I recall a media report of an alleged assault on a prisoner in an interview room in a Gárda station some years ago that resulted in a part of the prisoner’s body being propelled through a stud partition. Lo and behold, the story goes, it exposed a recording device!
Since I published the allegation it has emerged that Garda whistle blowers have reported to the Morris Tribunal in 2002 that the bugging of interview rooms in police stations and in private homes occurred as far back as the early 1990s. The Morris Tribunal was established to inquire into corrupt and dishonest policing -but in County Donegal only.
These new allegations were never mentioned or made public in the Morris Tribunal’s final 2008 report.
The same gardai have now complained to the 2008 Fennelly Inquiry. This was established to inquire into covert recordings at garda stations and the circumstances surrounding the ex-garda commissioner’s departure .
Both inquiries refused to deal with the allegations as they stated they were outside their terms of reference.
Is it time yet to establish a rolling independent inquiry and monitoring body for the Gardaí?
In the meantime, don’t worry, the allegations have been reported to the, em, Gardaí.