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"Micromanaging gardaí" is not something the Justice Department should do - former ministerial advisor

Richard Moore, who worked with former Minsiter Dermot Ahern, has questioned how the Department handles complaints.

Former Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern.
Former Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern.
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

A FORMER GOVERNMENT advisor has raised questions over how the Department of Justice handles complaints they receive regarding An Garda Síochána.

The government yesterday announced an independent review of the Department in response to the findings of the Guerin report.

“This spectrum of issues is complex and deep-rooted ranging from high-level issues such as oversight, change management and the role of whistle-blowers; to local administration and internal communication; to matters of basic policing, performance and human resources,” Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said.

Richard Moore, special advisor to one of Alan Shatter’s predecessors as Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern, has said is it not the Department of Justice’s responsibility to “micromanage gardaí”.

“If someone makes a complaint about the gardaí [to officials in the Department], it’s their job to hand it on to the commissioner,” Moore told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

“When a series of complaints come in about the operational functions of individual or divisional garda operations… the obvious investigative authority there is the management structure of the gardai”.

Officials in the Department of Justice certainly would not have a role, in my opinion, and they might decide to change it, but the would not have a role in the day to day examining of complaints made by gardaí.

Moore added that anything else would suggest that a “task force” is operating in the Department to handle these complaints, saying that officials in the Department have to “trust” the commissioner.

He said that he found the Department “a very good place to work” and “very effective”, with some of the “best civil servants” at the top.

Moore worked with Dermot Ahern during his time as Justice Minister between 2008 and 2011.

Read: Did former Justice ministers know about the garda recordings? We asked… >

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Nicky Ryan

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