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Question

61. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of reviews of cases which have been completed by the independent review mechanism; the likely time frame for completion of the reviews of all 319 cases she referred to the mechanism; her current estimate of the number of commissions of investigation which may result from these review studies; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [42358/15]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The Deputy is referring to the mechanism established for the independent review of certain allegations of Garda misconduct, or inadequacies in the investigation of certain allegations, which have been made to me as Minister for Justice and Equality, or the Taoiseach.
I have repeatedly emphasised that the Independent Review Mechanism was not established to act as a Commission of Inquiry or Investigation. Nor was it designed to make findings. Its purpose was to triage the allegations to see whether further action was needed and what that action would be. It is also important to emphasise that the range of matters covered by the cases referred to the Panel was very wide. They included property disputes, probate issues, disputes between neighbours, dissatisfaction with the outcome of civil and criminal court actions as well as decisions of the DPP and GSOC. These are all matters in which I, as Minister, have no role. Nevertheless, they were considered by the Panel despite the fact that, at face value, they were outside the remit of the IRM.
I am happy to say that the Panel has provided recommendations to me in all 320 cases submitted to them and has therefore largely concluded its work. The issuing of notification letters to complainants commenced on 29 June. To date, 298 complainants have been notified of the outcome of the review of their cases. Letters will continue to issue to all complainants until the process is completed.
I am mindful that all complainants are anxious to know the outcome of the review of their case and every effort is being made to conclude the process. In each case a summary is prepared together with a draft letter to the complainant. Mr Justice Roderick Murphy is continuing to review the summaries and the draft letters of notification to ensure that they are a fair and accurate reflection of the recommendations made by counsel.
I have previously assured Deputies that where further investigation is recommended by the review then that will occur. Where cases have resulted in recommendations for further action, I have accepted those recommendations. These include referral to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC), requesting a report from the Garda Commissioner in accordance with section 41(2) of the Garda Síochana Act 2005, establishment of an inquiry under section 42(1) of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, establishment of a non-statutory inquiry, appointment of a Legal Advisor.