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'We want to stamp it out': New garda anti-corruption unit will be in place by end of year

The Garda Commissioner said this unit will investigate allegations around drug use and inappropriate behaviour towards vulnerable people.

Image: RollingNews.ie

A NEW ANTI-corruption unit in An Garda Síochána will be up and running by the end of the year, the Garda Commissioner has said.

Commissioner Drew Harris said this unit will investigate allegations around drug use, the flow of information outside of the organisation and inappropriate associations with criminals.

“As an organisation we want to be proactive, we want to show that we are very serious about making sure we have a healthy workforce, which is an honest workforce,” he told reporters.

And so specifically we know there are major threats that can really face into us around the integrity of the organisation. They could be things like drugs, inappropriate associations with criminal gangs and inappropriate behaviour towards vulnerable victims – towards vulnerable females in particular.

“These are areas we want to make sure we clamp down on. There is no room for those in the organisation who would behave in such a way which is either crime or well outside the standards of behaviour that I, and the public, expect of members of An Garda Siochana.”

He said he wanted members of the public to be assured that the organisation is serious about making sure any corruption is “stamped out”. 

The unit will be based in Garda Headquarters in Dublin’s Phoenix Park and initial plans have already been drawn up and submitted by Assistant Commissioner David Sheahan.

Harris said this unit would share information with the Garda Ombudsman’s office, but he said investigating corruption should be the job of An Garda Síochána.

“There’s all forms of wrongdoing and corruption that we will become aware of first, it’s very difficult for an external agency to be aware of, for example, data flowing outside of the organisation,” he explained.

“We know our workforce best and I think that we have a responsibility to make sure that is a healthy workforce in terms of its behaviours.”

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