Allegations have put a cloud over the district says GRA

Reaction to allegations of Garda malpractice

Fiona Heavey fiona.heavey @LeitrimToday

A spokesperson for the Garda Representative Association (GRA) said the allegations of Garda malpractice in Leitrim made by Deputy Martin Kenny have “put a cloud over the local district.”

Ray Wimms, GRA spokesperson for Sligo-Leitrim, told the Leitrim Observer that he welcomes the fact the allegations are being brought to the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) for investigation.

He asked for any member of the Dáil, member of the public or Gardai to forward any complaints or allegations to GSOC for investigation.

Garda Wimms said the Gardai in the Sligo-Leitrim Division will co-operate with any investigation brought by GSOC.

He called for the GSOC investigation to be opened immediately as any delay will “do damage to the Garda membership.” He said the longer this goes on without established facts, it “will fester.”

Garda Wimms said that although Deputy Kenny mentioned that the majority of Gardai do their job honestly, he stated the allegations have “put a cloud over the local district .”

He noted that Deputy Kenny's statement was very broad and “the facts need to be established.”

Garda Wimms said he could not accept or deny, any of the allegations, but welcomed a full investigation by GSOC.

GSOC

A statement to the Leitrim Observer from GSOC said, “The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission listened with concern to the matters brought into the public domain by Deputy Martin Kenny.”

The GSOC spokesperson continued, “A small number of the cases listed by Deputy Kenny have either already been investigated by GSOC, or are currently under investigation.

“We will not comment on the investigation of any of the specific cases.”

The Ombudsman Commission said it has arranged a meeting with Deputy Kenny this week to discuss the matters he has raised.

They also added, “The investigation of any such matters will be treated with the confidentiality that the Protected Disclosures process demands.”

Department of Justice

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice told the paper, “Any member of the public who has any information in relation to criminality or malpractice involving a member of An Garda Síochána should contact the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission.

“Furthermore, it is open to any member of An Garda Síochána, with similar concerns, to make a Protected Disclosure as provided for in legislation.”