8 February 2017
The Government yesterday approved proposals by the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald TD, to give full effect to recommendations made by Mr. Justice Iarfhlaith O'Neill as a result of certain disclosures made under the Protected Disclosures Act, 2014 by members of An Garda Síochána.
Mr. Justice O'Neill's central recommendation is that a Commission of Investigation should be established to examine certain matters. The necessary steps are now being taken to establish the Commission and Mr Justice Peter Charleton, of the Supreme Court, has agreed to act as the Commission. The Tánaiste is very grateful to Mr Justice O'Neill and Mr Justice Charleton.
A statement of reasons and draft order establishing the Commission have been laid before the Oireachtas today, in line with the terms of the Commissions of Investigation Act, 2004. These set out Mr Justice O'Neill's conclusions and recommendations and proposed terms of reference. A copy is included with this statement.
The Tánaiste said:
“It is right that, having referred this matter to Mr Justice O'Neill, we should now move to implement his recommendations in full. It is important to emphasise that it was not in the nature of Mr Justice O'Neill's review to be able to establish the truth or otherwise of what has been alleged; nor could he or did he make findings against anyone.
“Allegations of wrongdoing have to be investigated fairly and fully. That is what is now going to happen. It is in the interests of both persons making the allegations and those against whom allegations have been made that the Commission, which will have all the necessary legal powers to attempt to establish the truth, be allowed proceed with its important work.”