Justice Secretary Helen McEntee said the government is working on new legislation to counter a European Court of Justice ruling that could see a murderer Graham Dwyer cleared of his life sentence for the murder of Elaine O’Hara.
His comments came at a media briefing for reporters at the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) annual conference in Killarney, Co. Kerry, which was attended by 140 middle management officers.
Last week, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled in favor of the former architect in its challenge to Ireland’s data retention laws.
Phone metadata played a key role in Dwyer’s 2015 conviction for the 2012 murder of the vulnerable childcare worker.
Yesterday Ms McEntee said: ‘I have taken note of the judgment and my department has taken note of the judgement. Of course, this now goes to the Supreme Court.
“Once that ruling comes out I will consult with the Attorney General and of course I will respond and make my position clear.
“I would say this – I don’t think that a Garda Síochána or any police force should have their hands tied behind their backs when it comes to fighting crime or putting criminals behind bars.
“It’s important that there are safeguards in place, yes, it’s important that people’s privacy is protected, people’s personal data is protected.
“At the same time, we have to make sure that individuals and criminals cannot hide behind it.
“The world has changed, the way we interact with each other has changed and that means that the gardaí need to be able to do their job in a different way too and that means that they are not always, but under certain circumstances to access data.
“But I think sometimes we have to deal with the fact that people’s privacy isn’t as important as crime detection.
“Gardaí’s ability to uncover crime must sometimes override people’s privacy and that is certainly something I take into account as Minister.”
Ahead of what is likely to be an important announcement by Gardaí regarding their investigations into organized crime and the Kinahan Cartel in particular, Ms McEntee said: “I think we can all agree that there has been excellent collaboration between An Garda Síochána, our colleagues in the United Kingdom work closely with Europol and Interpol.
“I support the Gardaí in every collaboration with our European and international colleagues.
“I support them in whatever programs they work on, especially in the fight against international and organized crime.”
The minister was asked about that Irish Independent‘s story in which Colombian Vice President Marta Lucía Ramírez said the Irish government should impose sanctions on the UAE if cartel leader Daniel Kinahan is not extradited.
“In terms of extradition, that’s up to the DPP and that’s a decision they make themselves. When it comes to sanctions, I think the best way we can work with other countries in other jurisdictions is through cooperation,” she said.
Ms Ramírez said sanctions should be considered against countries that do not want to help crack down on criminals.
“We need to take tougher decisions on some governments and say, ‘Okay, if you don’t help us enough to fight these drug dealers, we don’t want all these trade deals,'” she said.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/crime/government-working-on-new-legislation-after-eu-ruling-in-favour-of-graham-dwyer-41543704.html Government working on new legislation following EU ruling in favor of Graham Dwyer