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Reform

Fitzgerald: 'We need to confront deficiencies and bad practices in An Garda Síochána'

New reforms are on the way, with many to be enacted in this Oireachtas term.

THE MINISTER FOR Justice Frances Fitzgerald says that in order to make An Garda Síochána the best possible police force for the country, there will need to be substantial changes.

Addressing the Law Society of Ireland today, Fitzgerald said the police force is at a pivotal point and that changes are on the way.

“In some cases this may involve confronting deficiencies and challenging bad practices,” she said.

Changes

She said that work is progressing on preparation of legislation for the establishment of an Independent Policing Authority and it would be enacted in the current Oireactas term.

Speaking about the new authority, she said it will bring a new layer of public accountability and transparency to the administration and oversight of policing, including making appointments to senior Garda ranks.

“It will be set up as a pillar of integrity which will, I believe, greatly reinforce public confidence in the working of our police services,” she said. 

She also committed to publishing legislation that will strengthen and clarify the powers of Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC). She also said this would be done in the Oireachtas in this month.

Fitzgerald added that the gardaí will be included in the Freedom of Information Bill, which is expected to be enacted quickly. 

I am determined to do whatever is necessary to provide our communities with the policing service they deserve and I am confident that the Government’s reform programme will achieve that,” she said. 

Read: Gardaí appeal for witnesses to car crash that seriously injured 13-year-old boy>

Read: Mother and child (3) taken to hospital after two-car collision>

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