Shatter 'unaware' of Garda Ombudsman bugging fears

Sunday 09 February 2014 22.55
Garda Ombudsman suspected that its offices were bugged
Garda Ombudsman suspected that its offices were bugged

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has said he did not know that the Garda Ombudsman Commission suspected its offices in Dublin were bugged last year.

Mr Shatter has asked the Commission for a report on its decision to hire a British Security company last year to investigate if it had been placed under electronic surveillance.

A source within GSOC has confirmed to RTÉ that the company told it that it had found evidence of electronic surveillance in one of its meeting rooms and that its wi-fi system may have been compromised.

However the source also said that while enough evidence had been found for GSOC to be concerned about its own security, it felt it did not have sufficient evidence to identify a suspect and there was not sufficient material to report the matter to either the Minister for Justice or the Oireachtas.

A spokesman for the Minister said Mr Shatter would not comment on the matter until he has received and considered a report from the Commission.

The Garda Síochána said it is also unaware that the Commission’s offices were bugged and received no report on the matter.

Fianna Fáil Justice spokesman Niall Collins said this evening that the idea that someone or some organisation is engaged in covertly monitoring the ombudsman is deeply unsettling and risks undermining public confidence.

A spokesperson for the commission has refused to confirm or deny that its offices were bugged.

Keywords: garda ombudsman