Department of Justice and Equality of Ireland

01/06/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/06/2021 11:32

Cabinet approves nominations to Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission

Cabinet approves nominations to Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission

6 January 2021

The Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, has today received the approval of the Government for two nominations to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) following an open competition conducted by the Public Appointments Service to fill these full time positions which arise following the completion of the terms of office of the previous Commissioners.

The Garda Síochána Act 2005 provides that GSOC commissioners are appointed by the President on the nomination of the Government, following resolutions in the Dáil and Seanad. The Hon. Ms Justice Mary Ellen Ring, a High Court judge, is GSOC's current Chairperson; her term of office is due to run until December 2021.

Minister McEntee said:

'The nominations of Ms Emily Logan and Mr Hugh Hume follow an extensive open competition conducted by the Public Appointments Service to identify suitable candidates to be appointed to GSOC. I am delighted to be able to nominate two people of such experience and calibre to this important body. I will now arrange for the necessary resolutions to be moved in the Oireachtas recommending their appointment by the President.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the outgoing Commissioners, Dr Kieran FitzGerald and Mr Patrick Sullivan, for their diligence and commitment throughout their terms of office.'

Work is ongoing on a new Policing and Community Safety Bill to enhance the governance and oversight framework of An Garda Síochána, including reform of GSOC.

ENDS

Notes for Editors:

Biographies of nominees

· Emily Logan was Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission for five years (until 2019) and, prior to that, served as Ireland's first Ombudsman for Children (from 2003 - 2014). She now serves as Adjunct Professor (Human Rights Practice) at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI, Galway.

· Hugh Hume has been a member of the Garda Síochána Inspectorate since 2017. Prior to that, he was a serving police officer in Northern Ireland, retiring from the PSNI at the level of D/Chief Superintendent.

Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission

· GSOC is a statutory, independent body established in accordance with the provisions of Part 3 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, as amended. It deals with complaints concerning alleged Garda misconduct. GSOC also conducts investigations into circumstances where it appears that the conduct of a Garda, or Gardaí, may have resulted in death or serious harm to a person. It may also investigate matters in relation to Garda conduct, when it is in the public interest, even if a complaint has not been received.

· Section 65 of the Act provides that the members are appointed by the President on (a) the nomination of the Government, and (b) the passage of resolutions by Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann recommending their appointment. At least one of the members must be a woman and at least one of them must be a man. The roles are full-time.

· The Ombudsman Commission is chaired at present by The Hon. Ms Justice Mary Ellen Ring, a High Court judge. Judge Ring was re-appointed to the Ombudsman Commission for a five year term on 12 December 2016.