140. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a report was prepared for the GSOC directorate regarding work practices and case management in the Longford office of GSOC following concerns expressed in 2016 regarding work practices. (Question 20733/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 140 to 149, inclusive, together.
The information the Deputy has sought is not immediately to hand. I have requested the information and I will write to the Deputy directly when the report is received.
 ...

141. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of cases discontinued in the past year under section 93 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005. (Question 20734/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 140 to 149, inclusive, together.
The information the Deputy has sought is not immediately to hand. I have requested the information and I will write to the Deputy directly when the report is received.
 ...

142. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of cases advanced under section 101 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 in the past year. (Question 20735/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 140 to 149, inclusive, together.
The information the Deputy has sought is not immediately to hand. I have requested the information and I will write to the Deputy directly when the report is received.
 ...

143. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he is satisfied that the GSOC office for its south team is adequately secure physically, technically and electronically for staff, exhibits, records and other materials. (Question 20736/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 140 to 149, inclusive, together.
The information the Deputy has sought is not immediately to hand. I have requested the information and I will write to the Deputy directly when the report is received.
 ...

144. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if it is permitted for GSOC staff to use GSOC vehicles and to claim expenses for personal use or for use outside of GSOC business. (Question 20737/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 140 to 149, inclusive, together.
The information the Deputy has sought is not immediately to hand. I have requested the information and I will write to the Deputy directly when the report is received.
 ...

145. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of members of An Garda Síochána that have been seconded from An Garda Síochána to GSOC; the responsibilities of each within GSOC; and the responsibilities they have for the investigation into certain issues at Templemore Garda Training College. (Question 20738/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 140 to 149, inclusive, together.
The information the Deputy has sought is not immediately to hand. I have requested the information and I will write to the Deputy directly when the report is received.
 ...

146. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if allegations have been made since 2014 of serious misconduct against staff based in or undertaking duties in the southern region of GSOC; if so, if those allegations have been investigated; the position regarding those allegations; and if members of staff have been disciplined since that point. (Question 20739/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 140 to 149, inclusive, together.
The information the Deputy has sought is not immediately to hand. I have requested the information and I will write to the Deputy directly when the report is received.
 ...

147. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if there was a public interest investigation under section 103(4) of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 into the discharge of a weapon at Cabra, Dublin 7 in November 2017; and if not, the reason therefor. (Question 20740/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 140 to 149, inclusive, together.
The information the Deputy has sought is not immediately to hand. I have requested the information and I will write to the Deputy directly when the report is received.
 ...

148. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if it is generally the policy that GSOC would investigate the discharge of a weapon by a member of An Garda Síochána under section 103(4) of the Garda Síochána Act 2005. (Question 20741/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 140 to 149, inclusive, together.
The information the Deputy has sought is not immediately to hand. I have requested the information and I will write to the Deputy directly when the report is received.
 ...

149. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of investigations under section 103(4) of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 into discharges of weapons by members of An Garda Síochána that have been undertaken by GSOC in the past three years. (Question 20742/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 140 to 149, inclusive, together.
The information the Deputy has sought is not immediately to hand. I have requested the information and I will write to the Deputy directly when the report is received.
 ...

102. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a civil servant in his Department made contact with a member of An Garda Síochána in connection with the events of 23 and 24 June 2017 when a civil servant in the Department of An Taoiseach was arrested outside Cabra Garda station; and if so, the details of the contact between 23 June 2017 and to date in 2018. (Question 19332/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission Investigations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy is referring to a matter which was raised in an anonymous protected disclosure. That correspondence was received in my Department on 22 November 2017 and was referred to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) for investigation on 8 December 2017. My Department had no knowledge of, or involvement in, the events referred to by the Deputy prior to receiving the protected disclosure in November 2017.
As the Deputy will...

174. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of open cases with GSOC by the length of time they have been open, the stage of investigation and the average time between the opening and closing of cases in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17175/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission Data)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am to inform the Deputy that the information requested is not currently to hand. I have made a request for the information and will write to the Deputy when the report is received.
 ...

115. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 132 of 18 January 2018, the reason for the delay in the issuing of the response; when the requested information will be supplied; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9227/18 asked on 22 Feb 2018 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission Staff)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I explained in my response to the Deputy on 18 January 2018 that it was not possible in the timeframe allowed to compile the information requested.
GSOC were asked for additional information to enable me to reply fully to the Deputy’s question. Subsequently GSOC undertook to respond directly to the Deputy when the information was compiled.
I am advised that GSOC wrote to the Deputy on 9 February 2018 advising her that they would issue...

116. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the details of the request from GSOC for 12 additional staff forwarded to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; the number of posts which were sought in this request; and if it accurately reflected the number of posts sought by GSOC. (Question 9228/18 asked on 22 Feb 2018 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission Staff)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): In November 2016 GSOC submitted a proposal to my Department for the creation of a designated unit to deal with protected disclosures. The proposal requested funding for a separate office within GSOC and for 12 new staff.  At that time, GSOC had 10 protected disclosures on hand.  
My Department liaised with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) in relation to the request. Staff from my Department met with the Departmen...

53. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the steps he has taken to review the supports available to Garda whistleblowers, particularly in view of GSOC’s acknowledgement of its lack of resources in fulfilling this function; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5652/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission)

Deputy Clare Daly: This question relates to the adequacies, or rather inadequacies, of GSOC with regard to its ability to deal with its function as the recipient of protected disclosures from Garda whistleblowers. This is a matter Deputy Wallace and I have raised on repeated instances, even at the time the legislation was brought forward. We are heartened by the fact GSOC now agrees with us and has itself issued a call to have its powers, resources and ability beefed up. Is the Minister conce...

103. Deputy Jim O’Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the action he has taken to deal with the complaint from GSOC that it does not have sufficient resources to deal with protected disclosures within An Garda Síochána; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5679/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission Staff)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Let me say at the outset that the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission has a hugely important role to play in ensuring that public confidence in the Garda Síochána is safeguarded.  That is why GSOC was given extensive powers under the Garda Síochána Act 2005 to enable it to carry out its responsibilities.
I can assure the Deputy that the resources and funding of GSOC are kept under continuing review to ensure it is able to continue to o...

161. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views on the request from the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission in regard to new legislation to give it independence from his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5149/18 asked on 01 Feb 2018 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission Remit)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will be aware, in April 2017, the Government approved the drafting of the heads of a Bill to address a number of operational issues that had been brought to the attention of my predecessor by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC). That work has progressed and I expect to be in a position to update my Government colleagues shortly.
Meanwhile, in May 2017, the Government established the Commission on the Future of...

132. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the schedule of staff within the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, GSOC, for each of the years since 2005; the number of requests for additional funding, staff resources or expertise that have been made by GSOC in each of these years; the purpose of the requested additional staff resources or expertise; the response of his department to each request, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 2615/18 asked on 18 Jan 2018 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission Staff)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): It has not been possible in the timeframe allowed to compile the information requested by the Deputy.
I have also asked GSOC for additional information to enable me to reply fully to the Deputy’s question.
I will revert to the Deputy as soon as the information has been compiled.
 ...

535. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the budget assigned to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission in each of the years 2015 to 2017; the budget to be assigned for 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54935/17 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 535 and 536 together.
The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) has a hugely important role in ensuring that public confidence in the Garda Síochána is safeguarded, and has extensive powers under the 2005 Act to enable it to carry out its responsibilities. 
The assigned annual budgets for GSOC since 2015 is as follows. 
 2015 2016 2017 2018 €9,212,000.00 €9,546,000.00 €9,577,000.00 10,...

536. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of staff assigned to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission in each of the years 2015 to 2017; the projected number of staff for 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54936/17 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 535 and 536 together.
The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) has a hugely important role in ensuring that public confidence in the Garda Síochána is safeguarded, and has extensive powers under the 2005 Act to enable it to carry out its responsibilities. 
The assigned annual budgets for GSOC since 2015 is as follows. 
 2015 2016 2017 2018 €9,212,000.00 €9,546,000.00 €9,577,000.00 10,...

537. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of investigations being undertaken by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission; the number of investigations being undertaken with reference to the relevant sections of the Garda Síochána Act 2005; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54937/17 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission Investigations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Garda Síochána Act 2005 established Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission - GSOC - to provide independent oversight of alleged misbehaviour by members of the Garda Síochána. The Act stipulates that the Ombudsman Commission is independent in the performance of its functions.  This independence is the central feature of its oversight function and serves to maintain public confidence in its operation. 
All allegations of criminal offenc...

104. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of section 102(1) referrals to GSOC from Garda headquarters in each of the years 2010 to 2016 and to date in 2017 relating to cases in which there was no death involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52493/17 asked on 07 Dec 2017 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission Data)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 104 and 105 together.
The following information has been provided to my Department by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission upon request.
I can advise the Deputy that complaints made under section 83(2) of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 are those that are either made directly to the Garda Commissioner, to a member of An Garda Síochána at a Garda station, or to a Garda member at or above the rank of chief...

105. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of section 83(2) complaints received by An Garda Síochána that were referred to GSOC in each of the years 2010 to 2016 and to date in 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52494/17 asked on 07 Dec 2017 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission Data)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 104 and 105 together.
The following information has been provided to my Department by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission upon request.
I can advise the Deputy that complaints made under section 83(2) of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 are those that are either made directly to the Garda Commissioner, to a member of An Garda Síochána at a Garda station, or to a Garda member at or above the rank of chief...

231. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views on the fact that the GSOC investigation into the death of a person (details supplied) has been ongoing for five years with no outcome for the bereaved family; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42377/17 asked on 10 Oct 2017 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission Investigations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): First of all I want to remind the Deputy that the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission is an independent body tasked with the investigation of complaints against members of the Garda Síochána. That independence is crucial to confidence in the process of investigating such complaints. Therefore, it is a matter entirely for GSOC as to how it carries out its investigations and it would be entirely inappropriate for me, as Minister, to co...

246. Deputy Jim O’Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when the report into the legislation regulating access by GSOC to journalists’ phones, which was delivered by a person (details supplied) to the Government on 27 April 2017, will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41685/17 asked on 03 Oct 2017 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission Investigations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Following receipt of what is a very detailed and comprehensive analysis of the law in the area of access to communications data, the report to which the Deputy refers was forwarded to the Attorney General for consideration and advice, against the background of recent findings by the Court of Justice of the European Union in this complex area of law.  
That advice has been received and considered in the context of the assessment of the ...