 100. A
further 68 projects will be established over the next five years in
line with the commitment given in the Programme for
Government.
Under the National Development Plan 2007-2013, a sum of 120
million has been allocated to Garda Projects and 104 million to
the implementation of Community Sanctions.
Recommendation 16: Review the current system of Anti-
Social Behaviour Orders so that it does not lead to an
increased use of detention and ensure its independent
monitoring
The provisions of the Children Act 2001 provide for a range of
community sanctions to the courts. The sanctions are aimed at
reducing the number of children sentenced to detention by the
courts. They also seek to improve the outcomes for children in a
range of areas including such matters as re-offending, education
attainment, family supports and substance abuse. An investment
of 104 million is being made under the National Development
Plan 2007- 2013 for the implementation of these new community
sanctions.
Anti-Social Behaviour Orders offer an alternative for dealing with
anti- social behaviour to the criminal process, which is
particularly important when dealing with children. A Behaviour
Order is the last in a series of steps which give the child
concerned the opportunity to address the behaviour.
It should be noted that the system of Anti-Social Behaviour
Orders for children has a separate range of procedures which
were framed in the context of the overall philosophy and policy
that underpins the Children Act. These include a "good behaviour
contract" which can be drawn up at a meeting involving the child,
their parent(s) or guardian and the Garda (police). The option of
referral to the Garda Juvenile Liaison Programme may also be
pursued before the question of application to the court for a
behaviour order arises.
Under the recently approved National Youth Justice Strategy
2008-2010, An Garda Sochna (the police service) will monitor
the use and effectiveness of the anti-social behaviour measures.
In addition, statistical returns on the use of such measures will
be made to the Irish Youth Justice Service on a regular basis.
There is no evidence to suggest that any additional and/or
independent monitoring is warranted at this stage.
Recommendation 17: Apply the Children Detention School
model when the detention of juvenile offenders is deemed
a necessary measure and discontinue the imprisonment of
children in adult facilities
The Irish Government is committed to ensuring that children who
are detained as a measure of last resort are given the
opportunity for full rehabilitation and reintegration into society.
Childrens detention schools provide separate remand and
committal facilities, focused on rehabilitation and all children
attend full time education while in detention.
Following consideration of the Expert Group report on this issue,
the Government approved, in March 2008, the development of a
new national children detention school to cater for all children
under 18 detained by the courts.
The new detention school will facilitate the transfer of
responsibility for 16 and 17 year old boys from the Irish Prison
Service (St. Patricks Institution) to the Irish Youth Justice
Service. Planning for the new facility will begin immediately and
it is anticipated that the first phase of the development, which
will include the removal of all children from the prison system,
will be operational by 2012.
Planning for the use of a separate facility on the site of the new
prison complex at Thornton Hall for juvenile offenders is a
contingency to ensure that accommodation for these young
offenders is available should the closure of St. Patricks
Institution occur prior to the completion of the new childrens
detention school. If this proves necessary it will be used for as
short a time as possible.
Recommendation 18: Review the resource needs of the
Equality Tribunal to minimise its backlog of cases
Ireland continues to be committed to overcoming discrimination
and promoting equality for all, and this commitment is
underpinned by a strong body of legislation.
Among the commitments contained in Towards 2016 - Ten-Year
Framework Social Partnership Agreement 2006 2016 is the
review of expenditure on the equality infrastructure provided by
the Equality Acts to reduce the incidence of discrimination. A
particular priority is the removal of the current backlog of cases
before the Equality Tribunal. The Department of Justice Equality
and Law Reform, as a matter of urgency, is addressing this issue,
in collaboration with the Tribunal.
Recommendation 19: Clarify the scope of legal abortions
through statutory law in line with domestic jurisprudence
and provide for adequate services for carrying out such
abortions in Ireland
The Government is satisfied that any medical treatment
necessary to safeguard a womans life during pregnancy is
available in Ireland. It has no plans to bring forward further
constitutional or legislative proposals in relation to abortion.
Recommendation 20: Change the law on birth registration
in such a way that transgender persons can obtain a birth
certificate reflecting their actual gender:
This Recommendation, and the High Court decision to which
reference is made in paragraph 81 of the Commissioner's report,
relate to the Civil Registration Act. However any proposal to
change this legislation along the lines suggested would involve a
number of broad and complex issues which require detailed
consideration across many Departments.
In view of the significance of the High Court judgement not
merely for this case but for future cases under the European
Convention on Human Rights Act, an appeal has been lodged in
the Supreme Court against the High Court decision mentioned, in
the interest of seeking clarity on all its implications.
Recommendation 21: Provide the National Office for the
Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based
Violence with adequate resources for the effective
fulfilment of its broad mandate while, in particular
ensuring effective support for women victims of violence
through services supplied by both state and civil society
operators
The Government is committed to addressing the closely related
problems of domestic, sexual and gender- based violence. In
June 2007, the Government established Cosc - the National
Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based
violence - with the key responsibility to ensure delivery of a
whole of government response to, and support for, victims of
domestic and sexual violence. Cosc has been resourced as
required currently to fulfil its coordination mandate.
Recommendation 22: Monitor the implementation of the
National Action Plan against Racism and the local Anti-
Racism and Diversity Plans in close co-operation with civil
society and ethnic and cultural minority representatives,
while preparing new action plans to succeed the current
ones
The implementation of the National Action Plan against Racism
confirms Irelands dedication to combating racism and to
developing a more inclusive and intercultural society based on
policies that promote interaction, equality of opportunity,
understanding and respect.
The National Action Plan against Racism runs from 2005 to the
end of 2008. NPAR is now under the remit of the newly
established Office of the Minister for Integration (OMI). It is
recognised that there is a need to maintain a focus on racism
within the new integration agenda and to have anti racism
programmes nestled within an intercultural framework.
A Strategic Monitoring Group meets regularly to monitor the
implementation of the National Action Plan. This Group comprises
Government officials as well as representative of civil society and
minority groups.
Several Anti-Racism and Diversity Plans have been supported
under the National Action Plan against Racism on a pilot basis.
The Office of the Minister for Integration is planning to support
the further development of City and County Integration Plans. It
is recognised that the development of these Plans should involve
a wide range of stakeholders including local authorities; key
service providers; social partners and the community and
voluntary sector, including those groups representing minority
ethnic communities.
Recommendation 23: Improve data collection on racist
and xenophobic incidents
Official statistics on racially motivated incidents are recorded by
An Garda Sochna (the police service). The National Consultative
Committee on Racism and Interculturalism (NCCRI) established a
voluntary reporting mechanism in 2001 and this provides a
valuable complementary source of information and analysis of
racist incidents. The NCCRI, in common with other EU Member
States, periodically makes a return of these incidents to the EU
Fundamental Rights Agency.
One of the priorities set out in the National Action Plan against
Racism is to support the development of a comprehensive and
integrated data collection strategy in relation to racist incidents.
This would include Garda crime statistics, and sources such as
national crime surveys and complementary reporting
mechanisms, having regard to harmonisation of data collection
for comparative purposes across the EU.
Recommendation 24: Provide for the racist motivation of a
crime to be considered as an aggravating circumstance in
Irish criminal law
Under the National Action Plan against Racism, research has
been commissioned into the adequacy of Irelands legislation on
racially motivated crime. The research is expected to be finalised
shortly. The findings of this research will provide important
information on whether it is necessary to add to existing
legislation to provide for the racial motivation of a crime to be
considered as an aggravating circumstance in Irish criminal law.
Recommendation 25: Work closely with Travellers when
preparing, implementing and monitoring policies and
programmes designed for the Travellers
Ireland is committed to improving continuously the coordination
and effective delivery of services and supports for Travellers.
A key aspect of Irish Government strategy in relation to
Travellers is an integrated approach among agencies operating
under the County and City Development Boards, coupled with
effective consultation with Travellers. This approach is outlined in
two priority recommendations contained in the Report of the High
Level Group on Traveller Issues, which was approved by
Government in 2006.
At national level there is direct Traveller representation on policy
advisory and monitoring committees in relation to Traveller
Accommodation, Education and Health. In addition, following on
the 2006 national partnership agreement, Towards 2016, a new
National Traveller Monitoring and Advisory Committee was
established as a forum for dialogue between the relevant social
partners. This Committee, which includes four national Traveller
organisations along with a number of prominent individual
Traveller representatives, also has a specific remit to advise on
policy in relation to the Traveller Community. It is due to make its
first advisory report in 2009. The Irish authorities have ensured,
through primary legislation, the active participation of Travellers
in formulating and implementing policies for the provision of
accommodation of Traveller families both at national level and
locally in every local authority throughout the country.
The 2006 Census showed a total Traveller population of 22,400.
The Report and Recommendations for a Traveller Education
Strategy was launched in November 2006. It covers all aspects of
Traveller education from pre-school right through to further and
higher education. It is estimated that there is 100% completion
of primary school by Traveller children. In relation to the
reference in paragraph 92 to the proportion of Traveller children
entering and completing secondary education, it is important to
note that their participation rate has risen from 961 in
1999/2000 to 2,229 in 2005/2006. In addition there are 33
Senior Traveller Training Centres located throughout the country.
There are approximately 1,000 students attending the centres.
They cater for the needs of Travellers and others aged 15 years
and upwards. There is no upper age limit so as to encourage
parents and older Travellers to become involved.
In February 2008, an allocation of 320,000 in funding for local
Traveller support projects was approved. The grants support a
number of local projects which were already in progress from
2006/2007. These were locally based projects involving a
partnership between state
agencies and community based groups. Most of them were aimed
at assisting young Travellers remain in education by providing
homework support, mentoring etc, and others address the access
by Travellers in mainstream Youth support (Youth clubs, sports
etc).
Recommendation 26: Promote the participation of
Travellers in political decision-making at local and national
level
Irish electoral law enables members of the travelling community
to be registered as electors, even where they have a nomadic
lifestyle.
The Guidelines for Registration Authorities recommend that as far
as possible, the names of all members of the travelling
community who are eligible to vote are included in the Register.
While it can sometimes be difficult to ascertain the place of
ordinary residence, registration authorities are advised that those
members of the travelling community who regularly occupy the
same site for considerable periods of the year should be
registered and, in this regard, should liaise with all other relevant
bodies to ensure that as many eligible members of the travelling
community as possible are included in the Register.
The selection of candidates to stand for election is a matter for
each political party and the question of actively promoting such
activity rests with them.
The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR)
sent an Election Assessment Mission to Ireland to observe the
electoral process in the context of the General Election 2007. The
Mission met with representatives of Traveller organisations who,
prior to the election, had carried out election information and
awareness activities including voter education initiatives to
target, in particular, the relatively high number of illiterate voters
in their community and to encourage broader participation.
Candidate forums were also organised to raise awareness of the
issues most important to Travellers.
While no Travellers have yet been elected to parliament nor did
any Traveller candidate run in the 2007 General Election,
members of the travelling community are more active in local
elections and the current Mayor of the town of Tuam is a
Traveller. Representatives of the travelling community told the
ODIHR Mission that they did not have any complaints about
specific incidents of racist or intolerant discourse during the
election campaign.
Recommendation 27: Ensure that Travellers are effectively
protected against discrimination and racism under
national and international law
The key anti-discrimination measures, the Incitement to Hatred
Act, 1989, the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977, the Employment
Equality Acts and the Equal Status Acts specifically identify
Travellers by name as a protected group. The Equality Act 2004,
which transposed the EU Racial Equality Directive, applied all the
protections of that Directive across the categories contained in
the legislation, including the Traveller community ground. All the
protections afforded to ethnic minorities in EU directives and
international conventions apply to Travellers because the Irish
legislation giving effect to those international instruments
explicitly protects Travellers. It should also be noted that
Travellers have successfully invoked the European Convention on
Human Rights Act, 2003.
Recommendation 28: Ensure that the right to remain in
Ireland during the procedure is granted to asylum-seekers
who appeal asylum decisions which raise questions in
relation to Article 3 of the European Convention on Human
Rights
The asylum determination system in Ireland aims to compare
with the best in the world in terms of fairness, decision making,
determination structures and support services for asylum seekers
including access to legal advice.
Current legislation provides that asylum applicants are entitled to
remain in the State pending a final determination of their
applications (which includes both first instance and appeals
decisions). A person, whose application for refugee status is
rejected, having had a claim examined by the Office of the
Refugee Applications Commissioner and the Refugee Appeals
Tribunal, is afforded a further extensive and detailed examination
before a deportation order may be issued. In addition, failed
asylum applicants are eligible to apply for subsidiary protection in
accordance with the relevant legislation.
The Minister is also obliged, under current legislation, to consider
the issue of risk to a person before a deportation order is made.
The Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill 2008, which is
currently before the Irish Parliament, proposes to
comprehensively reform and simplify the current asylum
determination system through the introduction of a single
procedure for the investigation of all grounds, including
protection ones, put forward by applicants for protection. This
reform of the processing framework will lead to the removal of
the existing multi-layered and sequential process and will allow
applicants to get a final decision on applications in a more timely
and efficient manner. The Bill does not propose any change to the
asylum applicants entitlement to remain in the State pending a
final decision on their application.
Recommendation 29: Reconsider the provision in the
proposed Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill
which would direct costs for so called frivolous and
vexatious proceedings to the legal counsel of the
applicant
The Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill 2008 contains
provisions to prevent the misuse of the judicial process. The
issue raised in regard to the Bill will be considered.
Recommendation 30: Provide family accommodation to
families with children seeking asylum in Ireland
The Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) has always provided
family accommodation to families with children seeking asylum in
Ireland.
The variety of accommodation in use allows RIA to meet the
needs of all family configurations claiming asylum. The
accommodation centres are of varying sizes and include hotels,
hostels and purpose built centres. Kinsale Road, the Centre
visited by the Commissioner is a purpose built centre and was
constructed to allow for adaptation for different family profiles.
Families are never assigned to a room suitable only for a single
person. In all cases, service providers are contractually obliged to
conform to relevant statutory requirements in relation to room
capacity.
RIA operates a robust inspection system to ensure that these
contractual obligations are met. Issues raised in the inspection
reports are addressed and corrected speedily.
Recommendation 31: Introduce temporary work permits
for asylum seekers
It is not proposed to allow asylum applicants to take up paid
employment pending a final decision being made on their
applications. Current legislation provides that an applicant for
asylum shall not seek or enter employment. The new
Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill 2008 which is before
Parliament does not propose any change to this policy.
The Government believes that, as a matter of public policy,
asylum seekers should not be allowed to work while their
applications are being considered. Any change to this policy
would undermine the asylum process and the wider immigration
system, as well as the work permit and other labour market
access schemes. These systems would be undermined by giving
immigrants who secure entry to the State, on the basis of
unfounded asylum claims, the same access to employment as
immigrants who follow the lawful route to employment.
Under current legislation, asylum seekers have temporary
permission to remain in the State pending the determination of
their applications. It is clear that some persons seek protection
for the purpose of avoiding legitimate immigration controls in
order to enter the State for economic reasons.
Recommendation 32: Introduce statutory provisions
regulating family reunification for all groups of people
There are already statutory provisions in place in respect of
family reunification for persons granted refugee status and for
the family members of EU nationals exercising their rights of free
movement. In addition, the Immigration, Residence and
Protection Bill 2008, currently being considered by the Irish
Parliament, will provide the framework for expanding through
secondary legislation the family reunification regime applicable to
other categories of residence. In this regard a review of current
policies in relation to family reunification is taking place.
Recommendation 33: Implement the principle of the best
interest of the child in decisions within the field of
immigration and refugee law related to children
The Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner recognises
that certain applicants or groups of applicants in the asylum
process may have special needs, including in particular
unaccompanied minors and separated children.
Current legislation, provides that, where it appears to an
authorised officer of the Refugee Applications Commissioner or to
an Immigration Officer that a person who has arrived in the State
is under the age of 18 years, that child must be referred to the
relevant Health Services Executive (HSE) area which will then
decide whether or not to make an application for asylum on their
behalf. It is the responsibility of the HSE to decide whether it is in
the best interests of the child to make such an application.
The Health Service Executive assists children throughout the
asylum process, including accompanying them to their
interviews. In addition, the Office of the Refugee Applications
Commissioner has a system to ensure that an unaccompanied
child is accompanied to the interview by a legal representative
and it also provides interpretation facilities.
See also response to recommendation 11.

Recommendation 34:
Review the current inspection and monitoring
arrangements in Ireland with a view to ensuring that
effective and independent investigations are carried out
into any serious allegation of extraordinary renditions
The Irish Government has repeatedly stated both domestically
and internationally its total opposition to the practice of
extraordinary rendition. The Commissioners report refers to
''Extraordinary Rendition' A Review of Ireland's Human Rights
Obligations published by the Irish Human Rights Commission
(IHRC) in December 2007. The Taoiseach and the Minister for
Foreign Affairs both responded to the publication of the Review,
setting out the
Government's position in extensive and robust terms.
As was set out in detail in its response to the IHRC Review,
the Irish Government remains confident that, under international
law, it is fully entitled to rely on the categoric and absolute
assurances secured from the United States Government that they
have not engaged in extraordinary rendition though Ireland. The
assurances received are of a clear and categoric nature and
relate to a factual situation over which the US authorities have
full knowledge and control.

On the matter of inspections, no other European country has an


inspection regime such as that proposed in the IHRC report. The
Government has made clear its view with regard to the necessity,
practicality and propriety of such a regime. The Garda
Siochana already have full powers to search civil aircraft of the
type alleged to have been involved in extraordinary rendition
where they have reasonable grounds for suspecting illegal
activity. They have investigated a number of allegations and
found no basis on which to proceed. No evidence has ever been
produced, nor any concrete allegation made, that any person has
ever been
subject to extraordinary rendition through Ireland
The Government continues to be active in its opposition to
extraordinary rendition, and has consistently demonstrated its
willingness to engage with international bodies, including the
Council of Europe and the European Parliament, on any
investigation into the issue, and in efforts to ensure that the
practice does not occur. In this context, the Minister for Foreign
Affairs has called for a review of the Chicago Convention
governing civil aviation, and we welcome the fact that this is
acknowledged in the Commissioner's report.
ss
1
See the Commissioners mandate especially Article 3 (e),
Resolution (99) 50 on the Council of Europe Commissioner for
Human Rights.
2
A full list of people, institutions and facilities visited can be
found in the appendix to this report.
3
OP-CAT entered into force on 22 June 2006. Its aim is to
prevent ill-treatment by establishing a system of regular visits to
places of detention to be carried out by independent international
and national bodies.
4
Such constitutional rights include: TRANSIT - HYPERLINK
.http://www.citizensinformation.ie/categories/government-in-
ireland/irish-constitution-1/equality_before_the_law. equality
before the law, TRANSIT - HYPERLINK
.http://www.citizensinformation.ie/categories/government-in-
ireland/irish-constitution-1/right_to_life. right to life, TRANSIT -
HYPERLINK
.http://www.citizensinformation.ie/categories/government-in-
ireland/irish-constitution-1/right_to_trial_by_jury. right to trial by
jury, TRANSIT - HYPERLINK
.http://www.citizensinformation.ie/categories/government-in-
ireland/irish-constitution-1/right_to_bodily_integrity. right to
bodily integrity, TRANSIT - HYPERLINK
.http://www.citizensinformation.ie/categories/government-in-
ireland/irish-constitution-1/right_to_travel. freedom to travel,
TRANSIT - HYPERLINK
.http://www.citizensinformation.ie/categories/government-in-
ireland/irish-constitution-1/right_to_personal_liberty. personal
liberty, TRANSIT - HYPERLINK
.http://www.citizensinformation.ie/categories/government-in-
ireland/irish-constitution-1/freedom_of_expression. freedom of
expression, TRANSIT - HYPERLINK
.http://www.citizensinformation.ie/categories/government-in-
ireland/irish-constitution-1/freedom_of_assembly. freedom of
assembly, TRANSIT - HYPERLINK
.http://www.citizensinformation.ie/categories/government-in-
ireland/irish-constitution-1/freedom_of_association. freedom of
association, TRANSIT - HYPERLINK
.http://www.citizensinformation.ie/categories/government-in-
ireland/irish-constitution-1/religious_liberty. religious liberty,
TRANSIT - HYPERLINK
.http://www.citizensinformation.ie/categories/government-in-
ireland/irish-constitution-1/rights-of-the-family. rights of the
family, TRANSIT - HYPERLINK
.http://www.citizensinformation.ie/categories/government-in-
ireland/irish-constitution-1/right_to_own_property. property
rights, TRANSIT - HYPERLINK
.http://www.citizensinformation.ie/categories/government-in-
ireland/irish-constitution-1/right_to_earn_a_livelihood. right to
earn a livelihood, TRANSIT - HYPERLINK
.http://www.citizensinformation.ie/categories/government-in-
ireland/irish-constitution-1/inviolability_of_dwelling. inviolability
of dwelling, TRANSIT - HYPERLINK
.http://www.citizensinformation.ie/categories/government-in-
ireland/irish-constitution-1/right_to_fair_procedures. right to fair
procedures TRANSIT - HYPERLINK
.http://www.citizensinformation.ie/categories/government-in-
ireland/irish-constitution-1/right_to_privacy. and right to privacy.
5
For details, see under 3.1.
6
See under 5.1.
7
See under 8.1.
8
The Irish authorities have informed the Commissioner that the
Courts Service provides interpreters in all courts for migrants and
asylum seekers where English is not their first language, that
information leaflets are available in various languages and that
police is currently tendering for the systematic supply of
interpretation and translation services.
9
Legal aid today is based on the provisions of the Civil Legal Aid
Act 1995.
10
See report Access to Justice: A Right or a Privilege?, Free
Legal Advice Centres, 2005.
11
By the end of 2004 approximately 62,000 valid complaints had
been handled by the Office. In addition, the Ombudsman deals
with up to 10,000 queries from the public every year.
12
For details see under 2.5.
13
For details see under 5.1.
14
In 1991, the United Nations hosted a meeting in Paris involving
representatives of national human rights institutions from around
the world to develop a set of internationally recognised principles
concerning the status, powers and functioning of national human
rights institutions. These principles have been endorsed by the
U.N. General Assembly (A/RES/48/134, 85th Plenary Meeting, 20
December 1993).
15
Section 11(4) of the Ombudsman for Children Act provides that
Where a Minister of the Government so requests in writing the
Ombudsman for Children shall not investigate, or shall cease to
investigate, an action specific in the request. This provision is
also contained in the Ombudsman Act 1980.
16
Among them are new Discipline Regulations (S.I. No. 214 of
2007) and Confidential Reporting of Corruption or Malpractice
Regulations (S.I.No. 168 of 2007). See also CPT report on its
visit to Ireland from 2 - 13 October 2006, CPT/Inf (2007)41 of 10
October 2007, and the Response of the Irish Government to the
report available at www.cpt.coe.int.
17
The new independent Garda Sochna Ombudsman Commission
was introduced by the Garda Sochna Act 2005 to deal with all
police complaints in line with previous CPT recommendations
(see CPT/ Inf (2002) 36, paragraph 18). GSOC received 1595
complaints in the period 9th May to 31st October 2007 and a
further 210 matters were referred to it under Section 102(1) of
the Garda Sochna Act 2005.
18
The families had set up a make-shift camp on a roundabout on
the M50, a major roadway, in June 2007. Most of them left
Ireland in July 2007.
19
Morgan/Kitching, An Evaluation of Lift Off, December 2006.
20
UN Handbook on National Human Rights Plans of Action (2002).
21
Consistent poverty is defined as living in a household with an
income below 60% of the national median income and
experiencing enforced basic deprivation. Being at risk of
poverty is defined as living in a household with an income below
60% of average disposable income after social transfers. See
From Rhetoric to Rights, Childrens Rights Alliance 2nd Shadow
Report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, March
2006 p. 52. It should, nevertheless, be noted that the 60%
median income threshold in Ireland increased by 88% from
102.44 in 1997 to 192.74 in 2005.
22
For an overview see the study commissioned by the
Ombudsman for Children Obstacles to the realisation of
childrens rights in Ireland by Kilkelly, August 2007, p. 36.
23
The other issues were play and recreation, having a voice,
health, wealth and material wellbeing and education.
24
See the position paper on the proposed referendum The
Constitution and Children by the Childrens Rights Alliance,
January 2007.
25
For a detailed analysis also in the light of Irish case law see
Kilkelly/OMahony, The proposed Childrens Rights Amendment:
running to a stand still? (2007) 10(2) IJFL 19a.
26
Report to the Oireachtas on the Twenty-Eighth Amendment of
the Constitution Bill 2007, March 2007 and Submission to the
Joint Committee on the Constitutional Amendment on Children,
February 2008.
27
UN Committee on the Rights of the Child Concluding
Observations on Ireland, 29 September 2006, CRC/C/IRL/CO/2.
28
That is information not derived from criminal court proceedings.
29
The reports are available on the website of the Minister for
Children, www.omc.gov.ie.
30
For the UN definition and a general overview see the
Commissioners issue paper Children and corporal punishment:
The right not to be hit, also a childrens right CommDH/Issue
Paper (2006) 1 REV, January 2008.
31
The Children Act 2001 repealed only the statutory confirmation
of the common law defence, but that does not render the defence
in itself ineffective.
32
UN Committee on the Rights of the Child Concluding
Observations on Ireland, 29 September 2006, CRC/C/IRL/CO/2.
33
From Rhetoric to Rights, Childrens Rights Alliance 2nd Shadow
Report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, March
2006, p. 37.
34
For details, see report of the Special Rapporteur on Children
Protection, Geoffrey Shannon, November 2007, p. 34 ff.
35
The campaign Building a Europe for and with children aims at
promoting childrens rights and protecting children from all forms
of violence, covering the social, legal, educational and health
dimensions relevant, for details see
www.coe.int/T/TransversalProjects/Children/.
36
See Appendix to Recommendation CM/Rec (2007) 9 of the
Committee of Ministers to member states on life projects for
unaccompanied migrant minors, 12 July 2007; the same
definition is used by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
- see under III of General Comment No. 6(2005) - Treatment of
unaccompanied and separated children outside their country of
origin, CRC/GC/2005/6. Irish law currently defines separated
children in a narrower way as a child under the age of 18 years
who has arrived either at the frontiers of the State or has entered
the State and is not in the custody of any person.
37
Separated Children in Europe Programme (SCEP), Statement of
Good Practice, 2004, p. 2.
38
See study commissioned by the Ombudsman for Children
Obstacles to the realisation of childrens rights in Ireland by
Kilkelly, August 2007, p. 25.
39
In accordance with the Refugee Act 1996 and the Child Care Act
1991.
40
The project is funded by the HSE, the Department of Justice,
Equality and Law Reform and the Department of Education and
Science.
41
The Irish authorities have informed the Commissioner that a
social or project worker is assigned to a separated child through
the asylum process who is obliged to act in the childs best
interest.
42
See the case of Mubilanzila Mayeka and Kaniki Mitunga v.
Belgium, judgment of 12 October 2006 appl. no. 13178/03, in
which a 5-year-old Congolese child remained at a Belgian transit
centre before being deported to Congo while her mother was in
Canada and her uncle, a Dutch citizen, lived in the Netherlands
(violation of Article 3).
43
See also UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, General
Comment No. 6 p. 9.
44
Ireland has, however, not yet ratified the UN Optional
Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children,
child prostitution and pornography.
45
The bill is expected to be finalised by Parliament in March 2007.
The Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998 already provides
for an offence of trafficking in children for the purpose of sexual
exploitation.
46
See the study commissioned by the Ombudsman for Children
Obstacles to the realisation of childrens rights in Ireland by
Kilkelly, August 2007, p. 130 ff.
47
Ibid. For details see also A social portrait of children in Ireland,
Office for Social Inclusion, Dublin 2007, p. 30 ff.
48
ECRI, Third Report on Ireland adopted on 15 December 2006,
CRI(2007)24.
49
Report of CPT on its visit to Ireland form 2-13 October 2006,
CPT/Inf (2007)40 of 10 October 2007. The CPT also notes that
the Mental Health Act 2001 actually contains a number of
provisions which the CPT has recommended previously.
50
This issue was also raised by staff of the Central Mental Hospital
in the course of the Commissioners visit, see also The Irish
Examiner, Department warned of flaw in law on releases, 29
January 2008.
51
The Irish Examiner, Man remanded to prison after assault, 29
January 2008 and Nigerian man finally put in psychiatric care,
30 January 2008.
52
Inquiry Report on Current Care and Treatment Practices in the
Central Mental Hospital 2006.
53
Annual Report 2006/07 of the Irish Prison Chaplains submitted
to the Minister for Justice, Equality, and Law Reform, November
2007.
54
For details see From Rhetoric to Rights, Childrens Rights
Alliance 2nd Shadow Report to the UN Committee on the Rights of
the Child, March 2006 p. 46 ff.
55
Speech at the International Youth Mental Health Conference in
December 2007, available at www.oco.ie.
56
Violation of Article 51, case of D.G. v. Ireland, judgment of
16/05/2002 final on 16/08/2002. The minor suffered from severe
personality disorders and was at risk to himself and others.
57
143 million for the development of children detention schools,
104 million for the development of restorative justice and
alternatives to custody programmes, and 120 million for Garda
Youth Diversion Projects.
58
Part 5 of the Children Act 2001, as amended by the Criminal
Justice Act 2006. The Irish authorities have informed the
Commissioner that since 2000 there have been no cases
involving defendants under 12 years old before the Central
Criminal Court.
59
Section 96 of the Children Act 2001.
60
One of the principles being that Any measures shall have
due regard to the interests of any victim of their offending.
61
Some areas have few or no juvenile liaison officers, for details
see U. Kilkelly, Youth Justice in Ireland, Dublin 2006, p. 69 ff.
62
The Children Act 2001 as amended by the Criminal Justice Act
2006.
63
See the Report of the CPT, which identifies several shortcomings
due mainly to a lack of adequate facilities and skilled staff, on its
visit to Ireland from 2-13 October 2006, CPT/Inf (2007)40 of 10
October 2007; see also the Annual Report 2006/07 of the Irish
Prison Chaplains submitted to the Minister for Justice, Equality,
and Law Reform, November 2007.
64
2000/78/EC, 2000/43/EC.
65
According to the 2002 Census, there were 77,600 couples
cohabitating outside marriage, representing 8.4% of all family
units in Ireland. Of these families, 29,700 include children.
Although the legal distinction between non-marital and marital
children was for most purposes abolished by the Status of the
Children Act 1987, the Constitution still permits discrimination
against the non-marital family and, despite the Act, the position
of a non-marital parent is less secure, see in detail the report of
the Irish Human Rights Commission The Rights of De Facto
Couples, Walsh/Ryan, Dublin 2006, ch. 4.9 Duties and Rights in
Respect of Children p. 114 ff.
66
This compares to an average of 20.5 % in Europe, data from
Inter-Parliamentary Union.
67
Pay gap is defined as difference between mens and womens
average gross hourly earnings as a percentage of mens average
gross hourly earnings, Commission of the European
Communities, Report Equality between men and women 2008,
p. 23.
68
Article 40.3.3, 8th Amendment to the Constitution.
69
Attorney General v. X [1992] 1 I.R.1.: the High Court granted
an injunction preventing a 14-year-old rape victim from leaving
Ireland to have an abortion in England. The Supreme Court
overturned the decision ruling that a termination was permissible
if there is a substantial risk to the life, as distinct from the health,
of the mother.
70
Figures from the United Kingdom Department of Health show
that over 5,000 Irish women have terminated pregnancies in the
U.K. each year.
71
The Health Service Executive as the responsible social service
had requested the Passport Office not to issue Miss D with a
passport and had written to the police to arrest her if she
attempted to leave the country. The High Court then ruled that
she could travel abroad for a termination in line with her
constitutionally protected right to travel.
72
Tysiac v. Poland judgment of 20 March 2007, application no.
5410/03, in which the European Court held that the Polish
abortion law was defective as it failed to provide for a timely
procedure for resolving controversies between the pregnant
woman and her doctors as to the availability of a therapeutic
abortion. The Court considered that this had created a situation
of prolonged uncertainty for the applicant.
73
Christine Goodwin v. UK, judgment of 11 July 2002, B. v.
France, judgment of 25 March 1992, L. v. Lithuania, judgment of
11 September 2007.
74
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women,
Concluding comments on Ireland, thirty-third session,
CEDAW/C/IRL/4-5, 22 July 2005.
75
See Rape Crisis Network Ireland, Exploring the Justice Gap in
Rape Cases: RCNI Attrition Project, available at www.rcni.ie.
76
Third report on Ireland, adopted on 15 December 2006,
European Commission against Racism and Intolerance,
CRI(2007)24.
77
See the Annual Report 2006 and RAXEN data on racist violence
in Ireland available at the web-site of the Fundamental Rights
Agency. The Policing Plan 2006 gives the figure for 2004 as 67.
78
Third report on Ireland, ECRI, CRI(2007)24 and Concluding
Observation of CERD: Ireland, 14/04/2005, CERD/C/IRL/CO/2.
79
Second Opinion on Ireland, adopted on 6 October 2006,
Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the
Protection of National Minorities, ACFC/OP/II(2006)007; Third
report on Ireland, adopted on 15 December 2006, European
Commission against Racism and Intolerance, CRI(2007)24.
80
The Irish authorities estimate that the number of Traveller
students in mainstream post-primary education has increased
from 961 in 1999/2000 to 2,229 in 2005/2006. The completion
of primary school is now estimated at 100 per cent.
81
Concluding Observations of CERD: Ireland, 14/04/2005,
CERD/C/IRL/CO/2; and Second Opinion on Ireland, adopted on 6
October 2006, Advisory Committee on the FCNM,
ACFC/OP/II(2006)007.
82
Council Directive 2004/83/EC, Council Regulation (EC) No.
2003/343, Council Regulation (EC) No 2725/2000, Council
Directive 2005/55/EC, and Council Directive 2004/38/EC.
83
Council Directive 2005/85/EC.
84
Council Directives 2003/9/EC and 2003/86/EC.
85
A previous version of the Bill was presented in April 2007. Due
to the numerous parliamentary steps to be taken, it can be
assumed that the bill will not be signed into law until late 2008.
86
Periods passed as an asylum-seeker or short-term student will
not be reckoned.
87
To return a person to a place where he or she could be harmed.
88
UNHCRs Comments on the Immigration, Residence and
Protection Bill 2008, Dublin, March 2008.
89
Ibid.
90
CPT report on its visit to Ireland from 2 to 13 of October 2006,
CPT Inf (2006) 40.
91
Section 9 (7) of the Refugee Act 1996.
92
Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform Reception and
Integration Agency, Direct Provision Reception and
Accommodation Centre Services, Rules and Procedures, 29 th
September, 2005.
93
Reported by The Irish Times Health and safety risks exposed in
asylum centres", 31.10.2007.
94
See ECRI, Third Report on Ireland, adopted 15th December
2006.
95
This most comprehensive definition is used by the Irish Human
Rights Commission (IHRC) in their report Extraordinary
Rendition, A Review of Irelands Human Rights Obligations,
December 2007.
96
AS/Jur (2006) 16 Part II, p.13, 51.
97
IHRC, Extraordinary Rendition - A Review of Irelands Human
Rights Obligations, December 2007.
98
See the press release of the Department of Foreign Affairs, 11
December 2007.
https://wcd.coe.int/ViewDoc.jsp?p=&id=1283555&direct=true

High Commissioner for Human Rights, revised in June 2009 ... of An


Garda Sochna through Joint Policing ... Human Rights Commission
IHRC TreatyBody Internet 2014
United Nations HRI/CORE/IRL/2014
International Human Rights
Instruments Distr.: General
9 April 2014
Advance Unedited version
Original: English
Common core document forming part of the
reports of States parties
Ireland*
[7 February 2014]

Contents
Paragraphs Page
Introduction 1-4 3
I. General information about the reporting state
5-75 3
A. Demographic, economic, social and cultural
characteristics of the State 5-33 3
B. Constitutional, political and legal structure of
the State 34-75 7
II. General framework for the promotion and
protection of human rights 76-163 15
A. Acceptance of international human rights
norms 76-84 15
B. Legal framework for the protection of human
rights at the national level 85-131 17
C. Framework within which human rights are
promoted at the national level 132-159 30
D. Reporting process at the national level
160-162 31
E. Other related human rights information
163 31
III. Information about non-discrimination and equality
and effective remedies 164-261 32

Introduction
1. 1. The Government of Ireland is pleased to present
its Common Core Document, forming part of its reports
under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
(ICCPR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights (ICESCR), the Convention on the Rights of the
Child (CRC), the International Convention on the Elimination
of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), the Convention
on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against
Women (CEDAW), and the Convention against Torture and
Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
(CAT).
2. 2. In preparing this Common Core Document, Ireland
has followed the harmonised guidelines issued by the Office
of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, revised in June
2009 (HRI/GEN/2/Rev 6). The Common Core Document
includes a broad range of information relevant to all or
several of the treaty bodies and reduces the amount of
duplicated material and the overall length of the reports. The
information provided is correct as of the preparation of this
document, which took place over a period of months in
2013. As a result, the data presented here represent a
snapshot of the situation in Ireland, as distinct from a
comprehensive or fully current account.
3. 3. The Common Core Document was prepared by the
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which is responsible
for coordinating Irelands reports under the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International
Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Input has
been received from the Department of Justice and Equality,
which is responsible for drafting Irelands reports under the
Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination
Against Women and the International Convention on the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination; and the Department for
Child and Youth Affairs, which is responsible for the Reports
under the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Further
input and assistance has been received from the Department
of Education and Skills; the Department of Finance; the
Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; the
Department of Defence; the Department of Environment,
Community and Local Government; Department of the
Taoiseach; Department of Social Protection; and the
Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, and the
Central Statistics Office.
4. 4. The Government of Ireland recognizes and
appreciates the important role played by non-governmental
organisations (NGOs) in promoting and implementing the
rights set out in the treaties.
I. General information about the reporting state
A. Demographic, economic, social and cultural
characteristics of the State
5. 5. The island of Ireland is situated in the northwest of
the continent of Europe and has a total area of 84,421
square kilometres. The country is historically divided into
four provinces, each roughly equivalent to the four primary
points of the compass, i.e. Ulster (North), Munster (South),
Connacht (West) and Leinster (East). Pursuant to Article 3 of
Bunreacht na hireann (the Constitution of Ireland), the laws
enacted by the Oireachtas (Irish Parliament) apply to 26 of
the 32 counties of the island of Ireland. The remaining north-
eastern counties form part of the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Northern Ireland. Article 3 further provides that a
united (32 county) Ireland shall be only brought about by
peaceful means with the consent of the people,
democratically expressed, in both jurisdictions in the island.
Pursuant to Article 4 of the Constitution, the name of the
State is ire, or, in the English language, Ireland.
6. 6. In 1921, after a War of Independence, a treaty was
entered into with the United Kingdom, whereby the Irish Free
State (26 counties) seceded from the United Kingdom of
Great Britain and Ireland, while Northern Ireland (6 counties)
remained in the United Kingdom. The adoption of the
Constitution of Ireland in 1937 and the Republic of Ireland
Act 1948 severed Irelands last symbolic links with the
United Kingdom. Ireland does not belong to any military
alliance. Ireland became a member of the United Nations in
1955 and joined the European Communities, now the
European Union, in 1973.
The Economy
7. 7. Following strong growth in the 1990s, the Irish
economy, from 2000 onwards, began to lose competiveness,
resulting in a shifting of growth away from exports towards
more unstable domestic demand sources such as
construction. The resulting construction boom led to the
accumulation of imbalances within the Irish economy, which
left it highly exposed to the Great Recession, the rapid
global downturn of 2008 and 2009.
8. 8. The collapse of global economies, together with
the loss of domestic competitiveness exacerbated by euro
appreciation during the turbulence, had a detrimental impact
on most of the exporting sectors. Housing output, which had
already begun to decline, fell sharply as the demand for
housing waned. A dramatic fall in consumer confidence
resulted in unprecedented decline in personal consumption.
Against this backdrop, real GDP recorded annual
contractions in 2008, 2009 and 2010, resulting in a peak-to-
trough decline of 10.7% (Q4 2007 to Q4 2009), before
returning to 1.4% growth in 2011. This was brought about by
strong export performance resulting from a rapid
improvement in Irelands competitiveness. A second
consecutive year of growth was recorded in 2012, with
preliminary figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO)
showing growth of 0.9 per cent.
9. 9. Ireland has successfully exited its EU-IMF
programme of financial support. The economy is recovering,
the public finances are under control, the banking system is
restructured and well capitalised and, most importantly, jobs
are being created. Significant challenges remain, and to this
end, in December 2013 the Government launched the
Medium Term Economic Strategy for the period 2014-2020.
10. 10. Unemployment (unadjusted rate) has increased
considerably in the past number of years from 4.1% in the
fourth quarter of 2006 to 13.7% in the corresponding quarter
of 2012, with long term unemployment increasing from 1.3%
to 8.2% over the same period.
Demographic Trends
11. 11. The de facto population of Ireland in 2011 is
4,588,252; a substantial growth over the last decade, with
the total figure increasing by approximately 671, 049 or
17.1% between 2002 and 2011. During the same period, the
number of children aged less than eighteen years grew from
1,013,031 to 1,148,687, an increase of approximately 13.4%.
Although the proportion of the Irish population aged under
eighteen years fell dramatically between 1981 (36.2%) and
2002 (25.9%), it has since remained stable, and by 2011,
children represented 25% of the total population. The youth
dependency ratio (the proportion of those aged from birth to
fourteen years to the total working-age population) was
31.9% in 2011, up from 29.7% in 2006.
12. 12. According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO)
report Measuring Irelands Progress 2011, Irish women had
the highest total period fertility rate in the EU at 2.07 in
2010, up from 1.94 in 2006. The number of births in Ireland
has also increased over the past decade by 29%, rising from
57,854 in 2001 to 74,650 in 2011. Irelands birth rate in
2012 was .8 per 1,000 of the population (based on 2012
provisional registered data). The most recent available data
on maternal mortality rate are from 2010, which registered
one per total live and stillbirths.
13. 13. The population of Ireland is ageing. According to
the CSO publication Older and Younger, the number of
individuals aged sixty-five years and over rose from 467,926
in 2006 to 535,393 in 2011, an increase of 14.4%. Older
people now comprise 11.7% of the population, compared to
11% in 2006. The old dependency rate in 2011 was 17.4%,
compared to 16.1% in 2006.
14. 14. Irelands death rate in 2012 was 6.3 per 1,000 of
the population (based on 2012 provisional registered data).
15. 15. The most recent available figures on life
expectancy in Ireland at age 0 are: 76.8 for males, 81.6 for
females.
16. 16. The population structure of Ireland has also been
affected in recent years by a reversal in migration trends
from a position of positive to negative net migration. In
2006, net migration stood at 71,800 persons, but by 2012
this had changed to minus 34,400 persons. CSO estimates
for 2012 indicate that negative net migration for the working
age population (those between fifteen and sixty-five years)
was 36,600.
17. 17. These demographic trends will place increasing
demands on public supports and services.
18. 18. Between the 2002 and the 2006 Census of
Population, the non-Irish national population increased from
224,261 to 419,733 persons (an 87% increase). Between
the 2006 and 2011 Census of Population, the non-Irish
national population increased from 419,733 to 544,357
persons (a 29.7% increase).
19. 19. From 1991 to 2011 the non-Catholic population
significantly increased, driven by growing numbers with no
religion as well as increases in the religions of immigrants
from Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia. The proportion of the
population who were Catholics continued to decline in 2011,
to reach its lowest point at 84.2% while its congregation, at
3.86 million strong, was the highest since records began.
20. 20. Of the 3.8 million Catholics in Ireland in 2011, 92%
were Irish while the remaining 8% belonged to a range of
nationalities. Among the non-Irish, Poles were the biggest
group with 110,410 persons, followed by the UK with 49,761
and between them they accounted for over half of all non-
Irish Catholics.
Religion Census 2011
Catholic 3,860,000
No religion/atheist/agnostic 277,237
Church of Ireland 129,039
Muslim 49,204
Orthodox Christian 45,223
Presbyterian 24,600
Apostolic & Pentecostal members 14,043
Hindu 10,688
Buddhist 8,703
Methodist 6,842
Jehovahs Witness 6,149
Lutheran 5,683
Evangelical 4,188
Baptist 3,531
Jewish 1,984

21.
22. 21. The total of those with no religion, atheists and
agnostics increased more than four-fold between 1991 and
2011 to stand at 277,237 in 2011. This group included
14,769 primary school aged children and 14,478 of
secondary school age. There were 4,690 children aged under
one year who had no religion.
23. 22. There were 129,039 members of the Church of
Ireland in April 2011, an increase of 6.4 per cent on 2006.
This included 13,667 primary school aged children and 8,809
of secondary school age.
24. 23. There were 49,204 Muslims in Ireland in April
2011, a sharp rise on five years previously. Irelands Muslim
population included 8,322 primary school aged children and
3,582 of secondary school age. Since 1991, the number of
Muslims increased from just 0.1 to 1.1 per cent of the total
population.
25. 24. There were 45,223 Orthodox Christians in Ireland
in April 2011; more than double the number five years
earlier (20,798) and more than four times the number
recorded in 2002 (10,437).
26. 25. The number of Presbyterians in Ireland in April
2011 stood at 24,600, up marginally on 2006 and continuing
a pattern of increasing numbers since 2002 following long
periods of decline up to 1991.
27. 26. The Apostolic and Pentecostal members in Ireland
numbered 8,116 in 2006 and 14,043 in 2011. Over 60%
(8,486) had African ethnicity in 2011 while 18.1 per cent
(2,546) indicated their ethnicity as Any other White
background.
28. 27. Census 2011 shows that there were 10,688 Hindus
in Ireland in 2011, showing a tenfold increase since 1991.
29. 28. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate
was 1.4% in 2011, according to the CSO report Measuring
Irelands Progress 2011. The public balance deficit was
13.1% of GDP in 2011, the largest of any EU member state
but a significant improvement on 2010 when it was 31.2%.
Government debt increased substantially to 108.2% of GDP
in 2011, the third highest debt/GDP ratio in the EU, having
been only 24.8% four years previously. Nonetheless, in 2011
Ireland had the fourth highest GDP per capita in the EU at
27% above the EU average, although, based on Gross
National Income (GNI) Ireland was the eleventh highest at
2% above the EU average.
30. 29. Inflation in Ireland (as measured by the
Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices, HICP) over the period
2007-2011 was the lowest in the EU but Ireland had the fifth
highest price levels in the EU in 2011 with prices 17% above
the EU average. The employment rate (for those aged 15-64)
rose from 65.2% in 2002 to 69.2% in 2007, but fell to 59.1%
in 2012, when it was below the EU average.
31. 30. In 2012, 49.2% of the population aged 25-34 had
completed third level education, the third highest rate in the
EU. The proportion of those aged 18-24 who left school with
at most lower secondary education was 9.7% in 2012.
32. 31. Adults in Ireland have an adjusted mean score of
266 on the literacy scale (1-500) compared to the study
average of 270. Literacy proficiency was split into five levels
and adults in Ireland proportioned as follows:
At or below level 1 (1-225) = 17.9%
Level 2 (226-275) = 37.6%
Level 3 (276-325) = 36%
Level 4 (326-375) = 8.1%
Level 5 (376-500) = 0.4%
33. 32. The number of dwelling units built increased
sharply to peak at almost 90,000 in 2006 before collapsing
to 10,480 in 2011, below the level in 1970. Irelands
greenhouse gas emissions were at 110% of 1990 levels in
2010, which was lower than the Kyoto 2008-2012 target (by
three percentage points). Over half of municipal waste
(52.5%) was land filled, higher than the EU average of
37.1%.
34. 33. For a fuller range of statistical materials on
demographic, economic, social, and cultural trends in
Ireland, please refer to the statistical annexes to this
document and further to the material compiled by the CSO
which is publicly available on its website, www.cso.ie.
B. Constitutional, political and legal structure of the
State
The Constitution of Ireland (Bunreacht na
hireann)
35. 34. The Constitution of Ireland (or, in the Irish
language, Bunreacht na hireann) is the basic law of the
State. It was adopted by referendum in 1937 and is the
successor to the 1919 Constitution of Dil ireann (the
House of Representatives) and the 1922 Constitution of the
Irish Free State. It establishes the institutions and apparatus
of the State and provides for the separation of powers into
three branches- executive, legislative and judicial. The
Constitution defines the powers of the President, the
Oireachtas and the Government as well as the structure and
powers of the courts. It states that all legislative, executive
and judicial powers of Government are derived from the
people. The Constitution also guarantees citizens
fundamental rights which have been subjected to rigorous
interpretation and enumeration by the courts.
36. 35. The Constitution of Ireland can be amended only
following the passage of a bill to amend the Constitution by
a simple majority of both Houses of the Oireachtas and the
subsequent approval of the proposal by a majority of those
voting in a referendum. The Constitution has been amended
on twenty-five occasions by means of referendum. The
Constitution provides that the Oireachtas shall not enact any
law which is in any respect repugnant to its provisions. Any
legislation which is enacted and which is found to be
repugnant to the Constitution shall be invalid to the extent of
such inconsistency. Only the High Court and Supreme Court
have jurisdiction to consider the question of the validity of
any law with regard to the provisions of the Constitution.
Judicial review is one mechanism whereby an individual can
challenge the constitutionality of legislation and this remedy
is explained in greater detail below (see paras 88 90).
37. 36. The conclusion of the Good Friday Agreement - an
integral part of the peace process in Northern Ireland
necessitated a constitutional amendment. On 2 December
1999, the British-Irish Agreement (the international
agreement in which the Government pledged itself to give
full effect to the Good Friday Agreement) entered into force,
and the amendments to the Constitution, endorsed by the
people in the referendums of 22 May 1998, took effect. On
the same date, political institutions established under the
Agreement - an Assembly and Executive in Northern Ireland,
a North/South Ministerial Council, a British-Irish Council and a
British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference - came into being.
The amendment to the constitution replaced Articles 2 and
3.1 (dealing with Irish nationality and citizenship rights and
reflecting a new accommodation regarding the special
position of Northern Ireland, based on the principle of
consent). The amended text is as follows:
38. Article 2
39. It is the entitlement and birthright of every person
born in the island of Ireland, which includes its islands and
seas, to be part of the Irish nation. That is also the
entitlement of all persons otherwise qualified in accordance
with law to be citizens of Ireland. Furthermore, the Irish
nation cherishes its special affinity with people of Irish
ancestry living abroad who share its cultural identity and
heritage.
40. Article 3
41. 1. It is the firm will of the Irish nation, in harmony and
friendship, to unite all the people who share the territory of
the island of Ireland, in all the diversity of their identities and
traditions, recognising that a united Ireland shall be brought
about only by peaceful means with the consent of a majority
of the people, democratically expressed, in both jurisdictions
in the island. Until then, the laws enacted by the Parliament
established by this constitution shall have the like area and
extent of application as the laws enacted by the Parliament
that existed immediately before the coming into operation of
this Constitution.
The Government of Ireland
42. 37. Ireland is a sovereign, independent parliamentary
democracy. The national Parliament, the Oireachtas, consists
of the President and two Houses: a House of Representatives
(Dil ireann) and a Senate (Seanad ireann). The functions
and powers of the President, Dil and Seanad derive from
the Constitution of Ireland and law. The Oireachtas may not
enact any law which is in any respect repugnant to the
Constitution.
43. 38. The President is Head of State; the office does not
have executive functions. The President must generally act
on the advice and authority of the Government. On the
nomination of Dil ireann the President appoints the
Taoiseach (Prime Minister) and, on the advice of the
Taoiseach and with the prior approval of Dil ireann, the
President appoints members of the Government.
Government policy and administration may be examined and
criticised in both Houses, but under the Constitution the
Government is responsible to the Dil alone. The President
may not serve more than two terms in office.
44. 39. Dil ireann (House of Representatives) has 166
members called Teachta Dla (T.D.s). Members are
returned by the 43 constituencies into which the State is at
present divided and no constituency may return fewer than
three members. The total number of members of the Dil
may not be fixed at less than one member for each 30,000
of the population or more than one member for each 20,000
of the population. The recently enacted Electoral
(Amendment) (Dil Constituencies) Act 2013 provides for a
reduction in the number of members of the Dil to 158 and
for a reduction in the number of constituencies to 40. The
new arrangements will take effect from the next General
Election. The Electoral (Amendment) (Political Funding) Act
2012 includes a provision that political parties will face a cut
of half their State political funding if they do not have at
least 30% women and 30% men candidates at the next
General Election. This will then rise to 40% after a further 7
years. Payments made to political parties under the Electoral
Acts are linked to performance at a general election.
45. 40. The Government consists of not more than 15
members and not fewer than seven, i.e. Taoiseach (Prime
Minister), Tnaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) and between five
and 13 Ministers. The Taoiseach, Tnaiste and Minister for
Finance must be members of the Dil and the other Ministers
must be members of the Dil or Seanad, with no more than
two being members of the Seanad. The Government acts as
a collective authority and is collectively responsible for the
Departments of State administered by its members. It
generally meets once a week. Discussions at meetings of
the Government are subject to cabinet confidentiality. At the
time of a general election, the Government remains in place
until a new Taoiseach has been appointed.
46. 41. Seanad ireann (Senate) has 60 members. Eleven
are nominated directly to the House by the Taoiseach. 43 are
elected by members of Dil ireann, by outgoing members
of the Seanad, and by county and borough Council members,
from five panels of candidates: the Cultural and Educational
Panel, the Agricultural Panel, the Labour Panel, the Industrial
and Commercial Panel and the Administrative Panel. Each
panel contains the names of persons with knowledge and
practical experience of the interests represented by the
panel. The remaining six are elected by the graduates of
universities - three by the National University of Ireland and
three by the University of Dublin. The powers of the Seanad,
as defined by the Constitution are, in general, less than
those of the Dil. Its powers are complementary to those of
the Dil in broad areas such as the removal from office of a
President or a judge; the declaration and termination of a
state of emergency; the initiation of Bills other than Money
Bills; and the annulment of statutory instruments. Seanad
ireann has no power to initiate Money Bills although it can
make recommendations to Dil ireann in respect of such
Bills.
47. 42. There is a system of Parliamentary Committees in
operation within the Oireachtas. Under standing orders four
committees must be appointed, on Selection, on Public
Accounts, on Procedure and Privileges and on Consolidation
Bills. Other committees may be established by a resolution
of one or both of the Houses of the Oireachtas. They are
empowered to request official papers and to hear evidence
from individuals. Their findings are not binding. The reports
of the Committees are laid before the Oireachtas which
decides what action, if any, is necessary. It is a matter for
the Oireachtas to decide upon the number and range of
Committees which should be established, together with their
terms of reference.
The Electoral System
48. 43. Citizens have the opportunity to take part in the
political process by casting a vote in five decision-making
procedures:
49. a) The election of the President every seven
years, where there is more than one candidate;
50. b) Referenda on proposed constitutional
amendments;
51. c) Elections to local authorities, every five
years;
52. d) Parliamentary elections, which occur under
present legislation at least every five years;
53. e) Elections to the European Parliament, every
five years.
54. 44. The minimum voting age in Ireland is 18 years.
The electoral system in elections to the Dil is proportional
representation by means of the single transferable vote in
multi-seat constituencies. The single transferable vote is also
used for the election of the President, Members of the
European Parliament, Local Authorities, and 49 of the 60
members of the Seanad.
The Civil Service
55. 45. The legal basis for the present Irish system of
public administration is contained in the Irish Constitution
and in the Ministers and Secretaries Act 1924 (The 1924
Act). In accordance with Article 28 of the Constitution
Ministers are in charge of their Departments. The 1924 Act,
and its subsequent amendments, provides a statutory
classification of the functions of Government under the
various Departments of State. Ministers are responsible for
all the actions of their Departments. However, the Supreme
Court of Ireland has confirmed that the Carltona doctrine
applies to the Irish civil service i.e. the official acts of a civil
servant are identified as acts of the Minister of the relevant
department even where no express act of delegation has
taken place. The day-to-day administration of a
Departments functions is overseen by its Secretary General,
who is a civil servant. The Public Service Management Act
1997 (the 1997 Act) gives a statutory framework for the
allocation of authority, responsibility and accountability
within and across Government Departments.
56. 46. The Civil Service is impartial vis--vis political
parties in the performance of its functions and senior and
middle ranking civil servants are precluded from involvement
in party political activity. Recruitment to the Civil Service is
by open public competition administered by an independent
State commission. The Civil Service comprises a number of
grades with different functions. The principal grade
categories are: administrative, responsible for policy
formulation; technical and scientific, providing specialist
advice within the Civil Service; executive, involved in the
implementation of policy; and clerical, responsible for
general duties. At present there are approximately 35,000
people employed in the Civil Service. In addition Ministers
may appoint Special Advisors in accordance with provisions
set out in the 1997 Act.
Local government
57. 47. Local government is administered by 114 local
authorities funded through a combination of State grants,
commercial rates, charges for goods and services and by a
local tax on residential properties. Local authorities are
multi-purpose bodies responsible for an extensive range of
services including land use (zoning) and development, fire
safety and fire and emergency services, the provision of
public housing, road maintenance, supports for local
economic and community development, libraries, and
certain other services.
58. 48. The Local Government Reform Act 2014 provides
for a wide-ranging programme of local government reform
involving action to strengthen and improve the structures,
functions, resources, operations and governance of the local
system.
59. 49. The programme has a particular focus on
strengthening structures at regional, county and sub-county
levels; expanding the role of local government; maximising
operational and organisational efficiency; improving
governance, oversight, local political and executive
leadership; leading economic, social and community
development; and representing citizens and local
communities effectively and accountably. The number of
local authorities will be reduced to 31 (i.e. County and City
Councils) following local elections to be held in May 2014,
with each county configured into Municipal Districts based
around principal towns and their hinterlands. There will be a
single county wide executive or operational structure with
resources at the disposal of both county and district levels
and a significant range of functions will be performed by
elected members at district level, with strategic matters
dealt with at county level. Regional structures are being
rationalised from eight Regional Authorities and two Regional
Assemblies currently, with their key role being strategic
planning and oversight.
60. 50. Reform proposals include a significantly increased
role for local government in local and community
development programmes in the context of alignment of the
local development sector with the local government sector.
Such an enhanced role for oversight by local government in
this area is consistent with its objective of promoting the
well-being and quality of life of citizens and communities.
Local government will be positioned to work with local
entities and communities, as well as with the structures of
central government, to bring greater coherence, efficiency,
effectiveness and better governance to local development
programmes and activities.
The Administration of Justice
An Garda Sochna (National Police Force)
61. 51. Ireland has a single national police service, An
Garda Sochna. Currently the strength of An Garda Sochna
is 13,330. In addition there are 1087 Garda Reserves
operational with a further 173 in training.
62. 52. Policing levels are determined by a number of
variables including demographics, policing plans/models, the
needs of the service and the security of the State. As such
the minimum numbers required in future years will remain
an indeterminate variable. Garda personnel assigned
throughout the Country, together with overall policing
arrangements and operational strategy, are continually
monitored and reviewed. Such monitoring ensures that
optimum use is made of Garda resources, and the best
possible Garda service is provided to the general public. An
Garda Sochna has responsibility for Policing and State
Security. This responsibility is contained under section 7 of
the Garda Sochna Act 2005 as one (1) of the functional
objectives of An Garda Sochna.
63. 53. An Garda Sochna is established by legislation
and its internal management is subject to Regulations made
by the Minister for Justice and Equality. An Garda Sochna
has operational independence subject to the general
financial and regulatory framework established by the
Minister.
64. 54. Section 7 of the Garda Sochna Act sets out the
functional objectives of An Garda Sochna as:
preserving peace and public order;
protecting life and property;
vindicating the human rights of each individual;
protecting the security of the State;
preventing crime;
bringing criminals to justice, including by detecting and
investigating crime;
regulating and controlling road traffic and improving
road safety; and
other functions conferred by law including those
relating to immigration.
65. 55. All senior officers, including the Commissioner, are
appointed by the Government. The democratic
accountability of An Garda Sochna has been strengthened
by the provisions of the Garda Sochna Act 2005. The Garda
Commissioners Strategy Statements and Annual Policing
Plans are subject to the approval of the Minister. The
Commissioner must report to the Minister as required. The
Minister is in turn politically accountable to Dil ireann for
An Garda Sochna.
66. 56. Provision has also been made for local
accountability of An Garda Sochna through Joint Policing
Committees, which have been established in each local
authority area under the provisions of the Garda Sochna
Act 2005. The Committees provide a forum for consultation
and cooperation between An Garda Sochna, the local
authority, elected representatives for the area and other
community representatives in relation to local policing
issues. The Committees can make recommendations on
matters concerning the policing of areas, including measures
to address the levels and patterns of anti-social behaviour.
67. 57. The powers of the police are set out in statute and
all their actions are subject to review by an active and
constitutionally independent judiciary. There is also an
independent police complaints authority, the Garda Sochna
Ombudsman Commission (see para 110).
68. 58. The authority to prosecute a person for a criminal
offence rests with an independent officer, the Director of
Public Prosecutions (see para 65).
69. 59. Incidents of racially motivated crime are recorded
by An Garda Sochna and are classified as such after
investigation. In 2009, there were 128 recorded offences,
127 in 2010, 142 in 2011 and 97 in 2012. Of the 97 recorded
offences in 2012, 24 were Assault (Minor), 16 were Criminal
Damages (not Arson) and 30 were Public Order Offences.
There were 11 prosecutions under the Prohibition of
incitement to Hatred Act 1989 in 2012.
70. 60. In 2012, there were 1,168 male suspected
offenders for assault causing harm, and 147 female
suspected offenders. For burglary, there were 3,388
suspected male offenders and 178 suspected female. For
public order offences, there were 23,604 suspected male
offenders and 3,580 suspected female.
71. 61. In 2012, for assault causing harm, there were
1,489 male victims and 374 female victims. For burglary,
there were 12,426 male victims and 9,013 reported female
victims.
72. 62. According to the Irish Prison Service Annual
Report, in 2012 there were 12,991 committals to prison
under sentence. 8,837 of those committed were for less than
3 months, and 1,734 were for sentences of 3-6 months. 8.6%
of those committed were aged 18-21 years and 70% were
aged between 21 and 40 years of age.
73. 63. On 30 November 2012, there were 3,710 prisons
currently in custody under sentence. Of these, males
comprised 3,588 and females 122. Of these prisoners, 305
were serving sentences of life, while an additional 290 were
serving sentences of 10+ years. The largest offence group
for those in custody was Group 10 Controlled Drug Offences.
74. 64. Further information on crime figures in Ireland and
other statistical indicators can be found in Appendix I.
The Irish Legal System
75. 65. Ireland has a common law legal system. The
Constitution of Ireland is the basic law of the State and it
takes precedence over other inferior sources of law.
Therefore a common law or legislative provision which
conflicts with a provision of the Constitution is void and will
have no legal effect. Other important sources of law include
European Union law, which operates at a supra-
Constitutional level, and legislation enacted by the
Oireachtas. Further, since Ireland has a common law legal
system, judge-made law is an important source of law: under
the doctrine of precedent, or stare decisis, a court is
expected to follow previous judgments, particularly those of
higher courts, although this rule may be deviated from in
certain circumstances.
The Court System
76. 66. The Courts are structured on four levels: the
District Court, the Circuit Court, the High Court and the
Supreme Court. The latter two are referred to as the Superior
Courts and may rule on constitutional matters. There is also
a Court of Criminal Appeal.
77. 67. In addition to the Courts structure outlined in the
preceding paragraph, there is a Special Criminal Court,
established in 1972, which sits without a jury. The
Government is satisfied that there is a continuing need for
this Court to deal with a range of offences arising from
terrorism and organised crime. This need is kept under
continuing review.
78. 68. On 4 October 2013, a proposal to amend the
Constitution in order to establish a Court of Appeal was
approved by the Irish electorate in a referendum.
Implementation legislation will need to be passed by the
Oireachtas before the new court can be established. That
legislation is under development as of the date of the
submission of this document. The Court of Appeal will
operate at a level between the current High Court and
Supreme Court. It will hear most of the appeals which are
currently heard by the Supreme Court, virtually all appeals
from decisions of the High Court, and appeals from other
courts if laws are passed to provide for this. In general, the
decision of the Court of Appeal will be final. In cases where
the Supreme Court is satisfied that a decision involves a
matter of general public importance or where the interests of
justice so require, there may be a further appeal from the
Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court, and there may be
some direct appeals from the High Court to the Supreme
Court where there are exceptional circumstances warranting
such direct appeals.
The Judiciary
79. 69. Judges in Ireland are independent both of the
executive and the legislature and this independence is given
full protection by the Constitution. Judges are appointed by
the President on the advice of the Government, which makes
its decisions with reference to recommendations from the
Judicial Appointments Advisory Board. Article 35.2 of the
Constitution provides that all judges shall be independent in
the exercise of their functions and subject only to the
Constitution and the law. They may not be members of the
Oireachtas or hold any other office or position of emolument
(Art. 35.3). They may not be removed from office except for
stated misbehaviour or incapacity and then only upon
resolutions passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas calling
for their removal (Art. 35.4). This power has yet to be
exercised. With the exception of the power of the Oireachtas
to remove a judge, questions of discipline in relation to
judges are regulated by the judiciary. The current
Programme for Government contains a commitment to
legislate for the establishment of a Judicial Council and it is
intended to publish the Bill in 2014. In November 2011 the
Judiciary established an Interim Judicial Council pending the
publication and enactment of the proposed legislation.
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions
(DPP)
80. 70. The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions
was established by the Prosecution of Offences Act 1974,
which conferred on the Director all functions capable of
being performed in relation to the criminal matters by the
Attorney General immediately before the passing of the Act.
The principal of such function is the power to prosecute
criminal offences. The Director is independent in the
performance of his/her functions. Only the Director may
prosecute indictable offences, but summary offences may
also be prosecuted by relevant Ministers, other prosecution
agencies and by individuals acting as common informers.
As part of his/her function in ensuring the proper conduct of
criminal prosecutions the Director has the responsibility for
the nomination and instruction of Counsel. The Office also
determines and discharges the fees of Counsel who are
instructed to act on behalf of the Director.
Average backlog of cases per judge at different
levels of the judicial system
81. 71. Waiting times in the Circuit and District Courts
vary from venue to venue based on the number and
complexity of cases. The Presidents of the various courts are
determined to achieve improvements in waiting times and
they are working with the Courts Service to target judicial
resources at the areas with longest waiting times.
82. 72. The President of the High Court keeps waiting
times under continuous review and has introduced a number
of initiatives such as reorganising sittings of the High Court
outside Dublin and arranging for additional court sittings
during court recesses to reduce waiting times. In addition,
the delegation to court officials of administrative functions
previously dealt with by High Court judges has increased
judicial availability for trial work. These initiatives continue to
be reviewed and expanded. Despite significant pressure, the
waiting times in the High Court lists have generally reduced
considerably.
83. 73. The Supreme Court, however, continues to
experience lengthy waiting times which are now in excess of
four years. Waiting times for priority cases are 9-12 months
at present. The Government has also recently approved the
appointment of two additional Supreme Court judges as an
interim measure to tackle the backlogs in the Supreme Court
and the Court of Criminal Appeal. The establishment of the
Court of Appeal is expected to significantly reduce the at-
present long delays in having appeals heard by the Supreme
Court.
84. 74. The Criminal Justice (Legal Aid) Act 1962 and a
series of regulations made there under provides that an
applicant for criminal legal aid must establish to the
satisfaction of the court that his/her means are insufficient to
enable to pay for legal representation him/herself. The Court
must also be satisfied that, by reason of the gravity of the
charge or exceptional circumstances, it is essential in the
interests of justice that the applicant should have legal aid.
The constitutional right to legal aid was established in 1976
in the State (Healy) v. Donoghue case. In addition, Article
6(3) (c) of the European Convention on Human Rights
provides that every person charged with a criminal offence is
entitled to defend him/herself in person or through legal
assistance of his/her own choosing or, if he/she has
insufficient means to pay for legal assistance, to be given it
free when the interests of justice so require. The grant of
legal aid entitles the applicant to the services of a solicitor
and, in certain circumstances, up to two counsel, in the
preparation and conduct of his/her defence or appeal. The
Courts, through the judiciary, are responsible for the
granting of legal aid.
85. 75. The Legal Aid Board was established to administer
a scheme of civil legal advice and aid to persons of modest
means in Ireland. The scheme of Civil Legal Aid and Advice
was introduced in 1979 following the judgement of the
European Court of Human Rights in the case of Airey v.
Ireland and the recommendations made by the Pringle
Committee which had been set up by the Minister for Justice
to advise him on the introduction of such a Scheme. It
operated on an administrative basis until the introduction of
the Civil Legal Aid Act 1995. The primary model of service
delivery is the law centre model though it is complemented
by the use of private solicitors for certain matters. Most civil
matters come within the scope of the scheme and there are
relatively few exclusions. While the Legal Aid Board is
responsible for administering most civil law matters it does
not administer the scheme of legal aid for representation
before Mental Health Tribunals. This scheme is administered
by the Mental Health Commission. Legal aid for criminal
matters is provided under the Criminal Justice (Legal Aid)
Act, 1962. The main criminal legal aid scheme is currently
administered by the Department of Justice and Equality
though responsibility is due to transfer to the Legal Aid
Board.
II. General framework for the
promotion and protection of human rights
A. Acceptance of international human rights norms
86. 76. Ireland has signed and ratified most of the core
United Nations human rights conventions. The table below
outlines the signature and ratification of the major United
Nations human rights treaties.
Signed Ratified Reservations/ Declarations Reports
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
1 October 1973 8 December 1989 Reservations:
Article 10, para. 2; Article 20, para. 1. First report: 1992;
Second report: 1998;
Third report: 2007;
Fourth report: 2012.
Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights
8 December 1989. Reservation: Article 5, para. 2 N/A
Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the Death
Penalty
18 June 1993 None. N/A
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights
1 October 1973 8 December 1989 Reservations:
Article 2, para. 2
Article 13, para. 2 (a) First report:
Second report: 2000
Third report: 2012
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
Against Women
23 December 1985 Reservations:
Article 11 (1); Article 13 (a); Article 16, 1 (d) and (f). First
report: 1987;
Combined second and third report: 1997; Combined fourth
and fifth report 2005.
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of
Discrimination Against Women
7 September 2000 7 September 2000 None N/A
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Racial Discrimination
21 March 1968 29 December 2000 Reservation:
Article 4 Combined first and second report: 2004;
Combined third and fourth report: 2009.
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or
Degrading Treatment or Punishment
28 September 1992 11 April 2002 Declarations:
Article 21;
Article 22. First report: 2009
International Convention on the Rights of the Child
30 September 1990 28 September 1992 None. First
report: 1996;
Second report: 2005;
Combined third and fourth reports: 2013.
Optional Protocol to the CRC on the involvement of children
in armed conflict
7 September 2000 18 November 2002 Declaration:
Article 3, paragraph 2 First report: 2006.
87.
88. 77. Ireland has not signed or ratified the Convention
on the Rights of Migrant Workers and their Families.
Nevertheless, the rights of migrant workers and their
families are extensively protected under existing Irish
legislation and under the Irish Constitution, as well as EU law.
In addition, the rights of migrant workers and their families
are addressed by Irelands commitments under the
international human rights instruments to which the State is
a party. These international instruments included the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights.
89. 78. At present, there are no plans to sign or ratify the
Convention. However as with all outstanding ratifications of
international human rights instruments, the position
regarding the International Convention on the Protection of
the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Members of their
Families will be kept under review.
90. 79. Ireland was in the first group of countries to sign
the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
when it opened for signature on 30 March 2007. It is the
Government of Irelands intention to ratify the Convention as
quickly as possible, taking in to account the need to ensure
that all necessary legislative and administrative
requirements under the Convention are being met. The
ongoing implementation of our National Disability Strategy in
many respects comprehends many of the provisions of the
Convention. In addition, an inter-departmental committee
has been established to monitor the remaining legislative
and administrative actions required to enable ratification.
91. 80. Ireland signed the International Convention for the
Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances
(ICED) on 29 March 2007. Ireland intends to ratify the ICED
as soon as practicable; it is likely that legislation will be
required in advance of progression to ratification. The
position in this regard is currently under examination. Any
necessary legislation will be advanced as legislative
priorities generally permit.
92. 81. The Irish Government has a policy of keeping
existing reservations to human rights treaties actively under
review, consistent with the Vienna Declaration and Program
of Action. At present all of the reservations under these
articles are considered necessary.
93. 82. On 17 May 2011, the Government approved the
preparation of legislation to ratify the Optional Protocol to
the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman
or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Work is continuing
on the preparation of a legislative scheme, with a view to
ratification as soon as possible after enactment.
94. 83. Ireland signed the Optional Protocol to the
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights on 23 March 2012. The question of ratification of the
Optional Protocol is under consideration by the Government.
95. 84. Ireland has issued a standing invitation to all UN
human rights special procedures. Ireland was visited by the
Independent Expert on Human Rights and Extreme Poverty
in January 2011. Ireland was visited by the Special
Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders in
November 2012.
B. Legal framework for the protection of human
rights at the national level
Constitutional Protection Specified Rights
96. 85. A large number of rights are specifically provided
for in the Constitution. They are principally, although not
exclusively, to be found in Articles 40-44, under the heading
Fundamental Rights. These include: (a) equality before the
law (Art. 40.1); (b) the right to life (Arts. 40.3.2 and 3); (c)
the right to protection of ones person (Art. 40.3.2); (d) the
right to ones good name (Art. 40.3.2); (e) property rights,
including the right to own, transfer, bequeath and inherit
property (Art. 40.3.2 in conjunction with Art. 43); (f) personal
liberty (Art. 40.4); (g) the inviolability of the dwelling (Art.
40.5); (h) freedom of expression (Art. 40.6.1 (i)); (i) freedom
of assembly (Art. 40.6.1 (ii)); (j) freedom of association (Art.
40.6.1 (iii)); (k) family rights (Art. 41); (l) the right of parents
to provide for childrens education (Art. 42.1); (m) the right
of children to receive a certain minimum education (Art.
42.3.2); (n) freedom of conscience and the free profession
and practice of religion (Art.44); (o) the right to vote (Arts.
12.2.2, 16.1 and 47.3); (p) the right to seek election (Arts.
12.4.1 and 16.1); (q) the right to have votes treated as being
of equal weight (Art. 16); (r) the right to have justice
administered in public by judges who are independent (Arts.
34 and 35); (s) the right to criminal trial in Courts of law (Art.
38.1); (t) the right to trial by jury (Art. 38.5); and (u) the
right not to have ones acts retrospectively declared to be
unlawful (Art. 15.5.1).
97. 86. The Government of Ireland held a referendum on
the rights of the child in the Constitution on 10th November
2012. The majority of voters voted in favour of inserting an
article into the Constitution dealing directly with the rights of
the child. A challenge to the referendum result is before the
Courts. The matter of referring the Referendum Bill to the
President for signing into law, and to give effect to the
Constitutional changes concerned, must await determination
by the Courts of the legal challenge made.
Constitutional Protection Unspecified Rights
98. 87. The Constitution addresses the issue of personal
rights and states: ]
99. Article 40.3.1
100. The State guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as
far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate the
personal rights of the citizen
101. Article 40.3.2
102. The State shall, in particular, by its laws protect as
best it may from unjust attack and, in the case of injustice
done, vindicate the life, person, good name, and property
rights of every citizen
103. 88. In interpreting the provisions of the Constitution,
the Courts have identified a number of rights which,
although not expressly referred to in the Constitution, are
nonetheless provided for by it. The most notable of these
unspecified constitutional rights are: (a) the right to bodily
integrity; (b) the right to travel within the State; (c) the right
to travel outside the State; (d) the right not to have health
endangered by the State and freedom from torture and from
inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; (e) the right
to litigate and have access to the Courts; (f) the right to legal
counsel; (g) the right to communicate; (h) the right to marry;
(i) the right to marital privacy; (j) the right to procreate; (k)
the rights of an unmarried mother concerning her child; (l)
the rights of a child; (m) the right to legal representation in
certain criminal cases; and (n) the right to fair procedure.
Constitutionality
104. 89. Under Article 34 of the Constitution, both the High
Court and the Supreme Court have the power to assess and
determine the validity of any law in terms of its
constitutionality.
105. 90. In the event that a Court concludes that a
particular law is unconstitutional, that law ceases to have
any legal validity ab initio.
Constitutional Reform
106. 91. The Government, which came to power on 9 March
2011, has convened a Constitutional Convention to consider
the need for comprehensive constitutional reform. The
Convention on the Constitution was established by
Resolutions of both Houses of the Oireachtas and its
inaugural meeting took place on 1 December 2012. By mid
April 2013, the Convention has considered five of the
matters listed in the Resolutions approving its establishment:
reducing the Presidential term of office to five years, and
aligning it with local and European elections; reducing the
voting age to 17 years; amending the clause in Article 41.2
on the role of women in the home; encouraging greater
participation of women in public life and increasing the
participation of women in politics; and changing the
Constitution to allow for civil marriage for same-sex couples.
The Convention has finalised its report and
recommendations on the first two items above and laid the
report before the Houses. Under the resolutions passed by
the houses, the government has four months in which to
respond to recommendations in the Conventions reports,
including whether to hold referendum(s).
Evidence
107. 92. The general rule in Ireland is that evidence
obtained as a result of a deliberate breach of a persons
constitutional rights is inadmissible.
Judicial Review
108. 93. Judicial review is a remedy which lies against
persons or bodies exercising public functions (including the
lower courts) to restrain them from acting contrary to law or
to compel them to act in accordance with law and to comply
with basic rules of natural justice and fair procedures. It
comprehends the old common law remedies of certiorari,
mandamus and prohibition. The modern system of judicial
review is an expeditious means by which an order may be
sought to set aside a decision or action of such a body, or to
compel it to act or prevent it from acting contrary to law.
109. 94. As has already been explained, a person seeking
to challenge the constitutionality of legislation may do so by
way of judicial review. The judicial review procedure is not,
however, confined to cases where constitutional irregularity
is involved. While an Act of the Oireachtas may be found
invalid only for constitutional irregularity, subordinate
legislation may also be set aside where the powers conferred
by the enabling legislation are exceeded, i.e. on the grounds
that the subordinate legislation is ultra vires the enabling
Act. Furthermore, the decisions of state bodies and other
bodies exercising public functions may be challenged by way
of judicial review. Such bodies are obliged to act within their
powers and to comply with the basic rules of natural justice
and fair procedures. Any failure to do so may be challenged
by way of judicial review on grounds of, inter alia,
unlawfulness, procedural irregularity and/or breaches of fair
procedure and natural justice.
110. 95. The following remedies exist in Irish law for
breaches of human rights protected by the Constitution of
Ireland: judicial review of legislation, or proposed legislation,
for constitutional infirmity, where the legislation is, or would
involve, the breach of a constitutionally protected right;
judicial review of delegated legislation for constitutional
infirmity or incompatibility with the statutory provision which
authorises the delegated legislation; judicial review of
administrative action for constitutional infirmity or other non-
compliance with law, including a failure to observe the rules
of natural justice; with regard to the European Convention on
Human Rights Act 2003, where it is not possible to interpret
the statute, statutory instrument, rule of common law etc.,
concerned in a manner which is compatible with the
Convention, provision is made in Section 5 of the Act for the
Superior courts to make a Declaration of Incompatibility
which will be laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas.
Provision is also made in Section 5 (4) for a system of ex
gratia compensation from the State in circumstances where
the party to the proceedings concerned makes an
application in writing to the Attorney General, in respect of
an injury, or loss, or damage suffered by him or her as a
result of the incompatibility concerned.
111. Legislation, conventions and treaties
112. 96. Article 29.3 of the Constitution states that,
Ireland accepts the generally recognised principles of
international law as its rule of conduct in its relations with
other States. These principles include international human
rights law insofar as it forms part of customary international
law. Ireland has a dualist system under which international
agreements to which Ireland becomes a party do not
become part of domestic law unless so determined by the
Oireachtas through legislation.
113. 97. Ireland is party to human rights treaties adopted
under the auspices of the Council of Europe, including the
European Convention on Human Rights. Further effect was
given to the Convention in domestic law by way of the
European Convention on Human Rights Act 2003. The Act
provides for rights under the Convention to be pleaded
directly before Irish Courts and tribunals.
114. 98. As a State party to the European Convention on
Human Rights, Ireland is obliged to abide by the judgments
of the Court in cases to which it is party. Judgments against
Ireland have, in a number of cases, required the payment of
just satisfaction to applicants as ordered by the Courts.
Under the supervision of the Committee of Ministers of the
Council of Europe, the Government will continue to take all
necessary steps for the execution of the Courts judgments.
115. 99. As a Member State of the European Union, Ireland
is bound by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the
European Union. The Charter recognises specific rights,
freedoms and principles (economic and social as well as civil
and political), to which EU citizens are entitled when the
institutions of the Union and the Member States are
implementing Union law. In December 2009, with the entry
into force of the treaty of Lisbon, the Charter was given
binding legal effect equal to that of the EU Treaties.
Institutions and national machinery
116. 100. The Government recognises the importance of
independent complaints, monitoring and inspection bodies
and has established the following such bodies:
The Human Rights Commission and the Equality
Authority
117. 101. The Human Rights Commission was established in
July 2001 as a direct result of the Good Friday Agreement.
The Commission is an independent body, recognised as
operating in line with the Paris Principles, charged with
promoting and protecting human rights for all people within
the State. It is empowered to make recommendations to
Government, including on legislative proposals, and may
also conduct inquiries.
118. 102. The Equality Authority works towards the
elimination of discrimination and promotion of equality of
opportunity in the areas to which equality legislation apply.
Its functions also include provision of information to the
public about equality legislation, keeping such legislation
under review and making proposals for its amendment. The
Equality Authority is the designated national equality body
for the purposes of EU anti-discrimination law.
The Equality Tribunal
119. 103. The Equality Tribunal (formerly the Office of the
Director of Equality Investigations) provides a quasi-judicial
forum to mediate, investigate and hear complaints of
unlawful discrimination under equality legislation. It is a
statutory body which operates in accordance with the
principles of natural justice and its core values are
impartiality and professionalism, accessibility and timeliness.
120. 104. Under Government proposals, announced in 2011,
to reform the infrastructure for asserting employment rights
and for seeking redress in cases of discrimination, the
existing employment rights and industrial relations bodies
are being merged to form a unified Workplace Relations
Commission. The new body will take on the functions of the
Equality Tribunal, the Labour Relations Commission, the
National Employment Rights Authority, the Employment
Appeals Tribunal and some of the functions of the Labour
Court. The preparation of legislation to give effect to this
decision is at an advanced stage.
121. 105. Under Government proposals, announced in 2011,
to reform the infrastructure for asserting employment rights
and for seeking redress in cases of discrimination, the
existing employment rights and industrial relations bodies
are being merged. A new two-tier Workplace Relations
structure will be established comprising two statutorily
independent bodies replacing the current five. There will be
a new single body of first instance to be called the Workplace
Relations Commission and a separate appeals body, which
will effectively be an expanded Labour Court. The
preparation of legislation to give effect to this decision is at
an advanced stage and it will provide for the services of the
Equality Tribunal, the National Employment Rights Authority,
the Labour Relations Commission and the first instance
functions of the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) to come
together under the remit of the Workplace Relations
Commission. The appellate functions of the EAT will be
amalgamated into a reconfigured Labour Court.
122. 106. The jurisdiction of the Equality Tribunal is wide-
ranging. Its principal role is the investigation and mediation
of complaints of discrimination in relation to employment
and in relation to access to goods and services, disposal of
property and certain aspects of education. This protection
against discrimination applies to all nine grounds on which
discrimination is prohibited under the equality legislation.
Where a complaint of discrimination is upheld, redress may
be awarded. The Tribunal may also investigate complaints of
discrimination on the same grounds under Part VII of the
Pensions Act 1990, where there has been failure to comply
with the principle of equal treatment in relation to
occupational benefit schemes. The Tribunal has jurisdiction
in all areas covered by the equality legislation with the
exception of service in licensed premises, where claims
should be referred to the District Court.
Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission
123. 107. Government proposals to establish a new Irish
Human Rights and Equality Commission were announced in
2011. The existing Human Rights Commission and the
Equality Authority will merge into the new body in order to
enhance the protection of human rights and the promotion of
equality. The Commission will have enhanced powers and be
accountable to Parliament. The preparation of legislation to
give effect to this decision is at an advanced stage. Pending
establishment of the new Irish Human Rights and Equality
Commission, the Human Rights Commission and the Equality
Authority continue in operation. Commissioners-designate,
selected through an open procedure independent of
Government, have been appointed initially to these bodies to
ensure that the two organisations can begin operating as a
cohesive whole.
National Employment Rights Authority
124. 108. The National Employment Rights Authority (NERA)
was established on an interim basis in February 2007 in
order to secure enhanced compliance with legal
requirements, underpinned by adequate enforcement and to
greatly enhance public confidence in the system of
compliance. NERA aims to achieve voluntary compliance
with employment law through the provision of education and
awareness, inspection of employers employment records
and enforcement where necessary.
Health Service Executive
125. 109. Statutory responsibility for the provision of health
services is vested in the Health Service Executive under the
Health Act, 2004 which provides that the Health Service
Executive has the responsibility to manage and deliver, or
arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal
social services. Prior to the establishment of the Health
Service Executive, responsibility for such services was
vested in the regional health boards under the Health Act,
1970 and the Eastern Regional Health Authority under the
Health (ERHA) Act, 1999.
Child and Family Agency
126. 110. Statutory responsibility for the provision of
specified child and family services is vested in the Child and
Family Agency under the Child and Family Agency Act, 2013
which provides that the Agency has responsibility, inter alia,
to manage and deliver or arrange to have delivered on its
behalf, services to support and promote the development,
welfare and protection of children; to support and encourage
the effective functioning of families; and to support the
promotion of school attendance, participation and retention.
The Agency also supervises and inspects early years
services n respect of pre-school and school age childcare
provided by the community/voluntary and commercial
sectors.
Health and Safety Authority
127. 111. The Health and Safety Authority is the national
statutory body with responsibility for enforcing occupational
safety and health law, promoting and encouraging accident
prevention, and providing information and advice to all
companies, organisations and individuals. The Authority is
also the national Competent Authority for REACH
(Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of
Chemicals) and other chemicals legislation. The Authority
deals with every size of workplace in every economic sector.
National Disability Authority
128. 112. The National Disability Authority provides expert
advice on disability policy and practice to the Minister for
Justice and Equality. Public sector organisations are obliged
to promote and support the employment of people with
disabilities, and achieve a statutory minimum 3% target of
staff with disabilities. The Authority monitors compliance by
public bodies and can recommend specific action where a
public body is in breach of these obligations.
Mental Health (Criminal Law) Review Board
129. 113. The Mental Health (Criminal Law) Review Board
was established under the Criminal Law (Insanity) Act 2006,
as amended by the Criminal Law (Insanity) Act 2010. The
function of the Board is to review the detention of persons
detained in designated centres who have been refereed
there by a Court having been found unfit to stand trial or not
guilty of an offence by reason of insanity. The Board also
reviews the detention of persons who are transferred to a
designated centre from prison for care or treatment.
Currently the only designated centre in the State is the
Central Mental Hospital.
Ombudsman, Information Commissioner and
Commissioner for Environmental Information
130. 114. The legislation setting up the Ombudsman dates
back to 1980 providing for the examination of complaints
concerning the administrative actions of Government
Departments, the Health Service Executive, public hospitals
and local authorities. The Ombudsman (Amendment) Act
2012 strengthens the Ombudsmans powers and extends the
Act to at least another 150 public bodies including, for
example, all third level institutions. The Ombudsman plays a
critical role in vindicating the rights of citizens in their
dealings with public bodies.
131. 115. While they are in law separate entities, the Offices
of the Ombudsman and the Information Commissioner have
been held by the same person and the two offices have
operated together since the Office of Information
Commissioner was established in 1997. The function of
Commissioner for Environmental Information was also added
to the role in 2007 as part of Irelands implementation of the
Aarhus Convention. The Commissioner is responsible for
reviewing (on application) decisions of public bodies in
relation to Freedom of Information and Access to Information
on the Environment requests and, where necessary, making
binding new decisions; reviewing the operation of the
Freedom of Information Acts to ensure that public bodies
comply with the provisions of the legislation; and preparing
and publishing commentaries on the practical operation of
the Acts. The Commissioner for Environmental Information
may also refer any question of law arising in an appeal under
that code to the High Court for determination.
Ombudsman for the Defence Forces
132. 116. Established under the Ombudsman (Defence
Forces) Act 2004, the Office provides a complaints procedure
for members and former members of the Defence Forces in
situations where internal complaints procedures have been
exhausted.
Garda Sochna Ombudsman Commission
133. 117. The independent police complaints authority, the
Garda Sochna Ombudsman Commission, is empowered to
directly and independently investigate complaints against
members of An Garda Sochna, or any matter where it
appears that a Garda may have committed an offence or
behaved in a manner that would justify disciplinary
proceedings.
Ombudsman for Children
134. 118. The main areas of work of the Ombudsman for
Children's Office include independent handling of complaints
by young people or by adults on young peoples behalf;
communication and participation, including supporting
people in finding out about childrens and young peoples
rights; and research and policy, including advising the
Government on childrens rights issues.
Data Protection Commissioner
135. 119. The Commissioner is responsible for upholding
the rights of individuals as set out in the Data Protection
legislation and enforcing the obligations of data controllers.
The Commissioner is independent in the exercise of his or
her functions. Individuals who feel their rights are being
infringed can complain to the Commissioner.
Press Ombudsman and Council
136. 120. The Press Council of Ireland and the Office of the
Press Ombudsman safeguard and promote professional and
ethical standards in Irish newspapers and magazines. The
Office of the Press Ombudsman ensures that everybody now
has access to an independent press complaints mechanism
that is quick, fair and free. These structures are designed to
ensure that the freedom of the press is never abused, and
that the public interest is served.
Monitoring Group on National Action Plan on
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325
137. 121. A Monitoring Group on the implementation of
Irelands National Action Plan on United Nations Security
Council Resolution 1325 on Women Peace and Security
(2011 - 2014), made up of 50% Academic and Civil Society
Organisation representatives and 50% Government
representatives, with an independent Chair, oversees the
regular and systematic review of progress in achieving the
objectives, actions and targets of the NAP.
An Coimisinir Teanga (The Language
Commissioner)
138. 122. The Office of An Coimisinir Teanga is a fully
independent Office as set out in the Official Languages Act
2003. The functions and powers of the Commissioner are
specified in the 2003 Act and essentially are to monitor
compliance with the Act by public bodies.
Inspector of Prisons
139. 123. The Inspector carries out regular inspections of
the 14 prisons and places of detention, and reports on each
institution inspected. These reports, together with an Annual
Report, are published.
The Health Information and Quality Authority
140. 124. The Health Information and Quality Authority
(HIQA) is the independent Authority established to drive
continuous improvement in Irelands health and personal
social care services, monitor the safety and quality of these
services and promote person-centred care for the benefit of
the public. The Authoritys mandate extends across the
quality and safety of the public, private (within its social care
function) and voluntary sectors. Reporting to the Minister for
Health and the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, the
Health Information and Quality Authority has statutory
responsibility for:
Setting Standards for Health and Social Services;
Registering and inspecting residential centres for older
people and residential disability centres;
Monitoring the quality and safety of health and personal
social care services and
Investigating as necessary serious concerns about the
health and welfare of people who use these services.
141. The role of the Health Information and Quality Authority
also includes developing standards and inspection in respect
of children's services. HIQA inspects protection and welfare
services; foster care provision childrens residential centres
including secure units which provide intensive support for
children in a secure facility provided by the Child and Family
Agency (formerly the HSE). It also inspects childrens
detention schools.
Financial Services Ombudsman
142. 125. The Financial Services Ombudsman deals
independently with unresolved complaints from consumers
about their individual dealings with all financial services
providers, including in relation to mortgage and other
consumer credit matters.
Mental Health Commission and Inspectorate of
Mental Health Services
143. 126. The functions of the Mental Health Commission
are to promote, encourage, and foster the maintenance of
high standards and good practices in the delivery of mental
health services and to take all reasonable steps to protect
the interests of detained patients.
144. 127. The Inspectorate of Mental Health Services is
required by law to visit and inspect every approved centre
annually and, as the Inspectorate thinks appropriate, to visit
and inspect any other premises where mental health
services are being provided. As part of the inspection
process, the functions of the Inspectorate include
ascertaining the degree of compliance by approved centres
with any applicable Code of Practice or statutory regulations.
Citizens Information Board
145. 128. The Citizens Information Board provides free
information, advice and advocacy on a broad range of public
and social services. It also supports the voluntary network of
113 Citizens Advice Centres around the country, the
Citizens Information Phone Services, the Sign Language
Interpreting Service and the National Advocacy Service.
Money, Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS)
146. 129. MABS is a national free, confidential and
independent service for people in debt or in danger of
getting into debt. Funded by the Government via the
Citizens Information Board, MABS operates at a network of
centres at local community level that assist people with debt
problems.
The Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB)
and the Rent Tribunal
147. 130. The PRTB was established under the Residential
Tenancies Act 2004 to operate a national tenancy
registration system and to resolve disputes between
landlords and tenants. The Residential Tenancies
Amendment (No.2) Bill 2012 once enacted will extend the
remit of the PRTB so that dwellings let by approved housing
bodies to social housing tenants will come within the remit of
the Act. The Rent Tribunal was established under the Housing
(Private Rented Dwellings) (Amendment) Act 1983 and is the
arbitrating body in the determination of the terms of tenancy
for formerly rent-controlled dwellings. The Residential
Tenancies Amendment (No.2) Bill 2012 once enacted will
also give legal effect to the merger of the PRTB and the Rent
Tribunal.
Civil Society
148. 131. Ireland is fully committed to a pluralistic and open
democracy and values the role played by a diverse and
inclusive civil society in this regard. Government recognises
the contribution that social dialogue can make to maximising
common understanding across all sectors of society
especially in addressing the difficulties facing the country at
the moment. Ministers and their Departments continue to
have regular interaction with representatives of all sectors of
society. Successive Governments have attached much
importance to the role of the NGO community in the area of
human rights. In order to provide a formal framework for a
regular exchange of views between the Department of
Foreign Affairs and Trade and representatives of the NGO
community, the Joint DFAT/NGO Standing Committee on
Human Rights was established, comprising representatives
of NGOs and experts, as well as officers of the Department.
In addition to the Committee, a Forum on Human Rights, to
which all interested NGOs are invited, is held annually.
C. Framework within which human rights are
promoted at the national level
National and Regional Parliaments and Assemblies
149. 132. There are numerous Joint Oireachtas Committees
which consider issues of importance to human rights and
public affairs. These Joint Committees include, inter alia, the
Joint Committee on Social Protection, the Joint Committee on
Health and Children, the Joint Committee on Justice, Defence
and Equality and the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs
including the Sub-Committee on Human Rights and the Sub-
Committee on Development Cooperation.
Dissemination of Human Rights Instruments
150. 133. Information relating to the main human rights
conventions ratified by Ireland and the national reports
submitted to the United Nations on the implementation of
these conventions are available on the Department of
Foreign Affairs and Trade website (www.dfa.ie). The
individual government departments responsible for
implementation and compliance with UN human rights
instruments are also responsible for dissemination.
151. 134. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has
been printed in both national languages and has been widely
distributed. Copies of international human rights
instruments ratified by Ireland have also been made
available to the general public and circulated to members of
Dil ireann.
Raising human rights awareness among public
officials
152. 135. The Government of Ireland aims to ensure that all
public officials are aware of their obligations under various
human rights instruments. Human rights training is provided
to public officials including members of An Garda Sochna,
members of the Defence Forces and custodial personnel
working in the Irish Prison Service. The Irish Human Rights
Commission provides training to civil and public servants on
their human rights obligations.
153. 136. The Irish Defence Forces provide on-going human
rights training at United Nations Training School Ireland
(UNTSI) in the Defence Forces Training Centre both for
members of the Defence Forces and for participants from
armed forces abroad. The overall training package is based
on the programme provided by the United Nations Office of
the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
154. 137. Human rights training also forms a key part of the
formal induction and in-service training courses for custodial
personnel. Every opportunity is taken in the course of such
training to foster and promote respect for human rights in
the treatment of persons in custody. The basic training given
to prison officers places significant emphasis on the human
rights of prisoners. They are taught that deprivation of
liberty is a most sensitive and far-reaching power available
to the State and should at all times be subject to the rule of
law and exercised with respect for the dignity and basic
rights to which every person is entitled. The training
provided places significant emphasis on the European
Convention on Human Rights, the United Nations Standard
Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, the European
Prison Rules, and the work of the European Committee for
the Prevention of Torture or Inhuman or Degrading Treatment
or Punishment.
155. 138. The Irish Prison Service College is working in
partnership with the Irish Human Rights Commission and has
developed a tailored Train the Trainer human rights course,
based on participative methodology for training liaison
officers in each of their prisons. The training includes the
relevant human rights framework along with the practical
application of principles of human rights, such as dignity,
respect, equality, proportionality and transparency. This will
allow the trainers to deliver a two-hour training course to all
prison personnel across Ireland and concentrate on the
principles of dignity and respect in the daily interaction of
Prison officers and prisoners. The programme is to be
launched in December 2013.
156. 139. Human rights training forms a central part of all
recruits and members of An Garda Sochna. A dedicated
Human Rights Office was set up in 1999 and deals with
Garda training and educational policy in the areas of human
rights. It also has a consultation brief with Non Governmental
Organisations and community groups countrywide. The
Human Rights Office also acts as the secretariat for the
Garda Strategic Human Rights Advisory Committee (SHRAC).
The mainstreaming and instilling of a culture of respect for
human rights by An Garda Sochna is a key focus of SHRAC.
157. 140. SHRAC is represented by both state
representatives and civil society human rights advocates.
The state actors comprise: Assistant Commissioner Human
Resource Management (HRM) (chair), senior Garda
management, Garda civilian staff, management and a
Department of Justice & Equality official. The civil society
representatives include members from: the Irish Human
Rights Commission (IHRC); the Irish Council for Civil Liberties
(ICCL), the Equality Authority and Amnesty International.
158. 141. SHRAC has the following terms of reference:
Progress implementation of human rights initiatives to
bring about cultural change across the organisation;
Promote human rights policies and procedures
(internally and externally);
Ensure that best human rights practice is at the core of
our policing service.
159. 142. Garda attached to the Garda National Immigration
Bureau receive additional training appropriate to their role as
immigration officers. Likewise, civilian immigration officers of
the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service assigned to
frontline immigration control duties also receive appropriate
training in human rights. The training programmes cover
areas such as international human rights mechanisms,
human trafficking and developing cultural competence.
160. 143. Irelands overseas aid programme Irish Aid has
a significant focus on public engagement around
development and human rights. Much of this comes in the
form of work at primary and secondary school level but also
with the informal education sector. In addition, Irish Aid
engages in a variety of outreach and communications
activities through the Irish Aid Information and Volunteering
Centre located in the heart of Dublin city.
Promotion of Human Rights Awareness through
Educational Programmes and Government-Sponsored public
information
161. 144. Human rights issues are addressed at both
primary and post-primary levels and there are Human Rights
programmes in a number of third-level education
institutions.
162. 145. At Primary level, human rights can feature in a
range of contexts across the curriculum which is taught in an
integrated way. At this level the strongest emphasis is in
Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE). Developing
Citizenship is a core element of this mandatory subject,
from infant classes through to completion of primary
education.
163. 146. In addition to the above, the Department of
Education and Skills has worked with a wide range of
stakeholders on a Cross Border Primary Human Rights
Education Initiative (LIFT OFF) with Northern Ireland. The
project is a joint initiative of Amnesty International UK and
Irish Sections; the Irish National Teachers Organisation
(INTO); the Ulster Teachers Union and Education
International and comprises representatives of the
Departments of Education and the curriculum bodies both
north and south of the border. The primary aim of this
initiative is supporting the development of a human rights
culture on the island of Ireland by supporting the
mainstreaming of Human Rights Education in the primary
education systems of Northern Ireland and Ireland.
164. 147. At post-primary level knowledge of human rights
can also be developed in a range of contexts across the
curriculum. Most commonly it features in SPHE, History,
Geography, Business Studies and Civic, Social and Political
Education (CSPE). CSPE is currently an examination subject
and part of the core curriculum at post primary schools. It
aims to instil in students understanding of seven key
concepts viz. democracy; rights and responsibilities; human
dignity; interdependence; development; law and
stewardship.
165. 148. In the new Framework for Junior Cycle, published
in October 2012, the learning at the core of junior cycle is
described in 24 Statements of Learning. One of these
provides that all students in the end of Junior Cycle should
value what it means to be an active citizen, with rights and
responsibilities in local and wider contexts. In addition, one
of the principles of the Framework is Inclusive Education,
whilst the key skill of Working with Others will address
conflict, co-operation, respecting difference and contributing
to make the world a better place. All these elements are key
skills in the context of our understanding and awareness of
human rights. The new Framework will be introduced on a
phased basis from September 2014. A new short course in
CSPE will be available to schools from September 2014.
166. 149. A new Action Plan on Bullying was launched in
January 2013 by the Minister for Education and Skills and the
Minister for Children and Youth Affairs. The Plan sets out
twelve actions to help prevent and tackle bullying in primary
and second level schools. It also aims to promote respect for
diversity and inclusiveness in Irish schools and communities.
167. 150. Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools
(DEIS) is the action plan for educational inclusion. DEIS is
designed to ensure that the most disadvantaged schools
benefit from a comprehensive package of supports. DEIS is
one element of a continuum of interventions to address
disadvantage for the primary and the post primary sectors.
There are also second-chance education and training and
access measures for adults to support increased
participation in education and training by under-represented
groups in society.
Higher Education
168. 151. Within higher education, a wide range of
programmes is provided that pertain to human rights. While
the study of human rights forms an important component of
courses in law, politics, and international relations, it also
features in courses across a wide range of disciplines,
including sociology, psychology, health sciences, education,
and gender studies. There are two dedicated research
centres for human rights in Ireland: the Centre for Criminal
Justice and Human Rights at University College Cork (UCC),
and the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the National
University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), in addition to which a
number of centres in Irish higher education institutions have
a strong human rights focus, including Trinity College Dublin
(TCD)s Centre for Post-Conflict Justice and University College
Dublin (UCD)s Equality Studies Centre.
169. 152. It is incumbent on higher education institutions to
uphold and protect the human rights of students and staff.
Under the Equality Act 2004, the Equal Status Act 2000, and
the Disability Act 2005, higher education providers are
required to prevent discrimination against students and staff
and to accommodate the needs of those with disabilities. All
institutions have in place policies and procedures for
addressing complaints about bullying and harassment, as
well as codes of conduct and ethics policies. Support
services in higher education institutions include disability,
counselling, and health services, as well as online
information services and pastoral care provided to students
by personal tutors.
170. 153. There is a range of initiatives and supports that
aim to ensure equity of access to higher education for all
citizens, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds
and minority groups. In 2003 the National Office for Equity of
Access to Higher Education was established within the
Higher Education Authority (HEA) to facilitate access to
higher education for under-represented groups; and the
National Office administers the European Social Fund (ESF)-
aided Fund for Students with Disabilities to institutions for
the provision of disability support services, as well as the
Student Assistance Fund for those experiencing financial
hardship. The National Plan for Equity of Access to Higher
Education 20082013 articulates a national commitment to
equality of access to higher education and sets out targets
for fulfilling this.
171. 154. In support of this national commitment the HEA
has funded a wealth of access initiatives through the
Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF), including the reform and
mainstreaming of the Higher Education Access Route (HEAR)
; and the Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) ; which
offer access to higher education courses with a reduced
point-score in the Leaving Certificate examination for
students from socio-economically disadvantaged
backgrounds and for those with a disability respectively.
Many higher education institutions have established
programmes to widen access, including for example Dublin
Institute of Technology (DIT)s Community Links
Programme, which supports educationally disadvantaged
children and adults to access higher education; Dublin City
Universitys DCU in the Community initiative, which
provides a drop-in centre to promote educational
opportunities to the local community; and TCDs Trinity
Access Programmes (TAP).
172. 155. Higher education institutions in Ireland are active
in promoting active citizenship among students and staff.
NUIG is a leader in this regard, with civic engagement
embedded into its Strategic Plan 20092014. Since its
establishment in 2001, NUIGs Community Knowledge
Initiative (CKI) has actively promoted civic engagement,
hosting the ALIVE student volunteering programme,
embedding service-learning into degree programmes, and
supporting collaborative research and knowledge-exchange
with community partners. DCUs annual Presidents Award
for Engagement celebrates the engagement of staff and
students in the life of the wider community; and TCDs
Voluntary Tuition Programme (VTP) enables Trinity students
to mentor children and teenagers in the local communities of
Pearse Street and Ringsend. The NUIG-led, SIF-funded
Campus Engage Network has enhanced the provision of
service-learning, community-based learning, and
volunteering opportunities for students, as well as the
promotion of active citizenship across Irish universities.
173. 156. While acknowledging the achievements of the
sector to date in supporting civic engagement, the National
Strategy for Higher Education to 2030 calls for higher
education institutions to become more firmly embedded in
the social and economic contexts of the communities they
live in and serve, and to this end the HEA is supporting the
broadening of the Campus Engage Network into a national
platform for civic engagement. In addition, the performance
evaluation framework for the sector that the HEA is
developing will support the strategic development of higher
education institutions engagement missions.
Role of Civil Society and Non-Governmental
Organisations
174. 157. Ireland has a strong and active NGO community
who play a central role in human rights education. They
provide vital information to Government about human rights
issues which affect people at the grassroots level, through
specific Government forums with NGOs as well as on a more
general level. At the same time, they serve to educate the
public about the human rights programmes and protection
available to them. Consultation with NGOs forms a central
part of the human rights reporting mechanism.
Promotion of Human Rights Internationally and in
the context of Development Cooperation and Assistance
175. 158. The promotion and protection of human rights and
fundamental freedoms has always been a cornerstone of
Irish foreign policy. Ireland has a strong record of providing
assistance to developing countries to address poverty,
vulnerability and marginalisation. Ireland focuses on
developing the institutions and capacity within developing
countries to do this themselves, guided by the Millennium
Development Goals. Irelands official aid programme, Irish
Aid, is an integral part of the Department of Foreign Affairs
and Trade. It continues to rank among the best in the world
due to its poverty focus and Irelands continued efforts to
maintain its significant aid budget despite current economic
difficulties. In 2012, Ireland provided 0.48% of GNI for ODA.
The Programme for Government (March 2011) has confirmed
the commitment to the 0.7% of GNP target for ODA and this
commitment was re-affirmed in Irelands new Policy for
International Development One World, One Future, which
was launched in May 2013.
176. 159. Ireland recognises that the enjoyment of all human
rights civil, cultural, economic, political and social is
essential for development. Equally, development is essential
to enable the full enjoyment of those rights. Under the new
development policy, Ireland is committed to further
strengthening its support to human rights including by
identifying human rights and accountability as a priority area
for action for the aid programme, by identifying commitment
to human rights as a criteria upon which Irish Aid Key Partner
Countries shall be chosen and by placing greater emphasis
on supporting gender equality and the rights of persons with
disabilities. Irish Aid supports human rights work in a number
of important ways. Expenditure on governance and civil
society, for example, amounts to around 15% of our total
budget, much higher than the OECD average. Support is also
provided to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human
Rights, and other human rights initiatives. Through Irish Aid,
Ireland provides funding to a wide range of NGOs working on
human rights issues and supports national human rights
commissions in a number of developing countries.
D. Reporting process at the national level
177. 160. The following table shows the lead Government
department with responsibility for coordinating the reporting
process under the principal UN human rights instruments.
UN Instrument Lead Government Department
ICCPR Human Rights Unit, Department of Foreign Affairs
and Trade
ICESCR Human Rights Unit, Department of Foreign Affairs
and Trade
CAT Prisons Policy section, Department of Justice and
Equality
CEDAW Gender Equality Unit, Department of Justice and
Equality
CRC Policy, Strategy Development and Business Support
Unit, Department of Children and Youth Affairs
CERD Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration,
Department of Justice and Equality
178.
179. 161. The initial drafting process for all of Irelands
human rights reports involves inter-departmental meetings
with all relevant government departments. Extensive
consultation with civil society is carried out at various stages
of the drafting process. The Irish Human Rights Commission
is also invited to consult on the reports, and its successor
body will also be invited to do so upon its establishment.
180. 162. The Government of Ireland recognizes the
important role played by non-government organisations
(NGOs) in promoting and implementing the rights set out in
the treaties, and usual practice in the preparation of national
reports includes consultations with a broad range of relevant
NGOs.
E. Other related human rights information
181. 163. Ireland underwent its first review under the United
Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process in October
2011 and submitted an Addendum to the Report of the
Working Group to the UN in March 2012. Of the 127
recommendations made by UN member states, Ireland
accepted 91, partially accepted 17 and declined 19. Ireland
has undertaken to carry out a voluntary mid-term report on
progress with regard to the accepted recommendations early
in 2014.
III. Information about non-discrimination and equality
and effective remedies
182. 164. Ireland is already to the fore in its promotion and
protection of the principles of equality and freedom from
discrimination. There is a suite of equality legislation in
place designed to ensure equality for all. The primary
legislation is set out in the table below:
o Bunreacht na hireann (Constitution of Ireland) - Article
40.1, Article 40.3.1, Article 40.3.2, and Article 44.2.3
o Unfair Dismissals Acts 19772007
o Ombudsman Act 1980
o Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989
o Pensions Act 1990
o Maternity Protection Act 1994
o Adoptive Leave Act 1995
o Civil Legal Aid Act 1995
o Parental Leave Act 1998
o Employment Equality Act 1998
o Education Act 1998
o Equal Status Act 2000
o Human Rights Commission Act 2000
o Intoxicating Liquor Act 2003
o Redundancy Payments Act 2003
o Equality Act 2004
o Residential Tenancies Act 2004
o Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2004
o Public Service Management (Recruitment and
Appointments) Act 2004
o Protection of Employment (Exceptional Collective
Redundancies and Related Matters) Act 2007
o Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2008 Part 16
o Merchant Shipping Act 2010
o Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of
Cohabitants Act 2010
o Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011
o Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Act 2011
o Protection of Employees (Temporary Agency Work) Act
2012
o Equal Status (Amendment) Act 2012
o Code of Practice on harassment and sexual harassment
in the workplace, Statutory Instrument No. 208 of 2012.

183. 165. The major pieces of legislation enacted include the


Employment Equality Acts 1998 to 2011 and the Equal
Status Acts 2000 to 2012. This legislation prohibits both
direct and indirect discrimination in the areas of employment
and access to goods and services, including housing,
healthcare and education, on nine grounds; gender, civil
status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age,
disability, race and membership of the Traveller community.
The Acts also outlaw victimisation, i.e., discrimination
against an individual because he or she has taken a case or
is giving evidence under the equality legislation, or has
opposed by lawful means discrimination which is prohibited
under this legislation.
184. 166. These Acts established the necessary institutional
structures, in the shape of the Equality Authority and the
Equality Tribunal, to ensure effective implementation of the
legislation. Developments in this infrastructure are set out in
paragraphs 101 to 106 above.
185. 167. Recent enhancements to equality legislation
include the following:
Following the introduction of registered civil partnership
for same-sex couples, the protection from discrimination on
the basis of marital status was extended to cover registered
partnership, and the ground renamed as civil status;
The maximum compensation that may be awarded in
cases of discrimination in the field of employment was
increased, to provide for enhanced redress for workers on
low pay.
186. 168. These Acts also give effect in domestic law to
Irelands obligations as a member of the European Union to
implement Community initiatives provided for under Council
Directives 2000/43/EC, 2000/78/EC, and 2004/113/EC
adopted under Article 13 of the EC Treaty, and Council
Directives 2002/73/EC and 2006/54/EC adopted under Article
141 of the Treaty. The directives, commonly known as the
equality directives, provide for equal treatment on the
grounds of gender, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief,
disability, age and sexual orientation.
187. 169. The overall effect of these directives is to require
member states to prohibit direct discrimination, indirect
discrimination and harassment on grounds of gender, racial
or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age, and sexual
orientation in regard to employment, self-employment or
occupational and vocational training. Sexual harassment and
victimisation are also prohibited. Discrimination on the race
and gender grounds in access to and the supply of goods
and services is prohibited under directives 2000/43/EC and
2004/113/EC, while directive 2000/43/EC also prohibits race
discrimination in the areas of social protection, social
advantages and education.
Equality Mainstreaming
188. 170. Government procedures require all substantive
proposals submitted to Cabinet to take account of the impact
on gender equality, on persons with disabilities, and on
vulnerable groups.
189. 171. The Equality Authority has developed a series of
tools for use by Government Departments, local authorities,
public service providers and others in proofing their policies
to avoid unanticipated negative impact on any category of
persons protected by equality legislation, to ensure policy
coherence and best use of resources. The Equality Authority
has also distilled its learning over recent years in an Equality
Benefits Tool. This publication, which is applicable to both
the public and private sector, outlines how investing in
equality brings benefits and incorporates a series of equality
tools with a focus on service provision (equal status policy /
equal status review, equality screening, equality impact
assessment). Good practice is disseminated and technical
assistance provided through initiatives such as the Public
Service Equality Learning Network.
190. 172. Commencing in 2007, the Equality Authority has
set up a specialist Equality Mainstreaming Unit, as one of the
initiatives set up under the Human Capital Investment
Operational Programme (HCI-OP) 2007-2013. The HCI-OP is a
1.36 billion plan funded by the European Social Fund that
addresses Ireland's labour market and human capital
development needs for the period 2007-2013. The main
objective of the Equality Mainstreaming Unit is to contribute
to addressing labour market gaps in Ireland for specific
groups that are experiencing barriers in accessing and
participating in the labour market, including those created by
gender inequality and wider inequalities. The programme
consists of a set of measures that seek to improve labour
market access and participation of groups experiencing
inequality across the nine grounds covered by the equality
legislation in Ireland.
191. 173. Government legislative proposals to establish a
new Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC)
also include the introduction of an express duty on public
bodies to have due regard to human rights and equality in
carrying out their functions. It is intended that a public body
will be obliged to formally consider human rights and
equality issues relevant to its work, to set out its
consideration of relevant issues in its Strategic Plan and to
report on relevant issues and events in its annual report.
Support and guidance will be available from IHREC. Further
details are given at para 110.
Initiatives to Foster Gender Equality
192. 174. The National Womens Strategy (NWS) 2007
2016 is an all-of-Government strategy which was launched
by the then Taoiseach in April 2007. Its preparation was
undertaken by a cross-Departmental Committee steered by
the then Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform,
pursuant to the Governments commitments under the
Beijing Platform for Action. The preparatory phase included
extensive consultation with civil society.
193. 175. The NWS has as its vision: An Ireland where all
women enjoy equality with men and can achieve their full
potential, while enjoying a safe and fulfilling life. The
Strategy, which contains 20 key objectives and over 200
actions, has three principal sub-themes: to equalise socio-
economic opportunity for women; to ensure their well-being
and to engage women as equal and active citizens.
194. 176. Theme One aims to Equalise Socio-Economic
Opportunity for Women and contains ten objectives/ sub-
objectives as follows:
EQUALISING SOCIO-ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY FOR WOMEN
1. A. To increase the participation of women in the labour
force
1. B To decrease the gender pay gap
2. To promote the advancement of women in the labour
market
3. To support more women as entrepreneurs
4. To seek to ensure that women and girls achieve their
full potential in the education system
5-A To ensure that childcare services are optimised to meet
the needs of parents and children alike
5-B To ensure that the care infrastructure supports womens
socio-economic engagement
6-A To reduce the numbers of women experiencing poverty
6-B To reduce the numbers of female lone parent who
experience poverty
6-C To reduce the numbers of women experiencing poverty
by increasing pension cover

195.
196. 177. Theme Two which aims to Ensure the Wellbeing of
Women contains eleven objectives/ sub-objectives as
follows:
ENSURING THE WELLBEING OF WOMEN
7. To enhance the work/life balance for women
8-A To improve the health status of women in Ireland
through gender focused policies
8-B To improve the physical health status of women in
Ireland
8-C To improve the reproductive and sexual health status of
women in Ireland
8-D To improve the mental health status of women in
Ireland
8-E To promote healthy lifestyles for the women in
Ireland
9 To increase the number of women participating in sport
and physical activity in Ireland
10. To ensure the health and safety of pregnant and
breast feeding women at work
11. To protect women from bullying and harassment in
the workplace
12. To combat violence against women through improved
services for victims together with effective prevention and
prosecution
13. To address the issue of trafficking of women and
children

197.
198. 178. Theme Three aims to Engage Women As Equal and
Active Citizens and contains seven objectives/ sub-objectives
as follows:
ENGAGING AS EQUAL AND ACTIVE CITIZENS
14. To increase the number of women in decision-
making positions in Ireland
15. To increase the number of women involved in the
arts in Ireland
16. To use media proactively to support gender
equality and the advancement of women
17-A. To foster the advancement of UN Millennium
Development Goals through Irish Aid
17-B. To use multi-lateral aid and development policy to
promote the role of women and gender equality in
developing countries
17-C. To enhance the capacity of Irish Aid and
Development Partners to respond effectively to Gender
Based Violence in conflict, post-conflict and developing
environments
17-D. To ensure the integration of gender perspectives
into all parts of the United Nations System

199.
200. 179. The Strategy also contains actions which will
contribute to its implementation and to a greater awareness
of gender equality issues in relation to policy making across
all Government activities.
201. 180. Implementation of the Strategy is being overseen
by an Inter-Departmental Committee chaired by Department
of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and by the National
Womens Strategy Monitoring Committee which includes the
social partners and is chaired by the Minister of State with
responsibility for Disability, Equality, Mental Health an Older
People.
Equality for Women measure (EWM)
202. 181. The Equality for Women Measure (EWM) is a
positive action programme for women, which aims to foster
gender equality through a range of projects delivered in the
main by locally based community groups. The EWM receives
European Social Funding (ESF) support under the Human
Capital Investment Operational programme and Exchequer
matching funds. The objectives of the Measure (comprising
of three strands) were to make funding available to projects
to support positive actions which: improve womens access
to education, training and personal development in
preparation for employment; support women who are
undertaking entrepreneurial activity; and support womens
advancement in their employment.
203. 182. The economic downturn has limited the availability
of Exchequer match funding to support the Equality for
Women Measure and as a result the coverage was more
limited than originally envisaged. In the early years, funding
was provided to some 40 community groups, However, in
2013, it has been necessary to curtail coverage to 25
projects which work with women currently outside the labour
market and with two further entrepreneurial projects which
have been funded annually with considerable success.
204. 183. The EWM has facilitated a total of 11,350 women
since 2009 to engage in development opportunities, which
enables them to return to employment, or to mainstream
education and training opportunities.
205. 184. In 2012, for example, EWM activity statistics
reveal that:
A total of 1,964 women participated in Labour Market
Activation courses (EWM Strand 1);
A total of 566 participants (28.8%) in EWM Strand 1
moved to employment or advanced to another
education/training programme in 2012;
1,069 women participated in training for
entrepreneurship delivered by community groups, with a
total of 197 women (18.4%) moving to early stage
entrepreneurship in 2012.
Cosc, the National Office for the Prevention of
Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence
206. 185. Cosc, the National Office for the Prevention of
Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence was
established by the Irish Government in June 2007 to help co-
ordinate the State's response to domestic, sexual, and
gender-based violence, all of which affect women
disproportionately. The National Strategy on Domestic,
Sexual and Gender-based Violence 2010-2014 sets out a
comprehensive range of actions to address both the primary
interventions of prevention, recognising and understanding
of this violence and also secondary interventions in the areas
of reporting, referring and ensuring the appropriate
responses to acts of violence
National Womens Council of Ireland
207. 186. Founded in 1973, the National Womens Council of
Ireland is the leading national womens membership
organisation in Ireland. NWCI seeks full equality between
men and women. NWCI represents and derives its mandate
to articulate the views and experiences of their members
and make sure their voices are heard wherever decisions are
made which affect the lives of women in all their diversity
from their membership, which includes 165 member groups
from a diversity of backgrounds, sectors and locations. Full
membership is open to organisations who have a minimum
of 10 individual members who agree with the vision, mission
and values of NWCI and in the course of their own work
demonstrably seek to progress equality for women in Ireland
(through direct services, policy, advocacy, or other stated
means). Organisations must have been in existence for at
least a year prior to applying for membership.
208. 187. The Irish Exchequer continues to support the core
funding of the NWCI. The NWCI is an umbrella body which
groups together approximately 150 NGOs representative of
womens interests and concerns. It is recognized by
Government as a key body which puts forward womens
concerns and perspectives. It receives almost all its core
funding from the Government. In 2013, this will amount to
300,000. While it is independent of Government on policy
issues, answerable only to its own elected executive
committee and members, its Government funding stems
from a recommendation to the then Government made in
1992 that the NWCI: provide womens organisations at local
regional and national level with a forum in which womens
views, opinions, experience and perspectives can be shared
and developed; through its work at national level, the NWCI
bring such views and perspectives to bear on policy and
decision-making, while at the same time encourage and
support the work of its affiliates and other women's groups
to work locally and regionally; and develop leadership and
developmental programmes for women's groups around the
country.
209. 188. In addition to its developmental role, it is
recognised as an informed and constructive contributor to
the implementation and review of policy initiatives and its
leaders interact frequently with senior politicians and policy
makers.
Womens representation on State Boards
210. 189. The Programme for the Government for National
Recovery 2011-2016 restates a 1993 Government
commitment to take steps to ensure that all State Boards
have at least 40% of each gender. This commitment had
been incorporated into the National Womens Strategy 2007-
2016 and links with key aims of both the European Union
and the United Nations in relation to the involvement of
women in decision-making roles.
211. 190. In April 2011, the Government agreed that future
vacancies on State Boards be advertised on the website of
the relevant Government Department and that the public
advertisements inviting applications would contain the
following line: In considering applications due regard will be
given to Government policy on gender balance on State
boards.
212. 191. Progress on State Boards is monitored annually.
Composite data on womens participation on State Boards in
recent years indicates that about 34% of places on Boards
were held by women, which is an improvement on the
reported figure of 29% in June 2002. However, progress
towards the achievement of the gender target has been slow
and significant deviations continue to persist between
government departments. A pattern has emerged over the
years, with significant numbers of women present on boards
with a caring focus and fewer on the boards of bodies with
an economic or business focus.
213. 192. The following are the key statistics in relation to
membership of State Boards serving on 31 December 2011:
Women's participation rate on State Boards in 2011 was
33.9% (similar to 2009), marking a marginal reduction from
the 2010 rate of 34.67%; and
214. The gender breakdown of chairpersons of State Boards
was 79% men and almost 21% women in 2011. This
represents an increase of just over 1% for female
Chairpersons since end 2010
General information regarding the human rights
situation of persons belonging to specific vulnerable groups
in the population
Persons with disabilities
215. 193. Informed by the recommendations of the report of
the Commission on the Status of People with Disabilities,
there have been significant developments in the disability
sector in Ireland.
216. 194. In June 2000, the Government launched the
mainstreaming initiative which required public bodies, where
possible, to integrate services as far as possible for people
with disabilities with those for other citizens.
217. 195. The National Disability Authority (NDA) was
established by statute in June 2000 to develop and monitor
standards in services for people with disabilities and to
advise on disability policy and practice. The NDA is funded
by the Government.
218. 196. The Comhairle Act 2000 established Comhairle as
a mainstream information provider funded by the
Department of Social and Family Affairs. The agency has a
statutory commitment to assist and support people,
particularly those with disabilities, in identifying and
understanding their needs and options and in accessing their
entitlements to social services. The Citizens Information Act
2007 amended the Comhairle Act 2000 to change the name
of Comhairle to the Citizens Information Board. The Social
Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2008 further extended
the remit of the Citizens Information Board to include the
Money Advice and Budgeting Service. Total funding provided
to the Citizens Information Board has increased from
44.986 million in 2010 to 47.540 million in 2013.
219. 197. In November 2011, the Minister for Disability,
Equality, Mental Health and Older People appointed a new
group to assist her in the implementation of the National
Disability Strategy, which was launched in 2004 and
continues to be the focus of Government policy for the
sector. This new group is the National Disability Strategy
Implementation Group (comprising of eleven Government
Departments; the City and County Managers Association;
the national Disability Authority; and the National Disability
Stakeholder group). A National Disability Strategy
implementation plan was published in July 2013. The plan
includes formal monitoring procedures.
220. 198. These initiatives are additional to Irelands anti-
discrimination legislative framework and other anti-
discrimination initiatives.
221. 199. The key elements of the Strategy are:
222. a. The Disability Act, 2005;
223. b. The Citizens Information Act 2007, which
equips the Citizens Information Board (formerly Comhairle)
to provide a personal advocacy service for people with
disabilities;
224. c. the Education for Persons with Special
Educational Needs Act, 2004;
225. d. sectoral plans prepared by six Government
Departments.
226. 200. The Disability Act, 2005 is a cross-cutting piece of
legislation and is a positive action measure designed to
support the provision of disability-specific services to people
with disabilities and to improve access to mainstream public
services for people with disabilities. In drafting this
legislation, the Government facilitated extensive
consultation nationally. Compliance with the Disability Act is
a statutory requirement for all Government Departments.
227. 201. The Disability Act, 2005 puts on a statutory footing
a wide variety of positive action measures to improve the
position of persons with disabilities in Irish society including:
228. a. An independent assessment of individual
health service needs (and education where appropriate) and
a related Service Statement outlining services to be provided
with access to independent complaints, appeals and
enforcement;
229. b. A duty to make public buildings and services
accessible, a requirement for six key Government
Departments to publish sectoral service delivery plans and a
related complaints mechanism with access to the
Ombudsman;
230. c. An obligation on public bodies to be proactive
in employing persons with disabilities. Part 5 of the Act
provides for a statutory target, currently set at 3%, for the
recruitment and employment of people with disabilities in
the public sector. Public bodies are required to submit
annual reports to monitoring committees on their
compliance with the target.
231. d. Restriction in the use of genetic testing
information for employment and insurance purposes; and
232. e. The establishment of a Centre of Excellence
in Universal Design (CEUD). The CEUD was established in the
NDA in early 2007 under Part 6 of the Act. Universal design
refers to the design and composition of an environment so
that it can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest
extent possible by people regardless of their age, size or
disability. The mission of the CEUD is to promote the
development of that environment.
233. 202. A significant number of sections of the Education
for Persons with Special Educational Needs (EPSEN) Act have
been commenced, principally those establishing the National
Council for Special Education (NCSE) and those promoting an
inclusive approach to the education of children with special
educational needs. The remaining sections of the Act have
yet to be commenced. The Government will develop a plan
to implement the objectives of the EPSEN Act so as to deliver
improved educational outcomes for students with special
needs.
234. 203. It is the Government of Irelands intention to ratify
the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as
quickly as possible, taking into account the need to ensure
that all necessary legislative and administrative
requirements under the Convention are being met. Ireland
does not become party to treaties until it is first in a position
to comply with the obligations imposed by the treaty in
question, including by amending domestic law as necessary.
235. 204. The ongoing implementation of Irelands National
Disability Strategy in many respects comprehends many of
the provisions of the Convention. In addition, an inter-
departmental committee on the Convention monitors the
remaining legislative and administrative actions required to
enable ratification. The committee has identified as part of
its work programme, issues to be considered by various
Government Departments and this work is ongoing in all
Departments. At the Committee's request, the National
Disability Authority, the lead statutory agency for the sector,
is assisting the committee to assess the remaining
requirements for ratification so as to ensure conclusively
that all such issues will be addressed.
236. 205. One of the key requirements in this regard is the
enactment of capacity legislation. The Programme for
Government contains a commitment to introduce a Bill that
is in line with the Convention. The Bill, which was published
in July 2013, is based upon the principles enshrined in the
Convention on supporting people with impaired capacity in
making decisions and exercising their basic rights. The
revised title of the Bill, The Assisted Decision - Making
(Capacity) Bill, reflects this approach.
Members of the Traveller Community
237. 206. The term Traveller in relation to accommodation
refers to Irish Travellers as defined in the Equal Status Act
2000:
238. Traveller community means the community of people
who are commonly called Travellers and who are identified
(both by themselves and others) as people with a shared
history, culture and traditions including, historically, a
nomadic way of life on the island of Ireland."
239. 207. In a range of legislative, administrative and
institutional provisions, the Government has recognised the
special position of Irelands Traveller community in addition
to Equality legislation these include laws to provide for
Traveller accommodation by local authorities and specific
Traveller strategies, developed with the input of Traveller
organisations, in relation to Health, Education and
Accommodation.
240. 208. Travellers in Ireland have the same civil and
political rights as other citizens under the Constitution. The
key anti-discrimination measures, the Prohibition of
Incitement to Hatred Act, 1989, the Unfair Dismissals Acts
1977, the Employment Equality Acts and the Equal Status
Acts specifically identify Travellers by name as a group
protected. The Equality Act 2004, which transposed the EU
Racial Equality Directive, applied all the protections of that
Directive across all of the nine grounds contained in the
legislation, including the Traveller community ground. All the
protections afforded to ethnic minorities in EU directives and
international conventions apply to Travellers because the
Irish legislation giving effect to those international
instruments explicitly protects Travellers.
241. 209. The Government is committed to challenging
discrimination against Travellers and has defined
membership of the Traveller community as a separate
ground on which it is unlawful to discriminate under equality
legislation. This was not meant to provide a lesser level of
protection to Travellers compared to that afforded to
members of ethnic minorities. On the contrary, the separate
identification of Travellers in equality legislation guarantees
that they are explicitly protected.
Traveller ethnicity
242. 210. During the course of the examination by a working
group of the UN Human Rights Council of Ireland's report to
that Council, prepared under the Universal Periodic Review
procedures of the Council, the Minister for Justice and
Equality, Mr Alan Shatter was asked, among many other
matters, about the position of Travellers in Irish society. One
delegation specifically recommended that Ireland should
recognise Travellers as an ethnic minority while other
interventions were of a more general nature. The Minister
replied that serious consideration is being given to granting
such recognition. This consideration is ongoing.
High Level Group on Traveller Issues
243. 211. In December 2003 at the request of an Taoiseach,
a High Level Group on Traveller issues was established under
the aegis of the Cabinet Committee on Social Inclusion. Its
remit, to ensure that the relevant statutory agencies
involved in providing for the delivery of Traveller-specific
services, would focus on improving outcomes based on the
integrated delivery of services at local level. The Group
issued a report to Government in March 2006.
244. 212. The Report of the High Level Group on Traveller
Issues was approved by the Government in March 2006. A
key aspect of the approach recommended by the High Level
Group is developing effective coordination of actions among
agencies operating under the 34 County and City
Development Boards (CDBs), coupled with effective
consultation with Travellers and their representatives. Since
2006 Traveller Interagency Groups (TIGs) have been
established under each CDB to coordinate the efforts of state
agencies and other stakeholders.
National Agreements and Plans
245. 213. The Programme for Government 2011-2016
highlights the need to improve the delivery of services to
Travellers. The National Reform Programme for Ireland under
the Europe 2020 Strategy lists Travellers among Irelands
most vulnerable groups and states that targeted social
inclusion programmes will be aimed at them. The national
social partnership agreement between the Government and
the social partners, Towards 2016, published in 2006
committed to concentrated attention to achieving greater
progress for Travellers and also led to the establishment of
the National Traveller Monitoring and Advisory Committee
(NTMAC) in 2007. NTMAC comprises representatives of
Traveller groups and Government Departments with an
independent Chair. National social partnership no longer
exists but there is regular dialogue between Ministers and
their Departments and sectoral interests. The Governments
National Action Plan on Social Inclusion 2007-2016 contains
a range of targets and actions to improve Traveller life
experience through the provision of appropriate education,
health and housing services and to remove any remaining
barriers to the full participation of members of the Traveller
community in the work and social life of the country.
Travellers in Education
246. 214. Mainstreaming is one of the ten key components
highlighted in the Intercultural Education Strategy for Irish
education. Historically, for example, many Traveller children
and children with special needs were educated in segregated
settings. The Report and Recommendations for a Traveller
Education Strategy (2006) covers all aspects of Traveller
Education from pre-school right through to further and
higher education within a lifelong learning context. The core
principle of the report is one of inclusion with an emphasis
on equality and diversity and the adoption of an intercultural
approach. The principle of individual educational need
rather than Traveller identity will underpin future actions
including allocation of resources. The Department's aim is to
prioritise available resources to maximum effect across the
education sector to enhance educational outcomes for all
children and adults including Travellers. In the context of the
Programme for Government: Government for National
Recovery 2011-2016 and in keeping with the report, the
Government has taken a decision to provide educational
teaching supports to Traveller students on the same basis as
other students in schools. Additional tuition is provided
through the existing learning support provision in schools.
247. 215. The Survey of Traveller Education Provision in Irish
Schools (2006) found, inter alia, that the majority of Traveller
children in primary and post-primary school are not
achieving at a level equal to their peers in the settled
community. Accordingly, while integrated provision is
provided in primary and post-primary schools where
Travellers participate on an equal basis with other service
users. In some cases, however, positive actions are needed
as a short term measure to enable Traveller students to gain
the skills and competence on a par with their settled peers
so that they can participate equally in mainstream
education, training or employment. In order to assist schools
with high concentrations of Traveller pupils, following the
withdrawal of the resource teaching posts for Travellers,
limited alleviation or adjustment measures are being
provided. Furthermore, Traveller enrolments have been
included in the valid enrolment for the purpose of allocating
additional staffing under DEIS from the 2011/12 school year
and under the revised General Allocation Model for high
incidence special educational needs from the 2011/12
school year.
248. 216. The Department of Education and Skills has
established a Traveller Implementation Group which is
overseeing the implementation of the recommendations in
the report. The Traveller Education Strategy Advisory &
Consultative Forum continues to identify issues, including
obstacles, to the implementation of recommendations of the
Traveller Education Strategy, examining appropriate
responses to issues identified and reports to the
Department's Traveller Strategy Implementation Group to
highlight key issues of concern.
Traveller Accommodation
249. 217. Government policy in relation to the
accommodation of Travellers is implemented through the
Housing (Traveller Accommodation) Act 1998. All relevant
local authorities are obliged, under the Act, to adopt and
implement multi-annual Traveller accommodation
programmes, with the aim of improving the rate of provision
of accommodation for Travellers. The first round of Traveller
accommodation programmes covered the period 2000 to
2004. The second programmes covered the four-year period
2005 to 2008. In early 2009 local authorities adopted a third
round of accommodation programmes which will cover the
period 2009 to 2013. A fourth round is due to commence in
2014 and it is expected that the next round of Traveller
Accommodation Programmes will run from 1 January 2014 to
31 December 2018.
250. 218. The Housing (Traveller Accommodation) Act 1998,
places a strong emphasis on consultation with all parties
concerned. Traveller accommodation programmes are
required to be prepared in consultation with other public
authorities, community and other bodies, Travellers, via the
local consultative committee, and the public in general.
Travellers participate on advisory committees concerning
Traveller accommodation at both national and regional level
through the National Traveller Accommodation Consultative
Committee and Local Traveller Accommodation Consultative
Committee.
251. 219. Significant funding has been made available for
the provision of Traveller-specific accommodation. In the
period covered by the first programmes (2000 to 2004),
130 million was expended on such accommodation (new
and refurbished). In the period covered by the second
programme (2005 to 2008), an additional 142.55 million
was spent on the provision of Traveller specific
accommodation. 49.026 million has been spent in the
period 2009 2012. The third programme is due to expire at
the end of 2013. Accommodation expenditure for Travellers
availing of standard local authority accommodation is
provided separately through the Department of
Environment, Community and Local Governments Social
Housing Division. Any eligible person in the State may apply
to their local authority for standard local authority housing.
Standard housing is allocated by local authorities on the
basis of a scheme of letting priorities and Travellers have the
same access to standard housing as the general population.
252. 220. There has been a significant increase in the
number of families living in private rented accommodation
demonstrating that the private rental market has become
much more open to Traveller tenants. A considerable
majority (95 %) of the 2,829 families recorded as living in
private rented accommodation receive assistance in meeting
their accommodation costs either through the payment of
rent supplement (by the Department of Social Protection) or
through the Rental Accommodation Scheme. With the
number of families accommodated using the Rental
Accommodation Scheme continually increasing, private
rented accommodation has become a viable and more
secure long term accommodation option. Travellers living in
private rented accommodation remain on their local
authority housing list and are offered permanent
accommodation in line with their needs assessment and the
local authoritys allocation scheme.
253. 221. In 2014, the local authorities will be required to
adopt new Traveller Accommodation Programmes. Relevant
housing authorities will commence the process of identifying
the accommodation needs of Traveller families to be met
under the new programmes. This must relate to the existing
accommodation needs and need that will arise during the
period of the programmes across a range of accommodation
options including standard and group housing, permanent
residential sites for caravans and transient sites provided
directly by the housing authority or by approved housing
bodies or individuals, with or without the assistance of the
housing authority. Each programme will contain annual
targets and local authority performance is monitored,
through annual progress reports, by the Department of
Environment, Community and Local Government and the
National Traveller Accommodation Consultative Committee.
254. 222. Travellers are free to express a preference for
either Traveller specific accommodation or general social
housing under the mandatory social housing assessment
process carried out by Local Authorities. Local Authority
Traveller Accommodation Programmes are informed by this
Assessment of Housing Need and show that the vast
majority of Travellers have opted for standard housing or
group housing. It should also be noted that the majority of
Travellers already live in standard housing, either in standard
local authority housing, private rented housing, in houses
provided from their own resources or in private houses with
the assistance of their local authority. Although some
Traveller support groups argue that local authorities are not
providing sufficient halting site accommodation, the
Assessment of Housing Need shows that the demand for
sites has declined considerably. The Department of
Environment, Community and Local Government has also
received a number of requests, from Traveller residents, for
the conversion of existing halting sites into group housing
schemes.
255. 223. Responsibility for the provision of Traveller
accommodation, including transient sites, rests with
individual housing authorities. The Housing (Traveller
Accommodation) Act, 1998 specifically requires local
authorities to have regard to the provision of transient sites
when preparing their Traveller Accommodation Programmes.
In August 2008, the Department of the Environment,
Community and Local Government issued a memorandum to
all local authorities requesting them to have regard to the
need for transient sites in the preparation, adoption and
implementation of their Traveller Accommodation
Programmes for the period 2009-2013. The issue of transient
sites was considered by the third National Traveller
Accommodation Consultative Committee and is also included
on the work programme of the fourth Committee.
256. 224. The fifth National Traveller Accommodation
Consultative Committee is due to be appointed by the
Minister for Housing in 2013. The new committee will run
from 2013 to 2016. Its membership comprises government
officials and Traveller representatives. Its governing
legislation places a strong emphasis on consultation with all
parties concerned. Therefore, Traveller accommodation
programmes must be prepared in consultation with other
public authorities, community and other bodies, Travellers
via their local consultative committee, and the public in
general.
257. 225. Each local authority formed a new Local Traveller
Accommodation Consultative Committee in 2014. Their
membership consists of Travellers and Traveller support
group members, elected members of the local authority and
local authority officials.
Traveller Health Care
258. 226. Traveller health and the provision of health
services for Travellers is a priority for the Department of
Health in partnership with the Health Service Executive, and
considerable work has been undertaken in this area. Funding
allocations for Traveller specific health services has risen to
over 9.5 million per year. A wide range of specific Traveller
dedicated health services, such as Traveller Health Units and
Primary Health Care Projects, have been developed.
Structures have been put in place to ensure the effective
delivery of services.
259. 227. The Traveller Health Advisory Committee (THAC)
advises the Minister for Health on policy in relation to
Traveller health. The Committee comprises of
representatives of the Department of Health, the
Department of Justice and Equality, the Health Service
Executive, Travellers and Traveller organisations. In addition,
Traveller Health Units operate in each Health Service
Executive area. The units comprise representatives from
Health Service Executive management and Traveller
representatives. These units work in partnership with local
Traveller organisations and the Travelling community. The
significant investment in Traveller health has also allowed for
the appointment of designated Public Health Nurses for
Travellers and the roll out of Primary Health Care for
Travellers projects which established a model for Traveller
participation in the development of health services.
260. 228. Traveller Health A National Strategy 2002-2005
was developed by the THAC and published in February 2002
with the aim of improving the health status of Travellers.
Although the life-term of the Strategy has expired it still
guides policy in the area.
261. 229. A key element of the approach taken to provide
targeted health services to Travellers was the development
of a model for Traveller participation in the development of
health services. This was achieved through the Primary
Healthcare for Travellers Projects which play a key role in the
delivery of health services to Travellers. The Projects are
peer led initiatives and play an invaluable role in delivering
measures aimed at improving the health status of the
Traveller community.
262. 230. Travellers, mostly Traveller women, are recruited
from the Traveller community and trained to work as
Community Health Workers in the Projects. This allows
primary health care to be developed based on the Traveller
communitys own values and perceptions so that positive,
long term outcomes can be achieved by enabling individuals
to improve their health through informed health care, self
help and mutual aid. The Projects are credited with bringing
real and substantial benefits to the Traveller communities
where they are located. The Projects began in 1994 and now
there are over 40 projects involving over 450 participants.
The core training modules for Primary Healthcare for
Travellers Projects were awarded accreditation at FETAC level
3 in 2008.
263. 231. The commitment to Traveller health is also
reflected in the significant resources allocated to the
commissioning of the All Ireland Traveller Health Study, the
findings of which were published on 2 September 2010. It
was the first such study of the health status of Travellers
since 1987 and the first that involved Travellers from both
the North and South of Ireland. It was jointly funded by the
Department of Health in Ireland and the Department of
Health, Social Services and Public Safety in Northern Ireland
and supported by the Health Service Executive.
264. 232. One of the key findings from the study is that
Travellers of all ages continue to have much higher mortality
rates than people in the general population, with Traveller
men now living on average 15 years less than men in the
general population and Traveller women living on average
11.5 years less than women in the general population.
Deaths from respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases
and suicides were more markedly increased in Travellers
compared to the general population. Among the positive
results from the study were evidence of good access to
health services and improvements in Traveller womens
health.
Refugees and Asylum Seekers
265. 233. Irelands asylum system is based on a number of
key principles:
Meeting our obligations under international law such as
the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees;
Ensuring that persons who are found, after a fair and
efficient determination process, not to be in need of
protection are returned to their countries of origin as quickly
as this can be arranged;
Ensuring that we have robust systems in place to
prevent abuse in our protection system by persons who are
entering the State for purposes other than seeking
protection from persecution.
266. 234. The processing of asylum applications and other
applications for leave to remain takes place within a well
defined national and international (1951 Refugee
Convention, EU Directives and Regulations) legal framework
which must be complied with. Accordingly all applications for
refugee status are examined in accordance with the
statutory requirements set out in the Refugee Act 1996 and
the various statutory instruments governing the processing
of applications. Where it is established that a well-founded
fear of persecution exists, the applicant will be granted
refugee status.
267. 235. The Refugee Act, 1996 (as amended) was
commenced in full on 20 November 2000. The Act placed the
procedures for processing applications for refugee status on
a statutory footing and resulted in the establishment of two
independent offices which make recommendations to the
Minister for Justice and Equality on whether such status
should be granted:
a Refugee Applications Commissioner to deal with
applications at first instance;
a Refugee Appeals Tribunal to deal with appeals against
negative recommendations of the Refugee Applications
Commissioner.
268. 236. The scope of the Act is wide-ranging and, as well
as dealing with first instance decisions and appeals, also
covers the right to legal representation and interpretation
and provides specifically for a direct contribution to be made
by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to
the asylum determination process.
269. 237. On 10 October 2006, the European Communities
(Eligibility for Protection) Regulations, 2006 were signed into
domestic law. The Regulations give full effect in Irish law to
the provisions of Council Directive 2004/83/EC on minimum
standards for the qualifications and status of third country
nationals or stateless persons as refugees or as persons who
otherwise need international protection and the content of
the protection granted.
270. 238. On 1 March 2011, the European Communities
(Asylum Procedures) Regulations 2011 and the Refugee Act
1996 (Asylum Procedures) Regulations 2011, came into
effect for the purpose of giving further effect in Irish law to
the Directive on minimum standards on procedures in
member States for granting and withdrawing refugee status
(Council directive 2005/85/EC: The Asylum Procedures
Directive).
271. 239. The Legal Aid Board operates a specialised service
which provides independent, confidential legal advice and
assistance at all stages of the asylum process to persons
applying for asylum in Ireland. Applicants may register with
the Board at any stage of the asylum process initial
application, appeal stage and, post-asylum, in relation to
matters such as applications for humanitarian leave to
remain.
272. 240. The number of asylum applications received for
each year since 1998 are shown below. It will be noted that
application volumes have dropped year on year since 2002
when volumes peaked at 11,634. The number of asylum
applications received in 2012 was 956 which represents a
25.9% decrease on the 2011 figure and is the lowest annual
total since 1995.
1998 4,626 2003 7,900 20083,866
1999 7,724 2004 4,766 20092,689
2000 10,938 2005 4,323 20101,939
2001 10,325 2006 4,314 20111,290
2002 11,634 2007 3,985 2012 956
273.
274. 241. At the end December 2012, there were 219
asylum applications on hand in the Office of the Refugee
Applications Commissioner (ORAC) whereas there were 602
appeal cases pending in the Refugee Appeals Tribunal (RAT).
275. 242. In 2012, the Minister made 1,023 decisions
relating to refugee status. The median processing time from
the date of the initial asylum application at ORAC, through
the appeal stage at RAT, to a final decision by the Minister
was 8.3 months in 2012. Processing times are determined by
a range of factors such as the increasing complexity of the
caseload and sometimes judicial review proceedings.
276. 243. Persons who are refused asylum enter what is
commonly referred to as the leave to remain process under
Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999. This is separate to
the asylum or refugee status determination process.
277. 244. The leave to remain process involves
consideration of applications for subsidiary protection and
other reasons which a failed asylum seeker may present for
remaining in the State. The processing of such cases is
complex and extremely resource intensive and must be done
in strict compliance with the Constitution, together with
relevant international treaties, such as the European
Convention on Human Rights.
278. 245. INIS continues to examine ways to improve
processing and in accordance with the specific commitment
in the Programme for Government to introduce
comprehensive reforms of the immigration, residency and
asylum systems, which will include a statutory appeals
system and set out rights and obligations in a transparent
way. The Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill which
the Minister intends to re-publish should substantially
simplify and streamline the existing arrangements for
asylum and Subsidiary Protection by the introduction of a
Single Procedure so that applicants can be provided with a
final decision on their application in a more straightforward
and timely fashion.
279. 246. Pending the enactment and commencement of the
new legislation and with a view to improving processing in
the area of international protection, it is proposed to
introduce new arrangements for the processing of subsidiary
protection applications in light of recent judgments in the
Superior Courts. The Department of Justice and Equality, in
consultation with the Attorney Generals Office, is developing
a new legislative and administrative framework for the
processing of current and future subsidiary protection
applications.
280. 247. In addition, and with a view to streamlining the
management and processing by the Courts of applications
for judicial review in the asylum and immigration areas, it is
proposed to bring forward proposals to amend the statutory
provisions relating to judicial review which are set out in the
Illegal Immigrants (Trafficking) Act 2000.
281. 248. Decisions to Grant or Refuse Refugee Status at
first instance (ORAC) and Appeal State (RAT) 2006 2012:
Year Decisions to Grant Refugee Status Decisions to Refuse
Refugee Status Total Decisions Grant Rate
2006648 5,461 6,109 10.6%
2007581 4,964 5,545 10.5%
2008588 5,934 6,522 9.0%
2009363 6,398 6,761 5.4%
2010153 4,465 4,618 3.3%
2011132 2,698 2,830 4.9%
2012 92 931 1,023 9.0%
Total 2,557 30,851 33,408 7.6%
282.
283. 249. The recognition rate for 2012 was just over 9%.
The trend in the surrounding years serves to illustrate that
recognition rates can go up and down commensurate with
the merits or otherwise of the applications presented. This
point is further illustrated by reference to the grant rate to
date in 2013 (Jan-May) which stands at 19.4%.
284. 250. Applications for refugee status in the State are
assessed at first instance by the Office of the Refugee
Applications Commissioner in accordance with a prescribed
legal framework and exclusively on their merits having
regard to their subjective and objective elements.
285. 251. In 90% of the decisions reached by the Refugee
Appeals Tribunal in 2012, the recommendations of the ORAC
were upheld. This is in line with the percentage of ORAC
decisions upheld on appeal over the previous five years.
Racism
286. 252. The Government of Ireland is committed to
promoting policies which integrate minority ethnic groups in
Ireland, and which promote social inclusion, equality,
diversity and the participation of immigrants in the
economic, social, political and cultural life of their
communities. A significant level of activity is taking place in
pursuit of this commitment.
287. 253. A number of key departments and agencies have
developed specific strategies to ensure that their services
respond to Irelands changed demographic in an inter-
culturally competent and inclusive manner. The strategies
developed include: an Intercultural Health Strategy; an
Intercultural Education Strategy; a Cultural and Arts Policy
and Strategy; the Garda Sochna (Police Service) Diversity
Strategy; and an Action Strategy for Integrated Workplaces.
288. 254. Between 2008 and 2012, the Office for the
Promotion of Migrant Integration gave grant funding of
12,607,210 for integration purposes. The table below gives
a broad breakdown of funding over the five year period:
Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration:
Funding from 2008 - 2012
National Sporting Organisations 1,760,941
City/ County Councils 3,282,027
Faith-based Organisations 93,600
Integration Funds, Grants to Other Organisations
7,470,642
Total 12,607,210
289.
290. 255. The Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration
also developed a website which was launched in 2009. This
website provides migrants with access to information on a
wide range of relevant topics including developments in the
area of integration/ diversity management, information for
migrants as well as the responsible bodies in place who deal
with reports of racist incidents or discrimination.
291. 256. The HSE National Intercultural Health Strategy
2007 2012 provided a framework within which the health
and care needs of people from diverse cultures and ethnic
backgrounds should be addressed, with staff supported in
delivering responsive, culturally competent services.
292. 257. A comprehensive whole of government strategy,
Healthy Ireland, was launched in 2013 which aims to
improve the health and well being of all people in Ireland and
contains a strong commitment to getting better health
outcomes for those people from disadvantaged
communities. It aims to do this by improving cross-
government and inter-agency working and by working in
partnership with key stakeholders, and by improving the
monitoring of health outcomes. A programme of more
detailed work to achieve this is now in the process of being
developed.
293. 258. Implementation of the recommendations of the
strategy took place on a phased basis over a five-year time
frame. Priorities that have been addressed are translation of
information, work around developing standardised models of
interpretation and staff learning and support. Within these
areas, the approach taken is one of mainstreaming, where
actions are aimed at enhancing access for all service users
on an equal basis.
294. 259. Following a commitment given at the World
Conference against Racism in Durban in 2001, the Strategic
Monitoring Group for the National Action Plan Against Racism
was established. In January 2005, the Taoiseach and the
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform launched their
report Planning for Diversity- the National Action Plan
Against Racism 2005- 2008, which, inter alia, contained ten
outcomes for the education sector, one of which was to
develop a national intercultural education strategy with
reference to equality/ diversity policy.
295. 260. In 2008 the Minister for Education and Skills and
the Minister of State for Equality, Integration and Human
Rights were tasked with the development of an intercultural
education strategy. An extensive consultation process was
undertaken and the Intercultural Education Strategy, 2010
2015 was developed. The Intercultural Education Strategy
(IES) aims to ensure that:
296. i. all students experience an education that
respects the diversity of values, beliefs, languages and
traditions in Irish society and is conducted in a spirit of
partnership (Education Act, 1998).
297. ii. all education providers are assisted with
ensuring that inclusion and integration within an intercultural
learning environment become the norm.
298. The IES was developed in recognition of the significant
demographic changes in Irish society, which are reflected in
the education system. The Strategy builds on existing work
in this area and seeks to be of relevance for all sectors of
education, in line with the high level goal of the Department
of Education and Skills to support and improve the quality,
relevance and inclusiveness of education for every learner in
our schools.
299. 261. The Office for the Promotion of Migrant
Integration, Department of Justice and Equality, has
responsibility for leading and coordinating work relating to
the integration of legally resident immigrants. While primary
core funding for integration is spent by mainline
Departments who provide services on a mainstream basis,
the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration provides
seed funding in key areas to facilitate integration and to
address racism.

Selected statistical annexes


Table 1 - Recorded crime incidents and percentage
change by offence group, annualised total Q4 2011 and
2012
Annualised total to Q4
ICCSq offence group %
2011 2012 Change Change

Homicide offences 66 78 + 12
+ 18.2
Sexual offences 2,014 2,059
+ 45 + 2.2
Attempts or threats to murder, assaults, harassments
and related offences 17,062 15,313 -
1,749 - 10.3
Dangerous or negligent acts 9,946
9,012 - 934 - 9.4
Kidnapping and related offences 109 98
- 11 - 10.1
Robbery, extortion and hijacking offences
2,932 2,818 - 114 - 3.9
Burglary and related offences 27,695
27,774 + 79 + 0.3
Theft and related Offences 76,975
76,549 - 426 - 0.6
Fraud, deception and related offences 5,370
5,544 + 174 + 3.2
Controlled drug offences 17,695 16,471
-1,224 - 6.9
Weapons and explosives offences 3,484
3,011 - 473 - 13.6
Damage to property and to the environment
35,575 32,609 -2,966 - 8.3
Public order and other social code offences
49,060 43,780 -5,280 - 10.8
Offences against Government, justice procedures and
organisation of crime 10,178 8,852
-1,326 - 13.0

Table 2 - Indicators of income inequality by year


20072008200920102011
% % % % %
Gini coefficient (%) 31.7 30.7 29.3 31.6
31.1
*************************************************************
***************************
At risk of poverty threshold
60% of median income 11,890 12,455
12,064
11,155
10,889
Table 3 - Share of (household) consumption
expenditures on food, housing, health and education
Food Housing Health
Sex of Houshold Reference Person
Male 18.3 22.3 3.1
Female 15.7 19.5 2.5
Age Category of Household Reference Person
Under 25 years16.0 26.5 1.7
25 to 34 years 14.3 25.5 1.9
35 to 44 years 14.7 21.9 2.3
45 to 54 years 15.9 15.6 2.9
55 to 64 years 16.3 12.9 3.5
65 years & over 20.5 11.1 3.7
Location
Urban 15.6 19.6 2.6
Rural 17.2 15.7 2.7
Gross Household Income Decile
1st Decile <=238.00 18.8 20.3 2.1
2nd Decile -381.12 19.2 20.6 1.7
3rd Decile -494.88 20.2 19.1 1.7
4th Decile -626.68 19.7 19.2 2.1
5th Decile -784.68 18.4 18.3 2.3
6th Decile -976.24 17.2 18.5 2.7
7th Decile -1,218.1016.0 18.0 2.7
8th Decile -1,541.0515.6 18.2 2.9
9th Decile -2,047.6714.8 16.0 3.3
10th Decile >2,047.67 12.9 18.2 3.1
Region
Border 16.7 17.0 2.0
Dublin 14.8 20.9 2.9
Mid East 15.6 19.1 3.0
Mid West 16.8 15.5 3.2
Midlands 18.2 17.3 2.7
South East 17.0 16.7 2.2
South West 16.9 16.2 2.8
West 17.7 17.1 2.2
Tenure status
Owned outright 18.9 7.3 3.7
Owned with mortgage 13.9 22.5 2.7
Rented from local authority 21.2 14.5 1.1
Rented from private owner 16.2 26.3 1.5
Rent free 18.8 4.6 3.2
Livelihood Status of Reference Person
Self employed 16.2 16.4 3.2
Employee1 14.5 19.2 2.7
Unemployed 18.9 20.9 1.4
Retired 19.9 11.0 3.4
Other 19.1 19.3 2.3
Household Composition
1 adult 15.3 23.1 2.3
1 adult with children 17.3 23.8 1.3
2 adults 15.7 17.9 2.8
2 adults with 1-3 children 15.2 22.4 2.3
3 + adults 17.2 13.1 3.1
Other households with children 17.1 16.4 2.8
Household Size
1 Person 15.3 23.1 2.3
2 Persons 15.7 18.3 2.7
3 Persons 16.5 17.5 2.7
4 Persons 16.4 17.4 2.8
5 Persons 16.8 17.2 2.5
6 + Persons 16.9 16.9 2.9
State 16.2 18.2 2.7

Table 4 - Population, estimated number of


households and estimated number of persons per house
Q1 11 Q2 11 Q3 11 Q4 11 Q1 12 Q2
12 Q3 12 Q4 12 Q1 13 Q2 13

Total population (000) 4,571.3 4,576.1 4,579.7


4,581.5 4,584.2 4,585.9 4,593.3 4,597.3
4,598.6 4,593.8
Number of households (000) 1,657.0 1,662.7 1,665.7
1,671.1 1,669.1 1,668.3 1,679.9 1,687.5
1,687.0 1,690.1
Average number of persons per household 2.76 2.75 2.75
2.74 2.75 2.75 2.73 2.72 2.73 2.72

Table 5 - Estimated adult members of family units


classified by composition of family unit, ILO Economic
Status and sex
Family unit type/ILO Economic Status/Sex
Q2 11
Q3 11
Q4 11
Q1 12
Q2 12
Q3 12
Q4 12
Q1 13
Q2 13

Couple without children

In employment

Male 194.7 192.2 195.9 191.4


190.2 191.4 197.9 196.2 191.5
Female 174.8 172.7 175.0
172.0 167.5 167.3 165.6 166.3
167.0
Total 369.4 365.0 370.9 363.4
357.7 358.7 363.5 362.5 358.5
Unemployed

Male 23.3 21.3 22.1 23.2 22.3 19.6 19.7 19.5


20.4
Female 13.1 13.4 12.1 14.5 12.6 14.4 13.1
14.4 11.2
Total 36.3 34.7 34.1 37.7 34.9 34.0 32.8 33.9
31.6
Not in the labour force

Male 157.2 162.3 166.1 167.8


167.5 172.7 170.0 173.3 171.2
Female 179.5 183.4 191.3
189.6 191.9 195.8 204.4 202.1
201.0
Total 336.7 345.7 357.4 357.3
359.5 368.5 374.4 375.3 372.2
Total

Male 375.1 375.8 384.1 382.3


380.0 383.7 387.6 388.9 383.1
Female 367.4 369.6 378.3
376.1 372.0 377.5 383.1 382.8
379.1
Total 742.5 745.3 762.4 758.5
752.0 761.2 770.7 771.7 762.3

Couple with children

In employment

Male 500.1 497.4 497.2 498.1


503.5 511.0 506.7 512.3 520.3
Female 372.4 364.6 373.6
370.8 370.8 371.8 374.6 374.1
377.9
Total 872.5 862.0 870.8 869.0
874.3 882.8 881.3 886.4 898.1
Unemployed

Male 80.6 80.3 80.4 86.6 83.5 84.3 78.6 76.6


71.5
Female 33.6 39.4 34.7 38.6 36.3 38.6 35.5
37.2 38.8
Total 114.2 119.7 115.1 125.3
119.8 122.9 114.0 113.8 110.3
Not in the labour force

Male 97.0 97.1 96.5 93.2 93.5 91.2 93.5 89.2


85.4
Female 253.4 252.7 252.5
248.7 247.2 250.7 244.8 244.5
244.1
Total 350.3 349.8 349.1 341.9
340.7 341.9 338.3 333.7 329.4
Total

Male 677.8 674.8 674.1 678.0


680.4 686.5 678.8 678.1 677.2
Female 659.3 656.6 660.9
658.2 654.2 661.1 654.9 655.8
660.7
Total 1,337.1 1,331.4 1,335.0 1,336.2
1,334.7 1,347.6 1,333.7 1,333.9 1,337.9

Lone parent
In employment

Male 11.5 10.6 10.9 10.4 10.4 11.5 11.3 10.1


11.8
Female 85.9 85.5 86.7 84.7 87.0 84.3 88.5
87.2 87.4
Total 97.4 96.0 97.6 95.0 97.4 95.8 99.8 97.4
99.2
Unemployed

Male [3.8] [4.0] 4.6 [4.1] [3.2] [3.1] [2.7] [3.4]


[3.3]
Female 17.3 20.2 19.8 19.9 18.2 19.1 19.0
19.8 20.4
Total 21.0 24.2 24.4 24.0 21.4 22.3 21.7 23.3
23.7
Not in the labour force

Male 11.8 11.6 11.2 11.6 12.8 12.2 12.9 11.5


11.7
Female 95.7 100.2 96.0 96.6 97.5 96.7
92.3 88.8 84.2
Total 107.5 111.8 107.2 108.2
110.3 109.0 105.3 100.3 95.9
Total

Male 27.0 26.1 26.7 26.0 26.4 26.8 27.0 25.1


26.7
Female 198.8 205.9 202.6
201.2 202.7 200.2 199.9 195.9
192.1
Total 225.9 232.0 229.3 227.2
229.1 227.1 226.8 221.0 218.8

All family units

In employment

Male 706.2 700.2 704.0 699.9


704.0 713.9 715.9 718.6 723.6
Female 633.1 622.8 635.4
627.5 625.3 623.5 628.7 627.7
632.3
Total 1,339.3 1,323.0 1,339.4 1,327.4
1,329.3 1,337.3 1,344.7 1,346.3 1,355.9
Unemployed

Male 107.7 105.6 107.0 113.9


109.0 107.0 101.1 99.5 95.2
Female 63.9 73.0 66.6 73.1 67.1 72.1 67.5
71.5 70.4
Total 171.6 178.5 173.6 187.0
176.1 179.2 168.6 171.0 165.5
Not in the labour force

Male 266.0 270.9 273.8 272.6


273.8 276.1 276.4 274.0 268.3
Female 528.5 536.3 539.8
534.9 536.7 543.2 541.6 535.4
529.3
Total 794.5 807.2 813.6 807.4
810.4 819.4 818.1 809.3 797.6
Total

Male 1,079.9 1,076.7 1,084.9 1,086.4


1,086.8 1,097.0 1,093.4 1,092.2 1,087.0
Female 1,225.5 1,232.0 1,241.8
1,235.5 1,229.0 1,238.9 1,237.9 1,234.5
1,231.9
Total 2,305.4 2,308.7 2,326.6 2,321.9
2,315.8 2,335.9 2,331.3 2,326.6 2,319.0
Table 6 Persons aged 18-64 classified by ILO
Economic Status, age, highest level of educational
attainment and sex
Age group/Highest education level attained/Sex/ILO
Economic Status Q2 11 Q3 11 Q4 11 Q1 12
Q2 12 Q3 12 Q4 12 Q1 13 Q2 13
Persons aged 18-24
Early leavers from education and training aged 18-24

Male
In employment 26 22 25 22 27 23 27
31 35
Unemployed 45 49 48 52 47 47 44
40 39
Not in the labour force 29 29 27 26 27
31 29 30 27
Female

In employment 26 22 23 21 24 21 27
29 22
Unemployed 22 20 20 29 23 22 23
22 23
Not in the labour force 53 59 58 50 52
57 51 49 55
All persons

In employment 26 22 24 22 26 22 27
30 30
Unemployed 36 37 36 43 37 36 35
32 33
Not in the labour force 38 42 40 36 38
42 38 38 38

Other persons aged 18-24


Male

In employment 40 42 41 36 38 41 39
39 40
Unemployed 17 18 17 16 19 19 16
14 17
Not in the labour force 43 40 42 49 43
40 45 47 43
Female

In employment 45 44 43 43 43 45 43
40 43
Unemployed 12 12 11 10 14 14 10
10 14
Not in the labour force 44 44 46 47 43
42 47 49 43
All persons

In employment 42 43 42 39 41 43 41
39 42
Unemployed 14 15 14 13 16 16 13
12 15
Not in the labour force 43 42 44 48 43
41 46 48 43

Persons aged 25-64

Persons aged 25-64 with lower secondary or below as


highest level of education

Male

In employment 54 53 52 52 51 52 52
55 56
Unemployed 18 18 18 20 19 20 19
18 17
Not in the labour force 28 29 30 29 30
28 29 28 27
Female
In employment 35 34 34 33 33 32 32
33 33
Unemployed 6 6 6 7 6 6 5
6 6
Not in the labour force 59 60 60 61 62
62 62 61 61
All persons

In employment 46 45 44 43 43 43 43
45 46
Unemployed 13 13 13 14 13 14 13
13 12
Not in the labour force 42 43 43 43 44
43 44 42 42

Other persons aged 25-64

Male

In employment 78 78 78 78 78 78 79
78 78
Unemployed 12 12 12 12 12 12 11
11 11
Not in the labour force 10 10 10 10 10
10 11 11 11
Female

In employment 69 68 69 68 69 68 68
68 68
Unemployed 6 7 6 7 6 7 6
7 7
Not in the labour force 26 25 25 26 25
26 25 26 25
All persons

In employment 73 73 73 73 73 73 73
73 73
Unemployed 9 9 9 9 9 9 8
9 9
Not in the labour force 18 18 18 18 18
18 18 19 18

300.
Rumours are rife that yet another General Election, just 12
months on from the last one, is on the cards over the
absolute nightmare that has emerged from the Sergeant
Maurice McCabe debacle.
Sinn Fein have called on Fianna Fail to pull their support from
the government in what would immediately result in a
General Election.

General Election on the cards over Maurice McCabe


debacle as TDs are told to get their posters ready
Rumours are rife that yet another General Election, just 12 months on
from the last one, is on the cards over the absolute nightmare that has
emerged from the
Rumours are rife that yet another General Election, just 12
months on from the last one, is on the cards over the absolute
nightmare that has emerged from the Sergeant Maurice McCabe
debacle.
Sinn Fein have called on Fianna Fail to pull their support from
the government in what would immediately result in a General
Election.
Childrens Minister Katerine Zaponne is under major pressure
today as well after she says she disgracefully wont reveal the
identities of relevant government authorities.
Fine Gael activists have claimed that theyve been phoned in the
past 24 hours to get their teams ready for what could very well be
a General Election in the coming weeks.
One Fine Gael canvasser said We were told to get our posters
ready.
This is a rare act of courage for me. Some might even say
I've lost the plot. But I'm not afraid to show my support for a
man whose integrity shines through all the muck they can
throw at him. Any chance of a share?
Poll: In the wake of the latest
Maurice McCabe revelations, do
you have confidence in the
garda?
The HSE has today apologised unreservedly to McCabe for the
administrative error that led to an allegation against him making its way
into a Tusla file.
February 11, 17

THIS MORNING, THE HSE apologised unreservedly to Garda


Sergeant Maurice McCabe for the administrative error that
led to an allegation against McCabe making its way onto a file
held by Tusla, the Child and Family Agency.
It now seems that allegation remained on file at Tusla for
nearly two years after the initial error was made in 2014.
In what has become an increasingly murky saga the political
fallout continues apace this afternoon Fine Gael Health
Minister Simon Harris argued that the pending Charleton
Commission of Investigation into the alleged smear campaign
by the garda against Sergeant McCabe should be allowed to
run its course.

Labour leader Brendan Howlin says that a full criminal


investigation into the affair is required. And Sinn Fins Gerry
Adams went the whole hog and called for a general election.
At present the Charleton investigation is the only show in
town. Given the pace at which this saga has evolved, that may
well change.
But has the whole affair shaken your confidence in An Garda
Sochna?
Were asking: In the wake of the latest Maurice McCabe
revelations, do you have confidence in the garda?

Poll Results:

http://www.thejournal.ie/poll-mccabe-gardai-confidence-3234905-
Feb2017/
Poor Zapperoni ... she thought she was a member of the club
because she kept sucking up to Kenny. But when the shit hit
the fan Zapper found herself alone and without friends. The
Blueshirts stick together in all kinds of weather
IRS CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION-AN OVERVIEW IMF-Japan High
Level Tax Conference for Asian and Pacific Countries February 1,
2012
http://www.imf.org/external/np/seminars/eng/2012/asiatax/pdf/irs.pdf
Sgt McCabe in favour
of external criminal
probe, says Howlin
Updated / Saturday, 11 Feb 2017

Sgt Maurice McCabe wants a broader investigation


This is the actual article body
Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin has said
Sergeant Maurice McCabe is in favour of an external
criminal investigation into his treatment.
Speaking on RT's Saturday with Claire Byrne, Mr
Howlin said he spoke with Sgt McCabe this morning
and that he said he is "of the view that something much
broader" is needed.
A Commission of Investigation is to examine whether
there was a smear campaign against Sgt McCabe
orchestrated by senior garda.
The HSE this afternoon apologised unreservedly to
Sgt McCabe and his family for the distress caused after
a counsellor from the HSE's National Counselling
Service sent a file in August 2013 containing false
allegations of sexual abuse against Sgt McCabe
to Child Protection Services, now Tusla.
In the statement, the HSE said it is satisfied that correct
procedure was followed once this error was brought to
the attention of its National Counselling Service in May
2014.
Read: HSE statement in full
"An immediate internal review of guidelines, practices
and protocols was undertaken within the National
Counselling Service to ensure that such an error would
not reoccur. Appropriate training was also undertaken,"
the statement read.
The HSE also said it was making arrangements to offer
its apology formally to Sgt McCabe as soon as
possible.
Questions were asked yesterday about how much the
Cabinet knew about the false allegation against Sgt
McCabe after it emerged he met Minister for Children
Katherine Zappone ahead of the publication of the
terms of reference for the Commission of Investigation.
Mr Howlin said an external inquiry would entail an
investigation headed by police officers from a force
outside of Ireland.
This would require emergency legislation, he added.
The Labour leader also said Sgt McCabe was
"wounded" by everything that has happened.

Sinn Fin calls for Fianna Fil to withdraw support


for Govt
Sinn Fin has called on Fianna Fil to withdraw its
support for the Government over its handling of the Sgt
McCabe controversy.
Sinn Fin president Gerry Adams said his party will
shortly decide it if would table a no confidence motion
in the Government next week.
He said the Government was stumbling from crisis to
crisis and "taking the public for fools" in the controversy.
"The Taoiseach should do the right thing - the people
deserve an election," Mr Adams told reporters in west
Belfast.
"The Fianna Fil leader should do the right thing and
withdraw his support from this Government."
Mr Adams said: "It's very, very clear that this Fine Gael-
led Government is a government without any authority.
"People are scandalised by the way the Government is
taking the public for fools in relation to the whole
policing Garda McCabe controversy."
However, Fianna Fil has strongly rejected Sinn Fein's
call that it should withdraw support for the minority
Government.
The party's spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade,
Darragh O'Brien, said pulling the plug on the
Government is not going to get answers.
But Mr O'Brien said his party will demand the
Government explain why there is such confusion in
Cabinet over this issue.
He said the priority was to ensure that no Garda
whistleblower ever again has to endure what Sgt
McCabe did.
Corporate internal investigations best practices, pitfalls to avoid
http://www.jonesday.com/files/upload/CII%20Best%20Practices
%20Pitfalls%20to%20Avoid2.pdf
Criminal Procedure Act 2010 - Irish Statute
Book
Constitution of Ireland; External ... CRIMINAL PROCEDURE ACT
2010. Search warrant in aid of investigation relating to relevant
offences may be authorized
http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2010/act/27/enacted/en/pdf
I love this country.
Irishman turning heads after buying a TANK that he
uses to nip to the shop
IRISHMIRROR.IE|BY STEPHEN MAGUIRE

"FactCheck: Who wants to get rid of the Special Criminal Court?"


"Claim: Organisations including Amnesty, the UN, and the ICCL want
the Special Criminal Court abolished Sinn Fin
"Verdict: TRUE"
The text in the section just above is from a recent (February 10th
2016) publication at the following www location:
http://www.thejournal.ie/ge16-election-2016-ireland-fact-/
===
RELATED ISSUE
"Trial by JUDGE ONLY" courts (i.e. NO JURY involvement), or
"KANGAROO COURTS" as many see them:
Internet Search Engine Listing:
("Kangaroo Courts, William Finnerty")
https://www.google.ie/
===
"ACTIVISTS" BEWARE
"A kangaroo court is a judicial tribunal or assembly that blatantly
disregards recognized standards of law or justice, and often carries
little or no official standing in the territory within which it resides.
Merriam-Webster defines it as a "mock court in which the principles of
law and justice are disregarded or perverted".[1] The term may also
apply to a court held by a legitimate judicial authority who intentionally
disregards the court's legal or ethical obligations."
"A kangaroo court is often held to give the appearance of a fair and
just trial, even though the verdict has in reality already been decided
before the trial has begun."
The two excerpts just above are from the following www location:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kangaroo_court
===
EXCERPT FROM A "KANGAROO COURT" RELATED EMAIL TITLED:
"Summary Conviction": A Recipe for "State Tyranny", which can be
viewed in full at :
http://www.humanrightsireland.com//1September2014/Email.htm
=== === ===
SECTION 17: Republic of Ireland "Summary Conviction" Attempts #1,
#2, and #3 (William Finnerty) ...
Summary Conviction" Attempt #3:
Towards the end of a conversation which lasted for approximately 10
minutes or so in New Inn village (County Galway) on July 16th 2014,
during which Garda (Police Officer) Quirke QA 517 laughed openly at
William Finnerty on a number of occasions (despite a number of
peaceful and polite requests from William Finnerty for him to stop
doing so), Garda Quirke then eventually informed William Finnerty that
everything he (William Finnerty) had said to him was "all bulls**t".
William Finnerty then placed a copy of a three-page "marked up" e-
mail titled "The present location of the world-famous Turoe Stone?"into
Guard Quirke's right-hand shirt pocket in the hope that he would take it
back to Loughrea Garda Station and discuss the contents with his
colleagues. Guard Quirke responded immediately to this by saying:
"That was an assault, and I am going to arrest you for assault": which
he did.
An outline account of what took place, beginning 30 minutes or so later
(while William Finnerty was in Garda custody at Loughrea Garda
Station), can be viewed at the following www location:
http://www.humanrightsireland.com/RepublicOfIre//Email.htm
Related www Links:
" ... liable on summary conviction to ... "
http://www.humanrightsireland.com//25August2014/Letter.htm
"Government Corruption, Crime, Cover Ups, Bullying, and Impunity,
Interim Chief Police Commissioner Nirn O'Sullivan ..."
http://tinyurl.com/mvf8bul
Information relating to "Summary Conviction" Attempts #1 and #2 by
An Garda Siochana to criminalise William Finnerty:
"When, in the early 2000s, William Finnerty tried -- partly out of a
sense of duty as a citizen of the Republic of Ireland -- to challenge a
piece of particularly barefaced unconstitutional legislation in the
Republic of Ireland, it afterwards resulted in three major attempts (to
date) to corruptly criminalise him: two of them made by the Republic of
Ireland Government (the first in 2002, and the second in2004), and,
one attempt made by the Government of the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Northern Ireland (in 2008)."
The excerpt just above is from the "ADDITION #8" section of an e-mail
dated June 2nd 2014 to UK Prime Minister David Cameron MP which
can be viewed in full at the following www location:
http://humanrightsireland.com/PrimeMinisterDavi//Email.htm
=== === ===
EMAILS RELATING TO THE ABOVE ISSUES
a) December 3rd 2015 (14.30 hours) to PSNI (Police Service of
Northern Ireland) Constable Lee Macklin:
RE: PSNI "E DISTRICT" CRIME REFERENCE NUMBER 918 DATED
16/11/15
http://www.humanrightsireland.com//3December2015/Email.html
b) December 14th 2015 (15.30 hours) to Louise Moley (Lawyer at
McGuigan Malone Solicitors):
RE: UPDATE PROVIDED FOR ME BY THE PSNI (POLICE SERVICE OF
NORTHERN IRELAND) ON DECEMBER 11th 2015
http://www.humanrightsireland.com//15December20/Email.html
c) December 23rd 2015 (1:00 PM) to Louise Moley (Lawyer at
McGuigan Malone Solicitors):
RE: BELONGINGS OF MINE BEING HELD BY CLANRYE PROPERTIES
http://www.humanrightsireland.com//23December20/Email.html
=== === ===
"ROME WASN'T BURNT IN A DAY"
"Rome", as in the many grossly corrupt implementations of "Imperial
Roman Law" that not only survive, but continue to thrive in January
2016:
Related Quote:
"WHAT YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND ..."
"What you have to understand, John, is that sometimes there are
forces and events too big, too powerful, with so much at stake for other
people or institutions, that you cannot do anything about them, no
matter how evil or wrong they are and no matter how dedicated or
sincere you are or how much evidence you have. This is simply one of
the hard facts of life you have to face."
The statement just above was made by former CIA director William
Colby (1920 1996).
Defeatist attitude? Some people -- living in January 2016, and allowing
for all of the remarkable www type "social media" advances that have
taken place during the 20 years or so since the controversial death of
William Colby -- might think so?
=== === ===
TWO REGISTERED LETTERS RELATING TO WILLIAM FINNERTY'S
GENERAL OVERALL SITUATION:
1) To: Ms Louise Moley LL.B of McGuigan Malone Solicitors, dated
November 5th 2015:
RE: Request for additional legal advice
http://www.humanrightsireland.com//5N/RegisteredLetter.htm
2) To: Newry PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) dated November
27th 2015:
RE: UPDATE of November 27th 2015: "Seeking asylum in the UK
http://www.humanrightsireland.com//27/RegisteredLetter.htm
=== === ===
RELATED INTERNET SEARCH ENGINE LISTINGS
1) Republic of Ireland Prime Minister Enda Kenny TD, Government
Corruption, Crime, Cover Ups, Bullying and Impunity, William Finnerty:
https://www.google.co.uk/search
2) Massive Bankers "Fractional Reserve Lending" FRAUD, William
Finnerty:
https://www.google.ie/
3) Massive Bankers "Derivatives Gambling" FRAUD:
https://www.google.ie/:
4) Hypervigilance, C-PTSD injuries, William Finnerty:
https://www.google.ie/
=== === ===
SCANNED COPIES OF THE RELATED THREE PAGE RECEIPT FOR
2,098.76 FROM THE CANAL COURT HOTEL:
http://www.humanrightsireland.com//CanalCourtHotelReceipt-
=== === ===
SINN FEIN
Related Internet Search Engine Listings:
Listing #1:
(Gerry Adams <Gerry.Adams@oireachtas.ie>, Kangaroo Courts, William
Finnerty ...)
https://www.google.ie/...
===
Listing #2:
(Sinn Fin President Gerry Adams <Gerry.Adams@oireachtas.ie>,
William Finnerty)
https://www.google.co.uk/webhp...
===
Sinn Fin President Gerry Adams TD
Photo from:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerry_Adams
"FactCheck: Who wants to get rid of the Special Criminal Court?"
"Claim: Organisations including Amnesty, the UN, and the ICCL want
the Special Criminal Court abolished Sinn Fin
"Verdict: TRUE"
The text in the section just above is from a recent (February 10th
2016) publication at the following www location:
http://www.thejournal.ie/ge16-election-2016-ireland-fact-/
===
RELATED ISSUE
"Trial by JUDGE ONLY" courts (i.e. NO JURY involvement), or
"KANGAROO COURTS" as many see them:
Internet Search Engine Listing:
("Kangaroo Courts, William Finnerty")
https://www.google.ie/
===
"ACTIVISTS" BEWARE
"A kangaroo court is a judicial tribunal or assembly that blatantly
disregards recognized standards of law or justice, and often carries
little or no official standing in the territory within which it resides.
Merriam-Webster defines it as a "mock court in which the principles of
law and justice are disregarded or perverted".[1] The term may also
apply to a court held by a legitimate judicial authority who intentionally
disregards the court's legal or ethical obligations."
"A kangaroo court is often held to give the appearance of a fair and
just trial, even though the verdict has in reality already been decided
before the trial has begun."
The two excerpts just above are from the following www location:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kangaroo_court
===
EXCERPT FROM A "KANGAROO COURT" RELATED EMAIL TITLED:
"Summary Conviction": A Recipe for "State Tyranny", which can be
viewed in full at :
http://www.humanrightsireland.com//1September2014/Email.htm
=== === ===
SECTION 17: Republic of Ireland "Summary Conviction" Attempts #1,
#2, and #3 (William Finnerty) ...
Summary Conviction" Attempt #3:
Towards the end of a conversation which lasted for approximately 10
minutes or so in New Inn village (County Galway) on July 16th 2014,
during which Garda (Police Officer) Quirke QA 517 laughed openly at
William Finnerty on a number of occasions (despite a number of
peaceful and polite requests from William Finnerty for him to stop
doing so), Garda Quirke then eventually informed William Finnerty that
everything he (William Finnerty) had said to him was "all bulls**t".
William Finnerty then placed a copy of a three-page "marked up" e-
mail titled "The present location of the world-famous Turoe Stone?"into
Guard Quirke's right-hand shirt pocket in the hope that he would take it
back to Loughrea Garda Station and discuss the contents with his
colleagues. Guard Quirke responded immediately to this by saying:
"That was an assault, and I am going to arrest you for assault": which
he did.
An outline account of what took place, beginning 30 minutes or so later
(while William Finnerty was in Garda custody at Loughrea Garda
Station), can be viewed at the following www location:
http://www.humanrightsireland.com/RepublicOfIre//Email.htm
Related www Links:
" ... liable on summary conviction to ... "
http://www.humanrightsireland.com//25August2014/Letter.htm
"Government Corruption, Crime, Cover Ups, Bullying, and Impunity,
Interim Chief Police Commissioner Nirn O'Sullivan ..."
http://tinyurl.com/mvf8bul
Information relating to "Summary Conviction" Attempts #1 and #2 by
An Garda Siochana to criminalise William Finnerty:
"When, in the early 2000s, William Finnerty tried -- partly out of a
sense of duty as a citizen of the Republic of Ireland -- to challenge a
piece of particularly barefaced unconstitutional legislation in the
Republic of Ireland, it afterwards resulted in three major attempts (to
date) to corruptly criminalise him: two of them made by the Republic of
Ireland Government (the first in 2002, and the second in2004), and,
one attempt made by the Government of the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Northern Ireland (in 2008)."
The excerpt just above is from the "ADDITION #8" section of an e-mail
dated June 2nd 2014 to UK Prime Minister David Cameron MP which
can be viewed in full at the following www location:
http://humanrightsireland.com/PrimeMinisterDavi//Email.htm
=== === ===
EMAILS RELATING TO THE ABOVE ISSUES
a) December 3rd 2015 (14.30 hours) to PSNI (Police Service of
Northern Ireland) Constable Lee Macklin:
RE: PSNI "E DISTRICT" CRIME REFERENCE NUMBER 918 DATED
16/11/15
http://www.humanrightsireland.com//3December2015/Email.html
b) December 14th 2015 (15.30 hours) to Louise Moley (Lawyer at
McGuigan Malone Solicitors):
RE: UPDATE PROVIDED FOR ME BY THE PSNI (POLICE SERVICE OF
NORTHERN IRELAND) ON DECEMBER 11th 2015
http://www.humanrightsireland.com//15December20/Email.html
c) December 23rd 2015 (1:00 PM) to Louise Moley (Lawyer at
McGuigan Malone Solicitors):
RE: BELONGINGS OF MINE BEING HELD BY CLANRYE PROPERTIES
http://www.humanrightsireland.com//23December20/Email.html
=== === ===
"ROME WASN'T BURNT IN A DAY"
"Rome", as in the many grossly corrupt implementations of "Imperial
Roman Law" that not only survive, but continue to thrive in January
2016:
Related Quote:
"WHAT YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND ..."
"What you have to understand, John, is that sometimes there are
forces and events too big, too powerful, with so much at stake for other
people or institutions, that you cannot do anything about them, no
matter how evil or wrong they are and no matter how dedicated or
sincere you are or how much evidence you have. This is simply one of
the hard facts of life you have to face."
The statement just above was made by former CIA director William
Colby (1920 1996).
Defeatist attitude? Some people -- living in January 2016, and allowing
for all of the remarkable www type "social media" advances that have
taken place during the 20 years or so since the controversial death of
William Colby -- might think so?
=== === ===
TWO REGISTERED LETTERS RELATING TO WILLIAM FINNERTY'S
GENERAL OVERALL SITUATION:
1) To: Ms Louise Moley LL.B of McGuigan Malone Solicitors, dated
November 5th 2015:
RE: Request for additional legal advice
http://www.humanrightsireland.com//5N/RegisteredLetter.htm
2) To: Newry PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) dated November
27th 2015:
RE: UPDATE of November 27th 2015: "Seeking asylum in the UK
http://www.humanrightsireland.com//27/RegisteredLetter.htm
=== === ===
RELATED INTERNET SEARCH ENGINE LISTINGS
1) Republic of Ireland Prime Minister Enda Kenny TD, Government
Corruption, Crime, Cover Ups, Bullying and Impunity, William Finnerty:
https://www.google.co.uk/search
2) Massive Bankers "Fractional Reserve Lending" FRAUD, William
Finnerty:
https://www.google.ie/
3) Massive Bankers "Derivatives Gambling" FRAUD:
https://www.google.ie/:
4) Hypervigilance, C-PTSD injuries, William Finnerty:
https://www.google.ie/
=== === ===
SCANNED COPIES OF THE RELATED THREE PAGE RECEIPT FOR
2,098.76 FROM THE CANAL COURT HOTEL:
http://www.humanrightsireland.com//CanalCourtHotelReceipt-
=== === ===
SINN FEIN
Related Internet Search Engine Listings:
Listing #1:
(Gerry Adams <Gerry.Adams@oireachtas.ie>, Kangaroo Courts, William
Finnerty ...)
https://www.google.ie/...
===
Listing #2:
(Sinn Fin President Gerry Adams <Gerry.Adams@oireachtas.ie>,
William Finnerty)
https://www.google.co.uk/webhp...
===
Sinn Fin President Gerry Adams TD
Photo from:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerry_Adams
Former #Garda commissioner's phone to be examined - but
SIM may have been destroyed three years ago!

Article: http://www.thejournal.ie/martin-callinan-sim-card-
3229548-Feb2017/
RT has been dragged into the
Garda whistleblower mire
A new commission of investigation into the saga is to probe whether or not
the Garda Commissioner orchestrated broadcasts on RT in May 2016.
February 11, 17

IRELANDS STATE BROADCASTER has been namechecked in


the just-published (though heavily-redacted) ONeill report
into Garda whistleblowing.
On foot of Justice Iarfhlaith ONeills report regarding
allegations that a smear campaign had been carried out against
whistleblower Maurice McCabe, a further commission of
investigation has been established to investigate the
circumstances surrounding two protected disclosures made by
McCabe and one other whistleblower.
That new commission is to be chaired by Justice Peter
Charleton.
ONeills report was so heavily redacted upon publication that
in fact only the terms of reference of the new commission of
investigation have been published.
Those terms of reference, which can be viewed here, include
allegations that the former head of the Garda Press Office
David Taylor was directed to focus journalists attention on
allegations of criminal misconduct made against McCabe, and
a licence to investigate any knowledge that former Garda
Commissioner Martin Callinan and OSullivan may have had
regarding that matter.

One of the more interesting of the nine terms of reference


however is a mandate to investigate whether Commissioner
OSullivan, using briefing material prepared in Garda
Headquarters, planned and orchestrated broadcasts on RT
on 9 May 2016, purporting to be a leaked account of the
unpublished OHiggins Commission Report, in which Sgt
McCabe was branded a liar and irresponsible.

This alludes to, among other broadcasts on that date, an


edition of RTs Morning Ireland broadcast in which alleged
details of the then as-yet-unreleased OHiggins Report (which
investigated goings on in the Cavan / Monaghan Division of
the garda in and around 2008) were summarised for listeners.
That broadcast can be listened to here (direct link here) - the
relevant section, which runs for 15 minutes, can be heard from
1 hour 23 minutes into the recording.
The publication of the OHiggins Report served chiefly to ramp
up the pressure on Nirn OSullivan, who has been fire-
fighting the ongoing whistleblower saga since first taking over
from Callinan on an initially interim basis in March 2014

http://www.thejournal.ie/rte-commission-of-investigation-
3229970-Feb2017/
Commission of Investigation Certain Matters relative to
the Cavan Monaghan Division of the Garda Sochna Final
Report
http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Commission_of_Investigatio
n_Certain_Matters_relative_to_the_Cavan_Monaghan_Divis
ion_of_the_Garda_S
%C3%ADochna_Final_Report.pdf/Files/Commission_of_In
vestigation_Certain_Matters_relative_to_the_Cavan_Monag
han_Division_of_the_Garda_S
%C3%ADochna_Final_Report.pdf
Commission of Investigation (Certain matters relating to two
disclosures made by members of An Garda Sochna under the
Protected Disclosures Act 2014) Order 2017
http://cdn.thejournal.ie/media/2017/02/terms-of-
reference.pdf
Earlier today, OSullivan strongly refuted allegations made
against her by Labour leader Brendan Howlin under Dil
privilege in Leinster House this morning.
Howlin, together with Sinn Fin, earlier this evening called for
OSullivan to stand aside from her role while the Charleton
inquiry is carried out.
How many more un-investigated files exist?
Is there one about you?

Faith in #Irish #governance destroyed

#MauriceMcCabe #Tusla #Gardai #Ireland #Governance

This is what passes for good governance in Ireland


We owe MauriceMcCabe and his family a huge debt of
gratitude for having the resilience to withstand this sort of
pressure.

Another serious concern arises from this:


How many other people have had their names ruined by
false allegations which were not 'followed up' on within the
Gardai or Tusla?

(Remember, if they are not follow up then they remain on file


as allegations and can be talked about without any
conclusion being reached and we would never know what is
being said about us behind our backs in the corridors of
power)

My faith in the governance structures of the Gardai, Tusla


and in fact all govt departments and agencies has been
seriously damaged by this series of events.

Irish journalists accuse


police of 'Stasi-like'
monitoring
Garda Siochna alleged to be monitoring phone calls
and threatening reporters with arrest in attempt to
reveal sources
Garda are accused of putting pressure on Irish journalists to reveal their sources.
Photograph: Niall Carson/PA
Henry McDonald, Ireland correspondent
Friday 11 May 2012 13.00 BST
Journalists in Ireland have raised concerns about the
country's draconian gagging orders on police officers talking
to the media, including allegations that the state is
monitoring their mobile phone calls to try to reveal sources.
Dublin-based reporters, some of whom are under death
threats from armed criminal gangs, have told MediaGuardian
that the Irish police force, Garda Siochna, has questioned
them about police contacts, threatened them with arrest and
has been checking their mobile phone calls to suspected
sources.
One reporter said he has been questioned 30 times in just
over a decade and was under sustained pressure to reveal
his sources.
Ian Mallon, the deputy editor of Dublin's Evening Herald
newspaper, said the garda appeared more interested in who
was the source of his stories than in acting against a crime
boss who put a 20,000 (16,000) bounty on the head of his
colleague Mick McCaffrey.

Mallon described the Garda's ongoing pursuit of journalists'


sources in the Republic as "Stasi-like".
The human rights organisation Index on Censorship said the
Irish Republic's 2005 Garda Siochna Act, especially clause
62 of the legislation outlawing most rank and file police
contact with the media, was "not the behaviour of a
European democracy".
Under the act, Irish police officers who speak to journalists
without authorisation from their superiors can face fines of up
to 75,000, dismissal from the force or even seven years in
prison.
Index on Censorship described the act and the recent
upsurge in garda pursuing journalists over their sources as
akin to "the kind of behaviour one would expect in an
unreconstructed dictatorship"
An Index spokesman, Padraig Reidy, said: "Reporters
should not be forced to operate in fear of police
surveillance."
Reidy said Irish reporters were already under enough
pressure from drugs gangs engaged in violent turf
wars in Dublin and Limerick.
"It's bad enough worrying about being the next
Veronica Guerin [the Dublin crime reporter murdered
by Irish gangsters in 1996] without the extra concern
of being hauled in by police for simply doing your
job," he said.
Reidy warned that in reforming the relationship
between the UK police and media after the phone
hacking scandals, the British government should
resist the Irish model.
"The Leveson inquiry should resist the temptation to
further regulate journalists' access to contacts in the
police and other state and security bodies," Reidy
said. "The Irish situation shows how this can lead to
paranoid police attempting to cover their own backs
by harassing journalists."
Mallon said he was expecting to be questioned by
detectives who want him to reveal his source behind
last November's stories in the Evening Herald
detailing the death threat to McCaffrey.
"We sat on that story for weeks and even informed
the Garda that we had been told this gangster put a
hit out against Mick over a story he had written
about this criminal. We were most co-operative," he
added.
"Our story was about another journalist in this city
facing a death threat from criminals and yet I am to
be questioned about who leaked the story to us.
That's absurd. They were more concerned to find
how they could trace back the source. It is Stasi-like
behaviour and totally paranoid and censorious."
MediaGuardian has learned that the information
about threats to McCaffrey's life was intercepted
through secret Garda wire tappings information
that cannot be used as evidence in court.
Many experienced Garda sources now use cheap,
disposable mobile phones to keep in touch with
reporters.
The veteran crime and security journalist Jim Cusack,
from the Sunday Independent, said he has faced
threats of detention over his refusal to reveal sources
in a story about a Real IRA murder.
Cusack said: "I have been threatened with possible
arrest for 'withholding information relating to a
criminal offence' the 2005 act again with a
punishment of up to 10 years when I told garda I
could not remember the source of a story about a
dissident murder in Donegal several months earlier.
"The last time I was made aware my phone records
were being hacked was last year after I contacted a
detective involved in a murder case and left a
message referring to some material I had come
across which might be of use in the case.
"I was not called back. Instead a third party
contacted me and said the detective had been
warned by a colleague that my phone was under
surveillance and the call had been logged by C3. This
is the old name for the Garda security and
intelligence section."
Asked about both the continued gagging of garda
talking to the media and allegations of journalists
being threatened with arrest as well coming under
covert surveillance, the Garda press office said: "An
Garda Siochna do not discuss internal discipline
matters." The force's press office declined to answer
specific queries about journalists alleging their calls
were being monitored.
The Irish Department of Justice defended the use of
the act and said there were no plans to amend it
despite promises to enact new laws to protect
whistleblowers. The department added that the act
prevented the disclosure of information that "could
impede an investigation and potentially a
prosecution".
A spokesman for the department said: "By its nature,
police work requires a high level of confidentiality to
protect witnesses, victims and garda. In order for
policing to be effective, the public must feel they can
communicate openly with their local garda and trust
that the information they provide will be protected
and treated appropriately."
Michael O'Toole, the crime correspondent of the Irish
Daily Star, urged the UK media to oppose any
attempt to bring in a law like the 2005 Garda
Siochna Act.
O'Toole said that in reforming the relationship
between the Metropolitan police and News
International "the baby should not be thrown out with
the bath water". He revealed he has been questioned
30 times in 12 years by garda about sources. The
last time was in 2011 when he obtained exclusive
pictures of a riot inside Dublin's Mountjoy prison.
"I take it as read that my phone calls are being
listened into, that my records are being checked to
see if I am talking to any Garda officers. What went
on between the Met in London and certain journalists
was corrupt and wrong. But take a look at the
opposite side of the coin here in Ireland and this
paranoia infecting everything."
https://www.theguardian.com/media/2012/may/11/irish-journalists-
police-monitoring?CMP=share_btn_fb

Irish prime minister to limit


snooping powers of police
watchdog
Legal review after revelation that ombudsman
accessed reporters phone records

Enda Kenny: he has taken a strong line. Photograph: Mike Segar/Reuters

@GreensladeR
Tuesday 19 January 2016 08.08 GMT
Irelands prime minister, Enda Kenny, has taken a strong line
with the countrys police watchdog after it was revealed that
the body accessed journalists phone records.
According to the Irish Times, he indicated that it might be
necessary to change legislation in order to limit the powers
of the Garda Sochna Ombudsman Commission (GSOC).
The paper, in company with the Irish Independent, reported
Kenny as saying: Clearly the fundamental principle of
journalistic sources being confidential is very important in a
democracy.
After a week of controversy about the matter, which I
reported on yesterday, the Dublin government is planning to
review the GSOCs powers.

It followed revelations in the Irish Times that the GSOC had


viewed two journalists phone records without their
knowledge or consent.
Kenny said his justice minister, Frances Fitzgerald, was
looking at the issue on the basis of the protection of the
sources of information for journalists in a free world, in a free
press.
It is thought that a senior lawyer, possibly a judge, will be
asked to consider international best practice and then review
the operation of Irelands communications (retention of data)
act of 2011. It was that law that the GSOC relied on when
accessing phone records.
https://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2016/jan/19/irish-
prime-minister-to-limit-snooping-powers-of-police-watchdog
Minister for Justice
orders review of GSOC
powers

Frances Fitzgerald says public debate sparked U-turn


by Conor Lally, Irish Times
Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald has ordered a review into
the accessing of journalists telephone records by the Garda
Sochna Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) just 24 hours after
expressing her support for the contentious procedures.
Explaining her decision to announce a review on Saturday, she
said the public debate on the issue since the middle of last week
had influenced her thinking.
Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin said
yesterday that the stricter rules in Britain should be examined
with a view to implementation in the Republic.
Each application for looking at a journalists telephone records
would be subject to an individual analysis by an independent
judge, he said.
The controversy surrounding the accessing of personal data
began last week when The Irish Times revealed that GSOC had
viewed two journalists phone records without their knowledge or
consent on foot of a complaint about reports in the death of
model Katy French (24) in 2007.
Annual review
Last Friday, Ms Fitzgerald pointed out that the Communications
(Retention of Data) Act 2011 amended last year that enabled
GSOC and the Garda to access citizens telephone records also
provided for a High Court judge to review annually how the
legislation was being used.
She said a complaints procedure was also enshrined in the Act.
The law provides the very important safeguard that if persons
feel that access to their information has arisen improperly there is
an independent appeal procedure to address this, a statement
issued on her behalf said.
It added she of course, fully supports GSOC in carrying out its
important work.
However, on Saturday she issued another statement to the media
in which she said she now had concerns.
I recognise that issues of concern have been raised . . . and I have
reached the conclusion that there is a need for a review of law
and practice in this area, she said.
This review will have regard to any relevant judicial findings and
ensure our law in this area represents best international practice.
Asked why she had defended the procedures on Friday but had
ordered their review the following day, Ms Fitzgerald said she
believed the general debate which has been taking place raises
important questions about whether the law in this area strikes the
right balance and the safeguards which exist are sufficient.
Leaks
While journalists were entitled in a democratic society to go about
their work unhindered, others had the right not to have their
personal information leaked to the media. She said she had only
decided on the review on Saturday.
The Association of Garda Sergeants (AGSI), Garda Representative
Association(GRA), Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) and the
National Union of Journalists (NUJ) have all expressed their
concern at the revelations.
AGSI said GSOC had been established to investigate complaints
against Garda members and if it wanted access to the telephone
records or other personal data of journalists it should, under law,
be required to set out its reasons to a judge on each occasion.
Mr Howlin supported that idea yesterday, saying a new issue had
emerged around the maintenance and protection of the freedom
of the press, which is a fundamental pillar of our democracy.
http://agsi.ie/articles/minister-for-justice-orders-review-of-gsoc-powers/

Howlin calls for new


measures to protect
freedom of the press
Updated / Monday, 18 Jan 2016
Brendan Howlin said freedom of the press is a pillar of our democracy
Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform Brendan
Howlin has responded to the controversy over the
Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission unilaterally
accessing details of journalists phone calls.
"There is a new issue that has now emerged and that is
the maintenance and protection of the freedom of the
press, which is really a fundamental pillar of our
democracy," he said.
Speaking on RTs This Week, Mr Howlin said the
recent approach taken in the United Kingdom - in which
each application to look at a journalist's phone records
requires judicial oversight - was a good one.
"Any application [to monitor phones] under the current
law is reviewed annually by a judge, but the Minister for
Justice has indicated that we need to go further,
probably, in relation to this particular issue.
"[Frances Fitzgerald] is reviewing it and I think the
model that happens in Britain is not a bad one for us to
look at and that is that each application for the looking
at a journalist's telephone records would be subject to
an individual analysis by an independent judge," added
Mr Howlin.

It emerged during the week that the Garda


Ombudsman used new powers given to it last year to
access the phone records of two journalists as part of
its investigation into information leaked about the death
of model Katy French.
In a statement today, Ms Fitzgerald said: "Contrary to
some reports, the legal powers to access telephone
records do not derive from legislation which I introduced
last year. Instead, they are governed by the provisions
of the Communications (Retention of Data) Act, 2011.
"I am constrained in what I can say about the law in this
area because a number of challenges to the act are
before the courts at the moment.
"However, without commenting in any way on those
legal cases or on investigations conducted by GSOC or
An Garda Sochna, I recognise that issues of concern
have been raised as to whether we have the right
balance in our law between the important freedom of
journalists to pursue legitimate matters of public interest
and the basic rights of persons not to have information
relating to them improperly disclosed.
"This raises complex issues of fundamental importance
and I have reached the conclusion that there is a need
for a review of law and practice in this area.
"This review will have regard to any relevant judicial
findings and ensure our law in this area represents best
international practice," added the statement.
https://www.rte.ie/news/2016/0117/760871-howlin-phone-calls/

Investigation launched
into GSOC access of
journalists' phone records
Kevin Doyle, Shane Phelan and Sarah-Jane Murphy
PUBLISHED
19/01/2016

1
Frances Fitzgerald. Photo: Steve Humphreys
The Cabinet has given approval for the
appointment of a legal expert to review the
legislation which allows GSOC to access the
phone records of journalists.
As revealed in the Irish Independent this morning, Justice
Minister Frances Fitzgerald wants an independent person to
study best international practice in the area and suggest any
legislation changes that might be required.
It is expected that the review will look at the ease with which
GSOC and An Garda Siochana can access phone records.
The watchdog has been embroiled in three scandals in the
past two years, including one where it incorrectly claimed
garda were bugging its offices.
And it emerged last week that GSOC accessed the phone
records of two journalists following a complaint by a friend
of the late model Katy French about alleged garda leaks.
Today, John Wilson, a former garda turned whistle-blower,
has said that accessing the phone records of journalists is
something which should only happen in extreme
circumstances.
Mr Wilson said he believed warrants permitting such
surveillance should be issued by a judge in every case.
"When I was a garda we were told not to have any contact
with journalists.
"However we know that journalists need sources in order to
survive - if they don't have sources then important
information won't come into the public domain.
"In the past some information was drip fed to the media to
discredit Maurice McCabe and myself," he told The Pat
Kenny Show on Newstalk.
Wilson referred to a recent Supreme Court decision that
recognised the right of journalists to protect their sources.
"The greater good should prevail, and giving GSOC the
power to trawl through journalists phone records is not the
answer.
"We need more transparency between journalists and the
gardai, some reporters are briefed regularly by members of
the gardai and that's not good for anyone," Mr Wilson, who
is standing as an Independent candidate in the
Cavan/Monaghan constituency for the general election, said.
"All warrants should be issued by a judge and accessing the
data of journalists is something that should only happen in
extreme circumstances.
"There is no law that says you cannot speak to a journalist
and there's a proud tradition of investigative journalism in
this country - I don't want anything to damage that," he told
host Pat Kenny.
Meanwhile, Fianna Fail Justice spokesperson Niall Collins
has said that the government have not tackled the issue
effectively.
"Nobody is above the law, and it's very important that the
right balance is achieved here.
His party has created draft legislation which aims to prevent
GSOC gaining access to confidential communications
between journalists and sources in the absence of a court
order.
Collins will introduce the Garda Sochna (Amendment) Bill
2016 in the Dil today.
Under the proposed legislation, the High Court can only
grant GSOC an order in exceptional circumstances where
the public interest so required.
"Fianna Fail's bill will require GSOC to apply to to the High
Court for an 'application to proceed' prior to accessing a
journalist's phone records.
"The relevant journalist will be on notice and can make an
ancillary application.
"Our aim is to protect the independence of GSOC and the
freedom of the press," he told RTE News at One's
programme.
Meanwhile former Press Ombudsman, Professor John
Horgan, told RTE's Morning Ireland that the current process
of monitoring the interception of electronic communications
is "wildly insufficient".
"I'm not sure that what needs to be done is something that
will take a commision of inquiry or any very lengthy course
of activities. What seems to have happened is that this power
was given to GSOC in a sort of catch-all way. Nobody
stopped in time to think about what kind of modality should
govern this power. As far as I know the only constraint on
this is that the judge would look on the record of
interceptions made under this power once a year and that's
insanely, wildly insufficient."
Last night Taoiseach Enda Kenny slapped down the scandal-
ridden garda watchdog for snooping on the phone records of
journalists.
Responding for the first time to the revelations that
communications by journalists were being monitored, Mr
Kenny said: "Clearly the fundamental principle of
journalistic sources being confidential is very important in a
democracy."
Mr Kenny's stinging rebuke has placed intense pressure on
the embattled Garda Sochna Ombudsman Commission
(GSOC).
The Taoiseach said there was a difference between "this kind
of incident and one where national security might arise".
He said: "The minister will respond appropriately and
quickly in this regard".
The Irish Independent understands that Justice Minister
Frances Fitzgerald will seek approval from Cabinet today to
appoint an "eminent person" from the legal profession to
review the laws that allows GSOC to access data on
journalists' phone calls.
This person will be tasked with reviewing international best
practice and looking at the Communications (Retention of
Data) Act 2011 which GSOC has relied on when accessing
phone records of journalists.
A source said: "The review will only look at the section as it
relates to journalists so it will be completed as soon as
possible. It will not be a drawn-out process."
However, any legislative changes that might be
recommended by the review are highly unlikely to be drafted
before the general election.
At the weekend, Ms Fitzgerald proposed a "scoping exercise"
within her department - but the Taoiseach and Tnaiste
injected a new urgency into the debate yesterday.
"Minister Fitzgerald is looking at this on the basis of the
protection of the sources of information for journalists in a
free world, in a free press," Mr Kenny said.
"Fundamentally, I think that where issues like this are
concerned that it would be appropriate that the legislation be
reformed to reflect that.
Because whatever else people might argue about, there has
always been a consistency about the protection of sources for
information for members of the press in a democracy like
ours," he added.
Tnaiste Joan Burton said it "goes without saying that the
protection of journalism sources is of critical and primary
importance, and the Government will address that".
It is understood the Labour Party favours a system similar to
the UK whereby each application for accessing data on a
journalist's phone usage would be examined by an
independent judge.
Last night a spokesperson for GSOC refused to comment on
the Taoiseach's criticism.
Upheaval
The commission has declined to answer questions from the
media on the furore to date.
Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin has said it
strikes him that the situation in Britain is one that should be
looked at.
On his way into todays Cabinet meeting the Labour Party
minister said he wanted to see what proposals Frances
Fitzgerald brings forward.
But he added that if GSOC is of a very strong view that it
needs to access information about journalists phone calls
that should require the authorisation of an independent
judge.
The complaints body was previously at the centre of major
political upheaval two years ago when it claimed garda were
bugging its offices.
And last summer it emerged that a garda in Donegal who
took his own life had been the subject of a GSOC
investigation following a fatal traffic accident - but was not
told that he had been cleared of wrongdoing.
In a letter to his wife, Sergeant Michael Galvin of
Ballyshannon Garda Station in Co Donegal said he could not
take the pressure of the GSOC investigation which had left
him feeling like a criminal.
Last week it was revealed that GSOC accessed journalists
telephone records.
There are also concerns it has accessed one journalist's
emails contacts.
http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/investigation-launched-into-
gsoc-access-of-journalists-phone-records-34377459.html
No widespread
snooping on private
citizens - Fitzgerald
Updated / Wednesday, 20 Jan 2016 23:22

Frances Fitzgerald says 91 requests were made over the last year by
State agencies to access phone records
Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald has said there is
no widespread snooping by State agencies on private
citizens.
She said 91 requests were made over the last year to
access phone records, although she would not reveal
the number of journalists included in that number.
Ms Fitzgerald added that requests were only made in
relation to serious crimes being investigated and she
repeated that she is waiting for the completion of the
review by former chief justice John Murray.
He will report back within three months and his review
will cover access to phone records by garda, the
Defence Forces and the Revenue Commissioners, who
can all obtain the information under current law.
Yesterday Ms Fitzgerald defended her decision to
review rather than amend legislation that allows some
State agencies access phone records without a
warrant.
Cabinet has backed an independent investigation into
the accessing of three journalists' telephone records by
GSOC.
Under new powers given to it last year, GSOC may
access journalists' personal phone records if necessary
as part of investigation.

It was recently reported that GSOC accessed the


telephone records of three journalists without their
knowledge or consent.
This follows complaints about media reports on the
death of the model Katy French in 2007 and also media
reports on the arrest of Independent TD Clare Daly,
who was cleared of suspected drink-driving and found
to be below the legal limit.

http://www.rte.ie/news/2016/0120/761558-fitzgerald/

Is it too much to hope for


law on snooping to be
changed before election is
called?
Seamus Dooley
PUBLISHED
19/01/2016
1
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald Photo: Damien Eagers
This morning, Justice Minister Frances
Fitzgerald will bring a report to Cabinet on the
accessing of journalists' telephone records by
GSOC.
4 SHARE

M
M
Speaking in Kildare yesterday, Taoiseach Enda Kenny
seemed to grasp the gravity of the situation when he
acknowledged that it would be appropriate to amend
legislation to ensure that the power to access phone records
is used sparingly and only in cases involving national
security.
The catalyst for the current debate was the decision by GSOC
to use relatively new powers under the Communications
(Retention of Data) Act 2011 to access the personal phone
records of two journalists as part of its investigation into
alleged leaks by members of An Garda Sochna . The alleged
leaks related to the high-profile, tragic death of Katy French
in 2007.
While there has been criticism of the GSOC investigation, the
priority now must be to ensure the powers given to the
commission are reviewed.
There is no evidence so far that GSOC acted outside the law -
merely that GSOC used powers which it should never have
been given to investigate a complaint which, however
legitimate it may have been, could never be classed as being
so significant that a fundamental freedom enjoyed by the
press should be undermined.
The Supreme Court has recognised the right of journalists to
protect confidential sources of information. That right is
recognised in international law.
Yesterday, in Kildare, the Taoiseach was unambiguous.
"Clearly, the fundamental principle of journalistic sources
being confidential is very important in a democracy," he said.
"Minister Fitzgerald is looking at this on the basis of the
protection of the sources of information for journalists in a
free world, in a free press," he added.
Last week, there was cross-party support for the right of
journalists to protect confidential sources of information - so
it's safe to assume Mr Kenny's comments would not be
contested by his political opponents.
In these circumstances, would it be too much to hope the
party whips would get together and enable the Houses of the
Oireachtas to consider amending legislation before the
election is called?
A starting point would be to reverse the changes which
granted the powers to GSOC but, as Dr T J McIntyre of
Digital Rights Ireland pointed out in this newspaper last
week, we do need a wider look at the way the State treats
data belonging to all citizens, not just journalists.
The fact that there is currently no requirement that a judge
grant a warrant before phone records are examined by garda
or GSOC is a function of inadequate legislation.
Any legislative reform must be based on the principle that
access is only permitted following independent, judicial
assessment and is demonstrably necessary. There must be a
public interest test.
The Katy French complaint has understandably led to a focus
on journalists - but this is not just about the rights of the
media.
Sensitive communications, such as those between lawyer and
client or TD and whistle-blower, are equally vulnerable.
Currently, the Act allows for an appeals procedure, in the
case of individuals, and a judicial review of how legislation is
being used. However, the appeal is of limited value,
occurring after a journalist has discovered his or her
confidentiality has been breached.
Many citizens are disturbed by the discovery that phone
records can be scrutinised by GSOC. It is correct that citizens
have a right to make complaints against An Garda Sochna
and it is correct that garda have a right to defend
themselves. It is also the right of the media to operate with
freedom. I do not imagine for a moment that the
Communications (Retention of Data) Act 2011 will become a
dominant issue in the forthcoming election.
However, a prompt legislative response supported by all
parties might restore belief in the ability of the political
system to recognise a problem and address it in a timely
manner.
http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/is-it-too-much-to-hope-
for-law-on-snooping-to-be-changed-before-election-is-called-
34375703.html

Watchdog has lurched


from one crisis to next

Tom Brady
EMAIL
PUBLISHED
19/01/2016

The GSOC was set up to deal primarily with complaints from the
public about the behaviour of garda and provide an independent
oversight of the force Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Since it began operations in 2007, the Garda
Sochna Ombudsman Commission (GSOC)
has been mired in controversy.
It was set up under the Garda Sochna Act, 2005, to deal
primarily with complaints from the public about the
behaviour of garda and provide an independent oversight of
the force.
GSOC's mandate is to independently investigate complaints
where a garda is alleged to have committed an offence or
behave in a way that would justify disciplinary proceedings.
http://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/watchdog-has-lurched-from-one-
crisis-to-next-34375702.html

AN ROINN DL AGUS CIRT AGUS COMHIONANNAIS


DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND EQUALITY
Deputy Sen Conlan asked the
Minister for Justice and Equality if she
has restricted the report which is to be
carried out by former Chief Justice Mr.
John Murray into the hacking of
telephones and the accessing of data
to journalists only, given that the
director of the Irish Council for Civil
Liberties, Mr. Mark Kelly, stated the
snooping on the general public must
also be reviewed and that he regretted
that the review had been limited to
journalists; and if she will make a
statement on the matter.
[3258/16] Answer
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy
Frances Fitzgerald): I assume the Deputy is
referring to the accessing of retained
communications data under the Communications
(Retention of Data) Act 2011. No suggestion has
been made, other than by the Deputy, as to the
hacking of phones. The data available under the
2011 Act is subscriber and traffic and location data -
not the content of communications - and it may only
be accessed by the relevant bodies empowered to do
so, for the purposes prescribed and under the terms
set out in the Act in accordance with the respective
statutory duties of the bodies involved.
There is simply no question of widespread or mass
surveillance of the general public. That would be
unlawful and does not take place.
Issues of genuine concern have been raised recently
as to the balance in the law concerning the important
freedom of journalists to pursue legitimate matters of
public interest. I recognise fully the legitimate
concerns about the issue of access to journalists
telephone records and it is for that reason I have
established an independent review, to be carried out
by Mr. Justice John Murray, the former Chief Justice.
There are complex, competing rights in question here
that go to considerations of the freedoms of
journalists to pursue their legitimate work and, for
example, the fundamental right to privacy of every
individual.
The purpose of focusing the independent review on
the issue of the freedoms of journalists is in order to
ensure that particular issue of concern can be
addressed quickly.
It is important to keep the general law in this area
under review and, indeed, that is exactly what is
done on an ongoing basis by my Department.
http://justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/PQ-26-01-2016-293

Journalists Investigated: GSOC powers


need to be reined in
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Michael Clifford
recommends a data access system similar to the UK, with
notice to affected parties

ARE you related by marriage or otherwise to a reporter? Do


one of your friends work for the fourth estate? Are you
related to a member of An Garda Siochna? If you fall into
any of the above categories, you may be in danger of having
your phone records accessed, the details of your private
contacts parsed over and analysed quite possibly on the
flimsiest of bases.
The blowing storm over the Garda Siochna Ombudsman
Commission (GSOC) accessing the phone records of
journalists without their knowledge raises fundamental
questions. It has been revealed that GSOC has accessed the
records of at least two reporters. That case relates to a
complaint from an associate of the late model, Katy French,
who died in 2007. At least eight inquiries are being
conducted by GSOC into alleged leaks from the force.
Katy French
It should be pointed out that many leaks from An Garda
Siochna concern tittle tattle at best, and unwarranted
intrusion at worst. The law deeming it an offence for
members to release any unauthorised data was brought in
by then justice minister Michael McDowell in 2005. He had
been outraged at a leak about a casual assault on his son, a
minor at the time, in Dublin. Many would have sympathy
with McDowell on that score.
However, there is also much information passed on from
members which is in the public interest. In a force that is
culturally closed in terms of information in total contrast
to police forces in the neighbouring jurisdiction for instance
leaks are going to take on a greater significance.
In terms of complaints about garda leaks, there is no
benchmark to determine whether or not the information
passed is in the public interest, particularly if its not in the
interests of garda management. This would be the case with
any garda whistleblower releasing unauthorised information.
(It is unclear whether the Protected Disclosures Act 2014
would cover whistleblowers in all instances.)
Now we are encountering a scenario whereby GSOC is
accessing the phone records of reporters as part of an
investigation into leaks. The reporters in question were not
informed that their data was being examined, which is
perfectly legal.
GSOC acquired the powers to act in this manner following an
amendment last year to the Communications (Retention of
Data) Act 2011, granting new powers to the investigative
body.

The commission acquired a range of extra powers on foot of


concerns of maladministration and worse in the force.
But what safeguards are there? For instance, on the face of
it, the powers would allow GSOC access the server of large
media organisations like RT in order to locate historic
emails. This could involve GSOC parsing emails that have
nothing to do with its specific investigation.
Other civilians who are not engaged in the media may also
be subjected to this intrusion. If a gardas records show the
number of, for instance, a relative of a reporter, GSOC can
access that persons records on the basis they could be
relevant to the inquiry.
Then there is the politics at the interface of police and
media. When, in recent years, GSOC found itself at
loggerheads with An Garda Sochna, a number of reporters
appeared to be only too eager to take sides, lining up with
the force, skewing coverage to the detriment of GSOCs
profile. There is no defence for such activity, but it is obvious
that some reporters felt compelled to go down that route.
Now, GSOC, if it was so minded, can wreak revenge,
obtaining records of hostile reporters and parsing them for
all they are worth. This could in turn open up new avenues of
curiosity, from which could be garnered a whole gamut of
information that may be of use, or may just be handy to
store away for future reference. All, of course, in the name of
legitimate investigation.
What of a complainant to GSOC who is unhappy with how a
complaint is being dealt with? If he or she wishes to highlight
shortcomings, the obvious avenue to explore is contact with
a reporter. This is arguably in the public interest, but now
GSOC has the power to access emails that might contain a
complainants file being sent to a reporter. Is that right and
proper?
This is not to assume or suggest that GSOC personnel would
operate outside either the letter or the spirit of the law. But
long and painful experience has shown us that when there
are no constraints on power it will inevitably be abused. The
control on this power is very loose at best. The civilian is not
informed that his or her records are being accessed. There is
no forum to facilitate an appeal of the intrusion. The only
provision for oversight is an annual review by a High Court
judge, which really is precious little oversight at all.
Accessing records in a barely controlled manner is not new. A
chief superintendent can authorise the access of personal
communications in pursuit of a criminal investigation. But
here also, oversight is skimpy. An audit by the Data
Protection Commissioner in 2014 showed the force had
requested up to 60 private phone records a day over the
course of 2012. The audit also found that in some instances
the authorisation did not come from a chief superintendent,
and that a few high-profile celebrities had had their records
accessed for no obvious reason.
Frances Fitzgerald

In the current case involving GSOC, Minister for Justice


Frances Fitzgerald ordered a review of the powers last
weekend. This represented a volte-face on her position 24
hours earlier when she had no problem with the situation. In
the meantime her colleague Leo Varadkar had admitted he
found the whole thing a little bit odd and sinister. The last
time Mr Varadkar stated the obvious about goings on in the
area of criminal justice it ultimately led to the resignation of
a commissioner. So now Ms Fitzgerald wants a review.
A lot more than a face saving review is required if this power
is to be properly contained. In the UK, a judge must sign off
on any request to access records in this manner. This at the
very least is required. But it should also be the case that
anybody whose records are to be accessed must be informed
that they are being subjected to this scrutiny.
http://www.irishexaminer.com/viewpoints/columnists/michael-
clifford/journalists-investigated-gsoc-powers-need-to-be-reined-in-
376891.html
answers the questions you may be asking about recent
revelations in the Maurice McCabe affair.

Q. Why is the Garda whistleblower saga the subject of


yet another investigation?
A. Because the first one, the Fennelly Commission, only
examined the circumstances leading to the resignation of
former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan over his
handling of the whistleblowers, while the second one, the
OHiggins Commission, only examined whistleblower claims
of Garda malpractice in the Cavan-Monaghan district.
Q. Only two? It seems like there were more than that.
advertisement
A. Thats because there have also been three different
inquiries and reports into penalty points fixing as revealed by
whistleblowers plus the Guerin Inquiry which led to the
OHiggins Commission, and then the ONeill Inquiry which
has led to the newly announced Charleton Commission.
Q. So whats left for Judge Charleton to examine?
A. The treatment of whistleblower Maurice McCabe by senior
members of the garda who, it is alleged, ran a deliberate
smear campaign against him to try to undermine his
credibility.
Q. Who has made these allegations?
A. The former Garda press officer, Superintendent David
Taylor, who says he was instructed by his superiors to brief
media that Sgt McCabe was unreliable, was motivated by
malice, and was facing investigation on a serious criminal
issue.
Q. Which superiors are we talking about?
A. Former commissioner Martin Callinan and/or current
commissioner Noirn OSullivan is how the proposed terms of
reference put it.
Q. Presumably neither will be thrilled about a probe?
A. That would be a safe assumption. Callinan has been down
this road before and its unlikely he wanted to spend any
more of his enforced retirement revisiting the scene, and
OSullivan has been issuing strenuous denials of any
wrongdoing and fending off opposition calls to stand aside
until the investigation is complete.
Q. When is the inquiry likely to be complete?
A. The smart answer is: In time for the next commission to
be established. In reality, nine months has been mentioned
but the proposed terms of reference seek a trawl of all
telecommunications records of both Callinan and OSullivan
over a two-year period.
Depending on what that throws up, there could be many
or few witnesses to call.
In addition, there are already calls to widen the terms of
reference to include a number of other events, including a
meeting back in 2008 following which it was claimed Sgt
McCabe said he was making his whistleblower disclosures
because of a grudge against the force.
By chance, he had recorded the meeting and proved he
made no such remarks.
Irish media companies
oppose accessing of
journalists phones
Minister orders review after ombudsman tried to
discover source of police leaks

Brendan Howlin: freedom of the press is a fundamental pillar of our democracy.


Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA
Roy Greenslade
@GreensladeR
Monday 18 January 2016 09.21 GMT
New concerns by journalists about snooping into their
telephone records is not confined to Britain. It has become a
major issue in Ireland too.
The Irish Times reports that some of the countrys largest
media organisations are taking legal advice on how they
can establish whether their journalists telephone records
have been accessed in the course of investigations by state
agencies.
The move follows disquiet over the accessing of two
journalists mobile phone records during an investigation by
the police forces ombudsman into suspected leaks from
police officers. The journalists records were accessed
without their knowledge.
Independent News & Media believes one of its reporters,
Conor Feehan of the Dublin Herald, had his phone accessed
last year. The Sunday Timess Irish office and RT also want
to know if their staff have been subject to surveillance.

Irelands justice minister, Frances Fitzgerald, has ordered a


review into the accessing of journalists telephone records by
the police ombudsman.
Although she initially expressed support for the
ombudsmans procedures, she changed her mind after
noting the intensity of the public debate.
Another minister, Brendan Howlin, has suggested that the
stricter rules in Britain over police access to journalists
records should be examined with a view to implementation
in the republic.
He said: Each application for looking at a journalists
telephone records would be subject to an individual analysis
by an independent judge. He also spoke of the need to
maintain and protect freedom of the press, which is a
fundamental pillar of our democracy.
The National Union of Journalists Irish office has expressed
its concern after the revelations of the police ombudsmans
snooping.
Comment: It comes to something when our wholly
inadequate safeguards in Britain to protect journalistic
confidentiality are regarded as better than those in Ireland.
Worse is the fact that ours are under further threat should
the draft investigatory powers bill be enacted.
As for Ireland, it is good to see at least one Irish senior
politician - Howlin, a Labour party member, is minister for
public expenditure and reform - prepared to argue the case
for journalists.
https://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2016/jan/18/irish-
media-companies-fight-over-accessing-of-journalists-phones
Garda whistleblower John Wilson:
Commissioner Nirn OSullivan should
resign over gangland violence
Mr Wilson said the Government are more concerned with spin
than tackling crime
14 FEB 2016
Gangland thugs have no fear of our broken justice system,
Garda Whistleblower John Wilson has warned.
The former guard, who is running for election in Cavan-
Monaghan constituency, said the Garda Commissioner
should face the sack over the bloody Regency Hotel
shootings.
He said the rule of law in Ireland has broken down, with
criminal gangs now better resourced than an Garda
Siochana.
He told the Irish Sunday Mirror: Were living in dangerous
times where the criminals are better resourced than An
Garda Siochana.
If that incident at the Regency Hotel last Friday had
happened in London, the police commissioner would be
gone, because peoples lives were in danger.
Theyre playing Russian roulette with peoples lives. Those
psychopaths on Friday, they didnt give a damn about the
guards arriving.
They didnt care, because they would have outgunned the
guards. When you have criminals better armed than police
officers, thats like something youd see in a tin pot
dictatorship.
Mr Wilson, who revealed the extent of the Garda penalty-
point scandal, said the Government are more concerned with
spin than tackling crime.
He said: Instead of proactive policing we have reactive
policing and knee-jerk policing.
Before the incident in the Regency Hotel, the minister was
telling us that the guards were fully resourced.
They told us that Operation Thor was solving all the evils in
rural Ireland again that is knee-jerk policing. We should
have proactive policing 365 days a year, but we dont.
He added that our police force is underfunded to the point
that peoples lives are put at risk on a daily basis.

He said: An Garda Siochana are going to remove 55


guards from mainstream policing and put them in a
special armed unit in Dublin. Thats the way it should have
always been.
There should be sufficient armed backup to guards 24
hours a day, all over the country, not just in Dublin.
At least in Dublin, if youre in trouble, armed backup of
some description will arrive within a short space of time.
But in rural Ireland, you have these regional response
units.
Theyre based in Letterkenny, Dundalk, Mullingar and a
few other places. The reality is that if youre in trouble in
Cavan or Monaghan town at 3am, youll be a long time
waiting on armed backup.
Uniformed guards are operating throughout rural
Ireland and along the border. They have no backup, their
lives are being put at risk.
He said that the closure of rural Garda stations had
crippled the force, and handed criminal gangs the
initiative.
He said: The most important weapon that any police
service has is knowledge. That knowledge is guarded by
Gardai working on the ground in communities.
It takes time to build up trust. Flying into a village in a
patrol car in a village where the Garda station has closed
down, and expecting people to talk to you is just not
going to happen. You have to earn the trust of the people.
Community policing is destroyed. Once youve closed
down a garda station, and the gardai have moved to the
local big town, its never the same again.
Mr Wilson said that if he is elected, he will work to bring
tougher sentencing for criminals, particularly those who
target the elderly.
He said: The reality is with the Garda Stations, you could
recruit 5,000 gardai tomorrow. But unless the justice
system is reformed, there will always be problems.
I was a guard for over 30 years. In my experience, the
victim always loses. Until punishment replaces
rehabilitation, nothing is going to change.
When contacted for comment the Garda Press Office
declined to comment on statements from third parties.
http://www.irishmirror.ie/news/irish-news/garda-whistleblower-john-
wilson-commissioner-7366734

Garda under investigation


for allegedly sending death
threats to himself
Wednesday 28th October 2015

Morale in the force is said to be at a particularly low ebb after the


callous murder of Garda Golden

A Garda is under investigation for allegedly


sending death threats to himself in an attempt
to get special treatment in the job.
The investigation has caused disquiet among Garda ranks,
many of whom who have received genuine death threats.
The murder of Garda Tony Golden in Louth two weeks ago
has hammered home the real threats faced by Garda every
day.

Sources said the garda is based in the Leinster area and has
been subject of genuine threats in the past. However, he is
now under suspicion of posting a death threat to his own
home address.

Investigators were able to trace back the purchase of stamps


which were placed on the envelope of the threatening letter,
according to sources. CCTV footage is understood to show
the officer buying the stamps.

The news comes at a time when garda are under increasing


threat from criminal figures.

Just last month a detective based in Louth the division


where Garda Tony Golden and Garda Adrian Donohoe were
shot dead was warned of a threat to his life from
associates of the gang suspected of murdering Garda
Donohoe.

Morale is said to be at a particularly low ebb after Garda


Golden was shot dead by Adrian Crevan Mackin.

Promises were made about resources after Garda


Donohoes murder, but they werent delivered on, said a
source.
Theres a feeling that some people are just going to jack it in
now. People are at a very low point.

An additional 25 uniformed garda were sent by Garda


Commisioner Nirn OSullivan to Dundalk as a temporary
measure since Garda Goldens death. In May it emerged
that garda at Carbury Garda Station in Kildare were issued
with official Garda Information Messages (GIMs) informing
them of credible threats against them.

A gang based in rural north-west Kildare and Offaly were


behind the threats, which saw an arson attempt and shots
fired at the Garda station and at a Garda car.
A leading member of the gang is thug Damien Galvin
(above), who previously told one cop: Ill leave your wife a
widow.

In a sinister threat to one officer, he made the shape of a gun


with his hands and said: Youll remember this day when Im
standing over you with a gun to your head and my c*** in
your mouth.
In May, major criminal Paschal Kelly, originally from Coolock
in Dublin, was jailed for threats to kill a Criminal Assets
Bureau (CAB) officer, among other offences. Kelly flew into a
rage after a CAB officer called to his partners Balbriggan
home, on April 7, 2011, and he subsequently phoned the
officer.

He stated I will kill you, I will f ***ing kill you, before


hanging up, the detective told a court hearing.

Kelly was jailed four-and-a-half years.


https://www.sundayworld.com/news/garda-under-investigation-for-
allegedly-sending-himself-death-threats
Update: GSOC investigation launched after
man dies in garda custody in Buncrana
11 Nov 2013
by News Highland

An investigation has been launched after the death of a man in


Garda custody in Inishowen.
It is understood the man died in custody at Buncrana Garda Station in
the early hours of this morning.
A post mortem will be carried out later today.
No details of the mans age or address have been released.
The matter was referred to The Garda Sochna Ombudsman
Commission by the Gardan Commisioner under legislation which
examines if the conduct of a garda MAY have resulted in death of
serious harm.
A short time ago, Chief Superintendent Terri Mc Ginn spoke to Greg
Hughes on the Shaun Doherty Show.
[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-
content/uploads/2013/11/terrint1.mp3[/podcast]

GARDA SI OCHA NA ACT 2005

http://www.oireachtas.ie/documents/bills28/acts/2005/2005.pdf
Shatter-V Guerin-judgment ALAN SHATTER AND SEAN GUERIN
[2014 No. 478 JR] APPLICANT RESPONDENT JUDGMENT of Mr.
Justice Noonan delivered the 20th day of May, 2015
THE HIGH COURT [2014 No. 478 JR] ... independent inquiry into
allegations made by Garda Sergeant ... Commissioner under
regulation 15 of the Garda
https://www.rte.ie/documents/news/shatter-v-guerin-judgment.pdf
"Report 5, Arrest and Detention of 7 persons at Burnfoot, County
Donegal on May 23, 1998 and the Investigation relating to same
Conclusions and Recommendations- The Danger of Indiscipline"
https://web.archive.org/web/20060927151441/http://www.justice.ie/80
256E010039C5AF/vWeb/flJUSQ6SREZX-en/$File/Morris5thRpt.pdf

Government appoints
outgoing Revenue
Commissioners chairman
head of new independent
policing authority

Tom Brady
EMAIL
PUBLISHED
13/11/2014 | 16:15
* SHARE




1
Josephine Feehily: Soon to step down from Revenue
The outgoing chairman of the Revenue
Commissioners has been appointed by the
government to take charge of the new
independent policing authority.
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald announced this
afternoon that Ms Josephine Feehily would bring a wealth
of experience and competences to her new role.
She will be chairperson-designate until legislation
establishing the authority has been fully enacted.
Ms Feehily as 41 years experience, working in large
organisations at home and overseas.
The authority chairperson will now be actively involved in
the selection of the new garda commissioner.
Candidates for that post have been whittled down to three,
including the current acting commissioner, Noirin
OSullivan.
It is expected that the successful candidate will be
announced early next month.
Draft legislation setting up the new authority was published
earlier this month by Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald.
The authority, according to the minister, will:

Provide an additional layer of public oversight in policing


Create a new engine to drive reforms of the policing
system
Hold garda management to account, including at public
meetings
Develop a key role in the future appointment of senior
garda management.

She described the creation of an independent authority as


the most far reaching reform of An Garda Siochana since the
foundation of the State and a major element of the
comprehensive programme of justice reform being delivered
by the government.
The eight other members of the authority will be appointed
by the government following a selection competition, run by
the Public Appointments Service, and with the approval of
the Dail and Seanad.
The authority will sanction a three year strategy statement
and annual plan, submitted by the commissioner, and will
publish a code of ethics that includes standards of conduct
and practice for gardai.
The legislation will enable the authority to request the Garda
Ombudsman Commission to investigate concerns that a
garda could have committed an offence or behaved in a
manner justifying disciplinary action.
The authority will have oversight of the delivery of a proper
policing service by the Garda, including the efficient
deployment of resources, organisation, administration,
personnel and finance.
But security issues will not come under its remit and
responsibility for them will remain with the commissioner,
who will report directly to the Justice Minister.
http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/government-appoints-outgoing-
revenue-commissioners-chairman-head-of-new-independent-policing-
authority-30742481.html
John Downing: A latter-
day 'Gubu' which cries out
for some long-overdue
honest answers to
disturbing questions

John Downing Twitter


BIO
PUBLISHED
11/02/2017

2
Enda Kenny with members of his Cabinet including ministers (from
right) Frances Fitzgerald, Heather Humphreys, Katherine Zappone
and Mary Mitchell O'Connor, at the start of the 32nd Dil. The current
crisis has thrown the stability of the minority Government into serious
doubt
When does a person in a position of power
"know" something? Does one know something
only when it is conveyed in a form which is
signed and sealed? What status does
"knowledge" have if it is based upon things
widely known and accepted in one's circle and
work environment? What if it is widely
rumoured and/or gleaned from one's own
peripheral vision and surmise?
T
Often in public life, denials of knowledge are effectively
denials of formal knowledge of the signed and sealed variety.
Thus, the word "know" conjures up one of the slipperiest
concepts in the public life.
Questions of who knew what and when are now centre stage
as the reputation of An Garda Sochna continues to take a
hammering. We need to know who in the senior
management of the force knew about alleged efforts to
calumniate the whistleblower, Sergeant Maurice McCabe.
We also need to know who in the Government knew about
the especially pernicious nature of the allegations being
made against Sgt McCabe. And when they knew such things
is just as important. This week, the Government announced
that Supreme Court Judge Peter Charleton would head a full
Commission of Inquiry into these matters.
It is the latest in a clatter of related inquiries into these
dismaying series of events. The Fennelly Commission
examined the circumstances surrounding the abrupt
departure of former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan in
March 2014; the O'Higgins Commission looked at alleged
Garda malpractice in the Cavan-Monaghan district; the
Guerin inquiry probed alleged penalty point "fixing"; and the
O'Neill inquiry looked at the alleged defamation of Sgt
McCabe, which led on the latest full-blown commission.
The above list is a strong indication of the need for some
definitive resolution here sooner rather than later. The
public trust which mandates policing in all democracies has
been deeply eroded and that erosion continues. This reality
means that in the coming week, the Government and the
majority of TDs must nail down effective terms of reference
for Mr Justice Charleton's inquiry.
Interestingly, on this very day 25 years ago, February 11,
1992, the Charlie Haughey era ended in Irish politics with
the election of Albert Reynolds to the posts of Fianna Fil
leader and Taoiseach. Mr Reynolds had many fine qualities,
but he showed himself incapable of maintaining working
relationships in two coalition governments, with different
parties.
And Mr Reynolds lost office after a mere 33 months in an
extraordinary controversy about the extradition of sex
offenders. Those byzantine events, in late 1994, were replete
with claim and counter-claim about who knew what and
when.
Mention of Charlie Haughey conjures up the memory of the
term Gubu, an acronym for "Grotesque, Unprecedented,
Bizarre and Unbelievable." This was Mr Haughey's own
summation of the surreal events in August 1982 surrounding
the discovery of the double-murderer, Malcolm MacArthur,
hiding out in the home of the Attorney General.
The term Gubu is a fit for the current extraordinary turn of
events. These raise serious concerns, we will put it no higher
than that until Mr Justice Peter Charleton completes his
upcoming Commission of Inquiry.
But those concerns centre on contested claims that senior
people used allegations of heinous sex crimes against Sgt
McCabe in efforts to sideline a difficult but honest
whistleblower. A false accusation of "sex abuse" is terrifying,
more so because it embroils the child and family agency
Tusla.
The involvement of Tusla raises more fears and doubts. We
urgently need answers to these issues.
This dizzying farrago has the potential to end careers. It also
has the potential to bring this hybrid Coalition crashing
down in a heap.
The first inkling we got of "sex crimes" being among
allegations against Sgt McCabe was on Wednesday when
Labour leader Brendan Howlin used Dil privilege to raise
the matter. He has been heavily criticised in some quarters
for this - despite the veracity of his statement having been
largely borne out over the ensuing days.
It is worth remembering that Mr Howlin has a credible
record in this regard. He led the charge in eventually having
Garda misconduct in Donegal examined by the Morris
Commission over a decade ago. He is also an unlikely abuser
of Dil procedures as a TD for the past 30 years, a former
Leas-Cheann Comhairle, and a punctilious Public
Expenditure Minister who put through legislation on
whistleblowers.
Explosive revelations on RT's 'Prime Time' on Thursday
night, about the role of Tusla, led questioning to switch
yesterday to Children's Minister, Katherine Zappone. She
met Sgt Maurice McCabe on January 25 last and kept
"relevant ministers" informed.
It brings us neatly back to our opening questions about the
definition of "know".
The strange thing is that on Thursday afternoon in the Dil,
the Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald was directly asked by
Sinn Fin's Mary Lou McDonald if An Garda Sochna and
"any other State agencies" had been in contact over Sgt
McCabe.
Rather falteringly, Ms Fitzgerald said she had no knowledge
of such contacts - bar routine Garda contact with the
oversight body, GSOC. Later Ms Fitzgerald did not miss a
beat when she told Fianna Fil's John McGuinness that
Tusla could be included in the Charleton inquiry. All this
came before the explosive RT Tusla revelations.
It all led to allegations yesterday by Ms McDonald, and Dara
Calleary of Fianna Fil, that the Justice Minister had misled
the Dil. That of itself is a serious allegation for any deputy,
let alone a Justice Minister and Tnaiste.
But Ms Fitzgerald rejected the charges, insisting that Ms
Zappone had told her in mid-January of her intention to
meet Sgt McCabe. But the Children's Minister gave no details
concerning Tusla's role. The Taoiseach, presumably another
"relevant minister", also only knew generally of the meeting.
So, we are left with important decisions being taken here
based on very partial knowledge.
http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/john-downing-a-latterday-gubu-
which-cries-out-for-some-longoverdue-honest-answers-to-disturbing-
questions-35441771.html

Garda inquiry into undercover


English cop 'whitewash'

Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan who was tasked last year with
a second internal inquiry into the activities of an undercover English
police officer:
07 February, 2017
/.related-extra
Metropolitan police undercover officer Mark Kennedy, whose
activities have been the subject of two Garda inquiries
ACTIVISTS who allege a British undercover
police officer operated in Ireland have branded
a Garda inquiry into his activity a whitewash.
Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan was
tasked late last year with a second internal
probe into the activities of a spy from London's
Metropolitan Police after an original inquiry in
2011 found no evidence of criminality.
Campaigners wrote to Justice Minister Frances
Fitzgerald demanding she seek Ireland's
inclusion in a public inquiry in England and
Wales over undercover policing.
Activist Kim Bryan, who claims she was
targeted by Met spy Mark Kennedy in England
and in Ireland, criticised the minister's
response.
"I am bitterly disappointed by the closed
process Frances Fitzgerald has established,
with an internal garda report into undercover
policing," she said.
"It makes a mockery of the justice process if
this review examining undercover policing in
Ireland does not take into account the evidence
of those that were spied on, and as such I
would seriously question its legitimacy."
The Shell to Sea campaign, which opposes the
Shell Corrib gas project in Mayo, and
Shannonwatch, which opposes the use of Irish
airports by US military also claim to have come
in contact with Mr Kennedy.
Ed Horgan, Shannonwatch spokesman and a
United Nations elections' inspector, said: "We
would be very supportive of a proper
investigation into this guy's actions. Who paid?
Why? Were the gardai using such an agent
provocateur?"
Mr Kennedy is believed to have been in Ireland
between 2004 and 2006.
Anti-globalisation campaigner Jason
Kirkpatrick, who says he was a victim of abuses
by the Met's undercover unit, is taking a High
Court challenge in Belfast this week to force
the public inquiry in England and Wales to be
extended to Northern Ireland.
The inquiry was announced by then home
secretary Theresa May in March 2015 under
the leadership of Sir Christopher Pitchford,
following revelations about the activities of Mr
Kennedy, who admitted having ''intimate
relationships with a number of people while
undercover''.
Mr Kirkpatrick and Ms Bryan are among 200
core participants in the Pitchford inquiry.
Forty-two cases have been found where dead
children's names were used to provide cover
identities for officers by the inquiry and there
have been calls to extend the Pitchford inquiry
to cover actions of officers in Germany and
Scotland.
In a reply to a series of parliamentary
questions on the issue of British undercover
police in Ireland, Ms Fitzgerald has repeatedly
said that see would "fully consider" any
findings that relate to Ireland.
The Department of Justice defended its request
for a second internal inquiry on the issue.
"The Garda authorities are in ongoing contact
with their counterparts in the London
Metropolitan Police Service in the context of co-
operation across a full range of policing
issues," a spokesman said.
"It should be noted that there is no question of
a police officer from outside the jurisdiction
exercising police powers here in Ireland. Any
such person is subject fully to our laws and any
evidence of breach of our criminal law would
be fully pursued."
US citizen Sarah Hampton said she has
received an apology from the Met after having
a year-long relationship with Mr Kennedy while
in Ireland in 2005.
She said she knew him as Mark Stone and that
she suffered deep depression after discovering
the truth.
"No-one should ever be under any
circumstance coerced, invaded, violated and
deceived by an undercover police officer
through sexual relationships," she said.
"Despite the apology I have many unanswered
questions. I have not received the files the
police have on me. I want to know to what
extent my private life has been invaded by the
UK police force and what justification is there
for it."
http://www.irishnews.com/news/northernirelandnews/2017/02/07/new
s/garda-inquiry-into-undercover-english-cop-whitewash--922273/

Garda corruption claims


borne out, says internal
report
NEWS DIGEST
PUBLISHED
09/07/2000
'Donoghue considers public inquiry after
threat to implicate senior garda THE result of
a year-long investigation ordered by Garda
Commissioner Pat Byrne into alleged Garda
corruption in the Donegal division will
provide the DPP with the evidence to initiate
prosecutions against at least two and possibly
three members of the force.
The Minister for Justice, John O'Donoghue, is now seriously
considering ordering a public investigation into the
allegations.
The Minister was particularly disturbed to learn that one
garda at the centre of the allegations is threatening that, if he
is charged, he will produce a document purporting to prove
that corruption extends beyond the Donegal area and into
the senior ranks of the garda.
The report, by Assistant Garda Commissioner Kevin Carthy,
will confirm allegations of serious corruption by a handful of
garda in the Donegal Garda division and will demonstrate
that publican Frank McBrearty and a number of garda,
including the wife of a garda officer, were correct in their
claims that certain officers seriously abused their powers in
the district.
Sources close to the investigation have said that the report is
``extremely serious for the garda'' and senior officers are
now conceding that they are ``very worried'' about the
potential consequences for the force. And Department of
Justice sources have told the Sunday Independent they
believe Minister John O'Donoghue will be left with ``no
option'' but to acquiesce to demands for a sworn public
inquiry into the affair.
A further sensational development in the case may be even
more damning than the contents of the Carthy report, due to
reach Commissioner Pat Byrne this week. These new
revelations are expected to force the hand of Minister
O'Donoghue to sanction a public inquiry into Garda
corruption.
The new allegations are contained in an 18-page document
by a garda involved in the Donegal case, who is also one of
the key focuses of the Carthy team. The document details
explosive information relating to alleged Garda corruption
by certain senior officers in Dublin, and he has intimated to
the Carthy team that he will make the document public if
prosecuted in connection with the Donegal inquiry. The
document details the garda's alleged involvement in forging
overtime claims, fabricating evidence and retaining stolen
property all at the behest of his superiors, the garda claims.
The Minister for Justice sought an urgent meeting with Fine
Gael's Jim Higgins and Labour's Brendan Howlin last
Tuesday week, after Mr Higgins informed the Minister that
he had come into possession of documentation detailing
some of the allegations being made by the Donegal officer
against two very senior officers. Immediately following the
meeting between the two Opposition TDs and the Minister,
Mr O'Donoghue sought a meeting with Garda Commissioner
Pat Byrne, during which he instructed him to appoint a
senior officer to investigate the new claims of corruption
being levelled by the Donegal-based officer.
Last Thursday week, the former head of the Criminal Assets
Bureau, Assistant Commissioner Fachna Murphy, was
assigned to investigate the latest twist in the controversy.
The Donegal-based officer has made a series of claims
alleging his involvement in serious wrong-doings while
working on a team in the Dublin Metropolitan Area some
years ago. He alleges that he was urged to fabricate evidence
in a number of serious criminal investigations by two officers
senior to him. He is understood to have told investigating
gardai in Donegal that if he is charged in relation to any
alleged offences in that district, he will make public the
details of his involvement in the alleged wrongdoings while
working on the special garda team and will claim that he
committed these offences with the full support and
encouragement of named senior officers.
Tomorrow, lawyers representing a Limerick man accused of
murder will apply for an adjournment in the trial pending
the outcome of the Donegal investigation on the basis that
they believe that evidence against their client was fabricated
by a garda officer who is now the subject of that
investigation.
The accused, Raymond Casey, one of two people charged
with the murder of Limerick man Noel Pyper in 1997, made
several statements to garda, one of them an alleged
confession. Mr Casey denies the crime and says that he never
made a confession.
Sources close to the Minister for Justice said that when he
learned of the latest allegations, he was ``extremely
disturbed''.
A source said: ``He is awaiting the outcome of the Carthy
report and of the Fachna Murphy inquiry into these
newallegations.''
Meanwhile, reports last week that Attorney-General Michael
McDowell will meet Tina Fowley, a Donegal garda who has
made allegations of serious corruption against certain
colleagues, are untrue. As reported in this newspaper two
weeks ago, the Attorney-General has sought a meeting with
the garda's solicitor, Mr Damien Tansey. The meeting was to
take place two weeks ago but, due to an administrative error,
Mr Tansey did not make the meeting and he is awaiting a
new date from the Attorney-General. There is no question,
however, that the AG will meet with Mr Tansey's client, as it
would be totally without precedent for the most senior legal
officer of the State to discuss a case with an individual so
close to an ongoing investigation.
http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/garda-corruption-claims-borne-
out-says-internal-report-26255399.html
Callfor a Public Inquiry into the Policing ofthe Shell/Corrib
GasProject We support the recent demands for an inquiry into
allegations ofsystemic Garda corruption
http://royaldutchshellplc.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Doc403-
2.pdf
DEATH OF TERENCE WHEELOCK: REPORT BY
THE GARDA SIOCHANA ...
REPORT BY THE GARDA SIOCHANA OMBUDSMAN COMMISSION ...
seeking an independent public inquiry into the death ... the
Garda Commissioner and the Minister
https://www.gardaombudsman.ie/docs/press/20100310-GSOC-
PressRelease.pdf

AN GARDA SOCHNA, A
POLICE FORCE MIRED IN
CONTROVERSY
AND CORRUPTION
October 3, 2016 Crime, Current Affairs, Politics 2 comments
Repeated allegations of systemic corruption have been
made by independent politicians and journalists against
sections of An Garda Sochna, Irelands national police
service, since at least the 1980s. These accusations
have ranged in severity from claims of undue influence
on the force by the main establishment parties, the
press and major business interests to out-right criminality
by individual officers. These fears have been given
renewed impetus in recent years thanks to a handful of
conscientious whistleblowers in the organisation leaking
stories of Garda law-breaking to attentive TDanna and
Seandir. Of course the Garda, the Director of Public
Prosecutions (DPP), the Department of Justice and the
government as a whole (of whatever composition) have
sought to limit the damage caused by these revelations
rather than seek out their remedy.
As I argued back in February of 2014:
The importation, sale and production of illegal
narcotics generates huge revenues for organised
criminal gangs and their associates in nation-states
across the Western world. These black market
operations do not exist in isolation but are part of far
larger networks of co-operation that exist on both
domestic and international levels. Truly successful
narco-gangs survive in part because they have
suborned a significant portion of the citizenry they
work among: specifically those in positions of power
and influence, and those who can impede or facilitate
their criminal enterprises. This has been observed in
several Latin American countries, in Asia, in Africa
and in a number of European territories. So can we
really believe the repeated assurances that our island
nation (where several underworld gangs have
diversified or morphed into narco-terrorist
organisations, deploying automatic
weapons, improvised explosive devices and no end of
willing recruits), is free of corruption in the spheres of
politics, policing and the judiciary?
That lack of confidence in the moral probity of the
institutions of the state is even more apparent two
years later. From a report in last weekends Sunday
Times newspaper:
Garda aided drug dealer, finds inquiry
An internal investigation into allegations of
gardai collusion in heroin dealing in a midlands
town has found evidence to substantiate
claims made by a police whistleblower in 2014.
The inquiry has also established that a senior
garda was warned about fears of corruption in
the force by members of the drugs squad in
2009 but took no meaningful action.
According to security sources, the internal
inquiry concluded that one garda was in a
relationship with a female heroin dealer One
witness told investigators that he was present
when this garda alerted local criminals to a
planned garda search the following day
The inquiry noted that in one notorious incident the
DPP was unable to proceed with the prosecution of a
known drug-dealer because it concluded that
members of An Garda Sochna in the small, rural
policing division were helping a rival gang eliminate
its competition.
The Broadsheet reminds us of a speech made in Dil
ireann on May 15th 2014, by the Sinn Fin TD Pearse
Doherty:
More than a month ago I was contacted by a
serving member of An Garda Sochna who
relayed to me very disturbing allegations in
regard to Garda practices in the Westmeath
division but not exclusive to that division. I
subsequently met with this garda and have
had a number of telephone conversations with
him since.
On the day that the former Minister for Justice
and Equality, Deputy Alan Shatter, resigned,
that garda called me and told me that as a
result of that resignation he now had more
faith in the confidential recipient process
Garda Keith Harrison claims that as a result of
arresting a member of the drugs unit in
Athlone for drunk driving, that Garda
management maliciously set out targeting him
while the arrested garda was afforded
protection by Garda management.
He claims that a managerial review of his high
work returns and practices was instigated and
persons who had past interactions with him in
the execution of his duties were invited by the
Garda to make complaints against him.
He claims that during this period from
September 2009 until March 2011, he was
office-bound while the garda he arrested, who
had been found with a high concentration of
alcohol, was still driving official vehicles and
carrying an official firearm.
Garda Harrison makes serious claims about
how the drunk driving case was struck out of
court on dubious rulings and how evidence
relating to the case was stolen by a member of
the Garda.
He also claims that a member of the Garda of
officer rank stationed in the Westmeath
division prevented successful prosecution of
individuals in a number of cases.
On Monday, I met with Garda Harrison again.
At that meeting there was also Garda Nicky
Kehoe, who is another serving Garda
whistleblower, and who has made serious
claims in regard to the connection of a major
heroin dealer in the Midlands and a senior
member of the drugs unit.
At that meeting copies of sworn affidavits were
given to me from both garda. Garda Harrison
claims that he had suspicions about a member
of the Garda who was working within the drugs
unit who may have been knowingly allowing
the sale and supply of drugs within the Athlone
district and that he had raised this with
management, but he claims that it fell on deaf
ears.
On the same day there was also this contribution
to An Dil by Mick Wallace TD, of the Independents 4
Change grouping:
One such story comes from a former garda
called Jack Doyle. His story gained some
attention around 2000. He revealed some
serious drug involvement by garda in the Cork
area and at the time the Garda authorities
confirmed that undercover garda had been
involved in the importation of illegal drugs into
the State in what they described as controlled
operations.
However, a spokesman said that these
operations were necessary in order to bring
the leaders of criminal drug gangs to justice.
Garda management rejected calls for an
inquiry into claims made by Jack Doyle, saying
nothing inappropriate had occurred.
We got a 27-page report from Jack Doyle into
the background to what went on. I will read
less than a page of it. He was speaking with
one of the drug runners with whom he had
become acquainted:
He recounted to me how they had many
opportunities to arrest the boss of the criminal
gang but failed to do so. When asked why, he
replied, They have a senior garda in their
pocket. He then recounted an incident in
Rosslare when he was returning with a
shipment of drugs. A customs officer stopped
him and was about to search his jeep when
two plain-clothes garda commandeered the
jeep and drove out of the terminal at speed,
being pursued by customs officers. A high-
speed chase ensued and the garda lost their
pursuers. As a result of this incident he said he
would never personally bring drugs in again.
He then proceeded to tell me about the many
runs he had done, bringing in cocaine, ecstasy,
cannabis and firearms. Massive amounts of
drugs were coming in and quantities were
allowed to get into the hands of the criminal
gang. He told me how he was being well
looked after financially by both the criminal
gang and the garda.
He then went on to tell me where he had left
a handgun in a wooden area in Cork. He
contacted a particular detective sergeant and
told him of the location, and drawing a map in
the area pinpointed it. On finding the location,
two garda threw in a number of firearms to
beef up the find. He explained that the press
reported it as a subversive arms find. When I
asked him why they would do this, he replied,
To further their careers in the force.
Their careers have progressed and one of them
is now an assistant commissioner. He was
appointed by the former Minister, Deputy
Shatter, and this same individual was involved
in the Boylan case which entails a very similar
story to Jack Doyles.
Jack Doyles career did not progress. He turned
up at his place of work one day and was told,
Jack, youre not coming in here. Youd better
go home. Youre finished, Jack. But, listen,
youll be grand; well look after your pension.
He was forcibly retired. That one of the garda
involved is now an assistant commissioner he
could actually be the next Commissioner
emphasises how important it is that the new
Commissioner should come from outside the
State with a new hierarchy built around him or
her as otherwise problems will not go away.
With suspicions that some serving garda have been
directly or indirectly complicit in drug-dealing,
gangland murders, the sexual abuse or
disappearance of children, and other crimes it is
worth remembering to what extremes the allure of
self-advancement will take some officers:
Senior Irish police officers planted fake IRA
bombmaking equipment and ammunition on
both sides of the Northern Ireland border to
reap praise for discovering them, according
to a report published yesterday.
The police from county Donegal in north-west
Ireland, went to bizarre lengths to orchestrate
high-profile bogus finds of homemade
explosives, bullets and fake prototype IRA
rockets in the early 1990s.

A PATTEN REPORT FOR A


REFORMED GARDA SOCHNA
May 31, 2016 Crime, Current Affairs, Journalism, Politics Leave a
comment
In relation to the latest evidence of malpractice within the
ranks of An Garda Sochna, one cannot but help feel
that, as always, the continuity state is looking after its
own through the familiar tactics of dissemblance and
avoidance. Put these controversies on the long finger,
while making the appropriate noises of concern, and
sooner or later the news cycle will turn over. There are
obvious reasons for this strategy, not least the benefits
that many establishment figures have derived from the
culture of patronage and cronyism which has
characterized at least part of the Garda force since the
1920s (though let us not forget that there have been
several prominent members of the fourth estate who
have availed themselves of the self-same avenues of
malfeasance in recent years). The early-2000s saw the
lid partially lifted on the brown paper envelope
traditions of local and national government, of councillors
and TDanna, though with little long-term benefit (as RT
aptly illustrated before the last general election). We have
yet to see a similar exercise in stone-lifting among
An Garda to observe what grubby things crawl beneath.
Are the majority of garda engaged in rule- or law-
breaking? No, of course. Is there a significant minority of
garda engaged in what we might term petty corruption,
from the bending of regulations to outright criminality?
Undoubtedly, yes. In some cases, particularly the Mary
Boyle scandal, it seems that petty would be better
qualified as major. Which brings to mind the question,
do we need a Patten Report and an associated
package of root-and-branch reforms for An Garda
Sochna? Unfortunately, the answer is an
unavoidable yes.
Its not as if we were unaware of all this, as can be seen
in this Guardian article from 2004:
Senior Irish police officers planted fake IRA
bombmaking equipment and ammunition on both
sides of the Northern Ireland border to reap praise for
discovering them, according to a report published
yesterday.
The police from county Donegal in north-west Ireland,
went to bizarre lengths to orchestrate high-profile
bogus finds of homemade explosives, bullets and fake
prototype IRA rockets in the early 1990s.
The officers planted the hoaxes at a tense and violent
moment of Northern Irelands Troubles, just before the
first IRA ceasefire in 1994.
Their aim was to impress the Royal Ulster
Constabulary with their skills. The fake finds were so
elaborate and unchecked they fooled a Northern
Ireland minister who commended the Irish
government on the heartening success of one
operation.
The hoax finds began in 1993. Desperate for kudos,
Superintendent Kevin Lennon and Detective Garda
Noel McMahon enlisted an unusual Irish
businesswoman who was to make and deliver much
of their fake arms caches. Described by the judge as
mischievous, Adrienne McGlinchey, 28, was said to
be attracted by the attention and excitement of
becoming an IRA informer for the police although
she had never been a member of the organisation.
When the police found out Ms McGlinchey was a
fraud they decided that rather than discard her they
would use her for the fulfilment of their agenda.
Over a period of more than a year she ground
fertiliser by hand in a coffee machine while watching
television in her flat, stored bomb-making equipment
in her bedroom, and delivered neatly-packaged hoax
weapons stashes.
She even made fake pieces of ammunition to the
police officers specifications, including a bizarre
metal tube with fins coming out of it. The Irish police
sought to convince the RUC that this was a new
prototype IRA rocket.
Ms McGlincheys charade to help the corrupt police
was so melodramatic it was described by one local
resident as reminiscent of the 1970s police show,
Hawaii Five-0.
On September 11 1993, Ms McGlinchey, at the two
officers guidance, carried a lunchbox containing
bullets and shotgun cartridges across the Northern
Ireland border into Strabane, in county Tyrone. She
had been instructed to leave the box behind a shop.
Supt Lennon wanted the package left in Strabane so
that he could demonstrate his skill to the RUC by
alerting them that it was there.
The RUC duly launched a large operation to close
and seal off part of Strabane where they found the
equipment.
This was the first of seven significant hoaxes that
have been detailed in the report. In Donegal Ms
McGlinchey helped police plant ammonium nitrate
and ground-up fertiliser in neatly divided domestic
freezer bags in several locations.
She transported the stashes by bus and once
allegedly in a police patrol car.
One of the caches was discovered by a man walking
his dog near a sweet factory in Letterkenny, Donegal.
Each time the officers were commended on their work
in making the finds, despite the fact the IRA normally
kept their fertiliser for bomb making in fertiliser bags,
not family freezer bags.
In July 1994 the officers spent months preparing two
caches of homemade explosives, including ground
fertiliser, in 70 plastic freezer bags which they were to
discover in farm outhouses in Rossnowlagh,
Donegal.
It was highly unusual to find IRA equipment in farm
sheds that were in use.
Or take this from the news and current website,
thejournal.ie, in 2015:
TWO FORMER SUPPLIERS to the Corrib gas project
told a jury they supplied 25,000-worth of alcohol to
garda in 2007 on behalf of Shell E&P Ireland.
The allegations were made by Desmond Kane and
Neil Rooney, co-owners of OSSL, which had
previously supplied personal protective equipment for
the Corrib gas project in north Mayo.
Both claimed that a person from Shell E&P Ireland
asked them to buy alcohol in Northern Ireland and
store it in a container at the back of their premises in
Bangor Erris.
The two mens claims were made at Castlebar Circuit
Criminal Court last Thursday during the trial of Gerry
Bourke and Liam Heffernan, who were charged with
violent disorder following a protest in a shell
compound in Aughoose, Pollathomas.
Mr Bourke and Mr Heffernan were later found not
guilty by the jury.
Under oath, Mr Neil Rooney claimed that the first
delivery of alcohol to Belmullet Garda Station was
made in 2005, and that in 2007, he was asked by
Conor Byrne, a senior pipeline engineer with Shell, to
make a large delivery.
Mr Rooney, from Downpatrick, Co Down, said he went
to the north and bought 7,000 worth of alcohol.
When Mr Byrne saw the amount of alcohol, Mr
Rooney claimed he was told: you stupid c*nt theres
over 300 guards here, youll have to go back and get
more. He said he bought another 18,000 worth of
alcohol.
When asked by Mr Brendan Nix, SC for Mr Bourke,
what happened to the alcohol, he said he personally
delivered two thirds of it to Belmullet Garda Station
and he named the garda who he gave the alcohol to.
The rest, he said, was to be delivered to the Garda
Sub Aqua Unit.
Desmond Kane, a native of Glasgow said OSSL was
set up in 2000 in Bangor Erris to supply safety
equipment for the Corrib gas project. In 2005 and
2006, he said requests were made by Shell to acquire
modest amounts of alcohol, which was to be stored
at their office in Bangor Erris in a container for Shell to
have and distribute.
Mr Kane claimed that the first consignment of alcohol
brought from Northern Ireland was bought in the first
week in December 2007, but it was not enough and
they were told to get more.
He said he was asked to bring a third of the alcohol to
Athlone Garda Station but was later changed to a
garage on the Athlone bypass. He said he was met by
a man and they off-loaded the alcohol.
Nirn O'Sullivan "was not
aware" of secret meeting
between former Garda
Commissioner and PAC
chairman
Fianna Fils John McGuinness told the Dil last week that he met with the
former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan in a hotel car park two years
ago.
May 30th 2016,
THE GARDA COMMISSIONER has said that she was not
aware of a meeting between former Commissioner Martin
Callinan and Fianna Fil TD John McGuinness two years ago.
Speaking last week in the Dil, McGuinness said that in 2014,
while he was chairman of the Dils Public Accounts
Committee (PAC), he met Callinan in a Bewleys car park to
talk about whistleblower Maurice McCabe.
Speaking in the Dil last week, McGuinness claimed:
Every effort was made by those within the Garda Sochna at
senior level to discredit Garda Maurice McCabe.The Garda
Commissioner confided in me in a car park on the Naas Road
that Garda McCabe was not to be trusted and there were
serious issues about him.The vile stories that circulated about
Garda McCabe, which were promoted by senior officers in the
Garda, were absolutely appalling.

Addressing the claims from McGuinness this evening, a Garda


spokesperson said that Commissioner Nirn OSullivan was
not aware of any private meeting between the two men.
The spokesperson reiterated earlier statements by OSullivan
on the value of whistleblowers in the force and that the garda
were determined to learn from our experiences.
An Garda Sochna agrees that whistleblowers are part of the
solution to the problems facing the service, the spokesperson
said.
The Commissioner has recently appointed a Protected
Disclosures Manager and an appropriately trained dedicated
team will be established to oversee all matters related to
whistleblowers.
Calls for Callinan response
Earlier, Sinn Fins Mary Lou McDonald called for the former
Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan to give an immediate
response to the claims by McGuinness.
In his speech in the Dil last week, McGuinness said that the
political establishment was no help to McCabe and had
attempted to discredit him.
He had to bring forward various pieces of strong evidence to
protect his integrity, McGuinness said, referring to a taped
recording McCabe had of a meeting between himself and two
senior garda.
Every effort was made to ensure he would not appear before
the Committee of Public Accounts.
Every effort was made to dampen down the strong evidence he
put into the public domain, which he had to do to protect
himself, to inform us about what was going on with penalty
points and other issues.
Meeting in Bewleys car park
Speaking on RTs News at One, Mary Lou McDonald, who
was also a member of the Public Accounts Committee at the
time, said she also was not aware of the meeting between the
pair.
McDonald said she was conscious that there was no appetite
in the system for Maurice McCabe to appear before the
committee.
McGuinness today defended his decision to only reveal details
about the meeting last Thursday.
He said he did not bring the matter forward at the time as it
may have scuppered the Public Accounts Committee and the
testimony of McCabe.
I believe I was correct in doing it that way, he said.
The former PAC chair said he has gone public with the
information now as McCabes integrity continues to be
questioned today.
Culture within garda organisation
He said serious questions remain about the culture within An
Garda Sochana and said whistleblowers continue to be under
siege.
McDonald said she understood why McGuinness did not go
public about the meeting before McCabe appeared before the
committee.
She said she understood why he was fearful of derailing of
that process.
I think there was merit in that concern, she said, adding it
was well-founded.
It was extremely important to hear the testimony from
Maurice McCabe.
However, she said McGuinness should have brought the
information about the meeting to the OHiggins Commission of
Investigation.
McDonald said an immediate response from the former
commissioner was now needed.
She also wants to know what the nature of the exchange was
between the two, and asked what knowledge the current
Commissioner OSullivan had of these matters.
http://www.thejournal.ie/martin-callinan-mcguinness-2796184-
May2016/

Shell asked for 25,000 worth


of alcohol to be delivered to
garda in Mayo, court told
The detailed claims were made in a Mayo court last week.
Jul 21st 2015,

TWO FORMER SUPPLIERS to the Corrib gas project told a


jury they supplied 25,000-worth of alcohol to garda in 2007
on behalf of Shell E&P Ireland.
The allegations were made by Desmond Kane and Neil
Rooney, co-owners of OSSL, which had previously supplied
personal protective equipment for the Corrib gas project in
north Mayo.
Both claimed that a person from Shell E&P Ireland asked them
to buy alcohol in Northern Ireland and store it in a container at
the back of their premises in Bangor Erris.
The two mens claims were made at Castlebar Circuit Criminal
Court last Thursday during the trial of Gerry Bourke and Liam
Heffernan, who were charged with violent disorder following a
protest in a shell compound in Aughoose, Pollathomas.
Mr Bourke and Mr Heffernan were later found not guilty by
the jury.
Under oath, Mr Neil Rooney claimed that the first delivery of
alcohol to Belmullet Garda Station was made in 2005, and that
in 2007, he was asked by Conor Byrne, a senior pipeline
engineer with Shell, to make a large delivery.
You stupid c*nt
Mr Rooney, from Downpatrick, Co Down, said he went to the
north and bought 7,000 worth of alcohol. When Mr Byrne
saw the amount of alcohol, Mr Rooney claimed he was told:
you stupid c*nt theres over 300 guards here, youll have to go
back and
get more. He said he bought another 18,000 worth of
alcohol.
When asked by Mr Brendan Nix, SC for Mr Bourke, what
happened to the alcohol, he said he personally delivered two
thirds of it to Belmullet Garda Station and he named the garda
who he gave the alcohol to. The rest, he said, was to be
delivered to the Garda Sub Aqua Unit.
Mr Rooney also claimed he was a witness to a protest at
Pollathomas pier on 11 June, 2007, when he was delivering a
portacabin. He described the day as the worst day of my life.
Protesters were climbing on his machinery, and Mr Rooney
claimed that Supt Joe Gannon, who was in charge of policing,
said to him:
I want to drive the f**kers [protesters] into the sea.
The jury was told that Mr Rooney made a statement about the
incident to Terry Nolan, the then CEO of Shell E&P Ireland, in
Shells offices in Bangor Erris.
He wrote the statement and I signed it. I was accurate and
truthful in the statement, he said.
Deteriorating relationships
However, Mr Rooney claims that on 21 September 2007, he
was in Dublin airport when he received a call from Mr Nolan,
who told him that he needed to change the statement.
He claimed that Mr Nolan said the Garda authorities would
nail Joe Gannon to the cross for what he had said about the
protesters, and that he is our man, who needs protecting at all
costs.
Mr Rooney said that he refused to comply, and that his
companys relationship with Shell deteriorated rapidly
afterwards.
Desmond Kane, a native of Glasgow said OSSL was set up in
2000 in Bangor Erris to supply safety equipment for the Corrib
gas project. In 2005 and 2006, he said requests were made by
Shell to acquire modest amounts of alcohol, which was to be
stored at their office in Bangor Erris in a container for Shell to
have and distribute.
Mr Kane claimed that the first consignment of alcohol brought
from Northern Ireland was bought in the first week in
December 2007, but it was not enough and they were told to
get more.
He said he was asked to bring a third of the alcohol to Athlone
Garda Station but was later changed to a garage on the Athlone
bypass. He said he was met by a man and they off-loaded the
alcohol.
Investigation a joke
Last year, a Garda Sochna Ombudsman Commission (GSOC)
investigation into allegations found [no] evidence of the
purchase or delivery of alcohol to Garda stations, nor of any
misconduct of Garda members.
Supt Thomas Murphy was also appointed to investigate the
allegations, and Mr Kane told the jury that both he and Mr
Rooney met him in a hotel in Tallaght and spoke to him for a
number of hours.
Mr Kane also claimed he met with Johan Groenewald, an
official from GSOC, who investigated the allegations. He
claimed Mr Groenewald told him the investigation was a
f***ing joke.
Mr Kane said they fell out with Shell as a result, and that the
refusal to change the statement had cost us our livelihood. He
said all deliveries to Belmullet Garda Station were done in
unmarked vehicles, and the receipts for the alcohol were
destroyed.
Patrick Reynolds (prosecuting BL) chose not to cross-examine
Mr Kane and Mr Rooneys evidence, as he deemed it irrelevant
to the case. Judge Petria McDonnell ordered the jury to
disregard the evidence when deliberating on their verdicts.
In a statement regarding the allegations made by Mr Kane and
Mr Rooney in court, Shell stated that there was no substance to
the allegations.
These allegations have been ongoing since 2010. Over the last
five years Shell has taken the allegations very seriously. Three
investigations, both internal and external have taken place.
Shell welcomes the findings of the investigations by An Garda
Sochna and GSOC, which concluded that that there was no
substance to the allegations, the statement read.
http://www.thejournal.ie/shell-to-sea-alcohol-2228656-Jul2015/

GSOC finds no evidence of


booze deliveries for garda at
Shell project
It was alleged last year that a company contracted by Shell supplied
alcohol to Belmullet Garda Station.
Jul 10th 2014
AN INVESTIGATION HAS found no evidence that garda in
Mayo were supplied with alcohol by a company at the Corrib
gas project.
A number of allegations were made in the middle of last year
that OSSL, a company that procured materials and services for
Shell, had delivered 35,000 worth of alcohol to Belmullet
Garda Station in December 2007.
A report published this evening by the Garda Sochna
Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) found no evidence of the
purchase or delivery of alcohol to garda stations, nor of any
misconduct of garda members.
It warned that the allegations had the potential to undermine
public confidence in the force.
The report claims that the company that was the subject of the
report withdrew their cooperation with the investigation once
GSOC requested a number of documents such as bank
statements and proofs of purchase.
Numerous garda were interviewed as part of the investigation.
These ranged from those who were named by the company
involved, and also those who were involved with the station in
December 2005, December 2006, and December 2007.
We hope that publicly explaining the proportionate, fair and
independent investigation of this matter will promote
confidence of members of the public and of the Garda
Sochna in police oversight in this country, the report
concludes.
REPORT, PURSUANT TO SECTION 103 OF THE GARDA SIOCHANA ACT
(2005), INTO ALLEGATIONS OF PROVISION OF ALCOHOL TO CERTAIN
GARDAI AND RELATED ISSUES

http://cdn.thejournal.ie/media/2014/07/20140710s103.pdf

Radio review: Hugh


McElvaneys damning,
flummoxing interview
The county councillors account of his role in RTs sting
speaks volumes about the atmosphere of impunity in Irish
politics
Tue, Dec 8, 2015, 16:45 Updated: Tue, Dec 8, 2015, 17:51

Mick Heaney
Speaking on the Joe Finnegan show on Shannonside Radio, Councillor Hugh
McElvaney spoke openly about asking for bribes and incriminating himself to
'show RT up'. Audio: Shannonside Radio
Its a live broadcast that has already become a sensation, an
unintentionally hilarious snapshot of a harried public figure
trying to maintain their dignity while caught in the eye of a
tremendous storm.
Irish police planted
bogus IRA weapons
Corruption inquiry finds senior officers hoped to
impress RUC
Senior Irish police officers planted fake IRA bombmaking
equipment and ammunition on both sides of the Northern
Ireland border to reap praise for "discovering" them,
according to a report published yesterday.
The police from county Donegal in north-west Ireland, went
to bizarre lengths to orchestrate high-profile bogus finds of
homemade explosives, bullets and fake prototype IRA
rockets in the early 1990s.
The officers planted the hoaxes at a tense and violent
moment of Northern Ireland's Troubles, just before the first
IRA ceasefire in 1994.
Their aim was to impress the Royal Ulster Constabulary with
their skills. The fake finds were so elaborate and unchecked
they fooled a Northern Ireland minister who commended the
Irish government on the "heartening success" of one
operation.
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