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Question

7. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if the Government has requested the extension of the Pitchford inquiry to include the activities of the British undercover police while here; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7624/17]

Answer

Deputy Frances Fitzgerald: The UK's undercover policing inquiry was established by the British Government in 2015 in order to investigate and to report on the undercover police operations conducted by English and Welsh police forces in England and Wales since 1968. It is chaired by Lord Justice Christopher Pitchford. That was a matter solely for the British Government in accordance with UK law. It is established under the UK Inquiries Act 2005, which does not provide powers for extraterritorial inquiry.
The Deputy mentioned other countries. I understand they made representations seeking the extension of the inquiry's terms of reference but the UK Home Secretary, having considered those representations, decided that the terms of reference of the inquiry would not be so amended.
Although in this context, the question of my seeking the extension of a UK inquiry does not arise, as I have indicated on several occasions, should anything emerge from the findings of the Pitchford inquiry that would be relevant to policing in this jurisdiction I will consider it fully and take any action that may be required.
The Deputy is correct that my colleague, the Minister, Deputy Flanagan, met the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on Tuesday and, as part of their wider discussions, raised with him concerns that have been expressed in the House on matters relating to the Pitchford inquiry. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland agreed to convey those concerns to the Home Secretary.
Allegations regarding an undercover police officer in this jurisdiction were first brought to light in 2011. A report from the Garda Commissioner at that time noted that no evidence of any criminal activity by that person had been established. Of course, if there was any evidence, and if anybody has any evidence of criminal wrongdoing, it should be brought to the attention of the Garda.