528. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 102 of 21 May 2017, if a meeting can be arranged between him and the person to discuss their case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25270/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I can inform the Deputy that my Department wrote to the person in question on 6 June 2018 to provide them with an update in relation to his request for a meeting.
The Deputy will appreciate that I, as Minister, have no role in relation to the management of Garda investigations or, indeed, the prosecution or trial of alleged offences. This is a long-standing principle of our system of justice. The role of An Garda Síochána is to investigate alleged offences, to gather whatever evidence may be available and to submit a report to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). Any information in relation to possible criminal acts should be provided directly to An Garda Síochána for investigation. The question of whether or not a particular person should be prosecuted and for what criminal offence is the responsibility of the DPP, who is completely independent in carrying out her functions.
Similarly, the Courts, subject only to the Constitution and the law, are independent in the exercise of their judicial functions and the conduct of any court case is a matter entirely for the presiding judge. It is not open to me to comment or intervene in any way in relation to how particular proceedings are conducted or, indeed, on the outcome of such proceedings.
If someone is not satisfied with the manner in which their complaints have been handled by An Garda Síochána, then it is open to them to contact the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Office (GSOC). GSOC, as you are no doubt aware, is the independent body charged with receiving complaints from the public concerning members of An Garda Síochána.
Unfortunately, it is not open to me to intervene in this case in the manner the person in question is seeking. It is An Garda Síochána, specifically the Garda Commissioner and his management team, who are responsible for investigating all forms of alleged criminality in the State in the first instance and not the Minister for Justice and Equality. Accordingly, I cannot accede to this particular meeting request.
Notwithstanding the above, it is, of course, open to the person in question to seek independent legal advice in relation to their concerns, if they so wish.