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Dublin: 6 °C Wednesday 13 November, 2019

Cabinet to discuss terms of reference for GardaGate inquiry

Ministers will discuss the issue during today’s meeting, and it is expected the terms will be released very soon.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter and former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan
Justice Minister Alan Shatter and former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

CABINET IS EXPECTED to discuss the terms of reference for the GardaGate inquiry when Ministers meet today.

At their meeting this afternoon, it is expected that they will discuss the terms of reference for the Commission of Inquiry into the taping of calls in and out of garda stations.

The issue emerged two weeks ago, and led to the resignation of Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.

It subsequently emerged that recordings were also made within the prison service.

The Government announced on 25 March that a statutory Commission of Investigation would be formed to look into the information regarding the taping of calls.

The calls

Thousands of hours of recorded garda calls from stations around the country will have to be transcribed for the inquiry.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said that there are approximately 2,500 tapes in existence, dating from the 1980s until 2008, when the recording process went digital.

The practice of recording garda calls ceased in November 2013.

It emerged last week that an Garda Síochána spent between €40,000 and €50,000 a year on maintaining the equipment used to record the calls.

It is anticipated that the terms will take in the views of the Oireachtas Justice Committee on the matter, which were recently sent to Government.

The chair of the Commission of Investigation is Mr Justice Nial Fennelly. At last week’s Cabinet meeting, Ministers agreed that the inquiry should examine all matters “of public concern relating to the issue of taping of conversations in Garda stations”.

The terms of reference will be subject to approval by Dáil Éireann.

Read: Terms for inquiry into GardaGate ‘to be decided on tomorrow’>

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