Thursday, 11 February 2021

Questions (237)

Catherine Connolly


237. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Justice when the 2014 review of all investigations and complaints made against a person (details supplied) will be published; the dates of initiation and completion of the review; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7592/21]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Deputy will appreciate that it is the role of An Garda Síochána to investigate alleged offences, to gather whatever evidence may be available and to submit a report to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). The DPP, who is independent in the performance of her functions, then decides whether or not someone should be prosecuted, and for what offence, on the basis of the Garda findings.

I am advised that, in April 2013, the then Garda Commissioner ordered a review into the handling of the Domhnall Ó Lubhlaí case with a view to identifying what lessons might be learned. In October 2014, my Department was advised by the Garda authorities that the complaints received in this matter had been properly investigated. I am further advised that a copy of the review was not provided to my Department as this was an internal Garda document. I understand that the review contains sensitive and personal information on the alleged victims which is not appropriate for publication.

I am further advised that the Garda review into this case led to a number of lessons learned for An Garda Síochána such as, for example, the need for a systemic approach so that evidence is properly stored to ensure that it is not lost or damaged. A Property and Exhibit Management System has been introduced to ensure the safe storage and management of exhibits. Also, it reiterated the requirement that all cases of child sexual abuse are reported to Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. The introduction of the Children First Guidelines also set out robust reporting procedures for cases of child sexual abuse which need to be followed.