156. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 545 of 16 January 2018, the legal and procedural issues that were considered incomplete in a report (details supplied); and the steps that can now be taken to conclude the issue for all parties involved in the investigation. [6552/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Irish Prison Service that in June 2010, the then Director General commissioned an external operational report into the circumstances surrounding the removal of a person from the Dóchas Centre.
A review of the operational report by the current Director General highlighted some legal and procedural flaws in the manner in which the enquiry was conducted. One such difficulty was the absence of documentary evidence to show that all of those who had participated in the enquiry were given an opportunity to comment on the accuracy of the comments attributed to them by the investigators.
In order to address those issues, a second external investigator was appointed in an attempt to bring the enquiry to a satisfactory conclusion. The participants who were interviewed as part of the original investigation were provided with written accounts of their previous contributions and invited to submit any additional comments they might have. Some participants were not satisfied with the renewed investigation while others expressed concerns at the content of the original statements attributed to them. While this process was underway legal action was commenced and the IPS was advised to await the outcome of the proceedings before issuing a further response to the participants.
Subsequently the second external investigator advised the Director General that in light of some the responses received from those parties interviewed as part of the enquiry, coupled with the lapse of time it would not be possible to conclude the enquiry without re-interviewing all of the witnesses. He further advised that this approach would not be practical or feasible at such remove from the matters which were the subject of the original enquiry. In light of this advice it was regretfully decided that it was neither practical nor feasible to continue with the enquiry for the reasons set out above.
I am informed that the Director General will correspond directly with relevant parties with a view to bringing this matter to a conclusion.