Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Questions (189)

Billy Timmins

Question:

189. Deputy Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding the letter from the former Garda Commissioner, Martin Callinan, regarding recording and retention of telephone conversations in Garda stations to the Secretary General in his Department of 10 March 2014; when the letter arrived in his Department; when he received the letter and where the letter was in the interim period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15664/14]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Government has decided to set up a statutory Commission of Investigation into the recording of telephone calls in certain Garda stations. In this context the Government have agreed that the Commission of Investigation should examine all matters of public concern relating to the issue of taping of conversations in Garda Stations.

The Government have also decided to appoint Mr. Justice Nial Fennelly, currently serving as a Judge of the Supreme Court, as Chair of the Commission of Investigation which is to be established under the 2004 Act. The full terms of reference will be finalised shortly in consultation with Mr. Justice Fennelly.

As the Deputy will be aware, the recording of telephone calls in Garda stations is the subject of a report which was circulated by the Secretary General of my Department yesterday. This report, which is available on the website of my Department (www.justice.ie ), deals inter alia with certain issues arising in relation to the Garda Commissioner's letter of 10 March 2014.

It would not be appropriate for me to comment in relation to additional matters which will be addressed in the context of the establishment of the Commission of Investigation.