Senior Garda tells of 'concerns' about treatment of civilian analysts over force's homicide statistics

Senior gardaí have said the evidence from two civilian analysts over inaccurate homicide statistics was “reliable and accurate”.

The force's chief administrative officer, Joseph Nugent, told the Oireachtas Justice Committee this morning that there were "concerns" about the way the two female civilian staff had been treated.

Garda civilian analysts Lois West and Laura Galligan last month told the committee they had been belittled and had their credibility attacked by senior garda management when they raised concerns over whether investigations were sufficiently carried out into homicides they found to be wrongly classified.

Misclassification and inaccurate recording of crimes by the gardaí also left some women at risk of domestic violence, the two analysts told the committee.

Questioned this morning, the force's chief administrative officer said it was “worrying” the way the two analysts had been treated.

Both he and the acting garda commissioner Dónall Ó Cualáin, who is out of the country, had "concerns" about their treatment, the committee was told.

Joseph Nugent (left) and Dónall Ó Cualáin.

Mr Nugent said it was believed that their evidence to the committee was “reliable and accurate”.

But Mr Nugent said he didn't know why their work wasn't given attention. Furthermore, asked why their work and concerns had not been given attention, Mr Nugent said there had been a “difference in perspective” around issues.

One senior garda at the committee told members that the methodology used by the two female analysts was much the same as the one used now by the force with statistics.

Both Ms West and Ms Galligan were also on the review team overseeing an examination of 41 suspicious death cases, the committee was told.

Earlier, a statement on behalf of the acting garda commissioner to the committee heard that there were common problems identified in cases in the homicide review where the upgrading or revisiting of investigations were "overlooked".

The Central Statistics Office has currently put on hold its publication of garda crime statistics arising from its dispute with the force about their recording.

The committee was told the review of homicide statistics and the 41 cases was not finished yet.

By Juno McEnroe
Political Correspondent

Most Read in Ireland