279. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality her views on the arrangements in place to enable citizens to access tape recordings from Garda Síochána stations which are being investigated by the Fennelly commission and which the persons believe contain information which could impact upon the cases that were taken against them. [6342/16]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): As I advised the Deputy in my letter dated 31 August 2015, in response to Parliamentary Question No. 130 on 8 July 2015, I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that shortly after the establishment of the Fennelly Commission of Investigation, and in response to queries from the public, a centralised procedure was put in place at Garda Headquarters to address queries from the public concerning the recording of non-emergency telephone calls at Garda Stations.
All correspondence received under the centralised procedure is now directed to Chief Superintendent, Strategic Transformation Office, Garda Headquarters, c/o Block B, Ashtown Gate, Navan Road, Dublin 15. Enquiries are made within An Garda Síochána in respect of each query received and the results of each query are acknowledged to the requester, investigated and the outcome of the investigation advised to the Fennelly Commission of Investigation.
In the context of the work of the Fennelly Commission, I am satisfied that appropriate arrangements are in place to deal with queries from the public of the type referred to by the Deputy. The Fennelly Commission of Investigation was set up to examine the operation of telephone recording systems in certain Garda Stations over many years, as well as other matters. It is appropriate that the outcome of the investigation of any such queries is advised to that Commission.
I should mention, finally, that in the context of civil proceedings or other litigation, disclosure of material, such as tape recordings from Garda Stations, can be sought either through voluntary discovery or discovery on foot of an order from the Court as part of those proceedings.