GSOC to face committee probe on bugging claims

The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) is to be grilled today over claims that its headquarters in Dublin was bugged.

Representatives from the commission are due before the all-party Public Oversight and Petitions Committee, where they will also be questioned over why electronic anomalies at the building were not reported.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter has insisted that there was no evidence of a security breach at the GSOC offices, however in an RTÉ Prime Time interview last night Commissioner Kieran Fitzgerald said it couldn't be definitively ruled out.

Minister Shatter has also said there will be no independent inquiry into the matter.

Sinn Féin's Padraig MacLochlainn, chair of the committee, said the aim of today's meeting is to gain clarity on the situation and to restore the public's faith in GSOC.

"One of the groups that contacted me are the families of road traffic victims and in a number of cases they've had complaints about the Gardaí that they have submitted to the Ombudsman, that are very sensitive," Deputy MacLochlainn said.

"They are concerned about their data and there's a whole range of people who engage with the Ombudsman - they need to know that that office is secure (and) that their complaints are secure.

"And most importantly, the ombudsmen themselves - they need to know that they can get on with their work without any interference."

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