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Snippet Contents:

The Taoiseach concluded by saying that the commission would investigate serious matters that have important implications for the Garda and our justice system. That is at the heart of the matter. It is true to say that this is only one commission of inquiry into one aspect of a number of serious concerns about justice and policing that have been raised. We all welcome it. The Taoiseach has confirmed that on foot of the Guerin report, which we have not seen, there will be a commission of inquiry, but we do not know whether the Cooke report will similarly recommend a further commission. Perhaps we need to stand back and ask whether the establishment of three, four or five commissions is the way forward. Should we instead take a holistic approach? At the root of this situation is the fact that the changes that were promised and the measures that were implemented following the Morris tribunal to ensure Garda accountability and an end to the blue wall of silence have not worked. We know this and have been highlighting it for the past while. This is the issue we need to examine.
Regarding the tapes controversy, let us face it: it was not a secret that recordings were being made. Maybe people did not know what the recordings were for, but a public tender was involved. It is not credible that the Prison Service did not know that prisoners' telephone calls were being recorded. People involved in the service have told me that they were aware of it. As such, I find it difficult to believe that people high up in the Department of Justice and Equality did not know.
We have the ongoing tragic infringement of the human rights of Mr. Bailey and Ms Thomas, whose families have been devastated. Obviously, the unsolved murder has been devastating for the family of Sophie Toscan du Plantier. Given the heartache that Sergeant Maurice McCabe has been put through, I want to recognise his role. For five years, he single-handedly sought to put a spotlight on this issue. We should take cognisance of the fact that he approached senior gardaí more than once. His claims and allegations were rubbished and dismissed and he was ostracised and treated poorly by people who are still in the upper echelons of the Garda.
We need a holistic approach. I wonder whether €2 million is enough. These are austere times and no one wants to spend money. Compared with 50 staff for the banking inquiry, though, it is not a great deal of money. Perhaps we should elicit the goodwill of individuals such as Professor Dermot Walsh and other policing experts to undertake a holistic review instead of engaging in commission after commission.