177. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the delay in relation to the case of a person (details supplied) will be addressed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40984/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As I advised the Deputy in response to question 397 on 7 September 2018, issues relating to the formal sharing of information between An Garda Síochána and the GSOC for investigative purposes are of an operational nature and, as such, I have no role in this process.
Section 67 of the Garda Síochána Act states that the Ombudsman Commission shall be independent in the performance of its functions. It also provides that the Ombudsman Commission has all powers that are necessary for, or incidental to, the performance of its functions.
An Garda Síochána and GSOC have developed an extensive protocol which governs the sharing of information relevant to an active investigation being conducted by the Commission. This protocol sets out the responsibilities of both parties and provides a detailed process of escalation where certain records or information has not yet been provided.
With specific reference to the matter raised by the Deputy, it must be stressed that as this relates to an active investigation under consideration with GSOC, I cannot interfere with or influence that investigative process. To do otherwise could be construed as interfering with the independence of the Commission. Therefore, I hope that the Deputy will appreciate that it would not be appropriate for me to comment further in the matter.