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Dublin: 5 °C Thursday 14 November, 2019

'The Department of Justice is not fit for purpose' - Varadkar

The Transport Minister says that he was “shocked” by the Guerin Report.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

TRANSPORT MINISTER LEO Varadkar says that the government ‘gets that there is a problem with the gardaí’.

Speaking on RTÉ’s The Week In Politics this afternoon, Varadkar said that the government is reacting to the Guerin Report, but that he felt much of the blame lay with the Department.

“The gardaí are in crisis, there’s no doubt about that,” Varadkar said, adding that “there are thousands of decent gardaí that want the force to be better”.

He said that he feels there was a genuine surprise at the depths of the findings in the report by barrister Séan Guerin.

“I think a lot of people are shocked, I am too.

“I am probably less shocked than most people because of my dealings with Maurice McCabe.”

However, Varadkar said that the government was reacting in the wake of the report, which led to the resignation of Justice Minister Alan Shatter.

The government does get this. We do know that there is a big problem with the gardaí and the justice system.

He cited an open competition for the Garda Commissioner job, commissions of investigation, a new oversight body and the reform of GSOC.

He said that GSOC was an impotent body.

“GSOC is a toothless dog if ever there was one and they will admit that themselves.

“The Department of Justice is not fit for purpose. They accepted what the gardaí told them.”

Breaking down the Guerin report: The complaints, the cases, the mistakes>

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