Once the Garda Ombudsman is established, will the Gardai cooperate with it? It seems like they may not.
In a statement Mr McDowell described how he met both the GRA and the AGSI in Dublin in February 2004 to discuss the commission among other matters.
He said he was told “in the clearest and most unambiguous terms” that they would oppose the use of gardaí by the commission to investigate complaints.
“I pointed out to them that such a course of action would make the ombudsman commission’s work impossible because it would entail the creation of a very large staff of investigators – running perhaps to hundreds – and that such a course would not be justifiable, especially in relation to complaints of a lower degree of seriousness.”
Mr McDowell said the unions held this position despite his warning, and they were now claiming this did not amount to a threat of non-co-operation.
“I am absolutely satisfied that the policy clearly enunciated at the meeting by those members present was intended to convey to me that the associations would oppose the involvement of members of An Garda Síochána in investigations to be carried out by the commission.”