Statement on Publication of the Final Report of the Fennelly Commission of Investigation
“Report reinforces the Government’s determination to undertake a “root and branch” review of An Garda Síochána.”
The Government has today arranged for the publication of the Final Report of the Fennelly Commission of Investigation and for a copy to be laid before the Oireachtas.
The Commission was established in 2014 as the Government considered that information concerning the recording of telephone calls to Garda Stations to be a matter of significant public concern.
The Government thanked Judge Fennelly for producing a very comprehensive examination of this issue.
While the Commission finds that it is “reasonable to conclude, based on the evidence before it, that no widespread or systematic, indeed probably no significant, misuse of information derived from non-999 recordings took place”, it still makes many findings of great concern to the Government including in relation to the unlawful nature of the recordings, lack of effective oversight and procedures, and in relation to the content of certain telephone recordings relating to the investigation of the death of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.
These findings clearly explain why it was necessary to establish the Commission of Investigation in 2014.
The Government also noted that the Commission found no evidence of knowledge of the recording of non-999 telephone calls on the part of relevant Ministers for Justice, the Department of Justice, the Office of the Attorney General, the Chief State Solicitor, GSOC, the Data Protection Commissioner or the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The Government will now take account of the Commission’s findings when finalising its proposals for a Commission to conduct such a Review. It will also take account of the views of the Opposition Parties in the Oireachtas in this regard.
The Tánaiste will also consider, in conjunction with the Policing Authority, what short-term measures may be required in terms of legislation, technology or practices and procedures in response to the findings and recommendations of the Report.
Download the report here.