Criminal Justice Bill, 1983: Second Stage (Resumed).

Question again proposed: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time".

Limerick East): First of all, I should like to repeat what I said on a number of occasions, that when I proposed the Criminal Justice Bill here and in the other House I maintained consistently that I was not putting forward a panacea for the crime situation here. I consistently said that I saw it as part of a procedure which would help in the fight against crime but certainly was not being advanced as a complete or ultimate solution. I think it is important that the criminal law be reformed. The Garda need particular powers and this Bill gives them the powers they need. I think certain procedures in court also need to be reformed. There are miscellaneous sections in the Bill which take up particular points and deal with particular aspects of the law which need to be reformed.

I accept the views expressed that the Criminal Justice Bill on its own will not in any major way solve the crime problem in our society. Many Senators in their contributions talked about the Garda Síochána and were critical of them. I accept the Garda Síochána are in need of reform and that their system of organisation needs to be looked at, and it is being looked at. Since I became Minister there has been a major policy change of putting more gardaí back in the streets, putting more gardaí into uniform and making them available to the people. That is being done. That is going to be a contribution in the fight against crime.

Secondly, the Garda Síochána now are at their greatest strength since the foundation of the State and we intend to keep it that way over the next three years, at 11,400. Recruitment will continue to keep the Garda Síochána at that level. Also, the Garda are better equipped now than they were ever before. There are complaints frequently about the lack of a communications system. Up to December of last year £6.5 million was spent on a radio system which is operational in many parts of the country now and is being installed in the rest of the country. The greater Dublin area is being treated as a separate project and tenders for a contract will be placed for that particular segment of the communications system in the very near future. That will proceed at the end of this year and it will be completed early next year.

Senators, TDs and many members of the public have criticised Garda recruitment and training. I do not agree with the method by which gardaí are recruited and I intend to change it. When I became a Minister there was a Garda recruitment campaign in progress. People had done examinations, lists were being drawn up and interviews were being conducted. That culminated quite a time after I became Minister. People are being called to Templemore from that panel now and will continue to be called until about the middle of next year. I inherited that particular recruitment campaign but I do not intend that any future recruitment campaign will be organised along the same lines. I am a strong advocate of different selection procedures for the admission of young gardaí into the training centre in Templemore. I am also having the training of gardaí examined. I have seen the contributions of Senators and read the points made by them. I think Senator Brendan Ryan said there should be at least two years training. That may be so. I am conscious of the criticisms that are being made of Garda training. That will be examined also.

Many Senators said that the Garda Síochána should be more oriented towards the communities in which they serve. That is also happening. One aspect of this is the garda in uniform on the same beat and getting to know the people. The second aspect of it is the introduction of community gardaí, where one particular garda in a uniform is in a particular housing estate and makes contact with the local people, especially the young people, and again that is being done. Another aspect is the pilot experiments on the community watch schemes. One of these is being conducted in Finglas at the moment. A second one is about to commence in the Springfield area in Templeogue. The initial results from the community watch scheme are satisfactory. It seems to be a scheme which will be of great benefit in the fight against crime. I hope when the pilot schemes are evaluated that this can be extended further into the community.

I am not advocating the Criminal Justice Bill and the idea of extra powers for the Garda Síochána as the solution to the crime problem in this country. What I am saying is that it can form part of the solution which involves not only the organisation, recruitment, training and development of the Garda Síochána but also involves the courts and the prison system.

On the courts side, I have said that I am unhappy about the range of sanctions available to the courts. I think that people can be sentenced to prison now when a different sanction would be more appropriate. I introduced a Community Service Bill here in the Seanad and that is being implemented as well. The appropriate professional staff are being recruited. Many of them have been recruited and in the next session of the courts that particular scheme whereby in effect people will be sentenced to work in their community for a number of hours rather than sentenced to jail will be implemented carefully and gradually in the way that I outlined. That is going ahead.

There has been much criticism here about prisons. The situation I found when I became Minister was that the prisons were in a very bad way. In effect, they were not being controlled from the Department of Justice or by the Minister. We had a situation that there were many difficulties in the prison system. There was an enormous number of people being let out of the prisons prematurely. That situation, after much anguish, has been sorted out to a very large degree. There are 500 people more in prison than there were in December 1982. Again, that is necessary because there is no point in having a criminal justice system in which the sanction is imprisonment if you cannot contain the people in prison subsequently and if people after a very short time in prison are being shed from the system. That is not happening now. People are being shed from the system but only after spending a reasonable time in prison. I say that by way of introductory remark. There is no point in looking at the Criminal Justice Bill in isolation. It has to be seen in the context of the work of the Garda Síochána, in the context of the courts and in the context of the prison system.

A second general point I would like to make before I go on to specific points is the question of a complaints procedure. When this Bill was circulated first a commitment was given that certain sections of the Bill which people found more controversial than others would not be implemented until both Houses of the Oireachtas had a chance to debate and pass a complaints procedure with a very strong independent element. Now the work on that is proceeding. The final draft of it is being examined in the Attorney General's office and I hope that will be published very quickly indeed. It will follow the same procedures as the Criminal Justice Bill naturally and will have to be debated in both Houses at all Stages. People will have plenty of opportunity to make whatever contributions they wish to the Bill introducing this complaints procedure so that the public can be confident that their complaints are being processed in an independent way. That commitment will be fulfilled and I have no intention of signing into force particular sections of the Criminal Justice Bill until that is passed by both Houses. Many Senators referred to that point.

It is not a question of a package deal whereby I am looking for harsher powers for the Garda Síochána and changes in criminal procedure on a kind ofquid pro quo basis that there will be a complaints procedure also. I think people should see the Criminal Justice Bill as a piece of legislation which should be evaluated on its own merits and they should see the complaints procedure in the same way. I do not think it would be proper for us as legislators to get involved in a kind of situation of trading off something we found objectionable against something which we looked on with favour.

Senator Eoin Ryan, Senator Robinson, Senator Hillery and a number of other speakers inquired about the complaints procedure. I do not want to discuss the details of the complaints procedure before it is published but it will have a very strong independent element. The final draft of it is being examined now in the Attorney General's office and I hope to have it published very shortly indeed. Senator Robinson stressed in this context that it was important to learn from the experience of other jurisdictions. I am fully in agreement with this view. Officials from my Department have visited other jurisdictions to study the operation of the complaints procedure. Information has been compiled on the operation of complaints procedures in other jurisdictions. The experiences in those other countries are certainly being taken into account and have been taken into account in the proposals which we have put forward.

Senator O'Leary was very pessimistic, I understand, about the effectiveness of a complaints procedure, whether the investigation is carried out by an independent body or not. He talked about the difficulty that will arise where there is a direct conflict of evidence between the complainant and the garda concerned. After a complaint has been properly investigated and the evidence weighed by an impartial tribunal, if there is a doubt where the truth lies, there is an analogy with court proceedings where the same problem can arise. The accused in this case would be the member of the Garda Síochána against whom the complaint was being made, and it would be like a court where the benefit of the doubt would arise. I do not think this is the crux of the issue. The crux of the issue is that the complaints procedure would be acceptable and that there would be overall acceptability for it procedure and that the public would have confidence in the procedure, that it was a fair and open way of processing a particular complaint. I have emphasised, in the context of what I have said, that I am not advocating this Bill as a cure-all, as a panacea of any sort and Senator Michael Higgins and Senator O'Leary referred to this. I know that the Criminal Justice Bill on its own will not solve the crime problem. It will make a contribution towards the solution.

Senator Robinson quoted Mr. McAuley's article in theIrish Law Times of November 1983 in support of her argument that there is no crime problem that would justify a measure of the kind now before the House. She questioned whether extra police powers could be justified to solve what she described as a fictitious crime problem. There are not many who would agree with this view. The existence of a crime problem is evident in the streets every day. There is scarcely a family that has not been affected in one way or another by the activities of criminals, whether house breakings, or muggings, or car thefts.

That was not quite what Mr. McAuley or I was saying.

(Limerick East): I am sure the Senator will take that up on Committee Stage. The point was made also by Senator Robinson that the Minister should not use past illegal practice of the Garda as a justification for legalising detention. My opening remarks may have been misunderstood here. The point I was making was that, until recent years, it had been generally accepted that the Garda had power to question a suspect in a Garda station and that it was the practice to do so. It was considered that this was an essential part of the investigation of an offence. As a result of court decisions it emerged that the Garda did not have such a power, and the position of the Garda in the investigation of crime was seriously worsened.

It is open to the Oireachtas to rectify deficiencies in the law and it is quite frequently done in other areas of law where defects come to light as a result of court decisions. That is what is now being proposed. The provisions in the Bill empowering the Garda to detain persons arrested without warrant on suspicion of having committed a serious offence are intended to restore the position to what it was thought to have been. The Bill does not give the Garda any new powers of arrest. It has been said quite frequently both in the Dáil and in the Seanad and in public debate that the Bill is giving the Garda new powers of arrest. It is not giving the Garda new powers of arrest. The same rules of arrest will apply. The Garda can arrest at present on reasonable suspicion.

The Bill is saying that they can detain for questioning those who are arrested on reasonable suspicion under the present procedure and law. The power to detain suspects for a reasonable time so as to give the Garda an opportunity by questioning or checking out a story to see whether their suspicions are justified is a power that any police force must have. Every police force I know has it. Right across Britain and Western Europe there are long periods of detention. I do not know of any country in the western European democracies which does not have at least a 24 hour period to enable the police to question suspects in the investigation of a crime before any judicial procedure is introduced — at least 24 hours. In the Bill before us the time we are talking about is far less than that.

I was here for Senator Eoin Ryan's thoughtful contribution. He expressed misgivings about a number of the provisions of the Bill especially sections 15 and 16 which create offences of withholding information about firearms and stolen property, and sections 18 and 19 which allow inferences to be drawn from a failure to account for certain objects, marks, and so on, and of course the detention provisions. He also stressed the need for vigilance not only for the personal rights of suspected or accused persons, but for the rights of the community in general. He made the point that it would be impossible to prove to everybody's satisfaction that exactly the right balance had been achieved. I accept that.

Nevertheless, it is fair to say that, in the various amendments we have made to the Bill since it was introduced, it has been our concern to see that as far as possible we would get the balance right. Only experience, in the final analysis, can show whether we have or not. Throughout the long debate in the other House there was a desire on all sides to get the best possible Bill. I accept what Senator Tras Honan said here. I accept fully that the debate here and in the other House was not carried on in a party political way at all. The contributions were meant to be helpful. As I said in the other House, I will listen to the views expressed here on Committee Stage and I hope we will have a good Committee Stage debate on it.

What emerged from the other House represented the view of a great majority of Deputies, and those Deputies were reflecting the views of the majority of the ordinary decent citizens. Ordinary people are very fed up with the present levels of crime. Even though they have a very strong reaction against crime, I do not think that the ordinary citizen either wants to see people deprived of their liberty unnecessarily or treated in any unfair way. I accept that it is difficult to get the balance right. We have got it right now. I am prepared to debate it in detail on Committee Stage.

Senator Ryan mentioned another point which is probably present to the minds of many people, and I should deal with it. He said people tend to think that the detention provisions would apply to criminals only, whereas this kind of treatment could be meted out to perfectly innocent people. It is the kind of thing that could happen to ourselves or our neighbours, people whom we know to be highly respected and decent people. That was the general drift of what he was saying. Of course it can. It is extremely unlikely, to say the least, but the possibility can never be excluded under any system of criminal justice.

If, for example, I happen to be in or near a group of people and one of them is stabbed, and I happen to have a knife on me for some quite innocent purpose and if, on top of that, quite coincidentally there are other circumstances combining to point the finger at me, then I am in trouble. But I would be in trouble if there was never a Criminal Justice Bill, because I would be very likely to be arrested and charged with an offence, and it would be up to the courts to clear me. There is no way of getting out of the situation where innocent people in compromising circumstances can find themselves having to go through the procedures of the courts to clear themselves. I would be in trouble in the circumstances I have outlined whether this Bill was on the Statute Book or not. At present I could be arrested and brought to the station until my story was checked out. Exactly the same thing will happen under the Bill in those cases. The difference is that at present there is a risk that even a brief period in Garda custody could be held to be unlawful. There is no reason why a person arrested in such circumstances should spend any longer in custody than he would at present. The Bill imposes a specific obligation to release the person from custody forthwith once there are no longer reasonable grounds for suspecting him.

To conclude on that point, let me add that in any case where the arresting garda has not reasonable cause for suspecting a person in the first place, that person has a right of action against the State for wrongful imprisonment. That procedure is not just a kind of paper tiger procedure. The courts are there to see that citizens are not wrongfully deprived of their liberty, and that procedure is open to citizens.

I referred to remarks made by Senator Robinson. Another point made by the Senator was that before introducing this Bill we should have published a White Paper analysing the values of our society, setting out what possible alternative approaches there were and raising these issues for debate. The Senator said that this would have led to an appropriate consideration of how we should address ourselves as a society to the problems and conflicting values and how we could create the best balance and most effective means of coping with the problem. In an ideal situation that is what would have been done but when we took office the situation was very far from ideal. It is very difficult for a Minister who wants to act in an area where there is a problem to start setting up a committee to draw up a White Paper. One aspect of our society is that Governments change frequently. Ministers change frequently also. To get things done, to bring in legislation and face the problems in society, the public would not have been satisfied with a White Paper on crime. They elect a Government to help to solve these problems.

We never had a White Paper.

(Limerick East): It would have been helpful to me if there had been a White Paper in existence when I came into office. We had gone far beyond the White Paper stage as a result of what was happening in the streets and in people's houses and of the fear among ordinary people. Many Senators do not agree with this approach. It is not just a question of the old person who is murdered and is the victim of a particular crime — we had a number of those over the last 12 months — it is also the fear that is generated in the home of every old person that he or she will be the next one to be broken into in the middle of the night. This applies especially in isolated rural areas where fathers and mothers, with grown up families who have long since gone away to the cities, are left on their own. When they hear the radio bulletin about some old person in similar circumstances being beaten up or killed they are absolutely terrified. There is a responsibility on the Government to respond quickly and effectively.

In an ideal situation we could have had a White Paper and we could have discussed everything in the White Paper and subsequently Ministers could have amended the law. Ministers have been talking about amending the law in the whole criminal justice area since 1965. There have been a number of attempts to do so of a major or minor nature.

We have had 19 years in which to produce a White Paper.

(Limerick East): The procedure I adopted was to bring in a Bill into the Houses of Parliament. I was prepared to change it and did not come in with a Bill and say, “This is it, not a comma can be changed in it”. That was a very good exercise in parliamentary democracy whereby Deputies in a non-political way had a major influence over the type of legislation which was subsequently passed in the Dáil.

Senator Robinson mentioned the proposed regulations for the treatment of persons in custody in Garda stations and welcomed them. She asked me to give a detailed indication of the matters to be covered in them. I am not going to do that. A preliminary draft of the regulations is being prepared. A good deal of consultation will be necessary before the final draft emerges. I do not think Senator Robinson will be disappointed with the scope of the regulations when they are tabled in both Houses. They can be debated before they are made. Again I am changing the procedure. It will not be a negative type of motion whereby the regulations will become law if they are not opposed within the 21 day period. I am going to put down a positive motion asking the House to accept the regulations. Deputies and Senators will get an opportunity to make contributions on the regulations. This is a change from the practice which has been going on in these Houses for a long time.

Senator Robinson also mentioned electronic recording of police questioning. A good deal of study has been done on this aspect by the committee established to advise on how best to implement electronic recording. The committee visited England and Scotland to see the progress that is being made there. They are at present examining the system in operation in selected areas in the United States and Canada. I mentioned, when introducing the Bill, that field trials need to be carried out to evaluate recording of questioning whether it is audio or video or both. Until section 4 comes into force we cannot have field trials because there is no power to detain suspects for questioning apart from section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act. I expect that we will be ready to organise these field pilot schemes as soon as those provisions of the Bill are brought into operation.

Senator Hillery spoke about a legal aid scheme that would be applied to persons while in Garda custody. This was also raised in the other House. In present financial circumstances I do not think there is a prospect of this. I would not see this as a priority. There are other ways of ensuring that we achieve what we all want to achieve. He also asked if a list of suitable and willing solicitors ready to provide advice to such persons would be compiled and if the obligation to provide such a list to detainees would be placed on the Garda. I should like to see a scheme worked out by the legal profession which would take into account the practical difficulties of providing a reliable service outside as well as inside normal office hours which would not involve a financial commitment of any serious nature on the State. If the legal profession can come up with a scheme I would favour it.

I am glad of his support on sections 15 and 16 dealing with the withholding of information about firearms or stolen property. The amount of property that must be available for sale is an absolute scandal. I do not know how it is recycled back into the market. If something like £13 million worth of property is stolen I doubt if it is all sold back into the market by personal contact. I do not believe people steal solely for personal use. Videos are not all taken home for people to watch films. They must be coming back into the market in a manner which looks legitimate. They must be coming over the counter in what appears to be legitimate operations.

These sections will help, not so much in apprehending the individual who has been arrested for theft, burglary or robbery, but for tracing back the source of supply to see how these are coming on the market, in what manner the trade is being organised and who the people are who are organising the trade in stolen goods. These sections will come up for review within four years. As everybody is aware, the most controversial sections of the Bill will cease after four years unless they are reactivated. We will have time to evaluate them over a four year period. It is possible that these sections may not be necessary then but that is more a hope than an expectation. There will be a period in which we can examine how these sections of the Bill are working and they can be evaluated at that stage.

The question of the age of criminal responsibility has been raised. Senator Hillery referred to it. This will be dealt with in a Bill promoted by my colleague, the Minister for Health. It is in an advanced stage of preparation. In an amendment which I proposed in the other House I have accepted that the detention sections of the Bill will not apply to young people up to 12 years of age. Whether that will be the figure for the age of criminal responsibility proposed by the Minister for Health I am not in a position to say. What I have done in that amendment is not to change the age of criminal responsibility, but simply to limit the sections of the Bill to people over that age.

Senator Durcan made a great number of points on various sections of the Bill. Many of them would be appropriate for discussion on Committee Stage. I agree with him fully on the need for improving the training of Garda and developing the relationship between them and the people they serve. I said that in my general introductory remarks. I appreciate the crucial importance of this. I want to stress that because of the method of recruitment I have had no opportunity to introduce a new recruitment scheme and consequently it would be difficult to introduce a new training scheme, because no recruitment scheme for gardaí has been initiated since I became Minister. We have been drawing from the examination results of a scheme that was in operation when this Government came into power.

Senator Michael D. Higgins made a very long and worth while contribution. Naturally I respect his views.

While I do not go along with much of what he says I am prepared to listen to him. I know he has very strong views on this Bill. There may be a tendency, as he says, to publicise particularly bad crimes. There is no getting away from the fact that in large urban areas there is a huge increase in the incidence of house-breaking, car stealing and mugging and so on. Ordinary people have been telling their public representatives and through them successive Governments that something must be done. I am putting the Bill forward as part of an answer but I intend to do many other things as well.

Those of us who meet our constituents on a weekly basis at clinics are very much aware of the concern in relation to the crime situation. Based on my experience I am surprised at some of the contributions. I find that law and order in general is a stronger political issue in corporation housing estates than it is in private housing estates. It is an extremely strong issue because frequently these are the people who consider themselves to be most at risk. I find also that law and order is a very strong issue among young people because they find themselves at risk from the small minority of other young people. I have heard many young people talking about the need for changes in the law, about putting gardaí on the streets so that they can leave a disco at night and walk home with their boy friends or girl friends without fear of being interfered with, without fear of being attacked or mugged. I am talking about my own city and about what Deputies tell me is the case in Dublin as well. Some of the contributions, therefore, indicated a perception of what the situation is like on the ground that is different from the perception I have as a result of talking to people in my constituency.

Senator Higgins spoke also about the importance of community public relations, neighbourhood watch and so on. I fully agree with this. I think the procedure I have adopted and that the Commissioner has adopted is the correct one. There are a number of areas which I think will prove fruitful — either the community watch and the identification of property and marking of property schemes which are being introduced or the individual garda who becomes the community garda in one particular housing estate in one particular community. Any of these approaches is valid. What works in one place might not necessarily work in another. I do not think there is one solution. There are a number of things being tried in different parts of the country now and when these are evaluated we can proceed to extend them. When we talk about community watch we are not talking about groups of concerned citizens patrolling the streets. We are not talking about vigilante committees; I absolutely deplore the work of such committees. Even if we accept that many of these committees were set up by people who were concerned about the level of lawlessness in their communities they are being infiltrated by the Provisional IRA and, whatever the concern of the community group, I warn them that to invite in that particular wolf, no matter what brand of sheep's clothing it happens to be wearing at the time, is to put communities at extreme risk. We must be careful when we move towards community policing and the involvement of communities in a structured way with the work of the police that we do not advocate, favour or support any movement towards vigilante groups and certainly we are not going to provide any soft introduction into decent communities for members of subversive organisations under the guise of helping those communities.

The Senator spoke about the provision in section 7 which, he said, offered the guarantee of immunity to the Garda from criminal and civil proceedings. That is not so. Subsection (3) of section 7 proposes that a failure on the part of a garda to observe any provision of the regulations governing the treatment of persons in custody shall not of itself — and I emphasise, "of itself"— render the garda liable to any criminal or civil proceedings. But that does not give an immunity. If a garda breaks the criminal law he is subject to its sanctions. If a garda does something which puts him at risk of civil proceedings there is nothing in this section which gives him an immunity from civil proceedings. The point being made is that these regulations could be quite detailed. They could involve things which are neither criminal offences — or would give rise to civil proceedings. If somebody is supposed to fill up a form putting in name, address, time of arrest, time in custody, occasions on which the person had meals, and he omits to do one of these things, there is no reason why that should be a criminal offence. It need not be a matter for civil proceedings. We should not invent criminal offences for the Garda Síochána which are not criminal offences for the rest of the community. There is no immunity being given in the section. It shall not, of itself, render him liable, but he could be liable under existing law. As I said previously, any failure of this kind, even though he would not be liable to criminal or civil proceedings, could be matters for disciplinary procedures. Again it is worth remarking that the treatment by the Garda disciplinary authorities could be more severe for something like this than the treatment of an offence in a District Court where a very low level of fine could be applied.

I agree with much of what Senator Lanigan said. Some of the points he made will be coming up on Committee Stage and we can deal with them then. I agree with him that the majority of gardaí want the Bill. He said they want to have a situation in their particular areas where they can control the orderly living of people within the area and that they are not interested in harassing anybody. He said there are many gardaí who take a lot of harassment from people and that they do not over react but that we hear about the small minority of gardaí who over-react at times. The Senator praised the vast majority of the gardaí for the constraint they have shown in dealing with difficult situations. That point needs to be made as well.

Even if we come across situations in which gardaí over-react, we should not move too quickly from the particular to the general because, if we do, we can undermine public confidence in the majority of the force who are doing a very good job indeed. There is a difficult situation for us as public representatives in this matter.

People who have contributed in this House have done so in a very fair way, even when they were advocating what they saw as serious criticism of the Garda Síochána. I would not agree with them in all respects but they certainly have the right to do so and this is the place to do it.

Senator Lanigan mentioned also the new complaints procedures and the regulations. I have already dealt with that and I have indicated what my intentions are.

Much of Senator O'Leary's speech dealt with the broad basis underlying any review of criminal law. He put the present level of crime in the context of the general social and economic policies and the economic situation in the country. I do not share his fears of introducing a power to detain people who have been properly arrested while an offence is being investigated. The Garda effectively had this power over a long period in the past and neither the courts nor the legal profession ever suggested that there was anything extraordinary or draconian about it. A series of court cases in the seventies put them in a situation where what they thought to be proper and legal was found not to be legal or proper, and a power which they had since the foundation of the State up to the middle seventies was taken from them. We can argue that they were acting illegally, but they thought they were acting legally. It is quite common that loopholes in the law are found in court proceedings, and it is then the job of the Oireachtas, if they see fit, to restore the particular power, and that is what I am proposing in this Bill.

We cannot approach the Bill as if there was no law outside it and as if there were no courts and no Constitution or no safeguards at all. There are safeguards in the Bill, but there are other safeguards as well. Gardaí as members of a particular force, a disciplined force, are liable to sanctions for their misbehaviour under civil and criminal law, and they also have a very strong disciplinary code of conduct. Some members of the public have become concerned because they have seen in the papers over the last 15 or 18 months many situations in which gardaí were before the courts. Individual members of the force were brought to court for one thing or another, and the reaction was that the Garda are in a frightful state — a garda is up for one thing one week and the next week another garda is up for something else; how can we carry on like this? There is another interpretation that can be put on it also, and I would advocate it seriously. The fact that the Commissioner of the Garda Síochána and senior gardaí investigate the gardaí concerned and bring them before the courts for quite serious offences is a matter which can inspire the confidence of the public in the people who are running the Garda Síochána.

Senator O'Leary says that I want to — and I am quoting him — remove the inviolability of individuals from arbitrary arrest and to allow police forces to arrest an individual on the merest suspicion of their involvement in some not so serious crime. The Bill does not give new powers of arrest to the Garda Síochána. The present law does not allow arbitrary arrest on the merest suspicion. Merest suspicion is not enough to justify making an arrest, and the Garda are amenable to law and to an action for wrongful imprisonment. Senator O'Leary also mentioned the desirability of having a White Paper. I dealt with that when I was dealing with Senator Robinson's contributions. Senator O'Leary complained that the Bill is not implementing the O Briain report. Of course, it does not implement the Ó Brain report because many of the recommendations in that report are not appropriate for legislation, but they will be included in the regulations. I do not think every part of the Ó Briain report is sacrosanct by any means, but I think those who have read the report and are interested in it might be surprised when we come to the end of the process and see how much of the O'Briain report has been incorporated.

There also seems to be a view abroad that something that is done by statutory regulation is some form of second-class law and that for something to be effective it has to be in the text of the Bill. Of course, it does not. What is done by statutory regulation has the same force of law as what is in the Bill, and if the regulations governing the detention of people in Garda custody which will be debated by both Houses are signed by me they will have the force of law the same as the Bill will have the force of law. There are certain matters which are appropriate for primary legislation and there are other matters which are appropriate for regulation, and the treatment of people in Garda custody is a matter which I maintain is appropriate for regulations, and there is no question of my rejecting the recommendations of the Ó Briain report. I am saying that many of these recommendations will be included in the regulations. Senator O'Leary made many positive suggestions for improving police-community relations, and certainly I will give consideration to them.

Senator Fitzsimons recommended that the question be considered of providing legal aid to persons in custody before they are arrested. Again, I have commented on this and have given an indication of where I stand on it. Senator Fitzsimons also mentioned that tape recording should be introduced as soon as possible with an assurance that the tapes cannot be interfered with. I have said that I will be introducing pilot schemes, but it would be impossible for me to put a section into the Bill which said that the detention sections could not operate until all the interviews had been taped, either on sound or video, because there has been very little research into this matter in this country. I have set up a committee, this matter is being researched at the moment and we will proceed with the pilot schemes as quickly as we can.

Senator Ellis suggested that the tape recording of questioning should be made available to the person concerned and to his solicitor. He also suggested that the person should be enabled to set the timing of the recording. The Bill as initiated included a provision for giving, as of right, a copy of the tape recording to the person or his solicitor, and this was deleted during the Committee Stage in the Dáil in order to protect the rights of third parties who might be endangered as a result of disclosure of the contents of a recording. It is envisaged, however, that the facilities for listening to recordings will be made available to the person or his solicitor for the purpose of his defence. With regard to the timing of the recording, this is one of the technical matters that is being examined by the special committee I have established.

People, quite wrongly, suggested that there was an attempt to water down this section of the Bill by the amendment I moved in the Dáil. There was no such intent whatsoever; but on examination it was found that, if somebody in Garda custody makes a statement about a third party, obviously the third party can be affected and if the tape containing references to this is supplied both to the accused and to the solicitor there is a problem there for third parties. There is a problem also of intimidation if serious criminals are questioned. If somebody involved in criminal activity gives information to the Garda Síochána about other serious criminals and a tape of that information is available, that would put the individual who has given the information at risk. If we transfer that kind of scenario to the activities of subversive organisations, how long would it be before it would be mandatory on members of subversive organisations to hand up every tape of any questioning that was conducted in the Garda station so that it would be monitored by their superiors in whatever kind of command structure they have.

Senator Ellis suggested that fingerprints should not be taken before the person is charged since in his view it removed a basic civil liberty. I do not agree with this. One of the reasons for taking the fingerprints of a suspect is to establish by comparison with prints found at the scene of a crime whether he is connected with the crime. Fingerprints can bring about a situation where suspicion is removed from a person just as easily as suspicion is cast on a person. They can be for the benefit of a person. Fingerprinting is essential to the investigation of crime and it is important that this power be available to the Garda. We have a situation where it is impossible for the Garda to take fingerprints of suspects in ordinary crime situations. We have a rampage of burglary all over this city, and it the Garda find fingerprints they cannot match them up with suspects because they have no power to take the fingerprints of suspects. If they find stolen cars abandoned and find that the cars have fingerprints on them — I understand the surface of a motor car is very effective for the retention of fingerprints — again the Garda do not have power to arrest and fingerprint the people they may suspect of having been involved. That is a serious loophole in the law and it is a power being given to the Garda here which I think it will be very effective in the fight against crime.

Senator Ellis also made the point that the Bill does not provide or guarantee that copies of fingerprints records will not be made by the Garda before the originals are destroyed. That is not correct. Section 8 of the Bill provides that every record of a photograph, fingerprint or palm print must be destroyed as directed by the section. There is a strict statutory obligation on the Garda and any failure to comply with it would leave a garda open to serious disciplinary action.

I am sorry that Senator McGuinness left so quickly this morning before she heard my explanation. She also made a contribution to the Bill. She said rightly that the Bill is a response to the demands of the public and the Garda that something be done about the breakdown of law and order. She has doubts as to whether it is a correct response. She went on to refer to the widespread evidence of crime but said that it is nowhere near the level prevailing in the 19th century. This argument has been put forward before now and, with due respect to the Senator, it is a silly argument.

If the standards of the 19th century in society are to be the standards under which we legislate and rule this country, the Senator might have a look at life expectancy in the 19th century. She might have a look at the treatment of children in the workforce in the factories of England. She might have a look at the number of women who died in childbirth. She might have a look at a whole range of statistics from the 19th century, and I suggest that if she finds the crime levels of the 19th century acceptable she will find it very difficult to accept many of the other statistics. It is a spurious argument which has been repeated in newspaper articles and by opponents of the Bill. It is a silly argument. Senator McGuinness also referred to the provisions of electronic recording of questioning. She expressed doubts that it would ever be introduced. This matter was adverted to by other Members also and I have dealt with it. I have said what is to be done.

Senator Lynch posed a number of questions in relation to the operation of various sections of the Bill. He asked how the member in charge of the Garda station could form reasonable grounds for operating detention under section 4 immediately on an arrested person's arrival at the station. He suggested that the person should be informed orally and in writing of his right to consult a solicitor. He had a number of queries also on sections 11, 15 and 16 and I am sure he will raise them on Committee Stage when we are debating the regulations. I do not want to go into that level of details at this stage of the Bill.

The Senator asked if I would submit a summary of all the representations I have received in relation to the Bill in order to afford Senators an opportunity of making a balanced assessment of the Bill. Many representations came from many organisations and the great bulk of them have been published and circulated to all public representatives as well as to me. Certainly I got recommendations on a confidential basis and I will not do that in regard to them, but I think that the main submissions made on the Bill were circulated to all Deputies and Senators and there is no need for me to re-circulate what was in effect sent to everybody already.

The Senator spoke also about the complaints procedure. He was concerned that under the new procedures the responsibility of the Commissioner for discipline might be affected and that a garda might run the risk of double jeopardy. As I said, the complaints procedure would contain a strong independent element and it must impinge on the Commissioner's role in relation to matters of discipline in so far as they are connected with public complaints. I think we should leave this for the detail of the Bill, but I will take into account the point the Senator has made.

Senator Honan sought a guarantee that the people in detention would be treated properly. She suggested that formal instructions should be given to the Garda on their obligations in this regard. This can be done. The regulations which I will be making under section 7 of the Bill to which I have referred will contain a comprehensive code of statutory instructions which will be binding on the Garda. The emphasis in these regulations will be on the proper treatment of all persons held in Garda stations.

Senator Brendan Ryan is a very strong opponent of the Bill. I understand that his contribution was made yesterday. He also made a submission to me previously and has been involved in the public debate. I am sorry that I was not here to listen to him but I think I know his views in detail because he made a submission to me and has been involved actively in the debate. He opposes the Bill vehemently. I have a list of the many points he made. He talked about a campaign of fear and hysteria about the crime situation. There is a fundamental disagreement in my attitude here. There is real fear about the crime situation. People, especially older people, are in real fear. People in corporation housing estates are in fear. Many young people are afraid to come into town at night. It is not hysteria, it is real and there are good, sound reasons for it and an obligation lies on me as Minister and on the Government to do something about it.

The Senator said that reasonable suspicion as a test of gardaí arresting people would bring about a situation where the Garda would have preconceived notions about certain minority groups in society. I do not accept this. Generally speaking the Garda operate the powers they have very fairly. No new power of arrest is being given the Garda Síochána and I have no evidence that particular minority groups are picked on by the Garda Síochána. The Senator said that the powers of search in the Misuse of Drugs Act are too wide and that they are being abused. I have no evidence that they are being abused, but certainly the powers of search in the Misuse of Drugs Act are wider than any powers of search in any other areas of the criminal law.

And are necessary.

(Limerick East): It is fair to comment that legislation emanating from the Department of Health such as the Misuse of Drugs Act and the amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Act which went through the House here——

Like a dose of salts.

(Limerick East): It went through very quickly.

That does not apply to the procedure——

(Limerick East): It strengthened the Misuse of Drugs Act substantially. I was surprised that it did not get the level of searching criticism that legislation emanating from the Department of Justice would have got.

If the Minister was referring to me, I was a major critic of that legislation when it came before this House.

(Limerick East): I am making a general point that the Misuse of Drugs Act is on the Statue Book at the moment, and there are very wide powers there. The Senator brought up a number of examples which in effect was a claim that certain individuals of his acquaintance were ill-treated by the Garda Síochána. I would like him to bring the cases to my attention in detail. I am not going to have a debate about individual incidents here across the House but I would like him to give me the details of these occurrences of which he is so critical.

The Senator talked about the proper training of the Garda Síochána and I accept what he said about that. He said that the Bill is based entirely on the opinion of the Garda Síochána and the Department of Justice. That is not true. Many evaluations took place and the Garda suggested a number of things which were rejected by the Government. The Government took an independent view of this when they were assessing the needs of reforming the criminal law and made up their own minds on it.

Senators might cast their minds back to the debate in the Dáil and various Garda conferences which were taking place around the same time as I introduced amendments to the Bill. The Garda have very strong views about some of the amendments. It was the Government who decided what was in this Bill after a careful evaluation of what was necessary, it was not the Department of Justice or the Garda Síochána.

The point the Senator makes very strongly is that a Bill like this can produce alienation, distrust and fear among the population and especially among young people. There is always a danger that young people especially will be alienated from the Garda Síochána, but the only way to stop the alienation is that many young gardaí would have closer contact with young people, and the solution has to be on the lines of community policing, of involvement of young gardaí in the social activities of the young, the involvement of gardaí in youth and sports clubs, and they are doing that to a very large degree. I know what has happened in other countries, for instance in certain cities in Britain. I know there has been great alienation from the police there and I hope it will not happen here. I do not accept that the powers being given to the Garda in this Bill will bring about alienation from the Garda Síochána.

Many Senators, including Senator Eoin Ryan, referred to the situation in our prisons. Senator Lanigan commented on it. We have problems in our prisons and there is no use denying it. Many of the buildings are quite old. Because of the position in Northern Ireland, the main prisons here, Portlaoise and Limerick, by and large have been devoted to the detention of members of subversive organisations who have been convicted by the courts. Mountjoy is the main prison for criminals and at times there can be up to 500 people imprisoned there. The prison officers there do a very good job in difficult circumstances. Senators have said that the women's prison in Mountjoy is a disgrace. More than 12 months ago I said the women's prison in Mountjoy is a disgrace, and I set about a programme to have it refurbished. The contracts for that will be placed within the next ten days. It is a job that needs to be done.

Senator Lanigan spoke about a PR exercise about the prisons. I have no inhibitions about letting the press into the prisons — they have gone in on a number of occasions. There is nothing to hide. We are trying to treat prisoners in a humane way in very difficult circumstances. The Committee on Crime, Lawlessness and Vandalism under the chairmanship of Deputy Woods, visited Mountjoy recently. Deputy Woods and the Committee seemed to be quite happy with the situation, by and large, but they seemed to be critical of the situation in the women's prison.

The Department of Justice have been trying to provide proper accommodation for women prisoners for a long time. A site was purchased in Kilbarrack, and in 1972 the local residents organised a campaign which made it impossible for the proposed women's prison in Kilbarrack to go ahead. That was before Deputy Woods was chairman of the Committee on Crime, Lawlessness and Vandalism. It was also before Deputy Woods became a member of the other House, before he became a Minister. But the same Deputy Woods was one of the main activists in preventing the building of a women's prison in Kilbarrack. As a Deputy in 1977 he led a delegation to the then Minister for Justice, Deputy G. Collins, as a Deputy representing his constituents, to put on pressure so that there would not be a women's prison built in Kilbarrack. The idea was dropped and the site subsequently disposed of.

I suggest to Deputies and Senators that they cannot have it both ways. If proper accommodation is to be provided for women prisoners it has to be provided somewhere, and if every community rejects attempts to provide accommodation there is a major difficulty. I can only work in the circumstances in which I find myself. I do not like the conditions in the women's prison in Mountjoy, and the way I am dealing with it is by providing a programme to refurbish that prison. It is being started immediately.

Senator Eoin Ryan spoke about the overcrowding of the prison system and so on. What do we do? Do we have a massive building programme for prisons? Is that what we should do? When you compare the cost of building prisons with the building of anything else, the differentials are enormous. There is need for more prison places in any community, and on average we have fewer places than other countries by European standards. Instead of the 1,650 places we have we should have more than 2,000 to deal with the crime situation we have. We do not have those and I cannot make those places out of thin air.

However, I have set up an inquiry into the penal system. It is being chaired by Dr. Whitaker. Part of his terms of reference is to examine the adequacy of prison accommodation and to suggest alternatives to the prison system. I hope he will come up with a range of alternatives, but I am sceptical that the normal process of arrest, trial and sentence is the best way to deal with the problems of crime in some cases.

We must have prisons, and people have to be detained in them, but I have always maintained that people are being detained now and have been in the past who could be dealt with in a more effective way by the community. I hope that the Whitaker committee will come up with a range of proposals which will provide the basis on which the courts can work out alternatives to prison.

I would point out that we have prisons which are very good indeed. I refer to the open centres in Shelton Abbey, Loughan House and Shanganagh Castle. We have the training unit in Mountjoy which, incidentally, the prison committee did not visit. It is a modern building, recently constructed, with very good conditions in it. Arbour Hill is a very good prison. It is for long term prisoners. It is calm and quiet and there are good facilities there. Portlaoise and Limerick prisons have been refurbished.

Generally, the treatment of prisoners here is far better than elsewhere. People who are familiar with the prisons in Britain will agree that we compare very favourably with them. There have been particular problems in Mountjoy. There is an excellent visiting committee, a very good staff, a very good governor, and Mountjoy is very calm now. Out of a population of almost 500, only 14 or 15 people, who are finding it very difficult to adapt to prison conditions, are giving trouble there. The problem there is not like that being suggested by people who should know better and by the media. There are problems there but they are being dealt with. They can be surmounted and we are continuing to do so.

Senator Hussey supported the Bill in general. He spoke about the dramatic rise in crime, about the Criminal Justice (Community Service) Act and he asked why it is not in force. The reason is that it needs probation and welfare staff. The probation and welfare staff were recruited over the summer and they will be going to work in the coming court session. It is a new scheme which gives much hope to people concerned in this area and I do not want to force the scheme to such an extent that it will break down. If that were to happen we would not be given a second chance to organise a community service scheme. There is no reluctance to bring that scheme in. It will be brought in in a systematic way.

Senator Hussey also referred to the women's prison in Mountjoy, but I have dealt with that. He spoke about rural Garda stations and said that the closure of Garda stations is a retrograde step. There have been a number of pilot schemes in rural policing, one in County Mayo and another in Kilkenny. They are pilot schemes and they are being evaluated as such. There has been, contrary to reports, no decision by me to extend these pilot schemes in the country. There has not been any decision to close down Garda stations. That is not envisaged and I am glad Senator Hussey raised it here. It has been raised on a number of occasions and, despite the denials I issued, people still have the idea that there is some kind of programme to close down rural Garda stations. There is not.

The Senator talked about post office and bank robberies. He said that the Army should be used more for escort duty. We have an Army of a certain size and it is used for the transfer of very large amounts of cash. The amounts of cash being carried by post office vans, even though they are quite dramatic when published in the newspapers, are small relative to what is being escorted by the Army. A review has taken place of the transmission of cash, especially by the Post Office. It is a very difficult situation. There is more cash in circulation in Dublin than in any other European city. We are very much a cash society. While other western European and North American cities have moved to plastic money and to various forms of transfers that do not involve notes, we still have a very high circulation of cash. I would like interested parties to consider moving towards a more cashless society in which other forms of money can be transferred. It is very difficult on the Garda Síochána.

The Government and the bank managers are ensuring it is turning into a cashless society.

(Limerick East): Points were raised on the question of unemployment and young people and I cannot disagree with many of them. Senator Deenihan said he supported the Bill and spoke about the crime wave and the fears of old people. He also spoke about civil rights being preserved when we bring in the Bill, of getting the balance right, and of the pre-trial investigation being fair. Both within the Bill and the regulations proposed I can meet all the points raised by him.

Senator Mullooly talked about the increase in indictable offences, as published in the crime report of 1983. He covered the areas of training and complaints which I have dealt with previously. He talked about access to a solicitor which I have dealt with also. He talked about firearms offences and he doubted if increases in penalties will be effective in view of the relatively short period involved in a life sentence at present. There is a misunderstanding about this. When somebody is sentenced to life imprisonment, that means life, but there is a policy in prisons that if people are sentenced there comes a point in their imprisonment when, if they are held for too long, they become institutionalised. They cannot be sent back into society because they cannot live independently outside of an institution. It varies from case to case. People on life sentences frequently serve less than ten years but frequently they are on life sentences for family murders and are no threat to the general community. There is one particular incident, one flashpoint; they are not criminals in the sense of having a criminal record. Senators will be familiar with what I am trying to put across. When such a person is sentenced to life imprisonment, I do not think any Senator or Deputy would suggest that he should be held for his natural life. There are people in our prisons who have been there since 1963. There is one man in prison since 1960. There have been various attempts to get him back into society and there have been various attempts to let people out for short periods but they constantly get into difficulty and go back into prison. It is a frightful problem, where people serve very extended periods in prison and no matter what is done to try to rehabilitate them they come back into prison in a very short period of time.

On the question of the sentences for firearms offences being increased from 14 years to life imprisonment, life is a maximum sentence. It enables the judge to pick any number of years and that was the intention. People have argued that a 14-year sentence is longer than life. Of course, it could be if interpreted in a particular way, but when a life sentence in the Bill is a maximum sentence a judge can sentence somebody to 14, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years. He can nominate the number of years which can be made greater than the existing 14-year sentence. In that particular area of firearms offences, the attitudes of the Government and the Houses of the Oireachtas must be made very clear. I make no apology whatsoever for increasing the sentences for firearms offences.

Mention was made of majority verdicts and it was said that provision should be made for a secret ballot of jurors, that some jurors might be afraid to state their views. That is not possible. First of all, who would conduct the ballot? A verdict must be arrived at after open discussion. The views of the jurors would have to be known. It is not possible for people on a jury to say nothing and then cast a vote in a ballot. I do not think that is the way verdicts should be arrived at.

Senator Robb talked about the Northern Ireland experience and he said that repressive legislation will not solve the problem of crime. He talked about community policing, drawing on the experience in Northern Ireland. I accept that repressive legislation has not solved the problem in Northern Ireland but I would suggest, with respect to the Senator, that it is a different problem from the one I am trying to make progress towards solving with the Criminal Justice Bill. The Criminal Justice Bill is directed at the ordinary criminal. It is not a strengthening of the law to take on subversive organisations. In my opinion, by and large the powers of the Offences Against the State Act are sufficient and there is no intention of amending that in any way. I take many of the points he made about community policing and alienation which can take place and there has been experience of that in Northern Ireland. He talked about the Emergency Powers Act in Northern Ireland and the number detained as against the number actually charged and that is a problem of which we are aware.

Senator Ross does not share the view that the Bill is repressive. He said there is a wrong response, that it is being whipped up by the media, and that the problem is not as great as we are led to believe. I do not accept that and I have dealt with most of the points raised by Senator Ross.

Senator O'Mahony is opposed to the Bill. He talked about alienation, about a lack of research into the Bill and about changes in socio-economic conditions. Many Senators made that point and in a general way that is a valid point. It is arguable that if people are better off they do not commit crime. For young people who are unemployed and have no income, there must be a propensity for them to get involved in criminal activity and I accept that. However, I am not sure about the general thesis that if there is more wealth in society crime is reduced or that if wealth is distributed more fairly in society that the crime figures fall. I am not sure that is true. Many criminologists would suggest that the wave of burglaries and robberies is due to the advances made economically in societies.

By a section.

(Limerick East): By a section, but also by society in general. The availability of consumer goods, such as videos, television, motor cars, cameras and mini-computers, things that can be translated into cash very easily, is certainly one of the causes of the housebreakings we have. There is no point in breaking into a house unless there is something in it which one can take. If the person cannot find cash the best thing to take is something which can be turned into cash very quickly. Many of the consumer goods which are available in ordinary households now as a result of economic progress made over many years can be one of the causes of crime. I do not want to make too much of the point but the other side of the argument was presented in a way which I do not think stands up, the argument that if we could change the socio-economic conditions of the country we would solve the crime problem.

I am reluctant to interrupt the Minister but I must say that a White Paper could have answered all these questions once and for all.

(Limerick East): I have never seen a White Paper to answer anything once and for all. A White Paper becomes the basis for a further debate. We would be here debating the White Paper and I would be agreeing with sections of it and the Senator would be disagreeing with sections of it. We would reach a particular plateau and then we would be off again. There have been many White Papers but I have never seen one that has got general agreement from everybody.

I will not go into that but I think that history will prove the Minister wrong.

(Limerick East): Senator FitzGerald supported the Bill although he has some reservations about provisions of it. He spoke about the location of Garda stations being removed from communities and outdated and needing to be modernised. I am very much aware of that. Gardaí have worked in appalling conditions for a very long time. Many of the stations are badly in need of repair. Many of them have to be replaced completely. A programme has been under way now for quite a number of years where Garda stations are being improved or replaced. Senator Brendan Ryan is aware that there are three Garda stations being built in Cork at the moment.

I feel very safe, Minister.

(Limerick East): A site has been identified for Union Quay and a station needs to be built there. Senator Howlin spoke about the same points as Senator O'Brien. I thank him for his support and I will take these points into account. Senator Magner said the Bill will not improve the efficiency of the Garda who should not be involved in traffic and liquour licence enforcement. I believe they should.

Somebody made the point that there was a small number of murders here but an enormous number of people dying on our roads. If one looks at the statistics for loss of life through crime and at the statistics for loss of life in road accidents one will see that between 500 and 600 people were killed last year on the roads. The Garda have to be involved in both the liquor licensing area and in road traffic legislation. Senator Burke went over the ground I have already covered.

I should like to thank Senator Harte for his support of the Bill. He is naturally concerned about any encroachment on civil rights as a result of the Bill but I believe we have achieved the right balance. I would also like to thank Senator McDonald for his support of the Bill. He referred to pressure groups who are more concerned with a small percentage of the population who come into conflict with the law than with people who are the victims of crime. By and large the opposition to the Bill has been fair and has been conducted in a very open way. People are stating their beliefs. It is a very serious area of legislation. I am not critical of the opponents of the Bill but I simply do not agree with them.

I should like to thank Senators for their patience with me as I went through various notes, making comments on individual contributions made by Senators. I hope I will be here for Committee Stage which I understand will be dealt with next week. I want to take the rest of the Bill myself as was my intention from the start.

I should like to ask the Minister why he did not make any reference to the two very important points I raised, the need for a college equal to the cadet college for the Army and why we do not have a police helicopter service.

(Limerick East): On the helicopter service, what has been happening in other European countries of a similar size is that if helicopters are required by a police force, they are got from the army. There are no European countries with a big helicopter division attached to he police force. I understand there is one helicopter for all London. I do not think it is necessary at present that the Garda should have an aerial wing. My policy is to put the Garda back on the ground and, certainly, I am not advocating putting them in the air at the moment. I am aware of studies done in the past about a helicopter force.

I would have them on the ground, on the beat, before I would put them in the air.

(Limerick East): A notional sum of £1,000 has been included in the Estimates for a number of years, since Deputy Collins investigated the idea of helicopters being provided for the Garda Síochána. The position is that the Army are available to aid the civil power and if a helicopter is ever necessary one of the Army helicopters is used. It has been used on a number of occasions in the past. Quite frankly, I have no intention of setting up a helicopter corps for the Garda Síochána. On the question of longer training periods for gardaí I should say that I accept that and we are moving in that direction. I am not prepared to say yet whether we should move towards a cadet system or not. If one were sure that there was sufficient talent being recruited into the Garda Síochána to provide a corps which would subsequently fulfil the needs of the senior ranks of the force then there would be no need for cadet recruitment. If, on the other hand, one thought that the level of recruitment now was not such as to provide the officer material in the force one would have to think about the cadet situation. I can assure the Senator that these, and other matters about recruitment and training, are under active consideration at the moment and this includes the status of the Garda College in Templemore.

Question put.
The Seanad divided: Tá, 21; Níl, 4.

  • Belton, Luke.
  • Bulbulia, Katharine.
  • Connor, John.
  • Daly, Jack.
  • de Brún, Séamus.
  • Durcan, Patrick.
  • FitzGerald, Alexis J.G.
  • Fitzsimons, Jack.
  • Hanafin, Des.
  • Harte, John.
  • Higgins, Jim.
  • Kelleher, Peter.
  • Lanigan, Mick.
  • Lennon, Joseph.
  • Loughrey, Joachim.
  • Lynch, Michael.
  • McAuliffe-Ennis, Helena.
  • McDonald, Charlie.
  • Magner, Pat.
  • O'Brien, Andy.
  • Ryan, Eoin.

Níl

  • Higgins, Michael D.
  • O'Mahony, Flor.
  • Ross, Shane P.N.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
Tellers: Tá, Senators Belton and Harte; Níl, Senators B. Ryan and Ross.
Question declared carried.
Committee Stage ordered for Tuesday, 25 September 1984.