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Tribunals of Inquiry
(Evidence) Act 1921
(Establishment of Tribunal)
Instrument 2002

To be made by the Minister for

Justice, Equality and Law Reform

WHEREAS  a resolution in the following terms was passed by Dáil Éireann on 28 March 2002 and by Seanad Éireann on the same day:

That Dáil Éireann 1:

-  bearing in mind the serious public concern about allegations that members ofthe Garda Síochána in the Donegal Division engaged in unethical and criminal behaviour;

-  noting the decision of the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform in November, 2001, to request Mr Shane Murphy, SC, to conduct an independent review of all the relevant papers and the progress on the investigations into these allegations generally with a view to the Minister receiving expert independent advice as to whether there are measures thatmight now be taken to bring matters to finality sooner rather than later;

- noting that having completed his review, it is the opinion of Mr Shane Murphy, SC, that a Tribunal of Inquiry represents the only comprehensive method of inquiry to resolve outstanding issues of fundamental public importance;

- mindful that a number of criminal proceedings have been instituted arising from some of these allegations, and mindful of the ongoing investigation into the death of Mr Richard Barron, and not wishing to prejudice these or related criminal proceedings;

 resolves that it is expedient that a tribunal be established under the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Acts, 1921 to 2002, to inquire urgently into the following definite matters of urgent public importance:

1 In the resolution of Seanad Eireann, the reference is to Seanad Eireann

 (a) The making of extortion and hoax telephone calls to the home of Michael and Charlotte Peoples on 9th November, 1996 and the subsequent Garda investigation into that complaint;

(b) Investigations in relation to the death of Mr. Richie Barron of Raphoe, Co. Donegal on 14th October, 1996 with particular reference to the arrest and treatment of persons in custody in connection with that investigation, the progress, management and effectiveness of the Garda investigation with particular reference to the management of informants;

(c) Allegations of harassment of the McBrearty family of Raphoe, County Donegal and of relatives, associates and agents of that family by members of the Garda Síochána subsequent to the death of Mr. Barron including the issue and prosecution of summonses relating to offences alleged to have occurred between 28th October, 1996 and 28th September, 1998;

(d) The circumstances surrounding the arrest and detention of Mark McConnell on 1st October, 1998 and Michael Peoples on 6th May, 1999;

(e) Complaints that some Gardaí in County Donegal may have been involved in hoax explosives and bomb-making equipment finds (in particular discoveries on 11th September, 1993, 19th November, 1993, 11th January, 1994, 14th March, 1994, 4th June, 1994, 13th June, 1994 and 18th July, 1994) and a review of the management and investigation of these issues;

 (f)  The circumstances surrounding the arrest and detention of Frank McBrearty Jnr. on 4th February, 1997 and his subsequent prosecution in the Circuit Criminal Court in relation to an alleged assault in December, 1996 on Edward Moss with particular reference to the Garda investigation and the management of  both the investigation and the role of the Gardaí in the subsequent prosecution;

(g) Allegations relating to the Garda investigation of an arson attack on property situated on the site of the telecommunications mast at Ardara, County Donegal in October/November 1996;

(h) Allegations contained in documents received by Deputy Jim Higgins on 25th June, 2000 and in information received by Deputy Brendan Howlin on 25th June, 2000 that two senior members of An Garda Síochána may have acted with impropriety;

(i)  The circumstances surrounding the arrest and detention of seven persons at Burnfoot, County Donegal on 23rd May, 1998 and the investigation relating thereto;

(j)  The effectiveness of the Garda Síochána Complaints inquiry process viz-a-viz the complaints made by Frank McBrearty Snr. and his family between 1997 and 2001;

 and to report to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform and to make such findings and recommendations as it sees fit in relation to these matters;

and further resolves that -

 (I) the Tribunal shall report to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform on an interim basis not later than four months from the date of establishment of the Tribunal and also as soon as may be after the tenth day of any oral hearings of the Tribunal on the following matters:

 (a) the number of parties then represented before the Tribunal,

 (b) the progress which will then have been made in the hearings and work of the Tribunal,

 (c) the likely duration (so far that may then be capable of being estimated) of the proceedings of the Tribunal,

 (d) any other matters that the Tribunal considers should be drawn to the attention of the Houses of the Oireachtas at the time of the report (including any matters relating to its terms of reference);

(II) the inquiry shall be completed in as economical a manner as possible and at the earliest possible date consistent with a fair examination of the matters referred to it;

(III) all costs incurred by reason of the failure of individuals to co-operate fully and expeditiously with the Tribunal should, as far as it is consistent with the interests of justice, be borne by those individuals;

(IV) the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform shall within 14 days of receipt of any Report from the Tribunal either apply to the High Court for directions regarding publication of the Report or arrange to have it laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas.
NOW,  I, John O'Donoghue, Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, in pursuance of those resolutions and in exercise of the powers conferred on me by section 1(1) (as adapted by the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act 1921 Adaptation Order 1936 (S.R. & O. No. 25 of 1936)) of the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act 1921, make the following instrument:


Given under my Official Seal,
24th April, 2002

John O'Donoghue
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform



Contact Details
The Tribunal of Inquiry into complaints concerning some Gardai of the Donegal Division,
Belfield Office Park,
Beaver Row,
Dublin 4.
Telephone: + 353 (01) 2601111
Fax: + 353 (01) 2601122

Belfield Office Park,
Dublin 4,
DX 208 Dublin
Phone: +353 1 2601111
Fax: +353 1 2601122
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