Shatter 'regrets' not being invited to GRA meeting

Wednesday 30 April 2014 22.54
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Minister Shatter said it is important that he has constructive relations with garda representatives
Minister Shatter said it is important that he has constructive relations with garda representatives
PJ Stone (above) said Martin Callinan was removed from office on a political whim
PJ Stone (above) said Martin Callinan was removed from office on a political whim
Officers in the Special Detective Unit want the electronic record to be used as evidence in court
Officers in the Special Detective Unit want the electronic record to be used as evidence in court
Shatter 'regrets' not being invited to GRA meeting

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has said he regrets the fact that the Garda Representative Association did not invite him to their conference and he said he would have been happy to attend.

He said he thought it was important that as Justice Minister he has constructive relations with garda representatives.

He also said he hopes the GRA will reconsider the manner in which they approach some issues.

The minister said he would not comment on remarks from the Association's General Secretary, PJ Stone today, that the former commissioner Martin Callinan was sacked by the Government.

Minister Shatter said they were matters to be dealt with by the forthcoming inquiry.

Earlier, Mr Stone said Mr Callinan was removed from office on a political whim and described it as a disgraceful way to treat the head of a police force.

He called for the establishment of an independent police body and said neither the Minister for Justice nor the Department of Justice should have any role in the promotion of gardaí or the appointment of commissioners.

Earlier, officers at the GRA conference in Killarney, Co Kerry called for new legislation to end the requirement for interviews to be written down as evidence when they are being electronically recorded.

Officers said the current system is antiquated.

They said the system has already been changed in the UK and other countries.

The garda caution states that anything a suspect says will be written down and can be used in evidence.

This means interviews have to be written down even though they are being recorded electronically.

The GRA said it is time-consuming and interrupts the conversation of those who want to talk to gardaí and gives more time to evade for those who do not want to talk.

Officers in the Special Detective Unit want the rules to be changed to allow the electronic record to be used as evidence.

Interim Garda Commissioner Noirín O'Sullivan last night reiterated the force's determination to bring the killers of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe before the courts.

She said gardaí were receiving good cooperation from the PSNI and the US authorities.

Ms O'Sullivan said she was very confident the killers will be brought to justice.

Kenny to chair committee on justice reform

Meanwhile, the Government is to establish a Cabinet committee on justice reform to oversee proposals for an independent police authority and other changes. 

It will be chaired by the Taoiseach.

Ministers also decided today to bring forward proposals for a public consultation process in the coming weeks.

A statement said that the intention was to have the new structures in place later this year.

The government also decided that that the gardaí and the Department of Justice should take steps to retain and preserve all tapes and devise a scheme so that they could be access in accordance with law.