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Question

133. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the extent to which forensic technology available to An Garda Síochána remains comparable with that in other jurisdictions adjoining and throughout Europe; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42733/18]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will be aware, the two bodies responsible for forensics in relation to policing in Ireland are the Garda Síochána National Technical Bureau and Forensic Science Ireland (FSI) which is under the remit of my Department. Both operate to the highest standards and their staff are to be commended on their expertise and dedication to the application of science to crime investigation in Ireland over many years.
The Garda National Technical Bureau provides assistance and technical support in the investigation of crime by conducting forensic examinations of crime scenes and the forensic examination of exhibits from such crime scenes and elsewhere. The Technical Bureau is a modern forensic examination facility with state of the art examination equipment and appropriately trained and qualified expert personnel in the areas of fingerprint examination, ballistic and firearm examination, forensic photography, forensic document and handwriting examination and the mapping of crime scenes. The Bureau has ISO 17025 accreditation.
FSI offers a broad range of forensic services that includes DNA analysis, drugs identification and quantification methods and physical and chemical analysis techniques. FSI has ISO 17025 accreditation and is a member of the European Network of Forensic Science Institutions (ENFSI). Many of these techniques are also used by other members of the ENFSI and this network promotes sharing and adoption of best practices across institutes.
The Deputy may wish to note that construction of a new FSI laboratory at the Backweston campus, Co. Kildare, will commence in the near future, providing a modern, purpose built facility, achieving best practice standards for evidence processing, analysis and storage.