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Ahern admits Garda file was photocopied in Reads

The Minister for Justice admits that a file on an alleged criminal gang was brought to a shop for photocopying.

Reads is a popular photocopying destination for offices and students alike.
Reads is a popular photocopying destination for offices and students alike.
Image: Google Maps

THE MINISTER FOR JUSTICE has admitted to the Dáil that a sensitive Garda file on an alleged criminal gang was brought to a busy photocopying shop in the centre of Dublin City for photocopying and binding.

Dermot Ahern said that the document had been brought to a photocopying shop in the centre of town where it was left unattended for some time.

When the Gardaí saw that a member of staff had then communicated with a third party without the Garda’s permission, they then moved to retrieve the file.

The admission came in response to a question from Fine Gael justice spokesman Alan Shatter, who said he understood the shop in question was Reads on Nassau Street, Dublin – a popular and busy premises with heavy student and office trade.

The question came on foot of a report in the Sunday Tribune in August which said the document in question was a chart outlining the heirarchy of a criminal gang based in Finglas.

The Tribune reported that when some names on the file were recognised by a member of staff, they had contacted one of the people named and agreed to make an additional copy of it for that person’s reference.

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When Gardaí became aware of this conversation, specialised armed officers stormed the store and shut it down for an hour while they interviewed members of staff.

The document was brought to the shop, it said, upon the orders of a senior Garda who wanted to make the document more visually pleasing before it was included in a file to be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Such documents would ordinarily be sent to the Garda secure photocopying facility in Santry. Ahern told the Dáil that Garda commissioner Fachtna Murphy had ordered that no files be photocopied off Garda premises in future.

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Gavan Reilly

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