Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice Niall Collins has called for immediate clarity from the Government on the Fennelly Commission of Investigation following media reports the Commission is not able to fully investigate recordings at garda stations.
Deputy Collins has expressed concern about media reports today in the Sunday Business Post that evidence of some gardaí is not being heard on recordings made at garda stations, the central purpose of the Commission’s Terms of Reference.
Deputy Collins said: “If there are issues concerning the Terms of Reference for the Fennelly Commission they should be aired in the Dáil – as members of the Oireachtas we shouldn’t be learning of them through leaks to the media. I would ask the Minister for Justice to clarify immediately if any issue has been raised with the Government regarding the Terms of Reference, when these concerns were raised and if so why was the Oireachtas not immediately informed? I am also calling on the Minister to confirm if it is the advice of the Government that the Commission’s remit does not extend to the examination of recordings made at garda stations?
Deputy Collins added: “There is now an urgent need for publication of the interim report of Judge Fennelly on the events leading to the sudden departure of the former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan. I am increasingly concerned that the Government’s plan is to sit on this report just long enough to escape into the summer recess when the Dáil will be prevented from questioning the Taoiseach on its findings.
“By any yardstick it is extraordinary that it has taken 16 months to clarify the circumstances of one evening, involving the Taoiseach and senior civil servants.”