Responding to reports that the Garda Ombudsman had their phones bugged and emails hacked, Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has described them as “disturbing” and “of immense public concern”.
He has called on Minister for Justice and the Government to have the reports thoroughly investigated as a matter of urgency.
The Donegal Deputy said: “This report from the Sunday Times that the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) had to seek assistance from a British security consultancy without the apparent knowledge of Minister Shatter and the government to investigate GSOC’s suspicion that they were being spied on is remarkable.
“That it is also reported that their phones were bugged, emails hacked and wifi compromised is disturbing and will be of immense public concern.
“I am calling on the Minister for Justice to have these reports thoroughly investigated and answers provided for the public as soon as possible.”
He continued: “In my capacity as the Chairperson of the Oireachtas Committee on Public Service Oversight and Petitions, I will be contacting the GSOC to establish their position on what has taken place.
“Our committee were to have them before us soon to discuss their perspectives on the levels of cooperation from An Garda Síochána with their investigations and we will now need urgent answers on this very serious report too.”
The shocking revelations – in today’s Sunday Times – claimed that a meeting room where Ombudsman staff met to discuss complaints against Gardai had been bugged.
The Ombudsman brought in former British security agency experts to scan their offices.