Thursday, 26 February 2004

Questions (100, 101)

Jan O'Sullivan

Question:

99 Ms O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when the promised tribunal of inquiry arising from the Cory report will be established; the form it will take; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6240/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform)

In accordance with the recommendation of Mr. Justice Peter Cory, I secured Government approval in December last for the establishment of a public inquiry into the murders in 1989 of RUC Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and RUC Superintendent Bob Buchanan.

The Government further approved that the public inquiry will take the form of a tribunal of inquiry under the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Acts 1921 to 2002.

My Department is currently drafting specific terms of reference for the tribunal, in consultation with the Office of the Attorney General, and I intend to secure further Government approval as soon as possible to bring the necessary resolutions before both Houses of the Oireachtas.

Dinny McGinley

Question:

100 Mr. McGinley asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the way he envisages a Garda volunteer force to operate with reference to his recently announced plans to establish such a force; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6366/04]

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As is explained in the explanatory and financial memorandum to the Garda Síochána Bill 2004, section 14 provides a basis in law for the resources of the Garda Síochána to be supplemented by the appointment of persons as volunteer members of the Garda Síochána. It is an enabling provision only, and I must emphasise that no decision on the appointment of such members has been taken by the Government.

I have to respect the fact that the Garda Síochána Bill will be debated next week in the Seanad and it would be inappropriate if this House were to pre-empt their discussions on any aspect of the Bill. I do not wish therefore to start going into any more detail on items which are appropriate to the Second Stage or Committee Stage debate on the Bill.