McDowell slams Govt plans to reform Garda Siochána

A former Minister for Justice has launched a blistering attack on the Government's plans to overhaul the Gardaí.

Michael McDowell, who was responsible for creating the Garda Ombudsman, says a new policing authority could allow the force to grow out of control entirely.

Speaking at the MacGill Summer School last night, Mr McDowell said the current government has forgotten that the Gardaí are also the national security agency.

He said it is not right to appoint someone from overseas to lead the national intelligence service - and he says an independent police authority could make the Gardaí less democratic.

His successor Frances Fitzgerald also spoke at the event, and admitted that many of the questions, like who will run the new Garda authority, have yet to be answered.

Ms Fitzgerald plans to publish the laws to set up that authority later this week.

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