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Shatter calls in Garda Ombudsman as "full report" sought on phone bugging

The meeting follows reports that a surveillance operation was used to hack into the police watchdog’s emails, wi-fi and phone systems.

Image: Photocall Ireland

JUSTICE MINISTER ALAN Shatter is to hold a meeting with the Garda Ombudsman Commission this afternoon to discuss claims that the police watchdog’s Dublin headquarters were bugged.

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

GSOC have so far refused to comment on the matter.

A spokesperson for the Department said the Minister would be asking for a “full report” on what happened.

GSOC will also be asked to explain its decision to hire a UK security company last year to investigate if it had been placed under surveillance.

Opposition parties have called on Shatter to make an “urgent statement” on the matter.

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Fianna Fáil’s justice spokesperson Niall Collins said the idea that “someone or some organization is engaged in covertly monitoring the ombudsman is deeply unsettling and risks undermining public confidence”.

Sinn Féin’s Pádraig Mac Lochlainn described the reports as “disturbing” and “of immense public concern”.

McLochlainn said the GSOC would be questioned on the issue at the body’s upcoming appearance before the Oireachtas Committee on Public Service Oversight and Petitions, which he chairs.

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Daragh Brophy

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