Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice Niall Collins has said the lack of interest in the position of Secretary General at the Department of Justice is not surprising given the Government willingness to blame officials for its own failings.
Deputy Collins commented: “Is it any wonder there has been a lack of interest from qualified people in taking on the job of running and reforming the Department of Justice when you look at the Government’s record of blaming officials at every hands turn? The lack of political accountability and the failure of the Government to deliver on meaningful political reform are undoubtedly making the search for a new executive at the top of the Department more difficult.
“The reform needed at the heart of our justice system requires the best possible candidates coming forward for key roles but it’s clear the government’s own failings are making this harder.
“The ease at which this Government has scapegoated officials in health and justice over the last three years while Ministers have washed their hands of clear policy failings has been nothing short of outrageous. They similarly tried the same process at Irish Water in the last week in trying to tarnish the reputations of management instead of acknowledging their establishment of the super quango was botched from day one.
“There is a serious job of work to do in the Department. The Department itself needs to be overhauled as does the management of An Garda Síochána. Our criminal justice system is struggling to cope with the thousands of summons and bench warrants which remain outstanding. Garda numbers are down over 1,600 in four years. Over 16% of our prison population are on temporary release at any one time due to capacity issues and crime in Dublin is becoming a real concern making international headlines.
“I support the plans to reform and reconfigure workings of the Department of Justice and I hope an appropriate candidate for the position of Secretary General can be found to lead this change. However it is essential that he or she is given the political support to carry out this important work.”