464. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the terms of reference of the commission of inquiry arising out of the Guerin report can or is it likely to be extended at any stage to include any other cases, such as the cases being reviewed by the panel of council; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1582/15]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The Deputy is referring to the Commission of Investigation being established on foot of the recommendations of Mr Seán Guerin, SC, in his report of 6 May 2014 on how allegations made by Sergeant Maurice McCabe concerning certain cases connected to the Cavan/Monaghan Garda Division were handled. I published the draft Order proposing the establishment of this Commission of Investigation on 19 December 2014. The draft Order includes the terms of reference for the Commission. All of the matters recommended by Mr Guerin SC for inclusion in a Commission of Investigation are included in the terms of reference.
With reference to the independent review by a panel of counsel of certain allegations of Garda misconduct to which the Deputy refers, the panel has been examining over 300 cases. Its role is effectively to triage those cases with a view to determining to what extent and in what manner further action may be required in each case. Where counsel do recommend further investigations, I will be very strongly guided by that advice. Clearly, there are a number of possible options for further investigations, in particular by way of referral to GSOC, but any recommendation for referral of a case to a commission of investigation will be very carefully considered, including whether this could be achieved by way of amending the terms of reference of an existing commission or the establishment of a separate commission.