THE HEAD OF the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) has criticised the Minister for Justice for suggesting that gardaí be allowed make confidential reports to the Garda Ombudsman.
Frances Fitzgerald had suggested that the Public Disclosures Bill be amended to allow gardaí make reports to the ombudsman, something that is not currently permitted by legislation.
However, AGSI general secretary John Redmond thinks that the move would not make whistleblowing any more credible.
“AGSI has stated widely that to make such an appointment will not add any credibility to the whistleblowing process.
On the contrary, many of the men and women who are Sergeants and Inspectors have grave concerns about having to report to the GSOC, given that that very body investigates complaints and allegations against those very members.
Redmond says that any suggestion that gardaí could go to GSOC should not be made until after the Cooke Report into the bugging of the GSOC offices is complete.
“Can people have confidence in reporting and discussing such issues in GSOC when that office may well have been bugged or may be bugged into the future?”