The Deputy constantly confuses the investigative and operational roles of An Garda Síochána and my role as Minister for Justice and Equality. I am advised the Garda received no complaint regarding the matters the Deputy raises.
I take with great seriousness the breach by any news media of individuals’ privacy, and any action that could detrimentally impact on the lives of individuals, particularly where the information is false or is obtained and contrived to be put into a narrative to do individuals down. I take that with the greatest of seriousness, as I do, in particular, aspects of information that might impact on people’s private family life, or tragedies that occur in their lives.
In the context of matters being criminally prosecuted in Britain I will not say anything – and I ask the Deputy to be cautious in how she articulates these matters in this House – that could prejudice issues before the British courts, and which could be interpreted as so doing, to the benefit of individuals who are facing serious criminal charges. I will not say anything in this House that could be so interpreted.
If there are issues of illegality and if there is an investigation that An Garda Síochána should conduct in this context, a formal complaint needs to be made to the Garda. If the English authorities are investigating issues effectively, with the result that appropriate individuals are being brought before the courts it is for the Garda to determine whether to leave these matters to the British police or if there are matters to be investigated separately in this jurisdiction.
If the Deputy has information about News International or any media outlet in this State infiltrating the telecommunications systems, e-mail or telephone, of any individual in this State I ask her to furnish it to me and I will furnish it to the Garda and request that it consider the matter with a view to its investigation.