Policing Authority defends handling of Garda homicide probe

Chairwoman Josephine Feehily said the Authority is "still not fully satisfied" with the figures

Policing Authority defends handling of Garda homicide probe

File photo of the chair of the Policing Authority Josephine Feehily, 01-11-2017. Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews

The Policing Authority has defended its interaction with two civilian members of the Gardaí, over concerns they raised about the misclassification of homicide figures.

Chairwoman Josephine Feehily has been answering questions at the Oireachtas Justice Committee about testimony given by the two members of the Garda Síochána Analysis Service.

A fortnight ago civilian members Lois West and Laura Galligan complained of their treatment at the hands of senior gardaí when they raised concerns about serious errors in classifying and investigating homicides.

Fianna Fáil’s Jim O’Callaghan - among others - asked why it was so difficult for the women to set up a meeting with the Policing Authority.

But Josephine Feehily said the Authority already had the information the women were trying to pass on – and insisted it was not in the Authority’s remit as an oversight body to meet with themn.

“With the benefit of hindsight perhaps we could have asked for them to be included – but we would never easily meet with an individual,” she said.

She said the Authority is still not satisfied with the Garda’s response to homicide figures.

“In many ways, this has been the most frustrating and most troubling piece of work with which the authority has engaged,” she said.

“We began to examine the matter in March of last year – we are still not finished and we are still not fully satisfied.”