“Not Fit For Purpose”

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[Former member of GSOC and former Irish Times editor Conor Brady]

Further to reports that the Garda Inspectorate has recommended that the power to cancel penalty points be removed from divisional garda officers and instead be transferred to the Fixed Charge Processing Office in Thurles, Co Tipperary, former Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission member Conor Brady spoke to Keelin Shanley on the RTÉ Radio One Today with Seán O’Rourke show this morning.

Mr Brady said GSOC investigated the processing office in 2007, found it to be ‘utterly dysfunctional’ and yet the results of that investigation were completely ignored.

Conor Brady:In 2007/2008, the Garda Ombudsman Commission actually conducted a full investigation of the Fixed Penalty Points system, in other words the office in Thurles [Co. Tipperay] to which all problems are now going to be referred. The GSOC report on the fixed penalty point system found it to be utterly dysfunctional, utterly ineffective, only a small proportion of cases were actually brought through to conclusion and in some category of offences, fewer than 17% were actually brought through to conclusion.”

Keelin Shanley: “That’s what GSOC found and this is the body we are now charging with…

Brady: “We found that in 2007. What I would say now is that the minister laid that report as he is obliged to do before the House of the Oireachtas, not a single politician of any persuasion or party referred to it once. Now it may well be that some reforming spirit has spread through the central processing office in Thurles since then, I genuinely don’t know but if it hasn’t then they have a major job ahead of them because this is a system which is not fit for purpose..”

Shanley: “Well, was not fit for purpose, as you say, we don’t know what has been done.”

Brady: “Well, was not fit for purpose.”

Garda chiefs’ powers to terminate penalty points to go (Irish Times)