Tallaght Garda station is so overcrowded that prisoners on long-term detention have to be taken to Clondalkin to shower and cells are being used for storage.
Over three years ago, Michael McDowell, then Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, was involved in a major controversy (among others) on the establishment of a Garda Reserve force of 4,000 members. He included provisions for this in the Garda Síochána Act of that year and faced down opposition from the Garda representative bodes on the issue. Now three years later, there are just 258 members of the Garda Reserve force, less than 6.5 per cent of the targeted figure.
An Garda Siochana is planning what has been called a ‘bottom-up' approach to the prevention of cocaine use in Ireland. A member of the Drug Squad told Village that in 2008, plain-clothes gardai will be dispatched to pubs and clubs across the country in a ‘major crackdown' on the use of cocaine. Gardai will have the power to search individuals suspected of cocaine use and arrest people in possession of illegal drugs.
The Irish Times reports a new agency appointed by the Government to advise on the development of the Garda has expressed serious concern for the safety of Gardaí tackling siege situations and a growing gun culture. The agency, the new Garda Inspectorate, has made several proposals, arising from the killing of John Carty at Abbeylara in 2000.
However welcome are the two reports on the reform of An Garda Síochána – that of the new Garda Inspectorate and that of the new Advisory Board – there is a sense of dismay that both bodies repeat recommendations made over previous decades.
Plans to debate in the Dáil the Barr tribunal report into the Garda killing of John Carthy has been deferred. The report, which was issued in July during the Dáil recess, will now not be debated until 2007 and the chances are it will not be debated at all during the lifetime of the current Dáil. And then the chances are it will never be debated.
The Dean Lyons report shows that the homeless drug addict did not commit the Grangegorman murders and that he fabricated his confession, based on details he learned from gardaí during his interrogation. Frank Connolly reports
Recommendations of previous reports of the Morris Tribunal have been ignored. The political establishment is in denial at the scale of corruption and indiscipline there is within the force. Michael McDowell has protected his flank by the publication of a new disciplinary code but he continues to deny the scale of the problem. By Vincent Browne
Gardaí are investigating an allegation that a woman was raped at the Oxegen music festival at Punchestown in July this year. The woman reported the incident to gardaí from Naas Garda station.