GRA: No rank-and-file Gardaí involved in recording calls

President of the GRA John Parker

The body representing rank-and-file Gardaí has insisted that no member of the Garda rank was involved in recording telephone conversations.

The President of the Garda Representative Association John Parker has said recent controversies have further undermined the morale of Gardaí working on the frontline.

The GRA added they understand that the recording is similar to that used by the fire and ambulance control rooms and is used for the same purposes, namely for clarity of what was said and for accountability.

The statement issued by GRA President noted they await the report from the Commission of Inquiry to establish whether or not other lines in gardaí stations were recorded and in the interim, they do not believe further speculation is helpful.

Full statement by GRA President John Parker

Our members are aware of recording of telephone calls in control and communications rooms as well as some of the public offices. We understand that the recording is similar to that used by the fire and ambulance control rooms, and is utilised for the same purposes; namely for clarity of what was said – and for accountability.

We await the report from the Commission of Inquiry to establish whether or not other lines in garda stations were recorded. In the interim, we do not believe further speculation is helpful. Our members are concerned about the level of recording, but this is an issue we are raising with Garda Management.

The Garda Representative Association also wishes to place on record the recent controversies have further undermined the morale of those gardaí working at the frontline of policing. The Garda Representative Association wishes to reassure the public that no member of the garda rank was involved in any decision to record telephone conversations in garda stations.

The continued speculation in the media is impacting on the policing function - and until we have clarification and concrete facts the continued speculation undermines our members' day-to-day work.

This association has repeatedly called for the establishment of an Independent Police Authority. The Garda Representative Association conference in 1979 directed the executive to negotiate the establishment of a police authority –representation was made to the Department of Justice with ‘negative results’. This call has remained as policy and has been repeated regularly since.

Policing is a public service and function best completed by professionals accountable to the community they serve, not to the narrow interests of politics. An independent police authority remains the modern practical solution to separate political power from the power to arrest and detain.

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