Howlin: Government will consider new laws for Garda oversight

The Public Expenditure Minister, Brendan Howlin, said the Government may consider new legislation to ensure that the Garda Ombudsman Commission can work "without hindrance".

Howlin's comments come as opposition parties ramp up calls for an independent inquiry into bugging claims at GSOC's offices.

Sinn Féin and the Green Party have called for the Garda Ombudsman to be given more powers to ensure the body's own investigations are satisfactory.

Minister Howlin said the Government will think "long and hard" about strengthening GSOC's powers, and may even draft new laws to do so.

"I have a very direct personal interests in ensuring that we have a very robust, very independent oversight body for An garda Síochána that can operate without let or hindrance," he said.

"You can be assured that the Government will think long and hard to ensure that that happens - including, if necessary, changing legislation."

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