102. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he, former Ministers in his Department, or senior Department staff had contact with the Director of Public Prosecutions or An Garda Síochána regarding the Jobstown protest trials and investigations; the nature and content of these contacts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51741/17]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I have not contacted the DPP or An Garda Síochána in relation to this matter, and I am not aware of my predecessors having done so.
I am informed that on 12 February 2015 officials of my Department requested a report on the Jobstown protest on foot of a parliamentary question submitted by Deputy Ruth Coppinger. On 19 February 2015 a response was returned by An Garda Síochána via email and it contained factual information as to the event, the numbers of persons arrested and the offences for which arrests were made. The report informed the reply to Deputy Coppinger’s Question No. 21 of that same date which made clear that the investigation of the offences was a matter for the Garda authorities and that any charges would be a matter for the DPP, who acts independently in accordance with law.
Following the completion of the proceedings and media report that An Garda Síochána were reviewing the matter, on 7 July 2017 officials of my Department emailed An Garda Síochána requesting a report for the Minister in relation to the Jobstown investigation and trial.
On 26 July 2017 An Garda Síochána submitted the report via email to the then Secretary General of my Department. The Report included an account of what happened on the day of the protest, a summary of the subsequent investigation and court proceedings and an outline of plans to review the policing of the protest.
There were also communications between my Department and the DPP in respect of technical legal aid payment matters that would arise in any such case, but this was not at a senior official level.