Criminal Justice Bill, 1983: From the Seanad (Resumed).

The Dáil went into Committee to resume consideration of amendments from the Seanad.
Seanad amendment No. 1:
In page 3, between lines 11 and 12, the following inserted:
"(2) An order shall not be made under subsection (1) in respect of any of the following sections namely, sections 4 to 6, 8 to 10, 15, 16, 18 and 19 until provisions relating to the investigation and adjudication of complaints by the public against members of the Garda Síochána not above the rank of chief superintendent have been enacted by the Oireachtas and have come into operation and until regulations under section 7 have been made."
Debate resumed on amendment No. 1 to Seanad amendment No. 1:
In the third line to delete all words after "provisions" and substitute the following:
"have been enacted by the Oireachtas for the investigation and adjudication of complaints from the public against members of the Garda Síochána by or under the direction of an independent Complaints Commission, and until regulations under section 7 have been approved by the Oireachtas".
—(Deputy Woods.)

Before Question Time I was speaking about the need for the commission to be independent and to be free from political or other interference and of the need for it to have power to direct and control both the investigation and adjudication of complaints. All members of the Garda should be subject to the independent complaints commission including the most senior ranks of the Garda.

The Minister suggested that it would be a matter for the Government to deal with discipline at that level. What is the position of such members — the Commissioner, Deputy Commissioners and Assistant Commissioners — in relation to the regulations and the complaints procedure? Will they be subject to it? They would not be subject in the same way because they would not be subject to the review of the independent complaints commission. It is important that all members be subject to the commission. I have given a number of reasons why this is so. It is important in the interests both of the Garda and the public that the body should be seen to be completely independent.

In the mid-seventies there were suggestions of heavy handed interrogation procedures. These led to the commission of the Ó Briain report in October 1977. This in turn led to a valuable report on which this House has relied greatly in the course of the proceedings of this debate. Further allegations were made in 1982. This time they were allegations of political interference with gardaí at the highest levels. In response to this, the then Taoiseach, Deputy Haughey, approached the President of the High Court and asked him to release a High Court judge to conduct a judicial inquiry. These rumours and allegations, which can be made so easily by innuendo and otherwise, were regarded as so serious that there was need for an independent procedure to establish clearly to the satisfaction of all sides and all political persuasions that action was being taken. Numerous allegations were made and it reached the stage where the Taoiseach of the day felt it was necessary, in the interest of public order and public relief in the system, to have an independent investigation. The process was set up but an election intervened. The Coalition in their Programme for Government felt it necessary also to promise an independent judicial inquiry.

The Deputy is wandering a little.

The Minister proposes that this amendment should not apply to the upper echelons of the Garda. I propose that it should and I am giving the reasons why I think that is necessary. I am making only a brief reference to this because of concerns which developed in the past. There is a likelihood that such concerns could develop in the future. I suggest that since we are taking these steps we should take the right ones. Let us bury all the old hatchets and do the best job we can. It is in that context that I suggest it would be in the overall interest of everyone to have an independent process which would include all members of the Garda Síochána. The process should be there to deal with any allegations made against any member of the Garda.

The judicial inquiry was promised. That was not carried out subsequently but, nevertheless, at that time the Coalition Government felt that being seen to be free from political interference was sufficiently important to have a full judicial independent inquiry and that there would be an effective, independent complaints procedure. The Taoiseach in the Fianna Fáil Government at that time initiated steps in this regard and the incoming Government promised that they would do something similar.

I appreciate that the Minister must be very concerned about the important step we are taking and that he is anxious to do the right thing. He has talked about getting the balance right but we believe that part of getting the balance right is to ensure the independence of this body, especially political independence. Perhaps the Minister has changed his views and, if so, he can tell us what he thinks at present. He or the Government decided not to hold a judicial inquiry and the incoming Minister conducted his own inquiry. The Government have so far failed to establish an independent one, hence the allegations were allowed to fester and a Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner were forced to retire. There are now renewed allegations of heavy handed methods being adopted during interrogations and of confessions being extracted by force. It is not simply a case of interrogators being over-tough with ruthless subversives. When we discuss this question people allege that we are going soft on subversives but we are talking about legislation for all the people and about a broad range of crime.

There are also allegations of brutality, psychological terror and political bias being used against ordinary citizens and we must provide a remedy for these incidents when they occur. From our knowledge we know that, happily the occurrences are not too frequent but, nevertheless, it behoves us to provide a system which will clearly deal with them. We have had recently the Kerry confessions incident which has caused concern to the Minister and the public. There is need for an independent inquiry there. The Minister said that when the present investigations are completed, presumably in the near future, he will give his decision in relation to an independent inquiry in that case. You are back to the question of the need for independence in any inquiry of that nature.

There is also a need for an independent inquiry in relation to the Shercock case to allay people's concern in regard to the incidents which occurred there. I have had personal experience of the Rory Buckley case in which a very ordinary citizen alleged in a sworn affidavit that he had been physically abused and maltreated in the course of questioning over a period of approximately 23 hours. That was a case of an individual who happened to be related to a person who was on the pro-life amendment campaign——

It is not in order to go into cases in detail.

The Minister is suggesting now——

You may not go into details.

I will not go into great detail. Nevertheless, it is clear from his affidavit that he was arrested under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act on an alleged charge of causing damage in the sum of £15 to a photocopying machine. He was never charged but the interrogation went on for quite some time. He brought in his solicitor at a very early stage and also asked to see a doctor. The doctor was also brought in at an early stage but he felt he had been abused and that statements were made by members. I have no intention of mentioning names but the affidavit has been submitted to the Commissioner for investigation. A particular party was classed, among other things, as being scum, the lowest of the low and a hypocrite. These are questions which indicate political bias and this is a matter which should be taken very seriously. When I approached the Commissioner he regarded these allegations as being very serious. A Senator was named in the same way by the interrogating officers and foul language was used.

Mr. Buckley was a very fit person, a constant jogger and, because of his background, he had a very strong personality. In the course of the interrogation he made up his mind to resist the whole operation as strongly as possible and did his best to emerge as a normal person. His account is horrifying. Despite the fact that this man was tough and psychologically strong and well conditioned, he ended up dazed and traumatised. It is quite clear that if he had not received visits from his solicitor and his wife that his position would have been considerably worse. He was innocent and just happened to be in or about or near a place and was suspected for that reason. This legislation is about people who will be in the same position. We are now giving power to the Garda to arrest, detain and question such people — not for 23 hours as in his case but for periods of six hours or an extension to 12 hours. Consequently there must be provision to ensure that such people have an independent means of redress if they feel they have been badly treated.

I brought this case to the attention of the Commissioner on 30 September 1983. I enclosed the affidavit and gave the information to the Commissioner. On 3 October 1983, just over a year ago, I received a letter from him which said he had received the letter and the copy of the declaration concerning the circumstances of the arrest and interrogation, that he had appointed a senior officer to investigate the very serious allegations made, and that he hoped to commence inquiries immediately. Inquiries were commenced very soon after that. To this day I have heard no more about the case and I understand the family have heard no more about it either. I certainly thought I would have heard something about it within that time and I did not. I am a public representative and a spokesman for the Opposition. These were very serious allegations and that is where the case rests.

This man does not want to pursue the matter. He does not want to have any more hassle. It was a bad experience for him. He is a very solid, well-adjusted and physically tough citizen fortunately. There is no doubt in my mind that he deserves some sort of apology, report, or something after those events. To me that points to the need for a body to deal with these matters independently and communicate with the individuals.

I prepared a document earlier which differs from the English one in certain respects. We did more investigation than the Minister gives us credit for. I notice that on each occasion he trys to tie in the document with the British one. We went further than that. I managed to bring it out in a relatively short time early in the year as an aid. When you put down something you lead with your chin because the Department and the Minister can analyse it and say some little thing is wrong with it. The easier approach is to wait until the Minister put down something and then criticise it. We put down what we thought was fairly close to the kind of thing that is required and, as the debate goes on, it seems to be fairly close to what is required. Obviously it is a matter for discussion in the House before it is finalised. From what the Minister said today, I think we are fairly close in this area.

On pages 13 and 14 of the document circulated at the time, I set out the way in which complaints procedures could be processed. While it can be further discussed it fits into the amendment we are proposing. The procedure would be by or under the direction of the independent complaints commission. The Minister seems to be in agreement with us on "by or under the direction of" which really clears up that matter. It seems that some people outside the House, and inside the House to some extent, are thinking this out at the moment and are wondering what would happen about the informal complaints as well as the more serious complaints. I am delighted to be able to talk about this process now. I was put out of the House for talking about it before. It might have been wiser if we had been able to refer to it at that time.

(Limerick East): We brought the Deputy back.

I trust I will not be put out at this stage. I will not say much more about it. It is set out there and I think it is helpful because it indicates that there are various ways of addressing and processing the various complaints. We would visualise that the Garda and the local superintendent would have a very important function but, for people who were not happy, there would be recourse to the central body, the complaints commission.

Earlier we talked about the Ombudsman. Many complaints can be sorted out fairly readily. I should hate to be trying to work on the ones they have in Telecom Éireann. I understand there were 150,000 complaints and only 12,000 were resolved to the satisfaction of the public. They have a problem. The Ombudsman had 1,300 complaints submitted to him; 1,000 have been dealt with already; and 850 were regarded as valid complaints. While they are valid they may be very minor. Presumably that will come out in the report later.

We expect that there will be a fairly reasonable number of complaints but many of them will be of a minor nature. We visualise a large number of the complaints being investigated informally. On that we are in agreement with the Minister. If they cannot be resolved satisfactorily they will go to the commission. Complaints of a more serious nature will go directly to the commission. These will include complaints involving serious injury or the death of a person.

For these reasons we are concerned about having an independent body. I mentioned recent events. There are other allegations but I will not go into them. As Deputy Gregory said, a number of them were covered recently. Each one has its own circumstances. If we had the details and the files we could probably debate each one of them and the legal people could debate the pros and cons.

I have a case which I have passed on to the Minister and I trust he will investigate it. It is the case of a man who is a prisoner in Mountjoy and he claims that he was forced to sign a confession, as he said, by detectives from Dublin. He claims he is innocent. He was convicted on a murder charge. I will not say anything more about that. Constituents come to Deputies with their problems but, on the other hand, we must support the Judiciary and the Garda.

We are dealing with the question of a misuse of certain members of the Garda of the trust we have placed in them. I ask the Minister to consider whether there is a pattern involving the same section or the same people in the Garda. I should like the Minister to look at that because it is a matter of concern at the moment. I would be happy if the Minister would see whether there is any pattern in any section or among any members of the Garda. We must have a procedure which is fair to the public and to the Garda Síochána. We owe it to the Garda Síochána to set out the parameters within which we expect them to work on our behalf. I hope that we can do that in this Bill.

There have been various comments outside the House on our proceedings here. The Garda attitude has been expressed fairly clearly and is daily brought more to our notice. On Friday, November 2, in The Irish Times under the heading “Gardaí ask Noonan to defer Justice Bill” the general secretary of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors, Mr. Murray, said there could be no question of introducing certain measures contained in the Bill until the Garda had completed their negotiations. He said that his association were in favour of a measure of independence when complaints against gardaí were made. He said he would accept that there should be no Garda involvement in the adjudication of an investigation into a complaint, but that the investigation itself would have to remain solely the responsibility of the Garda Síochána.

In the Irish Press of the same day Mr. Murray said that it should be deferred until his members had been fully trained to operate the new procedures and were given the proper facilities and resources needed. He warned the Minister for Justice that they would not allow their members to be placed in compromises where their careers might be in jeopardy because of an obvious lack of resources. Mr. Murray said that there could be no question of introducing certain measures contained in the Bill along with the constraints and disciplinary codes and regulations which would follow them if the facilities available at Garda stations were totally inadequate.

The Garda Síochána at this stage urge the postponement of the Bill on that basis. We recognised here in this House from the beginning, as the Minister has recognised, that it would be necessary to provide training and facilities. The Minister pointed to the fact that it would be possible to carry out this kind of questioning only in certain stations and not in every station. The Minister and the House are very well aware of the requirements in this respect. These have been debated in the House.

It is quite clear from the newspaper articles that the Garda want the investigation to be in their hands only but would accept independent adjudication. This is what I was trying to reason out last week. Whether it was in response to what was being said here, or otherwise, we are certainly helped in our thinking on the subject by the articles which came out since then.

The Garda News of October 1984 points out on page 4:

On the complaints procedure discussions between the garda associations and departmental officials have been going on now for some time under the aegis of the Garda Conciliation Council. A draft scheme has been talked about in some depth.

It further states:

The new procedure for initiating, investigating and adjudicating on complaints from members of the public against gardaí also properly falls into this category. It is a reasonable assumption therefore, that any new system of this nature would have to be negotiated in the normal way and only after agreement had been obtained on all sides could the new system come into operation. The problem in this instance is that even if agreement on a new system can be obtained (and there is no guarantee that it will) ... the eventual outcome might well be quite different to what the gardaí had previously agreed to.

Obviously there is a second debate going on separately — and quite rightly — in relation to the practical implications of the measures being taken here in the House. It is further stated:

This situation places the Minister in a dilemma. On the one hand he must recognise the legitimate right of the gardaí to negotiate and seek agreement on matters affecting their terms and conditions of employment.

Further, it states:

Again it cannot be denied that on a matter of such major public importance it is proper that the elected representatives of the people be given the opportunity to debate and approve such a measure.

The Minister is now faced with the unenviable task of balancing the legitimate rights both of the gardaí and the legislature with regard to both of these important matters. In so doing he has the close and constant ear of the legislators. He may not therefore, be aware of the strength of feeling that is building up on these issues within the Garda Síochána.

It is quite clear that the Garda Síochána are concerned about these matters. I trust that, regarding the statements made in the papers and periodicals, we can rely on the Garda following the rule of law and accepting the democratic decision of the Oireachtas in relation to the principles involved in this case. I can assure the Minister of the support of my party in that regard. There can be no Garda veto on what the Oireachtas decide. The powers of the Garda Síochána come from the people and from the Oireachtas. We on this side of the House and the Members generally will appreciate the right and proper exercise of the function of the Garda Síochána to negotiate with the Minister on matters like training, facilities and all other related aspects and the question of providing properly for appeals and other matters. Nevertheless, the basic principles of the independence of the institutions that are proposed are a matter for the Oireachtas. I trust that the views expressed are related to the Garda Síochána accepting the function of the Oireachtas in that regard.

We all know that implementation of the proposed measures will involve training and new resources. This has been pointed out in the House by numerous Members in the course of the debate on this Bill. Here we are in agreement with the Garda Síochána. However, when it comes to the principle of who will control the investigation, this is clearly a matter for the Oireachtas. Quis custodiet custodes?— who will guard the guards? The Oireachtas must provide checks and balances in this regard. The complaints procedure can, of course, be used as a source of confidence in those who protect the State and as a safeguard to protect against subversion of public confidence in the force. Without this confidence and a restoration and preservation of Garda morale the task of the Garda would be more difficult. There is no doubt that with the safeguards and regulations which the Minister is proposing to bring before the House and with the complaints procedure the position of the Garda would be strengthened. Their position when they come to court with cases would be strengthened because the safeguards would be seen to have been applied. The conditions for getting convictions in appropriate cases should be strengthened and consequently juries should have more confidence in the decisions that are taken. For this reason we seek an independent Garda Síochána complaints commission to support the Garda in their work.

These are the main points which I want to make in relation to the amendment at this stage. As I have said, we believe they should be independent. We believe that they should cover all the ranks and that all the ranks should be subject to the regulations and the complaints procedure. This would strengthen the position of the Minister and the independence of the whole process. They would be seen to be independent and consequently could be much more readily relied on against any allegations that are being made. That is why I ask the Minister to accept the amendment which we are proposing.

First, I welcome the comments the Minister made in the Dáil this morning when he indicated his views on the statements made by Members on different sides of the House last week and indicated in regard to the complaints tribunal that an element of independence is necessary in the context not merely of adjudication but also of investigation. The debate has been going on across the floor of the House on this amendment and I want to make one or two brief comments as a follow on to the comments made last week.

Deputy Woods spoke at length in the House on previous occasions about the necessity for independence in the context of the complaints procedure. I am not convinced as to the reason for excluding the various senior members of the force from accountability to an independent complaints procedure in the context of the amendment before the House. They are excluded and I do not believe that that is generally in the interests of the force. I would like to have seen the amendment providing for the senior officers in the force being amenable to the complaints procedure in the investigation of complaints in the future. It could create a real difficulty if they are not so amenable. It was mentioned last week and the Minister explained this morning his views on this.

One can take the view that, if a complaint is made about the nature of an investigation, officers at the most senior level of the force have a direct input into that investigation and the manner in which it should be conducted. I can see a complaints tribunal in considerable difficulties in seeking to resolve any complaint or to investigate the validity of any complaint made about the nature of that investigation and seeking to find if there is an incidence of misbehaviour which gives rise to concern. I can see the complaints tribunal finding themselves in a sense in no man's land, in a no go area where they cannot determine where responsibility lies. As a result this House would not be able to exercise the degree of accountability through an independent complaints procedure that is necessary.

I say no more on that other than again I urge on the Minister that he have another look at that area. It can be dealt with ultimately when we deal with legislation on an independent complaints tribunal. It is in the interest of the force generally that everyone is seen to be accountable. Artificial difficulties could be created by the type of divide off envisaged by the Minister in the context of the amendment we are dealing with today if the provisions suggested by it eventually end up in legislation relating to an independent complaints tribunal.

In a sense, the longer this debate goes on the greater the difficulty that arises for the Garda. All of us in this House would like to see the legislation on an independent complaints procedure produced very rapidly. Since we were in this House last week discussing this issue members of the Garda, through the journal that Deputy Woods referred to, and also through the newly elected general secretary of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors, have indicated and confirmed what all of us in this House are aware of, that at this stage morale in the Garda force is extremely low. Many long-serving members of the Garda are very distressed to find themselves caught up in the middle of controversies in which they themselves have not been involved and are anxious that independent mechanisms be established as rapidly as possible.

The debate that has gone on about the incidents in Shercock and Kerry, and to which I am not going to refer in any detail, has emphasised the question of whether there should be a judicial inquiry. Deputy Dr. Woods referred to that this evening. The point is worth making that if we had the independent complaints procedure established there would be no need to worry over the type of procedure applicable to resolve problems of this nature where serious allegations have been made which have given rise to a great deal of public concern. The mechanisms would be there and ongoing debate as to how we deal with this type of incident and render people accountable for alleged misbehaviour would no longer be necessary.

Therefore, it is urgent that the legislation for the provision of an independent complaints tribunal should come before the House. It is in the interest of the Garda and of the general public that that would happen. There is a great need to restore within the Garda force their own self-confidence. The vast majority of members of the force would never consider behaving in other than the most honourable way. Unfortunately, many feel themselves under suspicion through no fault of their own. We as the legislators of Parliament have an obligation to that vast majority of members of the Garda force who want to do nothing other than perform their duty properly. We should take this difficulty off their backs by providing for an independent complaints tribunal.

I welcome the fact that the Minister is responding, as he has done throughout the debate on this Bill to points made in this House. Deputy Woods has referred, as have many other Members in this House — myself, Deputy Andrews, Deputy Skelly, Deputy Barnes, Deputy De Rossa and Deputy Gregory-Independent — to the need for an independent investigative procedure. The Minister today has fleshed out somewhat the views he expressed on the last day. That is essential.

I was a little disturbed by the reported comments of Mr. Michael Murray of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors, as reported in all our daily newspapers on Friday, 2 November, when he was talking about the need to defer the Criminal Justice Bill. He is reported in The Irish Times of that date as saying that his association were in favour of a measure of independence when complaints against the Garda were made. He said that he would accept that there should be no Garda involvement in adjudication of an investigation into a complaint, but the investigation itself would have to remain solely the responsibility of the Garda Síochána.

A similar statement was made by him in an article published this week in the Irish Independent. I see that as an untenable proposition. I take the point made by Deputy Woods that it must be for this House to determine the provisions to apply to adjudication in the context of a complaints tribunal and investigation and that the Garda, or any representative body of the Garda, cannot have any form of veto on the manner in which an investigation is supervised or exercised. I see it as inevitable that members of the Garda will have some involvement in an investigation but I suggest that an investigation that takes place following the making of a complaint should be by and under the direction of an independent complaints tribunal or an independent complaints commission. I would like to see a specialist group of gardaí formally attached to an independent complaints tribunal with a responsibility, under the aegis of that tribunal, for investigating complaints independent of members of the local force where the complaint originated. I do not understand why Mr. Murray of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors should state adamantly that an investigation must be the sole responsibility of the Garda. He made a similar statement yesterday but he did not give any rationale or reason for making that point. If the proposal is adopted it will cast doubt on the independence of an independent complaints tribunal.

I accept the comment in the Ó'Briain report that for a complaints tribunal to work it must have the acceptance of the entire force. It must be understood by the force that this House, ultimately, makes the decisions and legislates for the manner in which these complaints are adjudicated upon and investigated. There would be a lack of confidence on the part of the general public, and many members of the Garda, if that independence in the investigations area did not apply.

The more we debate the provisions in the Bill the more we seem to tease out the problems and, eventually, reach a fairly unified view across party lines about the needs in these areas. In my view the real test of the workings of this, and the accountability of the system, is ensuring that where complaints are made they are properly investigated, that false complaints are properly investigated and that the Garda do not labour under the difficulty of having complaints that do not have any justification made against them. The only way to deal with this is to provide a proper complaints procedure, proper regulations under statutory mechanism. We must also come to terms with ensuring that detention provisions in the Bill will not become operative until we have a form of video recording or, certainly, tape recording, of all interrogation or questioning that takes place of people in detention. In addition, we must ensure that lawyers are allowed remain with people when they are under questioning.

Mr. Murray, in suggesting that the Bill be deferred, seemed to indicate some reluctance on his part, or on the part of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors, in the context of the complaints tribunal. I hope I am not accurate in that. From the contacts I have had with many gardaí of ordinary rank I have learned that they are anxious to have a complaints tribunal set up quickly. They do not seem to be worried about it. I find it curious that the first time a representative of an association representing some members of the force suggests that the Bill be deferred arose following on a detailed debate here when there was across-party lines agreement of the need for an independent complaints tribunal. It is worth making the point that the type of tribunal we are discussing — we will be discussing it in more detail when the legislation setting it up is introduced — is one that would be demanded by the general public and the majority of members of the force in the light of recent events even if we did not have a Criminal Justice Bill. It should be understood that the provisions in the Bill in regard to detention will not come into force without a complaints tribunal being approved in the House.

The view I take is that a complaints tribunal is necessary in itself. Its necessity does not arise purely because we are dealing with the Criminal Justice Bill. It is something we should have provided many years ago. I have no doubt that had this Bill not arisen, had we not debated it in the last 12 months, after some of the recent events and the disturbing cases that received publicity in the last four or five years there would be an overwhelming public demand, and a demand from the vast majority of gardaí, to provide an independent complaints tribunal. An independent complaints tribunal may be a sine qua non of the coming into force of the detention and other sections of the Bill but it is required as a necessity. If the suggestion from some members of the force is that by deferring the Bill we would be putting off the day when we would have an independent complaints tribunal then that is not tenable. That should be understood and I am sure that is the view of all Members.

It was suggested by a Member last week that in the light of the type of contribution that I and other Members have made it appears we are in some way trying to do down the Garda. It must be understood that we are not. We want to restore the morale of the Garda. We want to restore public confidence in the force and provide the vast majority of members of the force who are anxious to perform their duty for the State with the protection they require against being subject to false allegations of misbehaviour. At the same time we have a public duty to protect the general public against the misbehaviour of a small number of gardaí. We can only do that by providing the mechanism of an independent complaints tribunal and proper regulations that outline what must take place by way of a code of conduct when people are being questioned in Garda stations. We must ensure that we have other available mechanisms, such as videos or the tape recording of interviews, to ensure that where allegations are made the complaints tribunal have a real way of discovering what took place at the time relating to which a complaint has been made from first hand evidence. I welcome the fact that the Minister is taking into account the comments made by all Members on this issue.

It is not my intention to speak at any great length at this stage. I find myself in the unusual but, nevertheless, welcome position of being able to agree on one point made by the last speaker. I am referring to his statement about the need for not excluding anybody from the proposed independent tribunal. Indeed, it is rather strange that the Minister finds himself in the position where he would defend excluding them on the basis that it is and should be a matter for the Government that they deal with anybody above the rank of chief superintendent.

I am sure his memory is as fresh as mine in regard to the times when many within his party, some of whom are now Ministers, were calling out for an independent Garda authority. I recollect his having to address his Ard-Fheis and explain to them that while it had been more or less promised it was not his intention to introduce such an independent Garda tribunal immediately. I mention that because I find it rather strange that he should now propose, or see any great wisdom in, excluding anybody from the proposed complaints tribunal. We all accept that members of the Garda force have nothing to hide. If we develop that to its logical conclusion, then those at higher ranks should have much less to fear than anybody else.

Having said that, I must revert to comments made by the last speaker and talk about the morale of the Garda. The morale of the Garda is at a very low ebb. But it does not derive solely from the last two unfortunate incidents referred to — the Kerry baby incident and the Shercock incident. It is because members of the Garda themselves have found themselves over the last three to five years in a situation in which they have been publicly and privately attacked by Members of this House. Deputy De Rossa and I have attended meetings in our constituency and I have never heard people make the point publicly that there should be this tribunal. Rather do they all the time remind us that the Garda do not seem to have the powers to carry out their duties in a fashion that will protect the people from the ever-growing number of attacks and robberies that occur every day of the week. I am quite sure that as I speak in this House, in my constituency and in every other constituency, there is some member of the public who, for the umpteenth time, has entered some house, and is attacking its owner in order to get money or property. The Garda have told me that under existing legislation, having pursued such a person and having brought him before the courts for the umpteenth time they have found themselves having to defend their position against somebody acting under the free legal aid scheme who is being paid out of public moneys to defend that person. That is what has led to the lowering of the morale of the Garda.

I said in this House last week that I am sure I have made more complaints about the Garda than has any other Member of this House, that when any constituent brings to my notice that he or she is dissatisfied in regard to an alleged abuse by any member of the force, straightaway I go and interview that garda. I tell him I am discussing the matter with him, that it is not my practice to go above his head. Invariably, perhaps with one or two exceptions since becoming a Member of this House in 1969, that garda has been able to defend the action he has taken.

I was surprised to hear Deputy Shatter criticising Mr. Murray. Mr. Murray is the secretary of that organisation. Unlike the teaching, medical or, say, legal professions, that organisation has no representative in this House. Is it not essential that they make known to us what are their thoughts and reactions? Is it not much better that they do so now rather than when we, having passed this legislation, discover what I would fear would be inhibitions on the part of a good, decent garda, that he would be unable to discharge his duties because Members of this House would have this big eye watching, would have recorded everything he does? Is there any member of any other profession in this House who would yield to such examination? Would Deputy Shatter, as a lawyer, have somebody record everything he says to a client lest it be shown that he had been unfair, or had injured that client, not perhaps by beating him — as I could do as a teacher — but in some other more serious way?

What happens if we do not have the co-operation of the Garda? We live in a free society, the right given every worker to organise and protect his interests. What happens if the members of the Garda continue with their contention — which has been mentioned already — that they should have the right to strike? Are we going to deny them that right? Suppose as a result of the passage of this Bill they find themselves in that position, where then do we find ourselves in respect of the appalling situation obtaining in which people live in dread, some of remaining inside their homes and others of walking outside them? Here we are challenging the right of a spokesman on behalf of that organisation to say to us what he feels. We tell him that we are the people who introduce the laws. Of course we are. It is because I realise that the people on behalf of whom I speak are those who pay the salaries of the Garda and who pay ours that I must, in all honesty say here what those people have asked me to say.

I listened to Deputy Gregory on a radio programme the other morning speaking about what is euphemistically called the Concerned Parents Movement. He made the point that there was need for such a movement and accepted everything they did because it took the Garda too long to do the work, that a drug pusher can be identified but because of the processes through which a garda must operate it takes him too long to bring that identified person to justice. We are now suggesting here that the Garda, having brought in that person, must put on the recorder, recording every word he speaks to that offender. I would be interested to hear later how Deputy Gregory would relate what he said last week to circumstances in which he would condone, accept, or advance the need for recording everything a garda does. We are all human. Would any of us have any faith in a system requiring that we have recorded, not just here but in our private lives, our interviewing of constituents and everything we said to them? I know the Leas-Cheann Comhairle will probably reach for the gong, reminding me that in his opinion this is not relevant to the discussion, but he has listened——

That amendment in the names of Deputies Mac Giolla and De Rossa was ruled out of order last week.

On point of order, section 27 is already part of the Bill.

We are dealing with the amendments and that is not mentioned there.

But it is not a new section in the Bill. Obviously Deputy Tunney is not aware that it is already part of the Bill

Deputy Tunney is fully aware of much more than Deputy De Rossa might realise. Deputy Tunney is fully aware of everything in the Bill and perhaps even more aware of what is not in it and should be included. Deputy Tunney is aware that Deputy De Rossa and I have attended many meetings in our constituency where the cry of the people was, "Give the Garda more authority, more power, get them to protect us". It that is not a true assessment of the proceedings of meetings we have attended — at which people of all types have expressed their concern — I will be very pleased to have Deputy De Rossa or any other Deputy tell me that I am making a mistake because I know quite well, I am not. I am not contending that that is what we are concerned about here with regard to the proposed complaints tribunal.

Having talked to some of the gardaí in recent times I know that they are anxious that it should not appear that they condone or feel in any way proud of serious mistakes and abuses of power and position by some handful of gardaí. They are much more concerned that matters referred to here and things said about them here reflect on them in a fashion which will not encourage them to carry out in a way they would wish aspects of the legislation passed here. We get from people in accordance with the respect we show to them and the confidence we place in them. That is essential in our dealings with people, either in our own families or teaching in a school and so on. If we say that ab initio we suspect them, we may say that we are only doing so in respect of the activities of a small number of gardaí who are injuring the good name of the force, but I do not think we are being as honest as we should be about that. I am quite sure there are many members of the Garda who do not accept that we are being honest. If we have some major criticism to make, let us cough it up and direct it to those for whom it is appropriate. Let us not castigate the whole body of the Garda Síochána, men and women, and challenge their right to convey to this House how they feel about legislation which is so vital to them, having denied them the legislation they required over so many years.

I accept that the Minister is as concerned and as honest about these matters as I would be but he is making a very poor case in saying that he and his Government would wish to exclude all those above the rank of chief superintendent because they think it is a matter for the Government to deal with them. Perhaps I am misinterpreting what the Minister said but I understood him to say that the Government would take action in cases where officers over a particular rank were involved. Nobody would wish to see that happen. It would be far better for Government and everybody concerned to have this complaints tribunal set up immediately. It should be seen to be as independent as possible and nobody should be excluded from it. That is the least that is required.

Let me again remind the House that we should not in their absence, while they have nobody to speak for them, deny the right to any organised group of people to comment on what we propose doing. Rather we should welcome their comments and pay heed to them. We can say and do what we like here but ultimately we must have a Garda force who have confidence in us and who accept that we have an interest in them and a respect for them, as well as a dependence on them. If that is not the case at the end of the day, then the time spent on this legislation could have been better spent. The first essential is that we have the understanding, sympathy and confidence of the Garda. Let us take issue with them every day of the week where they do anything which is contrary to the duties imposed on them or the behaviour expected of them, but do not let us treat them as people who are mere puppets of people here who for, one reason or another, may be challenging their authority, integrity and honour.

I wish the debate had not once again descended to the level where people were for or against. Consistently throughout the debate the whole emphasis has been on striving for balance, making sure that the rights of all sides are protected and supported and making sure that the extra powers contained in the Bill would not be abused, particularly in regard to innocent people. I did not think that at this late stage I would have to begin by laying down those foundations again.

I found part of Deputy Tunney's speech questionable but I ask his pardon if I have misunderstood him. He felt that some of us were not being honest in talking only of a minority, that really there were a certain number of Deputies who were trying to get at the whole Garda force and undermine this group of people, whom we have actually been striving to support and protect as well. The Garda themselves are the first to suffer from the abuses of a minority. There is no need to go into any further detail.

We who have been elected are concerned not only that the morale of the Garda should be upheld but that the confidence and trust of the public should be upheld. Concern and anxiety have been expressed not just in regard to recent events but also in regard to other matters which have been left unanswered and uninvestigated. This has damaged confidence and trust among the public. It is a matter of balance but our first task as legislators is to guard the civil rights of everyone. I am amazed that Deputy Tunney should be under the impression that we would be damaging the Garda by demanding an independent tribunal and electronic recording. This is not the kind of support and protection which he believes to be in operation in eastern bloc countries. He said this would be a totalitarian invention brought in by the Dáil. Completely independent tribunals and electronic recording are part and parcel of the strongest democracies for which we have a high regard.

On a point of order, I am on record as having said that I welcomed the amendment from the Seanad and extended a much greater welcome to the amendment put forward by Deputy Woods. The other references I made were to utterances made here by Deputies that might affect the spirit of it. That is all. I would ask Deputy Barnes not to set up a target of her own to shoot down. I am on record as having said that I welcome the amendments.

Deputy Barnes to continue.

We are asking for a completely independent tribunal that will restore the confidence of the public and also the confidence of all right-minded and right-behaving gardaí. We are not asking for anything radical, damaging or subversive. In other democratic countries this is accepted and in no way has it been alleged to be an attack on the police force or an interference in their rightful behaviour.

In asking for independence for the tribunal we are also asking that their tasks, powers and resources be defined, and they must have investigative powers. I would like to think that we are not taking up precious time in the Dáil when we have a backlog of legislation waiting to be introduced and debated. I would like all Deputies to realise that electronic recording is not an attack on the Garda or questioning their behaviour. It is an accepted practice in other democratic countries. The sooner we can conclude this debate without anyone alleging any kind of bad intention against another, the better. I was not alleging anything against Deputy Tunney; I merely hoped he was not making any allegations against the Deputies who had spoken here at length with great sincerity.

To a large extent I feel this House has gone about its business backwards. We are now practically at the end of the debate on the Criminal Justice Bill which erodes the civil liberties of every citizen. We are now talking about safeguards which will be implemented before certain sections of this Bill are brought into effect.

It is clear that the need for these safeguards existed prior to, and independent of, the existence of the Criminal Justice Bill. Six years ago the Ó Briain Report set out very clearly the need for an independent complaints tribunal, the need for regulations governing the treatment of persons in custody and the need for the monitoring the treatment of persons held in custody. The Ó Briain Report made two proposals in relation to monitoring. The first was the establishment of a garda in a station who would be responsible for overseeing what was going on in the station and the second was that the Government should immediately set in motion a study into the feasibility of electronic recording of questioning and so on. Those needs were there prior to the emergence of this Bill. For that reason we should by right have been discussing and implementing those measures before this Bill was discussed.

Section 7 is very brief and is only referred to in the Seanad amendment, in the Minister's amendment and in Deputy Woods's amendment. There is no information in that amendment as to precisely what kind of regulations will be introduced. On a previous Stage on this Bill the Minister outlined what he thought the regulations might be, but they were the Minister's opinion at that stage and they may have changed since, as the Minister's opinion has changed in relation to other matters in the Bill. In my opinion we should have these regulations before us before we make a decision.

The Minister said he is not happy to accept Deputy Woods's amendment because it includes the word "independent". He feels that would restrict in some way the subsequent legislation regarding the complaints tribunal. I would like to point out that including the phrase in his amendment "complaints by the public against members of the Garda Síochána not above the rank of chief superintendent" is also restricting legislation which he may bring before us. If this amendment is passed he is effectively setting guidelines beyond which the Complaints Trubunal Bill will not be able to go. There is no doubt that if the Minister's amendment is passed as worded, any attempt to ensure that the complaints tribunal will apply to all gardaí up to Commissioner will be ruled out of order or will not be accepted by the Minister because the statement that a complaints procedure will not apply to any member of the Garda above the rank of chief superintendent will be in the Criminal Justice Bill. In my view there is an inconsistency in the Minister's case in relation to the word "independent" in Deputy Woods's amendment.

According to Garda crime statistics reports the crime rate in the State is declining. In the Finglas area there is a neighbourhood watch pilot scheme in progress. The inspector in charge in the Finglas area wrote to me recently indicating that the crime level in that area has fallen and he attributes this in some respects to the operation of the neighbourhood watch scheme. Taking the underlying decrease in the rate of crime and the effectiveness of the community neighbourhood watch, it seems that the need for the Criminal Justice Bill has not been proved, that the need for these extraordinary powers which will be given to the Garda has not been proved, and that other more effective methods have not been tried. For that reason, as I said on numerous occasions, I do not support the Bill although I welcome the efforts the Minister made to soften it and to reduce its impact.

May I take up one or two points raised by Deputy Tunney relating to our amendment to section 27, which deals with electronic recording in Garda stations? I want to point out that that provision is in the Bill; we put down our amendment to require that the controversial sections of the Bill would not take effect until the recording procedures had been implemented.

Section 27 was introduced by the Minister. It was not some dark plot by The Workers' Party to introduce some extraordinary system of spying on the Garda. He is drawing an incorrect analogy between a person who voluntarily goes to see a solicitor or a school teacher. That person can walk out of the office at any time. He cannot be compared with a person who, in present circumstances, is requested to go to a Garda station and who, in many cases, does not know he can walk out at any time. When this Bill becomes law he will be required to go to the station and spend up to 12 or even 20 hours in it.

Would he not be able to get a paid professional to speak for him?

If Deputy Tunney had been in on the debate from the beginning he would be aware there is considerable debate as to the effectiveness of that section. There is no obligation on the Garda at present to get a professional to represent a person who is held in custody. We had a serious case during the visit of President Reagan when a large number of women were held over two days in the Bridewell station. They were refused access in the first instance to a solicitor and charges were subsequently not brought against them. Protection for the citizen is completely inadequate and recent cases prove that. The need for the complaints tribunal and for monitoring the treatment of persons in custody does not arise as a result of recent headlines; they simply bring home to everyone that there is a need for protection.

To refer to the meetings which Deputy Tunney mentioned, there is a demand by people that they be protected. There is a demand for the tightening up of the licensing laws, there is a demand for the Garda to be able to respond more quickly to calls of distress and there is a demand for dealing with stolen cars. I understand that aspect has been dealt with by amendment to the Road Traffic Act. There are all kinds of demands but I think Deputy Tunney will also agree that there is widespread opposition to any form of vigilante-style policing. This has emerged under the auspices of various Provo groups and also we notice recently from middle-class groups in the Dún Laoghaire area. There was the extraordinary development where business people were offering themselves as vigilante-type policing. That is a very regrettable development and any person or political party who has an influence on such groups should urge them to think twice before they go any further in trying to set up an alternative or an auxiliary police force. The consequences of that are frightening.

I ask the Minister to consider the restrictions his amendment is placing on the debate we are bound to have on the complaints tribunal by the restriction on ranks only up to the rank of chief superintendent. I ask him also to consider the necessity for regulations under section 27 and section 7. They are required now irrespective of the demise or otherwise of the Criminal Justice Bill. It seems to me that with the mounting concern about the Bill it is quite possible it may disappear and land on the Minister's shelves, that a general election may intervene and it may be forgotten. However, we will still be without regulations governing the treatment of persons in custody in Garda stations and we will still be without the means to monitor the treatment of such persons.

When I dealt with this Bill last week I did not deal with the complaints tribunal. I wish to know if the tribunal will have statutory powers and the right to subpoena witnesses? If it will not have such power there is no point in having it at all.

I have been speaking to some members of the Garda force and they have expressed some grave reservations. Their anxiety arises because gardaí up to the rank of chief superintendent will be investigated but the commissioner and the assistant commissioners will not be investigated. Who runs the force? It is the commissioner who looks after the procedures adopted by the force and he is responsible for the members. I am convinced if the tribunal is not totally independent of the Garda Síochána the people will treat it with contempt and will not have any trust in it. It will be like other organisations that investigate complaints.

As I mentioned last week, the gardaí have looked after our affairs very well since the foundation of the State. There are more than 11,000 members in the Garda Síochána and, like other organisations, there will always be a tiny minority who will not apply the rules or who will go outside the rules. I should not like it to be taken from anything said in this House that all gardaí are not carrying out their duties in a proper manner. That is not the case. A few members of the force may out of loyalty try to cover up for the tiny minority who make errors. Here is where the tribunal will come into effect. I have some reservations about those electronic devices but that is another matter. The main point is that the public expect the Garda to perform their duties in a proper and efficient manner. Far be it from me to criticise the Garda but something is needed to restore public confidence in them and we have a duty in that respect.

There are reservations also in regard to the question of detention. The Minister will appreciate that after a long period of continuous questioning a person may become confused. For instance, if I were detained and questioned continuously during a 12-hour period, I might not be sure at the end of that time whether, for instance, I had been in Edenderry on the previous evening or whether I had been at home. A number of people have brought to my notice their concern in regard to the detention proposals.

A practice I dislike is that of a case being transferred from one court to another and then, possibly after appearances on four different occasions and over a period of months, a judge will ask why the book of evidence is not on the table. Then one hears that the charges have been withdrawn by the DPP. That leaves the person concerned in a very embarrassing position. I may be departing from the amendment but this is a fundamental matter that I wish to highlight.

The newly appointed secretary of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors, Mr. Murray, has said that at this point the Garda are not equipped to operate the proposed legislation. This man's views must be taken into consideration. Perhaps we should begin with the question of the training programme for Garda recruits. A garda who passes out from the training centre at the age of 19 or a little more and who is posted to a big urban area can hardly be said to be trained adequately, after a mere 22 weeks at Templemore, to deal with all the issues involved in this Bill. Therefore, we need to provide proper training facilities for the Garda and we must do so without delay.

I trust that when he is replying the Minister will be in a position to assure us on this question of a totally impartial and independent complaints procedure. Such a procedure must have the confidence of the public if it is to be successful. As I have said already, it must extent to every officer of the force, from the commissioner down to the man on the beat.

I might mention in passing that some people have reservations about another body who investigate themselves also. I refer to the Incorporated Law Society. Whatever about the validity or otherwise of that concern, it is not one that I wish to become involved in. The Garda, if they are to be successful in the fight against crime, must have the co-operation of the public. I want to see the people protected and to see them look on the Garda as the custodians of the law. I want the people to have the confidence in the Garda that we have had in them since the foundation of the State.

It should be made clear that we do not want to come in here and engage in bashing the Garda. We want to see them do their duty and do it well. We want an independent tribunal. It must be a fair one. If the Government agree to that the people will have confidence in the Garda and in us as legislators and will know that we did the right thing.

While I agree with many of the sentiments expressed by Deputy Connolly I disagree with him when he calls for the total exclusion of the Garda from representation on the complaints tribunal. Last week I asked the Minister to have one seat on that board for the Garda. There must be a balanced input. No body has ever been denied representation on a board which was investigating it. It is only fair that the Garda should have an opportunity to put their case to the tribunal.

The events in Shercock and Kerry have come at a most inopportune time for the Garda. They have given grounds to people to knock the Garda. As Deputies have said the Garda need to know that people have confidence in them. They need to be supported by the Parliament. I share everyone's concern at the tragic events which occurred but those who were at fault will be brought to justice. I have no doubt about that. The Minister said that no one was above the law and that that applied to Deputies. I do not agree with the decision to exempt chief superintendents or the Commissioner from the scope of the complaints tribunal. If a complaint is made about them it should be investigated. I ask the Minister to ensure that the Garda have a representative on the board.

Deputy De Rossa suggested that the rate of crime was falling. I dispute that. Last year's figures suggest that only 30 per cent of crime was solved. It is against that background that the Criminal Justice Bill was introduced. The need for it was appreciated by Deputy Tunney. I find that I am more in agreement with his views than those of some members of my party. That is not to detract from their humanitarian views but many of them are naive and their concern is for a few people who may be ill-treated in a few places. They turn a blind eye to criminal activity.

The people are crying out for this Bill. There are mounting statistics which show an increase of crime in every area. Our only growth industry is the security business. That is an indication of widespread criminal activity. I come from the town of Dundalk which has the highest level of criminal activity outside of Dublin and Limerick. We suffer from a surplus of cross-Border criminal activity. Strong measures must be taken to prevent his engulfing the country. The battle to restore law and order is delicately poised. Unless we have deterrents to criminal activity we will lose that battle.

I reiterate my call to the Minister to ensure that there is a Garda representative on the tribunal. I am not asking that they be given a controlling interest but rather a say, so that they can give their side of the story. I also ask him to make superintendents and the Commissioner subject to the tribunal.

This debate has gone on for a considerable length of time and has been conducted in a fairly reasonable fashion. I do not want to introduce any unnecessary rancour into the debate. I listened as carefully as I could to the speech made by the Minister today and I found his arguments tenuous and unconvincing. The Minister emphasised the adjudication aspects of the complaints tribunal but he skipped over the investigation side.

Apparently it is the Government's intention that the Garda will continue to investigate themselves. That is the kernel of the problem. The Minister mentioned that in certain cases the adjudication board will arrange for a complaint to be investigated or will investigate the complaint themselves, but it is obvious from the Minister's statement that such cases will be in the minority. It is envisaged that in over 90 per cent of cases the Garda will continue to investigate themselves. That is not acceptable to me, or to those on this side of the House, or to many of those on the other side of the House.

The Minister also said this morning that he was somewhat hesitant about accepting the amendment put down by Deputy Woods and adopting the use of the word "independent" because to do so would lock him in when he brings in legislation to establish the tribunal. His argument was that if we introduce an amendment which includes the word "independent" the legislation which will be brought in to establish the tribunal will have to comply with that. The Minister's argument seems to reduce itself to this: we cannot introduce an amendment which would make the complaints tribunal truly independent because when the legislation is brought in to introduce the complaints tribunal we might decide it should not be independent. That is absurd. I thought that on all sides, and including the Minister, we were in agreement with the proposition that the complaints procedure be truly independent and be seen to be independent. It is not just a matter of giving proper access to people who have complaints; it is a matter of public perception and, as Deputy Connolly and Deputy Woods said, unless this whole procedure is seen to be independent and separate from the Garda, the public perception will be deficient and it will inevitably fail.

The Minister's argument in relation to excluding officers of a certain level from the ambit of the complaints tribunal seems, to a certain extent, to defeat itself. Perhaps I misunderstood the Minister but he seemed to say that it would not be appropriate that those people should be in the ambit of the complaints procedure because, in effect, they would be investigating themselves. I agree with that and I find it totally unacceptable that anybody should investigate themselves. What about the gardaí who are below the level of these officers? The clear implication of the Minister's amendment is that those people will be investigating themselves. Where is the consistency there?

We all agree that there is a need for a response to the problem of crime. However, the response of the Government will not do anything to solve this problem. If you adopt a response which is not going to solve a problem the result is usually neutral. The result here will not be neutral because we are giving the Garda more powers than they already have. They already have enough powers to investigate crime and we should ensure that they are controlled in the exercise of those powers. We should also be taking practical steps in the area of Garda training, the provision of technology and resources and Garda deployment which will combat crime. When the Conroy Commission reported in 1969 the strength of the Garda was 6,500 men. Now, 15 years later, the strength is 11,000 men, but the number of recorded crimes has risen from 26,000 to something between 80,000 and 90,000. I may not be accurate in regard to those figures but they are near enough to the truth.

However, in the 15 years since the Conroy Commission reported there has been little or no change in the structures and organisation of the Garda Síochána. We must tackle the crime problem on the ground and I do not think the answer is to give more powers to the Garda. If the Government feel that more powers should be given to the Garda, the least we are entitled to expect is a proper complaints procedure which will be independent from the point of view of adjudication and investigation and which will be seen by the public to be truly independent of and above the Garda.

Many of us know the old saying that Nero fiddled while Rome burned, and that applies to the problem of law and order here and our debating the Criminal Justice Bill and the Minister's amendment. I want to say — not for the first time — that I am wholeheartedly and fully behind the principle of the Criminal Justice Bill. We are living in abnormal times which call for abnormal legislation. The Garda have been criticised recently and this Bill has led to some of that criticism together with incidents outside the House involving the Garda which did not reflect too brightly on the force.

Our Army is second to none in its integrity and our police force is also of a very high standard. I stand four square behind the Garda. I should like to ask Deputies who were critical of the Garda what kind of a State would we have today if we removed the Army and the Garda. God knows the State is bad enough, with lawlessness in every sphere of life and activity. We are not doing a service to the country by being critical of the Army, the Garda or the Incorporated Law Society because in every walk of life there are people who will fall short of the right and proper standards. If standards are to be investigated by a tribunal to be set up under the Criminal Justice Bill, it means that in a force such as the Garda, where there are so many thousands drawn from every walk of life, you are bound to find misfits. Some have professional parents, others are farmers, craftsmen and churchmen. Perhaps some parents are even Members of this House. Many who qualified come from very poor families. Under the present system of Garda training which is much too short, it is hard to turn out a first class policeman. Before we consider investigating complaints against members of the force we should turn out gardaí who will not need tribunals to investigate their activities.

I would like the Deputy to deal with the matter before the House.

I do not know whether any Members of the House have been in the headquarters of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Federal Republic of Germany. I have. From the entry of the recruit into the force he is prepared for active duty to protect life and property. We hear criticisms of those who are charged with administering the laws we pass. From time to time we hear that members of the Garda are overstepping the line and not fulfilling the law, that there should be inquiries into this, that and the other. Their job is to administer the law as this House passes it.

I want to deal now with the question of complaints. Complaints are made against members of the Garda in relation to the taking of a statement, perhaps the altering of a statement, or perhaps a failure to read a statement. We should try to eliminate the cause of these complaints so that, when the tribunal are set up, they will have no work to do. That is the kind of efficient police force we want.

Acting Chairman

I should like to remind the Deputy that the Minister has said certain sections of the Bill shall not be brought into operation until a statutory complaints procedure has been set up and regulations have been made under section 7 of the Bill. I should like the Deputy to stick to that.

I am perfectly well aware of what the Minister said and what we are dealing with. Perhaps the Acting Chairman and I are approaching this from different directions. In the investigation of a complaint, who will decide that a complaint is to be referred to a tribunal? Inquiries and investigations should be independent and should appear to be independent. I agree wholeheartedly with what Deputy McGahon said. If there is to be an independent investigation it would be wrong to exclude the Garda from participating in such an inquiry. They should be at the table to give a satisfactory explanation or perhaps fail to give a satisfactory explanation. They should be there to answer charges made against them. Every member of the force from the latest recruit to the Commissioner should be subject to investigation if a complaint is made.

I am not too happy about the publicity which has been given to the Garda in recent times. It could have been avoided if there were proper procedures for dealing with matters of public concern. I dealt with this matter elsewhere. I want to remind the Minister of what was said by myself and Deputy Kelly at another meeting. Calls have been made by Members of this House for public inquiries and judicial inquiries into the activities of the Garda pending the passage of the Minister's amendment and the implementation of the Criminal Justice Act. Those in authority were not in a position to answer some of the charges made by journalists and by others, including Members of this House.

What has the office of the Attorney General being doing about some of these problems? In a matter of 24 to 48 hours information concerning the activities of the Garda could be put in writing by the chief superintendent of every division. This would enable the Minister to reassure the public, the Garda and those who felt a sense of grievance. This is a very serious matter. There have been slip-ups in making information available without delay. This causes publicity and innuendo.

Articles are supplied deliberately to discredit the Garda, the office of the Minister for Justice and the office of the Commissioner of the Garda. When such charges are made we are very near to a collapse in society. The longer we discuss this amendment without reaching positive decisions the more charges of an irresponsible character will be made by those who are anxious to bring ridicule and discredit on the Garda.

Many people are doing that. They are being paid to do it and many of them are thriving on it. They want to cause dissention. If the House were sincere about ending crime Deputies would say to the Minister, "We will give you all the powers you ask for in the name of the Garda. In relation to charges made against the Garda, set up whatever tribunal you intend to set up, but do not let that hold up the Criminal Justice Bill." There are criminals at large today simply because the Garda Síochána have not the power to deal with them under the law. We will not give the Garda the power, but will criticise them for not, as we say, doing their job of bringing criminals to justice. We in this House cannot have it both ways. Either we give them the power to deal with crime, or we remain silent hereafter.

The setting up of a tribunal to investigate charges against the Garda will be healthy for the force. It will strengthen and renew public confidence and trust in that force. Many feel that public confidence in the Garda Síochána has been shaken, but I do not think so. We have great respect for those who are labouring under the most difficult conditions, some living in fear of their lives and their families also in fear. Many gardaí have lost their lives in recent years. I am perturbed that the vast majority of the Garda Force who are decent people, should be subject to ridicule, just as I was on hearing the unnecessary criticism of the prison officers. I had to take upon myself to defend them because I know their quality and their standards. I know the difficult tasks they have to undertake. If cases have to be investigated against members of the Garda Síochána, it must be remembered that they will amount to a very few and I venture to say that there would be no need for any complaints investigation if the proper system of turning out fully trained and fully fledged police officers were available. Until the proper system of training is provided, let us in this House be slow to criticise.

There will be people in the force who will act in an irresponsible manner, but there are sensible people at the head. We saw that during the week when certain action was taken by the Garda Commissioner in relation to the Shercock case. An effort is being made to clear the Garda force. It will be above public suspicion. It will have, not 99 per cent but 100 per cent of the confidence of the public. How can we expect the public to have respect for the Garda Síochána when the Members of this House are highly critical of their activities although they do not give this House evidence for that criticism?

It is quite true to say that every Dáil Éireann Member is not an angel. There may be located and discovered from time to time an odd weed in the blooming Oireachtas flower patch. If we think we are all perfect, we are fooling ourselves. The same applies to the Garda force and to every profession and walk of life. It is not possible to have 100 per cent perfection. Our aim and that of the Garda Commissioner and of the Minister for Justice is to have as near as possible to 100 per cent perfection in the force.

On the whole, we have a fine type of person in the Garda Síochána today who will never come under public notice for over-stepping their duties and never have to appear before any complaints tribunal. If there is to be a complaints tribunal, I ask the Minister to ensure, not alone that it appear to be independent but that it be independent. I do not know what personnel are likely to be charged with the onerous task of investigating complaints against a police officer, but they should know their job. They should be people of integrity who will have no axe to grind. To set up a complaints tribunal without Garda representation would be tantamount to setting up an unfair structure. I hope that when decisions are being taken by the Department, the Garda will at least have a say and be able to listen and answer.

I have great confidence in the judicial jury system. That is because I have great confidence in the commonsense and intelligence of the ordinary, plain, country people. If charges are to be registered against members of the Garda Síochána, I hope that they will be considered in the presence of members of that force and of their legal representatives. In that way, wild statements and irresponsible charges which cannot be substantiated will not be made. It is not right that members should be convicted in their absence.

In the event of the legal profession having the right to be heard before such a tribunal — and this should be — I point out in relation to the Army that as regards complaints, the investigation of Army law is in much need of overhaul.

Deputy Flanagan, the Army are not involved in these amendments.

I quite agree. I wanted to demonstrate, if I might, to the Minister for Justice that military law is long since out of date and should be updated. It was one of the items with which I was very much concerned as Minister for Defence.

When complaints are made against the Garda Síochána they must defend themselves and be legally and professionally represented to uphold their good name. If they cannot do that, there is every justification for a reprimand and complete removal from the force.

Lastly, I must pay a very special tribute to the various Garda commissioners down through the years. Sometimes their work was appreciated and at other times it was not appreciated. I remember the time of Colonel Broy, the late General O'Duffy, the late Mr. Dan Costigan, who was a civil servant——

Deputy, I appreciate your tribute to former Garda Commissioners, but I would like to bring you back to the Seanad amendment, the Minister's amendment to the amendment and Deputy Wood's amendment to the amendment. It is a very confined debate. I would be very grateful if you would co-operate with the Chair.

I will, certainly. In view of that I ask that the Minister give his fullest consideration to the views expressed by Members of this House, always bearing in mind that his job as Minister and our job as legislators is to stand by the Garda, to uphold them in every way in the exercise of their duty of implementing fully the laws passed by this House. I feel very sorry for the vast majority of the decent men serving with the force whose reputation is tainted by the activities of those who may have acted irresponsibly. The Minister for Justice and every Member of this House has a duty to make every effort, if we feel there is a lack of confidence in the Garda, to restore that confidence. We have a duty to the public also to do that. I do not believe that there is any great lack of confidence in the Garda among the public, because if the public are in trouble they have nobody but the Garda to turn to. That is why I feel that we are expressing the opinion of the general public who, if the activities of the Garda are to be investigated, would like the investigation to be impartial and fair. In return the public would wish to have fair and just administration of the law by the Garda, who are charged with protecting and safeguarding the lives of citizens and their property. While we have them to do that job we should uphold them in every way possible. Some of the debates in this House on the Criminal Justice Bill have fallen short of giving the Garda the encouragement they are entitled to in the very difficult times in which we live.

I do not intend to speak at great length on this, but it appals me to listen to some of the remarks criticising the Garda Síochána and expressing no appreciation for the service which many members of the force have given this nation since its foundation. Indeed, it was once the pride of Irishmen that we had an unarmed civil police force set up during the time of the Civil War. All of us, not alone members of one party but of all parties, should have pride in the history of the Garda Síochána.

While I support what the Minister has proposed, my gut reaction is that I am against any judicial inquiry or body outside the Garda to investigate the Garda. It is like saying that people should not investigate people. If anything happens in the teaching profession, teachers investigate teachers. If something happens regarding a bus driver in CIE, it is bus drivers who investigate the matter. Civil servants investigate civil servants. The people who protect us when in trouble, the lawyers, are investigated by lawyers. However, the people who are saddled with the responsibility of investigating crime are told by the Parliament of this nation: "You are not competent, you are not capable of investigating your own affairs." The situation is ludicrous, and I do not know how we ever got into this discussion.

The Minister of Government in charge of the Garda Síochána, no matter whether it is the present Minister or any other Minister, should have sufficient confidence in the Commissioner of the Garda to ensure that if he wants to find out what happened in any Garda station in the Republic he should know within 24 hours and not later than 72 hours afterwards. That would be quite possible if the structures of the Garda were such as to allow that to happen.

At one time when the Minister rang the Commissioner's office and said that something had happened in a certain Garda area, that he wanted to know what happened and he wanted a report on his desk in a certain number of hours, that was done, because the Commissioner knew that through his command structure he could find out exactly what had happened. That was because the sergeant in charge of the Garda barracks knew the personalities of the gardaí under his command. He knew the person who had a personality difficulty. He knew the people in whom he had total confidence and those about whom he had certain doubts. He could recognise the weaknesses and human failings — failings we all have — of any garda under his command. If that sergeant was allowed to continue to do that in that way under that structure then the problems existing in the Garda force at the moment would not exist.

What has happened in the Garda force in the last ten years? The dogs in the street know that if you attempt to establish discipline in the Garda the Fianna Fáil Party let it be known that if they were back in power you would be sacked. That is a total vote of no confidence in the Commissioner of the Garda. Unless you have a Commissioner whom you can leave in charge of the Garda without political interference——

I have already indicated to Deputy Flanagan that this is a very confined debate concerned with an amendment from the Seanad and two amendments to that amendment.

I am saying that I am against the amendment. There is absolutely no need for it.

You are getting away from the substance of the amendment.

I am not. I am making the point that if the authority structures within the Garda were respected and interference with them by politicians was stopped and the gardaí were allowed to go on ruling the Garda, we would not have this debate in the House and we would have far more confidence in the Garda Síochána.

Let us take the example of my own constituency. I do not know what happened in Kerry and Cavan, and I do not particularly want to know. Of course, I will want to know all about those incidents later, but for the purpose of this debate I do not refer to it. However, I know what happens in County Donegal. I have been a Member of this Parliament for 23 years and we have had almost as many chief superintendents in the division of County Donegal as I have seen years of service in this Parliament. Let me put on record that I have personal knowledge of the service some of those chief superintendents gave during the troubled times in the Border areas, and in no way can I cast reflections on the service they gave; rather is the reverse the case. I can praise them immensely for their dedication to duty and the courage with which they carried it out. They are at the distinct disadvantage of not being left long enough in County Donegal to know the superintendents, inspectors, sergeants and particularly, the gardaí under them.

The Minister should discontinue this type of service. A person appointed chief superintendent of a Garda division should be a person who wants to stay in that division. There are many good officers in Donegal eligible for such appointments and the Minister should consider them. If that procedure was followed then a Minister for Justice would say to the Commissioner that he should find out what happened in a district and the chief superintendent of that district would soon know how to get the information. We should adopt that method without spending fortunes that we cannot afford, spending money that should be devoted to more worthy projects such as building houses or creating jobs. What is happening at present is that the money is being given to lawyers to work out how and what did not happen.

We have heard lawyers expounding the theory of good law, the purification of law, but what happens if a garda goes to a solicitor's office saying he has a problem? The advice he will get will be to shut up and not to say anything. We are all aware that if we go to a solicitor's office to talk about problems we are told, "Keep quiet about that". On the other hand we have lawyers telling us that gardaí are not capable of investigating themselves, that people who have risen through the ranks of the Garda Síochána, have given dedicated service to the State, won the confidence of the community and have unstained records are not capable of investigating simple or serious faults within the Garda structure. Members of the House are casting aspersions on gardaí in that regard.

Irrespective of the type of inquiry that is set up or the person put in charge of it a garda in trouble who seeks the opinion of a solicitor will be advised to keep quiet. How will any inquiry establish the facts if the advice given to the person in trouble or who may want to protect himself is to keep quiet? It is the constitutional right of any person to protect himself. The reason we have this problem at present is because there has been far too much political interference in the running of the Garda Síochána. One case that sticks out like a sore thumb is that of former Commissioner Edmund Garvey. Let nobody question a man who joined the force as an ordinary rookie and rose through the ranks to become Commissioner. Such a person must have talent and displayed some ability to be promoted to the highest rank. His successor, Commissioner Patrick McLaughlin, had talent also but the same thing happened to him due to political interference. We sit here in judgment as politicians and point the finger at the Garda and say that it is not in this House the mistakes are occurring but at Garda headquarters, at all levels of the Garda right down to the ordinary member in rural stations. The trouble is that as legislators we have been too tempted to get our friends into the force. One party has been more responsible for this bad conduct than others. If there is a weakness it is that people have got into the Garda Síochána who should not be in it. The body that represents gardaí, and the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors have on a number of occasions admitted this. That ball comes back to the desks of the politicians.

I must put it on record that if I walk the streets of Dublin at night it is not gardaí I am afraid of but the people the gardaí are trying to protect me from. Members seem to have lost sight of that. Some Members pleaded that the gardaí should not lean too heavily on those who smash the windscreens of cars or break into houses and beat up old people. Human nature being what it is, no matter what laws we bring in to control the force, no matter what regulations are introduced in regard to recruiting, if a garda in pursuit of his duty is confronted with a problem he will react in a human manner. I am not condoning what a garda may do but it is important to point out that it will happen in spite of all the laws we bring in or the judicial bodies we establish to inquire into misbehaviour by members of the force. We have to live with that. While walking the streets of this or any other city it is not gardaí we are afraid of although from some of the statements made in the House it appears that that is the case.

I do not have any problem in supporting the Minister's amendment but in view of the bad publicity the Garda Síochána have been getting in recent weeks it is time somebody said something in their defence. I have not spoken in the House too often recently but I must put it on record that I have total confidence in the force. That does not mean to say that all gardaí are white haired boys who do not make mistakes. However, if a garda makes a mistake the structure of the force should be such as to have means of finding out what went wrong and the reason for it. There should not be a major discussion in the House on this. We should put it on record that we have total confidence in the majority of the force. If one or two members have gone astray we must remember that in all groups one or two go astray, including Members elected to this House. I have contributed to this debate for fear that by keeping quiet it would be taken that I condone the criticism levelled at the force by Members, particularly a Member from my constituency. I must stress clearly that I have absolute confidence in the Commissioner and in the structures he has control of as I had in the former Commissioners, Patrick McLaughlin and Edmund Garvey. If you do not have confidence in the Garda Commissioner, then you sack him — but not for the reasons that Fianna Fáil removed Edmund Garvey and not for the reasons that forced Paddy McLaughlin to retire prematurely. Rather you sack him when you know that he is incompetent. I do not think that either Edmund Garvey or Paddy McLaughlin was incompetent. They were both removed from Office through nothing other than pure, blatant, political interference.

I would remind the Deputy again that he has moved away from the subject matter of the debate.

If I have, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle, I beg your indulgence but I rather question that. I am merely saying that had we recognised the need to have a proper structure in the Garda Síochána, had we stopped interfering politically in the running of the police force, had we allowed their commissioner and the officers under his command to run the force, then we would not now be talking as we are.

In response to some of the points made by Deputies Harte and O. J. Flanagan, I should say that the House has expressed many times in the course of the debate on this Bill its support for the Garda Síochána and their work.

The point of the proposed independent complaints tribunal about which we are talking here — and the safeguards to accompany the extended powers to be given the Garda — is to meet many of the objections raised by Deputy Harte. If there is established an independent complaints commission, through which complaints can be processed, then there will be no need for the kind of political interference about which Deputy Harte speaks. When I spoke earlier I said that some of the many allegations and innuendoes made in the past could be dealt with through an independent complaints procedure and put to rest there and then.

I think the Minister and most Members of the House recognise the importance of having a proper, suitable complaints procedure established. There may be some differences of opinion but, as the Minister has said, points of view have come closer. However, there still remain some differences of opinion as to how such a complaints commission could best operate. Our attempts in this House have been to forget about the past, to put it behind us and say: with our experience in the past in what way should we shape the future? How do we now design structures that will minimise these allegations in the future and deal with them effectively?

We dealt earlier in the day with the Ombudsman (Amendment) Bill. It should be remembered that many people were very much afraid of the appointment of an Ombudsman for a long time. Many politicians, civil servants, even Ministers shied away from the thought of an Ombudsman prying into the affairs of a Department, saying: was the Secretary of the Department not a man in whom we all had confidence, were not civil servants people in whom we all had confidence? Of course they were but that did not take from the fact that, not alone here but in other countries also, there is such an appointee. His appointment, forming part of our public administration, can ensure that people with grievances, whether or not well founded, will have redress to an independent process through which such grievances can rightly be seen to be dealt with and dealt with effectively. We know from experiences elsewhere with regard to ombudsmen that that process generally throws up fairly substantial numbers of inquiries that have no great foundation and a small number that do have foundation, which should be dug out and dealt with. In so doing it will be seen that the system is healthier and better founded for the future.

A parallel can be drawn between that and this situation in regard to the Garda Síochána in which we want to provide an independent complaints procedure. The amendment we have put down says that it will be independent; we are not afraid of the word "independent"; we want its insertion. I ask: why does Deputy Harte not want the insertion of the word "independent"? The present difference between the Minister and those of us on this side of the House is that he does not want to write in the word "independent". If I turned round Deputy Harte's argument I could say all of what he has said from this side of the House and contend: therefore, let us have an independent commission free from political or any other kind of interference.

Deputy Harte referred to past events. There is no point in our now going into such events in any detail but they indicate the need to have a truly independent complaints procedure to which all political parties can turn in the event of allegations being made. I would be somewhat concerned about the type of behind-the-scenes picture Deputy Harte painted, that of telephone calls — that I will be in touch with this body, that the Minister will be in touch with somebody else and we will get it all sorted out. We have been endeavouring to assert the independence of the Garda and their operations in this House in the course of the whole of this debate which also underlines the importance of having such a complaints procedure independent not alone in regard to those members of the public who lodge complaints but also in regard to safeguarding the Garda themselves. It must be guaranteed also that, with the regulations provided for in this section, the Garda will be safeguarded from complaints or the kinds of abuse to which they may be subjected.

Shortly we will reach the stage when we will be voting on this issue. One matter that concerns me is the fact that in the Minister's amendment we are now building in an exclusion of the ranks above chief superintendent.

(Limerick East): We are not. We are building in an inclusion up to that rank; there is no exclusion. I said I would take the Deputy's views into account, that I would think about them and talk to the Government about them.

Fair enough, I accept the Minister's point, that he will not be totally tied, that the sections will not be implemented until such time as the proposed complaints procedure is established, that at this point the Minister is only giving an undertaking in regard to the ranks up to that of chief superintendent, that he still retains the freedom subsequently to examine that position and come back later.

Our position is that we want the principle of independence built in at this point. As some other Deputies have said, the instructions emanate from the top and I shall not go into detail on that at this stage. I think it is sufficiently clear that instructions emanate from the top. The Minister has indicated that he is prepared to examine that situation and I accept his assurance in that respect.

The Minister did not refer to the request by the Garda to defer the implementation of the Bill until their training is brought up to a certain standard. Perhaps he would comment on that.

Might I just put on the record of the House — before the Minister replies — that a petition containing some 12,000 signatures of people opposed to the Criminal Justice Bill has just been presented to myself, other Deputies and Senators. I simply wanted to put that on the record of the House.

(Limerick East): I shall revert to where I began. The amendment has come from the Seanad. I have strengthened that Seanad amendment to absolutely assure this House now, by means of amendment of the Bill, that certain of its provisions cannot become law until we do two things: pass a complaints procedure and endorse or approve regulations, and then I can make such regulations. That is the purpose of the amendment. Its purpose is not to give the detail of the particular complaints procedure to which this House will give its approval. I have found the debate very helpful. As I said this morning, certain proposals are being drafted along certain lines where the Government have made decisions in principle. When that draft is completed it must go back to Government for final decision and it is useful to me as Minister to have had such a strong input from the House so that I can see the kind of approach Deputies are taking and the kind of consensus that is emerging.

Deputy Woods in his position as spokesman is giving the reasoned views of the Opposition. There are two points of difference between us. I have no difficulty with the commission directing investigations. Deputy Woods says he has been advised that there is no problem about using the word "independent" but I have been advised to the contrary. I am talking not about the concept of independence but rather the use of the word in the amendment. Deputy Woods outlined his idea of what independence was and gave a very broad definition. I could not quarrel with his definition of independence in relation to the new complaints body.

There is another aspect on which our views differ. I have said that the complaints tribunal will deal with complaints made against members of the Garda up to and including the rank of chief superintendent. The people being excluded are a handful of people of more senior rank — Commissioner, Deputy Commissioners and Assistant Commissioners, I have also said that I had reasons for this and I was indicating that since the Commissioner is chief disciplinary officer of the force there would have to be some input in the adjudication aspect by the Garda Síochána themselves.

I have listened carefully to the views expressed by Deputies on all sides of the House and I will evaluate the situation again. When we come back with the Bill Deputies will be free to move amendments if they are not happy with it. There is no question of the amendment excluding the right of the House to extend this procedure to any rank in the Garda Síochána. In the amendment we have a commitment that the complaints procedure cover all ranks from gardaí in training in Templemore to chief superintendents. It is still open to the House to debate that subsequently when the Bill is before it.

There is a very large measure of agreement between what I am saying and what the spokesman for the Opposition is saying. The main purpose of the amendment is to make sure that these things become law before certain sections of the Bill can come into operation and we have made a lot of progress. I presume Deputy Woods is pushing his amendment to a vote. I do not think it is necessary but I suppose we have to vote here as well as doing a lot of other things.

The Ó Briain report was published in 1978. I should be glad if many of the recommendations of the report had been implemented by statutory regulation and I can assure the House that I will be drawing heavily not only on the existing internal Garda code but also on the Ó Briain report in drafting the new regulations on the treatment of persons in custody. Members will see the effect of that when I come back to the House with those regulations.

We cannot amend the Criminal Justice Bill because it has passed through both Houses but there is no backing off by me from the commitments given during the debate. I hope that when the House agrees to the amendment from the Seanad we will move on very quickly in this session to have a full debate on the complaints procedure with the actual text of a Bill before us.

Many points were made by Deputies who contributed to this debate and, while they were interesting, many of them were not particularly ad rem. A couple of specific requests were made about information on various matters. Deputy Woods talked about a prisoner in Mountjoy. I will take up those points and communicate individually with the Deputies who raised them.

Question put: "That the words proposed to be deleted stand down to and including `investigation"'.

In accordance with long established practice I am putting the question in this way to enable the Minister to move his amendment later in certain eventualities.

The Committee divided: Tá, 71; Níl, 66.

  • Barnes, Monica.
  • Barrett, Seán.
  • Barry, Myra.
  • Barry, Peter.
  • Begley, Michael.
  • Bermingham, Joe.
  • Birmingham, George Martin.
  • Boland, John.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Carey, Donal.
  • Cluskey, Frank.
  • Collins, Edward.
  • Conlon, John F.
  • Connaughton, Paul.
  • Cooney, Patrick Mark.
  • Cosgrave, Liam T.
  • Coveney, Hugh.
  • Creed, Donal.
  • Crotty, Kieran.
  • Crowley, Frank.
  • D'Arcy, Michael.
  • Deasy, Martin Austin.
  • Desmond, Barry.
  • Desmond, Eileen.
  • Donnellan, John.
  • Dowling, Dick.
  • Doyle, Avril.
  • Doyle, Joe.
  • Dukes, Alan.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • Enright, Thomas W.
  • Farrelly, John V.
  • Fennell, Nuala.
  • FitzGerald, Garret.
  • Flaherty, Mary.
  • Flanagan, Oliver J.
  • Glenn, Alice.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harte, Patrick D.
  • Hegarty, Paddy.
  • Hussey, Gemma.
  • Keating, Michael.
  • Kenny, Enda.
  • L'Estrange, Gerry.
  • McGahon, Brendan.
  • McGinley, Dinny.
  • McLoughlin, Frank.
  • Manning, Maurice.
  • Mitchell, Gay.
  • Molony, David.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Naughten, Liam.
  • Noonan, Michael. (Limerick East)
  • O'Brien, Fergus.
  • O'Brien, Willie.
  • O'Keeffe, Jim.
  • O'Leary, Michael.
  • O'Sullivan, Toddy.
  • O'Toole, Paddy.
  • Owen, Nora.
  • Pattison, Séamus.
  • Quinn, Ruairí.
  • Ryan, John.
  • Shatter, Alan.
  • Sheehan, Patrick Joseph.
  • Skelly, Liam.
  • Spring, Dick.
  • Taylor, Mervyn.
  • Taylor-Quinn, Madeline.
  • Timmins, Godfrey.
  • Yates, Ivan.


  • Ahern, Bertie.
  • Ahern, Michael.
  • Andrews, David.
  • Aylward, Liam.
  • Barrett, Michael.
  • Blaney, Neil Terence.
  • Brady, Gerard.
  • Brady, Vincent.
  • Brennan, Mattie.
  • Brennan, Paudge.
  • Brennan, Séamus.
  • Briscoe, Ben.
  • Browne, John.
  • Burke, Raphael P.
  • Byrne, Hugh.
  • Calleary, Seán.
  • Collins, Gerard.
  • Conaghan, Hugh.
  • Connolly, Ger.
  • Coughlan, Cathal Seán.
  • Cowen, Brian.
  • Daly, Brendan.
  • De Rossa, Proinsias.
  • Doherty, Seán.
  • Faulkner, Pádraig.
  • Fitzgerald, Liam Joseph.
  • O'Kennedy, Michael.
  • O'Leary, John.
  • Ormonde, Donal.
  • O'Rourke, Mary.
  • Power, Paddy.
  • Reynolds, Albert.
  • Treacy, Noel.
  • Flynn, Pádraig.
  • Foley, Denis.
  • Gallagher, Denis.
  • Gallagher, Pat Cope.
  • Geoghegan-Quinn, Máire.
  • Gregory-Independent, Tony.
  • Harney, Mary.
  • Hilliard, Colm.
  • Kirk, Séamus.
  • Kitt, Michael.
  • Lenihan, Brian.
  • Leonard, Tom.
  • Leyden, Terry.
  • Lyons, Denis.
  • McCarthy, Seán.
  • McCreevy, Charlie.
  • McEllistrim, Tom.
  • Mac Giolla, Tomás.
  • Molloy, Robert.
  • Morley, P. J.
  • Moynihan, Donal.
  • Nolan, M. J.
  • O'Connell, John.
  • O'Dea, William.
  • O'Hanlon, Rory.
  • O'Keeffe, Edmond.
  • Tunney, Jim.
  • Wallace, Dan.
  • Walsh, Joe.
  • Walsh, Seán.
  • Wilson, John P.
  • Woods, Michael.
  • Wyse, Pearse.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Barrett(Dún Laoghaire) and Taylor; Níl, Deputies V. Brady and Browne.
Question declared carried.
Amendment declared lost.

(Limerick East): I move amendment No. 1a to Seanad amendment No. 1:

In the third line to delete all words after "investigation" and substitute the following:

"of complaints from the public against members of the Garda Síochána not above the rank of chief superintendent and the adjudication by a body other than the Garda Síochána of such complaints have been enacted by the Oireachtas and have come into operation and until regulations under section 7 have been made".

Amendment agreed to.

(Limerick East): I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in Amendment No. 1, as amended.

Question put and agreed to.

I wish to be recorded as dissenting not only from this but from the entire provisions of this draconian measure which is totally unnecessary.

(Limerick East): I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 2:


In page 11, line 18, "(direct or indirect)" deleted.

Question put and agreed to.

Seanad Amendemnt No. 1, as amended, and Seanad Amendment No. 2 reported. Is the report agreed?

Next week, subject to agreement between the Whips.

(Limerick East): Let us take it now.

I have to decide now when it is proposed to take it.

Next week, subject to agreement between the Whips.

Is it proposed to take Report next week subject to agreement between the Whips?

(Limerick East): As we have had a full debate for almost two days I understood we would take Report stage now. I did not think there was any more to be said.

We did not have an agreement. We have concluded Committee Stage. We will have to consider if there are any Report stage amendments.

Is the Minister making a proposal?

(Dún Laoghaire): I think there is some misunderstanding. There are no amendments on Report stage on a Bill coming back from the Seanad.

I must have a proposal that the Report be considered now or at some future time. Have I a proposal to that effect?

We are suggesting that we have Report Stage next week, by agreement.

I am asking if I have a proposal from the Minister.

(Limerick East): I am proposing that we consider it now.

I am putting the question, "That the Report on the Seanad amendments be considered now."

It is regrettable that the Minister should seek to push this Bill through when there has been so much worthwhile discussion.

I have put the question. We cannot have a speech on it now. I think the motion is carried.

The Chair cannot do that. That is a guillotine.

I have said I think the motion is carried.

It is not carried. It has always been the procedure on a very important Bill such as this Bill——

(Limerick East): I wish to withdraw my proposal.

When is it proposed to take the Report?

(Limerick East): Next week, subject to agreement between the Whips.

That is the proper order and procedure.

Report ordered for Tuesday, 13 November 1984.