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Dublin: 12 °C Thursday 5 December, 2019

Shatter urged to comment on report of bugging at Garda Ombudsman office

A report today claimed emails, wi-fi and phone systems were hacked and a phone in a conference room at the building was bugged.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

MINISTER FOR JUSTICE Alan Shatter has been urged to respond to a report today that claimed the Garda Síochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) headquarters in Dublin was bugged.

The Sunday Times reported today that a surveillance operation was used to hack into emails, wi-fi and phone systems at the Abbey Street building. It also claimed a speaker phone in a conference room was bugged.

Today, Fianna Fáil’s justice spokesperson, Niall Collins, said Shatter should “make an urgent statement” on the matter.

“GSOC performs an important role in oversight of the gardaí, with access to very sensitive material; indeed, in Fianna Fáil we have been making the case for extending and deepening the powers available to the commission,” he commented.

The idea that someone or some organization is engaged in covertly monitoring the ombudsman is deeply unsettling and risks undermining public confidence.

“The minister needs to come forward and explain whether he has spoken to the Ombudsman and whether he was aware of this surveillance,” he continued. “If he was, he needs to explain why on earth this was going on. If he wasn’t we need to get answers very quickly on who is responsible.”

A spokesperson for GSOC told they had no comment to make on the matter.

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