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Garda group raises ‘serious concerns’ over actions of Ombudsman

The Ombudsman’s office has rejected allegations that its staff acted inappropriately.

The office of the Garda Ombudsman in Dublin
The office of the Garda Ombudsman in Dublin
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Updated, 09.13

THE GROUP REPRESENTING rank-and-file gardaí continues to have ‘serious concerns’ about the conduct of investigations by the Garda Ombudsman, its president has said.

However, the Ombudsman’s office has rejected the allegations, and said that there were appropriate channels available if gardaí had issues with its actions.

Damien McCarthy, president of the Garda Representative Association, told TheJournal.ie that some gardaí were unhappy over the way in which they were treated by investigators. He said:

In some instances, there has been a level of dissatisfaction, and serious concern about the way in which investigations were conducted. And I believe that is a very serious issue that must be addressed as a matter of urgency.

McCarthy added that there was no appropriate forum for gardaí to raise issues over the Ombudsman’s actions, except for the GRA to write to the Minister for Justice requesting an inquiry. “Nobody is watching the watchdog,” he said.

In one instance, he said an investigator had left a voicemail on a garda’s phone, saying that if they did not respond within an hour, it would be treated as non-cooperation and the DPP would be informed.

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“That type of activity is taking place and we have nowhere to take our issues,” he said.

However, the Garda Ombudsman Commission today rejected suggestions that its staff had acted inappropriately. Spokesman Graham Doyle told TheJournal.ie that Gardaí were welcome to approach it if they had concerns.

If Dermot McCarthy wants to come and speak to the Garda Ombudsman in relation to the issue, or any concerns he has, we are more than willing to speak with him and would be happy to do so.

Last month, the Ombudsman rejected complaints from the Garda Representative Association which had called for for a review of its powers.

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Michael Freeman

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