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Question

16. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if she has given further consideration to requests by a person (details supplied) and that person's legal representatives for inclusion on the review panel into cases of Garda misconduct; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7115/15]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I can confirm to the Deputy that the person to whom he refers is included amongst those whose complaints are under consideration by the panel of counsel appointed to operate the Independent Review Mechanism set up to consider allegations of Garda misconduct and inadequacy in the investigation of such allegations.
The review of each complaint will consist of an examination of the papers in the complaint by a counsel from the panel. Following the review of each complaint a recommendation will be made as to whether any further action is desirable and could practicably be taken.
I am aware of requests that the person concerned, her legal representatives and other third parties have made to have her complaints investigated by the Commission of Investigation recently established under Order No 38 of 2015 and being conducted by Mr Justice Kevin O'Higgins following the recommendations made in the Guerin Report.
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.
I am clear that where further investigation is recommended by the review then that will occur. However I would also make the point that in many cases, counsel may recommend that no further action can reasonably be taken. This might be, for example, because a case has already been through due process even though the complainant remains unhappy with the outcome. The crucial point, however, is that every case will have been reviewed by independent counsel, who will have made an objective recommendation.