The Inquiry to which the Deputy refers is one of five statutory Inquiries which were established in accordance with section 42 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, on 15 May 2017. These Inquiries arose out of the recommendations of the Independent Review Mechanism, in respect of complaints considered by it.
Following consultation with the Attorney General, it was decided that it would be appropriate for these Inquiries to be conducted by retired members of the judiciary. The Attorney General put forward nominations of appropriate persons and my predecessor, Minister Frances Fitzgerald TD, made the five appointments.
A distinguished retired judge of the District Court was appointed to conduct the Inquiry relating to complaints made by the person referred to by the Deputy. The former judge had previously held the position of Garda Confidential Recipient for a relatively brief period from 12th March 2014 to 14th July 2014 when the office was abolished.
In advance of assigning a particular case to each of the former judges, assurance was sought by my Department and provided by the judges that they had no previous professional involvement with the cases to be inquired into, nor was there any other reason which could give rise to a conflict of interest. In the event that a judge felt that there could be cause for a potential conflict of interest in relation to one or more of the five cases, those cases were assigned to a different judge.
I am fully satisfied as to the appropriateness of his subsequent appointment to Inquire into the matter raised in the Deputy's question.