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Inspectorate launches examination of garda anti-corruption practices

Commissioner Drew Harris last month confirmed a new anti-corruption unit will be up and running by the end of the year.

Image: Laura Hutton/RollingNews.ie

THE GARDA INSPECTORATE has started an inspection of counter corruption practices within An Garda Síochána.

The examination will focus on the effectiveness of the organisation at preventing, detecting and mitigating against internal corruption.

Chief Inspector Mark Toland said today that there is “no doubt that the overwhelming majority of garda members and staff are honest, professional and committed to the values” in the garda code of ethics. 

He said the inspection will provide an independent forward-looking report on the effectiveness of An Garda Síochána in dealing with internal corruption. 

As part of the review, the inspectorate will examine vetting in selection processes and supervision and will assess the force’s capability to investigate corruption in terms of confidential disclosures, intelligence and information sharing.

It will also look at substance testing, transparent decision-making and the maintenance of professional boundaries.

The inspectorate will rely on the definition commonly used by government agencies and departments in Ireland, that corruption is “an abuse of a position of trust in order to gain an undue advantage”.

Toland said this investigation will complement the “ongoing work of the Garda Commissioner in putting in place the processes to prevent and tackle corruption within the Garda Síochána”.

Commissioner Drew Harris last month confirmed a new anti-corruption unit will be up and running by the end of the year. He said this unit will investigate allegations around drug use, the flow of information outside of the organisation and inappropriate associations with criminals.

His comments came just a week before three gardaí – a superintendent, an inspector and a rank-and-file member – were arrested and questioned on suspicion of being involved in the commission of one or more criminal offences.

The superintendent was arrested on suspicion of breaching legislation which relates to passing on information obtained in the course of garda duties, the inspector was questioned over suspected breaches of the Misuse of Drugs Act and the garda is being investigated under suspicion of perverting the course of justice.

All three were released without charge but have been suspended from duty as the investigation – part of a wider investigation of a Munster-based crime gang – continues.

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