Conor Lally, in The Irish Times, reports:
The Policing Authority has told senior Garda management that checks made to establish if all homicides were investigated properly were not robust enough and must now be carried out independently.
Last year, it emerged that 41 out of 524 killings deaths needed to be further examined, amid concerns some should been registered as murder c ases. Twelve were subsequently reclassified as homicides.
Now, however, the Policing Authority, which is chaired by the former head of the Revenue Commissioners, Josephine Feehily, has raised questions about the results of the two-stage Garda inquiry.
In the first phase, Garda data analysts checked classifications, but they did not have sight of the full case files so they had no way to check if the investigations were sufficient for suspected murder, not manslaughter, or a lesser charge.
…During a private meeting last November, senior Garda management was told by the authority that form of review was not good enough because it lacked independence.
According to minutes from the meeting, the Policing Authority questioned whether such an approach was “sufficiently robust, relying as it did on a review by the person who conducted the initial investigation”.
The authority members told the Garda that a new review, independent of those officers involved in the original investigations, was needed. The Policing Authority has confirmed it awaits an update on that instruction.