Thursday, 25 October 2018

Ceisteanna (170)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

170. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views on the cultural and administrative dysfunction in An Garda Síochána that was identified in the Charleton Report; the way in which he plans to respond to these issues; and the timescale for same. [44435/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The Third Interim Report of the Disclosures Tribunal addresses matters at the heart of policing in Ireland. Its findings and conclusions are, as I have already said in the House, stark. Mr. Justice Charleton does not mince words and is very clear about where serious failings took place, how they were allowed to happen and who allowed them to happen. 

It is clear that there are consequences for certain individuals and much of that will fall to the Garda Commissioner. There are also important recommendations to be taken on board by the organisation as a whole. I met with Commissioner Harris earlier this week to discuss the report and I assured him of my support as he addresses its findings.  Both he and I are determined that our response to the matters raised in this report must be forward-looking and contribute to the development of a modern police force for the twenty-first century.

In this respect, the Deputy will be aware that the independent Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland has just reported following its root and branch analysis of policing in Ireland and sets out a plan for the future of policing in this country. Like Judge Charleton's findings, this report makes clear that transparency, good governance and accountability in An Garda Síochána is fundamental. The implementation of that report will be the cornerstone of the necessary transformation in An Garda Síochána. I will be bringing an implementation plan in relation to the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland report to Cabinet before the end of the year and I will ensure that this takes careful account of the conclusions of Mr Justice Charleton. 

In parallel, I agree with Mr Justice Charleton that new structures will not of themselves create the culture that would avoid the repetition of bad practice that has been highlighted now in a number of reports on the Garda Síochána.  This will require significant cultural change, embedding consistent good practices and conscientious supervision by those in management ranks. This was discussed in some detail with Commissioner Harris during our meeting, and I was encouraged to see that this report is being held up as a call to action within An Garda Síochána to address these very serious issues. I can assure the Deputy that Commissioner Harris will have the full support of myself and my Department in bringing about the reform called for in this report.