AGSI hits out at "sweeping statement" from Shatter over PULSE system

Former minister claimed the system was system used as "some sort of social website"

Alan Shatter, PULSE, gardai, social website, reaction, AGSI, John Jacobs, Clare Daly

A member of the gardaĆ­ using a computer in 1999 | Image: RollingNews.ie

The deputy general-secretary of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) John Jacobs has criticised former Justice Minister Alan Shatter for comments he made yesterday on Newstalk.

Mr Shatter suggested that in the past, members of the gardaí had used the internal PULSE computer system as a "social website that they could look up for gossip purposes".

He was referring to an incident in 2013, where "in excess of 150 members" of the force accessed the system in relation to the arrest of TD Clare Daly for suspected drink-driving.

He also told the Pat Kenny Show: "As I understand it...one of the investigations that GSOC have been engaged in that gave rise to controversy over the last ten days has arisen out of a complaint that Deputy Daly made as to how that information got into the public domain".

"And of course that was also, as I understand it, how some of the background circumstances relevant to the tragic death of a very well-known model, Katy French, also found their way into the public domain".

"My concern at the time was that in relation to reports on both those issues, they were more about prurient interest than public interest", he added.

But John Jacobs from the AGSI says this was never a widespread problem.

"This is a former minister who - during his watch - under-invested in the garda fleet, under-invested in technology, closed Templemore, oversaw the closure of garda stations, and now is making a sweeping statement of this nature", he told Newstalk Breakfast.

"I have to say: I'd like to see the evidence", he added.