85. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the investigation into the alleged involvement of Garda personnel in the drugs trade in the midlands region first reported in May 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5674/18]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As I have previously advised the Deputy, I am aware of the concerns regarding these particular allegations and I am anxious that any allegations of wrongdoing by members of An Garda Síochána are properly examined.
The investigation into the allegations of Garda members being complicit in the illegal sale and supply of drugs is a matter for the Garda Commissioner.  The Deputy will appreciate that I have no authority to direct the Commissioner in this regard.  The control, operation and direction of An Garda Síochána, is, by law, a matter for the Garda Commissioner.  Furthermore, it would be wholly inappropriate for me to seek to interfere in any investigation undertaken by An Garda Síochána.
As the Deputy is aware, allegations relating to these matters are currently with the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission. GSOC is statutorily independent in the performance of its obligations and this independence must be respected.
While I am committed to seeing these allegations properly examined, the investigations must be allowed to be conducted in a manner which is free from interference or intervention from outside.  As indicated previously, if at the end of these investigations there are still matters of concern, I will consider the matter at that time.