The Dáil – 17/7/2013
Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan
The Minister of State seems to have so much confidence in the current system, which she has outlined. The Minister is answerable to the Dáil for the Garda Síochána. The Garda Commissioner is the Accounting Officer for the Garda Síochána and in that capacity is liable to appear before the Committee of Public Accounts. Whether that is supposed to inspire confidence, I am not too sure. The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission will carry out independent investigations into Garda conduct and the Garda Síochána inspectorate. However, that system has not worked for the people who told their stories yesterday. Neither did it work for Dr. O’Flaherty or the family of Fr. Niall Molloy. In their case, they have been waiting for over 30 years.
We need impartiality, transparency and democratic accountability. Some 15 or 20 years ago, there was a very fractured relationship between the gardaí and communities in the inner city. There was no trust in the gardaí and there were serious shortcomings in their responses to crime. The gardaí then had to demonstrate that they were prepared to be responsive.
Deputy Mattie McGrath: We have a serious situation. I salute the Garda Reserve who give their time. They should be given the first chance to become recruited to the Garda Síochána if they are suitable.
The Garda Representative Association, GRA, has repeatedly called for impartiality in investigations. No one is hiding in that regard. The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission and its forerunner, with which I was involved, must restore trust with the Garda and people. I have seen on television that when a garda is involved in an accident in some cases a helicopter flies members of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission to investigate. I accept there must be independence but I question the resources that are put into the commission. The investigations must be carried out in a proper manner. We must examine the situation. The Garda must be investigated by an independent body. The GRA has asked for that. However, when we see cases such as those of the late Fr. Niall Molloy and Shane Tuohy they spoil the whole atmosphere for the rest of the good gardaí. I have seen gardaí being abused at the front gate trying to protect us in this House from people who want anarchy on the streets. I salute the Garda and I support it. I have been involved in the community alert initiative all my life. A police force cannot operate without the support of the public. We must build trust.
The Senate Monday.
Monday 15th July
Statement by Senator John Kelly
” I was at a mass yesterday in Castlecoote marking the 28th anniversary of Fr. Niall Molloy’s murder. It was attended by a huge crowd, including family, friends and supporters of Fr. Molloy. Many of them said to me that they wanted to see justice done in this case. Three to four months ago I tabled an Adjournment matter on this issue. The Minister stated the cold case investigation was taking place and that he could not comment any further until it was concluded. It concluded over two months ago and the report has been on his desk for the past two months. The people of Castlecoote, County Roscommon want to see justice done; they want to see a conclusion. If somebody broke the law, they would plead for mercy. The man in question did not break the law but was murdered. We are pleading for justice for him.”
Deputy Mattie McGrath: As we move towards the summer recess it is appropriate to raise one final time with the Taoiseach some of the key concerns I have put to him on the floor of the House but which have failed to receive any kind of meaningful response. Over the course of this Dáil session I have tried to engage with the Taoiseach on a number of extremely important issues such as the plight of the Omagh bomb victims, the ongoing denial of justice to the family of the late Fr. Niall Molloy, the refusal to meet or engage with the families of the Stardust tragedy and the pursuit of policies by this Government which have done nothing to reverse the horror of mass youth unemployment and emigration. Last, but not least, I wish to raise the Taoiseach’s heavy-handed approach to ramming through the so-called Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill. Instead of promised change-
Memorial Mass Yesterday.
There was a great attendance at the Mass in Fuerty yesterday and also a large number of people at Niall’s graveside for prayers afterwards.
Many thanks to the Family, Parishioners, Friends and Politicians who attended.