Fianna Fáil Justice Spokesperson, Niall Collins TD, has responded to media reports that the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) has been under sophisticated electronic surveillance, and has called for the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter to make an urgent statement on the matter.

Deputy Collins commented: “These are extraordinary claims in The Sunday Times and require an immediate statement from the Justice Minister.  GSOC performs an important role in oversight of the Gardaí, with access to very sensitive material;  indeed, in Fianna Fáil we have been making the case for extending and deepening the powers available to the Commission.

“The idea that someone or some organization is engaged in covertly monitoring the ombudsman is deeply unsettling and risks undermining public confidence.  The Minister needs to come forward and explain whether he has spoken to the Ombudsman and whether he was aware of this surveillance.  If he was, he needs to explain why on earth this was going on.  If he wasn’t we need to get answers very quickly on who is responsible.”