Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for Justice, Jim O’Callaghan TD has drafted a bill that would overcome obstacles being encountered by GSOC as it attempts to investigate issues arising from evidence given to the O’Higgins Commission.
Recent media reports suggest that the provisions contained in Section 11 of the existing Commission of Investigation Act 2004 are preventing the Gardaí from furnishing GSOC with particular evidence.
Commenting on the issue, Deputy O’Callaghan said, “It is essential that GSOC is empowered to do the work we as a society ask it to do, and that the public concerns be addressed as soon as possible.
“I am therefore proposing that the Commission of Investigation Act be amended to remove any real or perceived ambiguity, and provide for this information to be provided to GSOC when it is conducting an ongoing investigation under Garda Siochána Acts.
“I have drafted a short bill to give effect to this – and there are precedents for similar legislation. Early this year the Act was also amended to expand the powers of the Commission of Investigation into IBRC.
“This is an issue that can be dealt with in a timely manner if the political will is there. Fianna Fáil is presenting the Oireachtas with an answer to the problem before it escalates. Our hope is that others will support us in this effort.”