Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan
In the Irish Examiner.
Mick Clifford reports that a serving prison officer has made certain claims in a sworn affidavit to the Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan.
The officer has made the affidavit as he has “no confidence in the operation of the Protected Disclosure Act in either the prison service or the Department of Justice”.
News of the affidavit comes a week after a separate prison officer Noel McGree, in an unrelated case, appeared in private before the Public Accounts Committee after he made a protected disclosure two years ago.
Mr Clifford reports that the following claims are in the affidavit:
“Tracking devices were placed on a number of prison service vehicles and in the private cars of prison officers;
The drivers of the prison vehicles, and the prison officers whose private cars were tracked, were unaware of the surveillance…;
Some of these devices remained in place over a long period and intelligence gathered passed onto An Garda Síochána;
Listening devices were placed in the visitor area of one prison to gather information.
These devices were in situ for extended periods. In some instances, these devices were in place when prisoners had conversations with their solicitors;
The private detective agency was employed to install listening and tracking devices in order to shield the prison service from any legal repercussions that would attach if it had been done directly...’