Dáil Éireann - Volume 354 - 11 December, 1984
Kerry Babies Case: Motion.
Minister for Justice (Mr. Noonan, Limerick East) Michael Noonan
Minister for Justice (Mr. Noonan, Limerick East): I move:
 That it is expedient that a tribunal be established for inquiring into the following definite matters of urgent public importance—
(1) the facts and circumstances leading to the preferment, on 1 May 1984, of criminal charges against Joanne Hayes, Edmund Hayes, Michael Hayes, Kathleen Hayes and Bridie Fuller, Dromcunning Lower, Abbeydorney, County Kerry in connection with death of an unnamed male infant and subsequent events which led to the withdrawal of those charges at Tralee District Court on 10 October 1984;
(2) related allegations made by Joanne Hayes, Mary Hayes, Edmund Hayes and Michael Hayes in written statements to their solicitor on 23 October 1984 and by Kathleen Hayes in a written statement to her solicitor on 24 October concerning the circumstances surrounding the questioning and the taking of statements from those persons on 1 May 1984;
(3) any matters connected with or relevant to the matters aforesaid which the tribunal considers it necessary to investigate in connection with their inquiries into the matters mentioned at (1) and (2).
On Tuesday last, I announced in this House that the Government had decided that a tribunal should be established to carry out a sworn judicial inquiry into what has become known as the “Kerry babies” case. In accordance with the provisions of the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Acts, 1921 and 1979 this decision can be implemented only if both Houses of the Oireachtas pass a resolution that it is expedient that such a tribunal be set up and that is why the formal resolution that I have now moved is before the House.
I do not think it necessary or appropriate to attempt to go into any great detail about the factual background to this proposal, especially as it could reasonably be said that it is precisely to establish  accurately as far as possible what that factual background is that the tribunal will be appointed if, as I hope, the proposal is approved by both Houses.
As Deputies are aware, some issues of substantial public importance have arisen in the case and, for that reason, the Government consider that it is essential that every possible effort is made to establish the truth of what occurred. An investigation was ordered by the Garda Commissioner — and let me mention in passing that he had made the decision that an investigation was necessary before any public controversy arose. The investigation that was carried out did not, however, succeed in resolving the conflicting versions of the events that have been given on both sides. This was not the fault of the two experienced senior officers of the force who conducted the investigation, which was both entirely impartial and as thorough as circumstances allowed. Because of certain comments that have been publicly made during the last week or two, I should perhaps draw attention to the fact that Garda investigators do not have the powers that this tribunal will have. On the contrary, since they were carrying out an investigation against a background of allegations that included allegations of conduct that might, if supported, justify criminal proceedings, they were subject to all the constraints that apply in such cases. That is the system under which we operate and the same problems would have faced any other investigation, whether from within the force or not, unless armed with the exceptional powers which the law gives to a tribunal such as is now proposed to be set up. In referring to the constraints on the investigators, I am not to be taken as implying that I necessarily accept that every person involved was justified in extending to the two Garda investigators only the particular degree of co-operation which was in fact extended. I am not commenting at all on that. I simply want to make it clear, so that there may be no misunderstanding of what I have said, that it is a point that may need to be looked at separately at a  later stage.
The internal Garda inquiry had to be undertaken. It was an essential first step and even if there had been no need to embark on it for the purposes of investigating the possibility that evidence might be obtained that would sustain a criminal charge — and there was such a need — the internal inquiry would have separately justified itself by the fact that the results, including many statements taken by the investigators, will be available to the tribunal. However, there are, as I have said, conflicting versions of events and those conflicting versions have not been resolved. Accordingly, there is a need to resolve them, or at least to endeavour as far as possible to resolve them, by testing under oath in a public forum the veracity of what is being said. It is only in that setting, where people can be examined on oath and subjected, as necessary, to cross-examination that there is now any realistic hope of getting at the facts. That is what the tribunal will do. It will have the power to compel the attendance of witnesses, to take evidence from them on oath, to compel the production of documents — in fact it will have all the powers of the High Court to enable it do its job properly. Likewise, witnesses appearing before it will enjoy the same immunities and privileges as witnesses before the High Court.
Care has been taken in drawing up the terms of reference of the tribunal to ensure that they are sufficiently wide to enable it to cover all relevant aspects of the issues involved in the case. In examining the facts and circumstances leading to the preferment of charges against the members of the Hayes family of Abbeydorney, the tribunal will necessarily have to concern itself with the manner in which the investigation into the death of the baby found at White Strand, Cahirciveen, was carried out by the Garda Síochána. Then there are the specific allegations of the Hayes family of ill-treatment during the period they were questioned by the Garda — questioning which led to the making of statements by members of the family. Finally, there is what might be termed the “catch-all'  provision in paragraph (3) which will enable the tribunal to go into any connected or relevant matter not specifically alluded to in paragraphs (1) and (2).
I am very glad to inform the House that Mr. Justice Kevin Lynch, Judge of the High Court, has agreed to constitute the tribunal and that the President of the High Court, Mr. Justice Finlay, has agreed to make the arrangements necessary to release Judge Lynch as far as may be necessary from other duties. I am very grateful to Mr. Justice Lynch for agreeing to act and to the President of the Court for his co-operation.
I want to say a brief word about the question of legal representation before the tribunal and the related question of legal costs because these are matters in relation to which questions have already been asked. The tribunal is empowered to authorise the legal representation of any person appearing to the tribunal to be interested. It may also refuse such representation. This is the effect of section 2 (b) of the 1921 Act. It is, therefore, a matter for the tribunal and for it alone to decide who should be represented. Likewise, the 1979 Act authorises the tribunal to direct that the costs of any person appearing before it should be paid by any other person, including the State. It may so direct where, having regard to its findings and other relevant matters, it considers it equitable to do so. Thus, there is a clear legal framework there — a framework that has been used and has proved satisfactory in other inquiries such as the Whiddy and Stardust inquiries — to deal with the question of legal representation and the related one of costs.
I am conscious of the fact that the only issue before this House is the resolution and that therefore some other matters affecting the Garda Síochána which have recently been the subject of publicity are not relevant. Accordingly, I do not propose to refer to any other case or cases except to say in passing that I realise that this present case is not the only one that has caused concern. Having said that — having accepted and indeed underlined that fact, as I have just now done and as I also did as recently as Wednesday last  in this House in reply to a parliamentary question — I think it is also right and necessary that the proposal before the House should be seen in its true perspective, and I would argue very strongly that its true perspective is not to be found just by looking at one or even at a number of cases where things have or may have been wrong but by looking at the record of the Garda Síochána day in, day out over the years. That record speaks for itself.
Since the foundation of the State, the Garda Síochána have had a role vital to the maintainance of the institutions of democracy. The force have served this State outstandingly well and will, I am in no doubt at all, continue to do so in the future. The members have done so often at great cost to themselves. Since 1970 eleven members have been murdered. Last year we have had two such cases and this year another one. Many members place their own safety at risk day after day in the defence of the community. These are stark facts of life and we need, I think, to remind ourselves of them from time to time and especially now. Whatever the outcome of this inquiry may be — even if the result is unfavourable to one or more members — it should not cause us for one instant to forget what we owe to the force. Furthermore, I can say with total confidence that the Commissioner shares fully, as indeed he has conclusively proved by his actions in this and other cases, my own commitment to ensuring that, if and where remedial action is called for, remedial action will be taken. That, at the end of the day, is perhaps the most important point of all and is a major reason why I have no doubt whatsoever that the force will come through this difficult period without lasting damage.
I commend the resolution to the House.
Dr. Woods Dr. Woods
Dr. Woods: I move amendment No. 1:
To add to the motion the following:—
 “and (4) making such recommendations (if any) as the Tribunal, having regard to its findings, thinks proper”.
We welcome the establishment of this tribunal of inquiry. We had to wait to hear the Minister's statement before knowing the details of the proposals. So far as I can see these proposals are entirely satisfactory with the exception of the one element we are proposing to have covered by way of our amendment.
The tribunal will be presided over by a judge of the High Court. We welcome that. Clearly, the tribunal will be independent. What we are to have is a sworn judicial inquiry into the case outlined in the motion.
In concluding his remarks, the Minister referred to the record of the Garda. I should like to join with the Minister in those remarks and to point out that the Garda have sought an independent inquiry into this matter. The Garda Representative Association were forthright in seeking to have the matters made public and examined thoroughly and fairly in public.
The Kerry babies case has raised serious questions by way of the alleged treatment and questioning of persons in custody and about the alleged conduct on the part of the Garda in the conduct of criminal investigations. It has been alleged that Joanne Hayes and members of her family were persuaded to confess to crimes they did not commit. It is alleged also that members of the Hayes family were slapped, punched, verbally abused and vilified for 12 hours after they were detained at Tralee Garda Station.
In looking into these matters the Minister decided first that there should be an internal Garda inquiry under the direction of the Commissioner. The Minister has set out in his statement to justify the steps he took, especially by saying that the work that has been done will be of value to the tribunal. The internal investigation proved inconclusive. It was beset by conflicting evidence. It failed either to resolve the mystery surrounding the case  or to allay public concern. We on this side of the House have been patient with the Minister. When he adopted the approach of having an internal investigation conducted, he promised that if that failed there would be an independent inquiry, which is what we considered necessary in this case. If it had not been for the internal inquiry the independent inquiry could have been undertaken earlier, but we accepted the Minister's bona fides in the matter and today he is fulfilling his promise in that regard.
Our main concern is that the course of justice will be seen to prevail by way of an independent and impartial judicial inquiry. There is grave and widespread concern about this case and its implications. A number of questions arise. For example, why did five members of a Kerry family confess to involvement in a murder which subsequent evidence indicated they could not have committed? Why did the Garda persist in their efforts to have members of the Hayes family stand trial and why, after the Director of Public Prosecutions directed that all charges be dropped, did a member of the Garda seek to have the case adjourned at Tralee Court for two months? These are the questions that have caused considerable concern to thinking persons. We trust that the inquiry will establish the facts in the case and that it will deal also with such questions as why the Garda continued to press the charges when, first, they found the body of Joanna Hayes's baby where apparently she had suggested it would originally be found, and, secondly, when it was discovered that the blood group of the Abbeydorney baby was 0 while in the case of the other baby the blood group was A. We must ask also how the Garda obtained signed statements from the Hayes family confessing to the murder of the Caherciveen baby and why the superior officers did not intervene to stop the case before the Director of Public Prosecutions intervened and what are the implications for the treatment of persons in Garda custody and for the initiation of independent inquiries?
The Minister has made it clear that  the complaints and allegations made by members of the Hayes family will be investigated. We in this House are not in a position to make judgments on these matters but we must ensure that they are considered openly and impartially. This is in fairness to the Garda as well as to all others involved. We are calling also for a full, frank and public report, but we are seeking something more. We wish the tribunal to make such recommendations, if any, as they may consider proper, and that is the purpose of our amendment.
We accept this motion but in addition we want it possible for the tribunal to make recommendations if it considers it appropriate, especially in relation to the treatment of people in custody and in relation to the conduct of criminal investigations. If there are lessons to be learnt we wish to learn them. Why has the Minister omitted to include the right to make recommendations? It appears to have been done deliberately when we contrast the wording of the motion setting up the tribunal on the Whiddy disaster and the tribunal on the Artane fire disaster. The Whiddy disaster is dealt with in the Official Report of 6 March 1979 at column 773 when Deputy Faulkner, then Minister for Tourism and Transport, moved:
That it is expedient that a tribunal be established for —
1. inquiring into the following definite matters of urgent public importance:
and the matters are set out in three paragraphs. The report goes on:
2. making such recommendations (if any) as the tribunal, having regard to its findings, thinks proper.
There was no hesitation about requesting that recommendations be made if appropriate. The Artane fire disaster is dealt with similarly as reported in the Official Report of 18 February 1981 at column 1984 where the Minister for the Environment, Deputy R. Burke, moved:
 That it is expedient that a tribunal be established for —
1. inquiring into the following definite matters of urgent public importance:
and the matters are set out in five paragraphs. The report goes on:
2. making such recommendations as the tribunal, having regard to its findings, thinks proper in respect of the statutory and other provisions in relation to fire.
The motion setting up this tribunal has omitted the paragraph relating to recommendations which was included in both other motions. Why has the Minister chosen to omit the provision enabling the tribunal to make recommendations? Recommendations made in this case could have implications for the proposed independent complaints procedure. The Members of the House and the public at large would be very happy to have recommendations. One of the most important elements of the inquiry relates to what we can learn from it and how it can be applied in future.
The Minister referred to other cases and I will do likewise briefly. Will the Minister say exactly what he intends to do about the Shercock case? The Minister in his statement earlier insisted on coupling the two cases and I would ask him to assure the House that he is not ruling out the possibility of an inquiry into the Shercock case. I appreciate that this matter is probably sub judice and that that will create difficulty for the Minister.
We do not seek to score political points on this sensitive matter. From the beginning we believed that an independent inquiry was necessary. We were patient with the Minister and accepted his bona fides when he said that he wished to carry out an internal investigation first. That has been carried out and now the tribunal is being set up. We welcome the appointment of a judge of the High Court to conduct the inquiry but would ask the Minister to accept our proposed amendment. Otherwise we accept the Minister's motion as being quite comprehensive and  I have no intention of arguing about how necessary it was to undertake the internal Garda inquiry. It might have been preferable if the Minister pursued this line after a quick internal inquiry, nevertheless we are glad that the Minister has taken this step at this stage and we support him in it.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle John J. Ryan
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Deputy Molony is next but before the Deputy commences I would remind the House that we have now 60 minutes before the Minister interrupts the debate. I would ask the Deputies to bear that in mind in their contributions.
Mr. Molony Mr. Molony
Mr. Molony: I will be brief, as I understand other people wish to speak. I join with Deputy Woods in welcoming this inquiry. Contrary to the view of very many people in this House I feel that the internal Garda inquiry should never have taken place for the following reasons — it slowed down the process of investigation and examination that the public badly wanted to see carried out; it was also evident, as the Minister pointed out in his speech, that the Garda did not have the powers that they required in order to carry out a proper investigation. They did not have the power to oblige people to give evidence. Everybody in the Dáil knew about that after our discussions on the Criminal Justice Bill. It is very obvious that any member of the Garda Síochána who had been involved in the Kerry babies case would have taken advice and would have been advised to say nothing. I understand, although I am not privy to the report which the Minister probably has as a result of the internal inquiry, that members of the Garda Síochána involved in the case did not cooperate. I do not say that in any offensive way. Given the threat of a public inquiry and the threat of legal proceedings, I understand completely why members of the Garda would not rush out to make statements to their superiors in relation to a matter like this.
For those reasons it was probably a mistake to have an internal Garda inquiry. I am delighted it is over; I am  sorry it did not work out better but I am pleased that a public inquiry is to be held.
The Minister made the point that it is very difficult to arrange an investigation or to produce a report to an inquiry like that which is being established because it is only the Garda who have the resources to allow for investigations. That is a fair point and it is something we need to change. I agree with the suggestion made elsewhere that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions should be equipped with staff who would investigate cases like this. If the Minister or any Minister should feel about any matter, because of sensitivity within the Garda or because of public concern or sensitivity, that it would be better that the Minister and the Government and the people, through the Office of the DPP, would have some investigatory staff available to him, I urge the Minister to consider that in the context of this entire problem.
It bothers me slightly that there is no reference in the terms of reference of the inquiry to what would have happened if this story had not been given to the media or if they had not discovered the story themselves. Would anything have happened? We do not know whether the prosecutions would have been brought against the Hayes family; we do not know whether the prosecutions would have been stopped by the authorities in the Garda Síochána or the office of the DPP. If the prosecutions had been stopped against members of the Hayes family what would have happened within the Garda about it? I regret there is no specific provision in the terms of reference of the inquiry to try to establish what might have happened or what would have happened, so that we would be likely to know in future what might or might not happen when investigations of this nature are undertaken, which apparently have been fouled up by the Garda, intentionally or otherwise, with people being charged in court when manifestly, on evidence available to us and to the media, those people could not have been guilty of those crimes. Surely we should consider what would have happened if  this story had not appeared in the newspapers.
Like the Minister and other Members, I have the greatest respect for the Garda. As a solicitor I have practised in many courts with members of the Garda in the past ten or 11 years and I feel great sympathy for them, and great sorrow that they should be subject to great vilification since this story broke. The vast majority of them have performed their duties with the highest integrity and great dedication and have served the country in an incredibly good way. Despite all the difficulties they face, they continue to do that and it is tragic that some few should cause difficulties, as we have seen in this and other cases.
Having said that, I am deeply disturbed — I have had this from a number of different sources — that spokesmen for the Garda at senior management level and at Garda representative association level have been offering the view consistently since this story broke that the big problem is how the media got hold of this. They are asking whether they can track down what happened, why it happened, how and why the case occurred and what went wrong in the investigation against the Hayes family. They are concerned about why the story broke. The information I have about it is that this is coming from a very high level within the Garda Síochána both at representative association level and senior management. That frightens me. I do not think I am the only Deputy who knows that, and we should be concerned that the inquiry will have a function in this. I am dismayed by that view from higher levels in the Garda, though human nature being what it is, if there were leaks from my office or the office of Deputy Woods or the Minister's office we would be very concerned about them and we would try to get to the bottom of it, but it seems to me that in a case like this senior Garda members should say that it is a good thing this was exposed because this is the sort of thing they do not want to see occur. I do not detect such a level of concern at senior Garda level. I came in today  specifically to make that point because it disturbs me greatly.
For ten or 12 years there has been talk about heavy gangs of one sort or another in the Garda. For a long time I believed that these stories or reports were the inventions of an imaginative media. I find now that my belief was wrong. I do not believe that there was ever an organised heavy gang system within the Garda but there have been a sufficient number of cases published which give us cause for concern. What bothers me particularly about many of these cases is that there have been political overtones. One or other illegal organisation have been involved and that gives the reports a certain taint. However, there have been many cases in which statements have been made, apparently voluntarily, which afterwards have been proved without question to have been wrong. People have admitted committing crimes they did not even commit and obviously could not have committed given all the circumstances available to the courts.
This Kerry babies case is not the only example we have had of this. The Shercock case has been referred to but there are others. I will refer to two. There is the case of Amanda McShane in connection with a robbery in Tallaght in 1982. She was charged with an offence. Her solicitor went to meet her in a Garda station and she alleged that an attempt had been made to have her sign a statement earlier that day but she had refused to sign it. When the solicitor looked around the interview room before the interview had taken place at all he found a statement in the first person and in the name of Amanda McShane, unsigned. Clearly that was the statement which she alleged she had been asked to sign earlier that day. Ultimately, when the solicitor made that known in court the matter was adjourned and the DPP very properly entered a nolle prosequi and the prosecution was not proceeded with. Has there ever been an inquiry about that? Surely it is the same problem that arises in the Kerry babies case and surely it is something we should consider having an inquiry into. Has there ever been an  internal Garda inquiry into it? Can we know whether the Minister or the commissioner or any authority has been given a result of such an inquiry?
There is the case of Michael Ward, a 21 year old itinerant who in 1983 signed a statement admitting the commission of 26 burglaries. The statement contained graphic descriptions of how he committed the burglaries. The Garda alleged in their evidence and statements that he had been brought around in a squad car and he had pointed out the houses he had burgled. When the matter came to court and when he was properly defended, it emerged that, in relation to some of the offences he admitted committing, he was actually in Mountjoy in custody at the time and could not possibly have committed those offences. In relation to others, no crime had been committed at all. One instance was reported in the media from the statement in which he admitted to stealing a certain amount of cash from a priest in some parochial house. Inquiries from the priest indicated that no money had ever been taken, that no crime had ever been reported to the Garda.
This 21 year old itinerant signed a voluntary statement admitting the commission of 26 burglaries, some of which he could not have committed because he was in prison, and others which he did not commit because no crime was committed. I wonder whether there was even an inquiry into that. It is a classic example of a statement being made in circumstances which are highly questionable, a statement being made that is manifestly wrong. It is an example of the problem we have in the so-called Kerry babies case.
The Shercock case is completely different. I have mentioned two, the Amanda McShane case and the Michael Ward case. I picked those two because the facts of those cases are so patently similar to the facts of the Kerry babies case. I do not think the inquiry into this whole question is satisfactory. Perhaps there are good reasons, in the context of this present case, why the Minister has to ask the specific questions he is asking.  Mr. Justice Lynch has an awful job ahead of him if this inquiry is to be anything like some of the other inquiries which have taken place.
I congratulate him on taking the job and I wish him the best. If that eminent judge's time is to be absorbed in dealing with the questions arising in the Hayes case, there is a case to be made for extending the inquiry to include the examination of other cases. I understand allegations have been made in the media that some of the Garda personnel involved in the Kerry case were involved in other cases. I do not know whether that is the case. I am simply reporting to the House what we have all seen in the media. Issues like this are high in the public mind. The vast majority of the gardaí are disgusted at what has happened. They want this cleared up once and for all. We should take this opportunity to do so.
Mr. Wilson Mr. Wilson
Mr. Wilson: The speech made by Deputy Molony can do nothing but good. I support what the Minister is doing, with the amendment mentioned by Deputy Woods from this side of the House. It is important that all the procedures of the inquiry should be above board. It is practically a cliché that justice should be done and should be seen to be done. That is very important in our society.
There should be no condoning of improper behaviour of any kind. Even when the conviction is a good one in the sense that the criminal is caught and convicted — and I said this in the supergrass debate a couple of nights ago — we in this House can never go along with the principle that the end justifies the means. There should be no improper behaviour on the part of the Garda. That is very important. There should be no improper behaviour on the part of the State. That is even more important, if we can make a distinction between the State and the Garda.
I want to make a passing reference to the case of Séamus Galligan, a raw, young recruit. In this case justice was not done and was not seen to be done. He is a young man who was a few weeks in the  station. He knew very few people in the town to which he went. Before he went there he had been commended for good police work as a recruit in Pearse Street. He was held in high esteem in the community. The community put that on record. He was highly regarded as an athlete and a footballer. The newspapers — and he is a bloody fool if he does not sue them for libel — stated that he was tried in connection with the case in Shercock. He was never tried. He did not have hand, act or part in what happened in Shercock. The Evening Press carried a notice that he was tried. RTE carried it. I was very upset about it.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle John J. Ryan
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: A passing reference, Deputy.
Mr. Wilson Mr. Wilson
Mr. Wilson: That is all I am making. An early RTE news bulletin referred to Séamus Galligan as having been tried, and later they had to withdraw that.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle John J. Ryan
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: The Shercock case is sub judice at the moment.
Mr. Wilson Mr. Wilson
Mr. Wilson: The Séamus Galligan case is not sub judice. It was never under a judge and is not under a judge at present. I want to make that quite clear. The advice the Leas-Cheann Comhairle has got is not correct. The question of Séamus Galligan was never before a court. He was never accused of anything. He did not have hand, act or part as a raw recruit in what took place in Shercock, and that is what I want to put on the record of the House.
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle John J. Ryan
An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: I referred to the Shercock case as being sub judice.
Mr. Wilson Mr. Wilson
Mr. Wilson: Deputy Molony referred at length to two cases. This House, the Garda Commissioner, the Minister for Justice and the media, who are very important in this case, should take a closer look and see whether this man is being made a sacrificial lamb and a scapegoat. Somebody talked about the Garda Representative Body. If they have  any guts, if they do not adopt a mealymouthed approach, they will stand up for their member in this case.
I said I do not condone any improper behaviour or any improper procedure. A terrible tragedy occurred in that town, but let us be aware of the sacrificial lamb syndrome. Justice for an individual with a free conscience is very important to me and should be very important to everybody in this House. He may have had a false sense of loyalty to someone as a raw rookie. Perhaps we all have that. What the Minister is doing here as of now, with the strengthening of the amendment suggested by Deputy Woods, will do nothing but good for the Garda and help them to maintain a position of credibility and integrity in our community.
Mr. Manning Mr. Manning
Mr. Manning: I fully endorse and support the majority of the points made by my colleague, Deputy Molony, but he is wrong on one point. The Minister was right to wait until the full, internal procedures had been exhausted before deciding to go ahead with this tribunal. We should not enter lightly upon a tribunal of this kind, not just in terms of the cost but also in terms of the gravity which that implies. The Minister was right to wait until the full, internal Garda inquiry had taken place. I do not believe that inquiry was bound to fail. There was a very good chance that it might have found the truth. Had it found the truth, we would be spared the full inquiry. Since that was not the case the Minister was right. I think all parties here would agree it was better to do that, and go ahead now fully and clearly as we are doing.
We all want the truth and justice from this inquiry. It is vital that the public should be reassured, that nothing should be held back, that every facet and aspect should be investigated and that, in the end, the full, unvarnished truth should be told. Only if the truth is told and seen to be told, will the public confidence which has been ebbing away so much in recent times from the Garda begin to be restored. It is important that justice be done fully to those involved, whether it be the gardaí or others. No one in this  House will pre-judge the case at this stage. The gardaí may well be innocent. The blame may lie elsewhere, or vice versa. Whatever it is, we have to expect that the full truth will be told and that the names of those involved will be cleared.
The importance of this tribunal must go much further than Kerry and the specific case it will examine. The very questions it raises, questions about the methodology of the Garda, questions about truth, questions about other cases are fundamental to the entire workings of the Garda Síochána and to the administration of justice. It is especially important, in view of recent events, that this be done. What is especially central to this tribunal is the whole question of Garda methods and techniques about which there is widespread concern. It is clear that such concern embraces possible abuses and indeed cases where clearly abuses have taken place. Much of that disquiet was expressed in the course of discussing the Criminal Justice Bill and has been reiterated by others in the House this afternoon.
Questions arise also about the whole methodology of the Garda in questions of crime and investigation. It appears to people, looking at the workings of the Garda that, in spite of the great changes that have occurred in technology, in spite of their much increased manpower, in spite of the clarification of the law in many ways in recent years, it would appear that very little has changed in the way in which the Garda go about the job of investigating crimes of the sort about which we are speaking.
In passing, I hope the tribunal will address itself to these wider questions which are implicit in what it will be examining. Without pre-judging its findings I believe the lack of appreciation which appears to have characterised the approach of the Garda in this case inevitably was bound to end up in consequences, to say the very least, which were highly open to question.
The Minister has confined himself to this one case while my colleagues, Deputies  Molony and Wilson, referred to other disquieting cases. A fundamental question was raised by Deputy Molony, that was, had the media not raised this case, had a file not been sent to people in the media — as appears to have been the case — had journalists not got to the bottom and begun to unearth the story, what would have happened? Would the case have died down? Would the people involved have remained where they were, whoever may be guilty? These are frightening questions to pose because there may well be others which have not come to public light in which there may well have been miscarriages of justice.
I hope this tribunal will comprise the beginning of a process to dispose publicly and openly of the doubts and shadows under which the Garda operate today. I know that most people in the Garda want this to happen. The public needs it to happen if confidence is to be restored. But even more is needed. I was encouraged to hear the Minister talk in recent days about radical changes to be effected in the whole of the training methods of the Garda. These changes are needed at all levels, in their managerial training, incorporating changes in technology and leadership. What the Garda themselves are maintaining is that what is needed is a radical root and branch restructuring of the entire force. I believe this will have the entire support of all Deputies, the vast majority of the Garda and the general public in order to ensure that what is good in the Garda Síochána is built on and what is not good is eliminated. I hope the establishment of this tribunal will see the beginning of the restoration of public confidence in the Garda Síochána. That can be done only if the tribunal does what I know it will do — establish the full truth, having the axe fall where it should, allowing us to see that restoration of confidence in a force which has served the country well over the years.
Mr. McEllistrim Mr. McEllistrim
Mr. McEllistrim: I was delighted to hear the Minister announce that he was establishing a sworn judicial inquiry into what is now know as the “Kerry babies” case. It is important, indeed essential that  every effort be made to establish the truth in this case. There is great disquiet felt about this case in my constituency. I am quite sure that this inquiry will resolve the matter satisfactorily.
It is gratifying to note that both parties, that is the Hayes family and the Garda, have welcomed its establishment. I should say that, when one lives in a constituency in which this type of case has arisen, it renders it somewhat more difficult to speak about it especially in view of the fact that one is familiar with and knows all of the parties involved. I am sure other Members of the House would appreciate that fact were it to happen in their constituencies.
I should like to ask the Minister if this inquiry will take place in Dublin or in Tralee? If it is to be held in Dublin what about the costs of the people involved? That would be especially important to the Hayes family. I should like the Minister to clarify that point.
I should like to support the amendment of Deputy Woods. I should reiterate that I am delighted at the establishment of this inquiry, I am sure the House will understand that it is somewhat more difficult to talk about a case when the people involved are intimate friends.
Proinsias De Rossa Proinsias De Rossa
Proinsias De Rossa: Like other Deputies, I welcome the establishment of this inquiry. However, like others, I feel it should have been done almost two months ago, when the matter was raised in the House on 16 October last. Nevertheless its establishment is welcomed. It is also gratifying to note that it has been welcomed by the parties concerned in the problem that gave rise to its establishment. It is clear from what the Minister said that the internal Garda inquiry could not possibly have extracted the issues and faults involved in this case given the limited powers Garda investigators have in these matters.
The Minister had this to say in the course of his remarks:
I simply want to make it clear, so that there may be no misunderstanding of what I said, that it is a point that  may need to be looked at separately at a later stage.
Is he there referring to the giving of additional powers to Garda investigators, or to what is he referring? I should like clarification of that point because it is not clear from the wording.
I believe that the terms of reference of the tribunal as they stand are quite broad and will enable it to carry out a worthwhile investigation. Like Deputy Woods I would be anxious to ensure that the tribunal would be enabled to make recommendations. I do not know why the Minister did not include that proposal in its terms of reference which would have appeared necessary in order to ensure that recommendations be forthcoming and also that the situation that developed in this case would not recur.
There are very few Members of this House who have had no reports or experiences of questionable tactics on the part of individual members of the Garda Síochána. The fact that the Kerry babies case was of such a serious nature resulted in the public concern and the establishment of the public inquiry now announced. However, it must be admitted — despite our anxiety to protect the Garda and their good name — there are practices among the force warranting correction which have resulted in many young people, in particular, having been brought before our courts and sentenced which in all justice should not have occurred. Because of that this inquiry has much broader implications than those involved in the case to which it gave rise. I hope it will bring forward recommendations which will ensure that the Garda, in their activities and practices, are seen to be above reproach in the future.
Another point is the make-up of the tribunal. The Minister has indicated that a judge of the High Court will be the chairperson of the tribunal. Could he indicate whether the judge will select the other members or will it be up to the Minister? Will he ensure that lay people will be involved, that it will not be confined to the ranks of the Garda or former gardaí or members of the legal  profession? It is important that there should be lay involvement in the tribunal.
I would ask whether the gardaí who were involved in the Kerry case are still on duty. This is a point I made previously in relation to another case. It is important in order to allay public fears that gardaí who are under investigation should not be on duty. That in no way prejudges the outcome of the inquiry. It should be common practice where gardaí are under investigation for what are regarded as serious offences that they should not continue on duty.
There is a final point which needs to be kept in mind by Deputies and the public in general. A newborn baby was found savagely murdered, having been stabbed and its neck having been broken, and the perpetrators of that crime have not been brought to justice. In all our concern about the injustice of the way the Hayes family were treated, we should also keep in mind the fact that the person or persons capable of this despicable type of crime are still free among us.
Mr. Shatter Mr. Shatter
Mr. Shatter: I welcome this motion. Ever since the story of what happened in this case emerged in the Sunday Independent it seemed inevitable that there would have to be a public inquiry. The journalist who made this matter public knowledge deserves the thanks of this House. I mirror the comment made by Deputy Molony in wondering to what extent this matter would have been investigated and followed up without the attendant publicity. The Minister made the point that the Commissioner had made the decision that an investigation was necessary before the public controversy arose. Was that a day or two before the story was printed in the Sunday newspapers or was it well before the charges against the Hayes family were withdrawn in the District Court? The Minister might clarify that point.
It is not appropriate to go into the details of this case but one of the most disturbing aspects was that this was not apparently an incident of an individual garda misbehaving. The facts, as they  appear to have emerged, indicate a whole breakdown in the chain of command within the Garda. That has serious implications going beyond the implications arising from some of the other cases to which Deputies have referred which give rise to concern. It is my view that a public inquiry has always been essential. It is to be hoped that the tribunal will establish the facts. The version of what happened which has emerged in the newspapers has seriously undermined the self-confidence of the Garda and the general public's confidence in the Garda, to such an extent that no matter how good a job the garda did in their own internal investigation it would not have been greeted with credibility by the public, no matter what the result. The only way to restore confidence in the Garda and to satisfy the general public that the matter has been fully dealt with and properly investigated is by setting up this type of tribunal.
This internal investigation has wide implications. The failure of the internal investigation to get at the truth has copperfastened and confirmed the worries and fears of many Deputies which were expressed during the debate on the Criminal Justice Bill. There is a belief that within the existing system of law, even with the added safeguards under the Criminal Justice Act, the Garda cannot fully and properly investigate themselves. That is a matter of concern. I fully appreciate and accept that the Garda are entitled to the same protections as anyone else under investigation for an offence but it is quite clear from the Minister's speech, although he has to be circumspect in the position in which he finds himself, that the Garda investigators in this incident were not afforded the degree of co-operation necessary to enable them to reach final conclusions as to what actually took place in the context of the Garda dealings with the Hayes family. That is implicit in the Minister's speech.
I welcome the fact that the tribunal is to be established and that Mr. Justice Lynch will be heading it. I have no doubt that he will produce a very comprehensive report which should greatly assist this House in drawing conclusions which  will be relevant, not merely in the context of this case but which will be directly relevant to the ability or capacity of any complaints procedure the Minister intends to establish under new legislation to deal with future problems arising where there is a conflict between gardaí and individuals who are the subject of investigation.
Many Deputies who have spoken have referred to aspects of this matter to which I would otherwise refer. This is a short debate and in deference to my colleagues I will not repeat what has been said. I want to take up one other theme which was touched upon briefly by Deputy De Rossa. It is a point worth repeating because it is something that has been lost. The controversy surrounding the Garda dealings with the Hayes family and the shock which the public suffered on learning what happened have to some extent left somewhere on the sidelines the fact that a baby was found dead on Cahirciveen beach. Deputy De Rossa properly and correctly referred to this. Has all investigation into the death of that baby ground to a halt in the context of the controversy surrounding this case? It seems to be conclusively established that Joanne Hayes and members of her family who were initially charged with involvement in that crime did not have an involvement in the death of that baby. What continued Garda investigation has taken place into identifying the dead baby found on Cahirciveen beach? What further steps have been taken to discover the relatives of that child? What further steps have been taken to discover the perpetrators of the horrific death of that child on Cahirciveen beach? This is a matter on which the tribunal cannot make a finding.
It concerns me — and I say this in the context of the indication in the Minister's speech that there was not full co-operation in the internal investigative procedures within the Garda — that it may have been in the vested interest of some gardaí not to continue with the comprehensive investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of the baby found on  Cahirciveen beach once it was established that charges could not proceed against the Hayes family and once this became a general matter of controversy because of the alleged dealings of the Garda with the Hayes family. That is a matter of grave public concern. I find it curious in a country in which we had a great debate 12 months ago, described as a pro-life debate, that somewhere in the context of the disturbing facts that emerged about the alleged dealings of the Garda with the Hayes family everybody forgot the fate of the baby found on the beach. The fate of that baby is not a matter that has generated any public comment except as an incidental matter to the facts and controversy surrounding this issue.
Will the Minister outline the position to the House? Is there some special investigative unit of the Garda Síochána looking into the death of that baby? What has been established about the baby? Do we know where the baby was born? Was the birth registered? There are a series of unanswered questions relating to the tragic fate of that baby. The tribunal has broad and important implications and not just in the context of the circumstances surrounding the Hayes family and dealings by the Garda with them. It has important implications for the Garda. That point was well made by Deputy Molony. Some Members take the view that an appropriate investigation into allegations of this nature in the context of alleged Garda misbehaviour could have taken place at an earlier stage, possibly before the recent events that were damaging to public confidence in the Garda and damaging to the confidence of the Garda. From my contacts with gardaí I found that the vast majority of them do not want to do anything else but to perform their public duty. They are anxious that the full truth relating to this case is made known and that any problems in the chain of command in the Garda, that any responsibility that attaches to these sorry events, is fully and properly investigated. They are equally anxious that as a result of whatever report is produced by the tribunal immediate  and appropriate action will be taken, where necessary by the Government, where necessary by the Commissioner and where necessary by the law officers of the State.
Mr. Foley Mr. Foley
Mr. Foley: As a Member representing the constituency in which this tragic case occurred I welcome the decision to set up the inquiry. Only good can come out of the tribunal especially in view of the fact that the Garda and the Hayes family have welcomed this decision. Care has been taken by the Minister when drawing up the terms of reference of the tribunal to ensure that they are sufficiently wide to enable it to deal with all relevant aspects of the issues involved in this sad case. I should like the Minister to clarify a number of points. He made reference to legal representation before the tribunal and the related question of legal costs. I should like to know if the interested parties will be entitled to have full legal representation and, if so, will they be fully reimbursed? Will the inquiry take place in Kerry? I believe it should. I appeal to the Minister to accept our amendment in the name of Deputy Dr. Woods. The Garda and the Hayes family have been subjected to most unreasonable publicity as a result of this case.
Mr. Taylor Mr. Taylor
Mr. Taylor: I should like to make some brief comments on the motion and I am aware that some of my colleagues are anxious to contribute to this short debate. It seems that there is some fair merit in the amendment proposed by Deputy Woods. The motion, as proposed, seeks to establish a tribunal of inquiry, an important and essential matter as far as it goes. I welcome the fact that the tribunal of inquiry is being set up. However, it is desirable that the inquiry should not only inquire but also publish its findings of facts. It should not just take evidence of what happened and have a record of that. I sincerely hope that that is not the intent but that the inquiry will act in a judical manner and find facts. Where there are conflicts on facts and evidence — the indications are that there will be conflicts of evidence in this case — I hope  the tribunal will give its finding as to which sequence of facts it considers correct. I would see no objection to, as the amendment suggests, it being open to the tribunal to make recommendations as to what improvements can be achieved in the scheme of things. In this case some considerable trouble, time and State expense will be involved in inquiring into a matter of intense public interest, a matter that, unfortunately, is in no way unique. It may be apropriate that the tribunal, having conducted an inquiry at great length, might be able to assist us in ensuring that the events in Kerry will not be easily repeated in the future. Recommendations might be helpful and appropriate.
As far as the events are concerned, it is clear from some of the cases we know of — some of them were referred to by other Members — that the events in Kerry, the dubious circumstances under which statements were made, are not unique. It appears that these matters arise primarily as a result of certain elements in the Garda on various occasions trying to divise a solution they feel fits the facts available to them, working backwards in the investigation rather than forward, as it were. An improper step might be taken at some stage and then a sense of loyalty, perhaps, might come into play from a superior Garda officer in favour of his subordinate. That is one possible context in which this could happen. The other is where a subordinate Garda officer would come across an improper situation and, through either a sense of loyalty to his superiors or a sense of fear of his superiors or a feeling that his prospects of promotion might be affected if he speaks out on an unjust matter he might come across, he might feel prejudiced in one of these ways.
The message should go forth from the House, and from the tribunal in due course, that the primary loyalty and responsibility owed by each member of the Garda force is not to his colleagues, his superiors or subordinates but to the public who set up the force through the operations of legislation. That is where the primary responsibility and loyalty of  each member of the Garda must lie. It must be known and accepted at all times that it will not be an accepted excuse from any member of the force to say that any improper act he did, connived at, accepted or did not expose was on the grounds that he was acting under the orders of a superior officer. The orders of a superior officer are right and proper where they are lawful and just, but if they involve injustice or impropriety in any way it must be clear at all levels that under no circumstances will the excuse be accepted that an officer was acting under superiors' orders. Once that type of excuse is accepted or allowed into the system it will open the door to a very dangerous position.
Miss Harney Miss Harney
Miss Harney: Like my colleagues I am happy that the Minister has finally decided to establish this sworn judicial inquiry into the incidents surrounding what is now known as the “Kerry babies” case. I want to add my voice of congratulation to those of the journalists who highlighted this case and the journalists who, down the years, have drawn the attention not only of the Members of this House but of the public to instances of this kind. They have not just done a great service to this House, but they have done a great service to the public. If we did not have such good investigative journalists, one wonders if inquiries like this would be established.
Deputy Molony referred to the Amanda McShane case. During the debate on the Criminal Justice Bill I twice referred to that case because, like others, I was concerned about it, but there has been no inquiry into that case. The Michael Ward case, the Nicky Kelly case, the Shercock case and the recent fingerprint case are all very disturbing. There have been civil cases in the courts in some instances, but there has been no proper inquiry as far as I am concerned. I wonder if this case got such great attention because there was a baby involved? This case, more than any other, seemed to focus the attention of the public in a very unique and strange way and caused a  great deal of concern, particularly among the female members of the public. Is this the reason why this inquiry is being set up. My answer is in the negative and I find that very disturbing.
This case teaches us a lot about what might happen in investigations of this kind but it must draw our minds to the fact that in terms of social policy in Ireland, things have not really changed. We all know the names Ann Lovett and Joanne Hayes, but nobody knows the names of the fathers. This is particularly relevant in the Joanne Hayes case, because one newspaper saw fit to quote at length remarks made by the person who alleged that he was the father of the baby but they concealed his identity. Nobody saw fit to conceal the identity of Joanne Hayes or any of the mothers in these cases. For that reason it is very disturbing that in investigative murder cases there do not seem to be female gardaí at senior level involved. I submit that had there been a senior female Garda officer involved, the method in interrogating a young girl who had just given birth would not have been used. It is obvious from what I have read and from what I have seen, particularly on the Today Tonight programme where Joanne Hayes at very great length gave details of the manner in which she was interrogated, that she was in no state, mentally, to go through the trauma involved in this kind of questioning. We must be concerned about that.
One wonders if this type of thing happened before and we must ask if it will happen again. For this reason I feel Deputy Woods's amendment is very relevant. What is the point in having an inquiry if they will not be able to make recommendations as to how such a thing could be prevented from happening again? If this inquiry simply gives the history of what happened but does not make any recommendations we will have missed a golden opportunity. I do not want to see this type of case happen again, and I have no doubt the public do not want to see it happen again either, and the best way to ensure that is by giving the judge heading the inquiry the  power to make recommendations. Nobody will doubt his integrity, impartiality or objectivity. Nobody who sits through the inquiry will be be a better position than he to make the necessary recommendations.
My colleague, Deputy Wilson, referred to the Shercock case. I realise this is sub judice and I just want to make a few remarks. It is not good enough that the gardaí would simply lose their jobs. That may be the easy way out but it is not good enough. I want to know what happened in this case and I have no doubt many members of the public want to know too.
I want to know how long this inquiry will take. I do not want any inquiry that will sit for months or years. There should be a time limit on this investigation. I suggest three months would be sufficient in the circumstances. The Minister recognised that the tribunal could get the facts only if people could be examined on oath and were subjected to cross-examination. I am delighted he recognised that because during the debate on the Criminal Justice Bill when I referred to the Kerry babies cases, I said the only way the matter could be satisfactorily investigated would be by having a judicial sworn inquiry. It has taken almost two months for this inquiry to be established.
I want to put it on the record that in my view gardaí, solicitors, lawyers, doctors and so on are not in a position to carry out investigations into their own activities. This type of investigation is particularly disturbing in this case because we were not just asking gardaí to investigate other gardaí but we were asking a superior to investigate an officer in the rank immediate below his own. That was most unsatisfactory and it is no wonder the investigation did not come to a satisfactory solution. As I said, this inquiry is two months late, but let us hope that we do not repeat our mistakes. I want to ask the Minister if he will take the same action in relation to the Michael Ward, Amanda McShane and Nicky Kelly cases, the fingerprint case and the  Shercock case. We know the gardaí were dismissed but we want to know what happened and in that way we will ensure that such a thing will never happen again.
Mr. L.T. Cosgrave Mr. L.T. Cosgrave
Mr. L.T. Cosgrave: On a point of order——
An Ceann Comhairle Thomas J. (Cavan) Fitzpatrick
An Ceann Comhairle: You may not raise a point of order.
Mr. L.T. Cosgrave Mr. L.T. Cosgrave
Mr. L.T. Cosgrave: On a point of information, does the debate have to conclude at 5.20 p.m.?
An Ceann Comhairle Thomas J. (Cavan) Fitzpatrick
An Ceann Comhairle: An order was unanimously made by the House and I must call the Minister at 5.20 p.m.
Mr. L.T. Cosgrave Mr. L.T. Cosgrave
Mr. L.T. Cosgrave: Even though extra time was taken on the Order of Business——
An Ceann Comhairle Thomas J. (Cavan) Fitzpatrick
An Ceann Comhairle: No allowance can be made.
Mr. Durkan Mr. Durkan
Mr. Durkan: I welcome the setting up of this tribunal and consider it fortuitous that we are not allowing a witchhunt to take place but simply creating the structures to restore public confidence in the Garda Síochána. Because of the increase in the number of very serious crimes which have been committed recently, the restoration of public confidence in the Garda Síochána is very important. The public must have the utmost confidence in the ability of the Garda to carefully investigate very serious crimes but at the same time the Garda must have regard to the fact that the accused is innocent until proven guilty and the Garda are not expected to be judge and jury.
At this stage I am not falling into the trap of becoming judge and jury, but if the facts brought to light in the media are true, then this must be one of the most horrific cases we have had to deal with in recent times. When the tribunal publish their findings I hope the call for this type of investigation will be vindicated and that it will be clearly understood by all that is is absolutely essential that the Garda's methods of detection and questioning be above reproach.
 I am a little concerned that the internal Garda inquiry has been inconclusive. This was a very good opportunity to restore public confidence in the Garda but unfortunately that has not happened. I hope that as a result of this inquiry every man, women and child will have the utmost confidence in the forces of law and order, and the ability of that force to carry out their duties in an impartial and just manner.
Mr. Dowling Mr. Dowling
Mr. Dowling: Very briefly, in the two or three minutes left to me——
An Ceann Comhairle Thomas J. (Cavan) Fitzpatrick
An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy has one minute.
Mr. Dowling Mr. Dowling
Mr. Dowling: I congratulate the Minister on setting up this inquiry to ensure that this case is fully and fairly investigated. I also congratulate the reporter on the Sunday Independent who brought this sordid saga to the notice of the public. Without that report, this unfortunate girl might have been convicted of a crime she could not have committed. I hope that at the end of this public sworn inquiry, all the questions which remain unanswered will be answered to the satisfaction of the public. I also hope that the Garda, who have been brought into disrepute by the actions of a few, will be clearly vindicated. They have served the country well and I hope that the Minister's inquiry will go a long way towards restoring confidence in the force.
Minister for Justice (Mr. Noonan, Limerick East) Michael Noonan
Minister for Justice (Mr. Noonan, Limerick East): I am pleased that there is general welcome for the motion which I introduced today and I thank the Deputies who contributed to the debate. I am sorry that some Deputies did not get an opportunity to speak but half an hour was wasted on the Order of Business and I hope Deputies will remember that in future when we could be effectively debating the business of the House.
If this motion is passed by the Dáil and Seanad — as I hope it will — I will by order or warrant appoint the tribunal. That warrant will ask the tribunal to  report to me. The judge will decide his own procedure and there is no question of not having a report as, by warrant, he has to report to me on the results of the tribunal. The judge will be in a position to decide on his own procedure as to where and when he will sit. In reply to questions from Deputies in the North Kerry constituency, I can only speculate that he will take evidence in Kerry. I could see a case for the tribunal sitting in Kerry but also sitting in Dublin especially when it comes to concluding the report. However, that will be a matter for the judge who will be appointed.
I dealt with the question of costs and representation in my statement but Deputy Foley raised it again. It is a matter for the tribunal to decide who will be allowed representation and, having heard all the evidence, it will again be up to the tribunal to direct that costs should be borne by whatever persons he considers appropriate, including the State. I do not think we should attempt at this stage to make any pre-judgment of where costs would lie. If the tribunal direct the State or individuals to pay, that is a matter for the tribunal.
A number of points were raised by individual Deputies and many of them contained misconceptions. Many Deputies have proceeded as if we did not need a tribunal. They seem to know all the facts already and they spoke in a tone which suggests they have all the answers and that the tribunal should simply endorse their opinions. That is not so. We should approach this in an open manner and we need the tribunal to establish the facts. The report, which will be made public, will, I hope, establish the facts. Great stress was laid by certain Deputies on the fact that the Garda investigation was inconclusive. It was inconclusive because it did not reach conclusions but I do not think that everybody should immediately jump to the conclusion that this was because certain gardaí did not make statements. Certainly certain gardaí did not make the fullest possible statements but there was also the question of members of the family not meeting the investigating  officers. Their statements were made to a solicitor and there was no possibility of the Garda cross-examining them or even meeting them.
With regard to the question of whether people other than the Garda could have come up with a conclusive report, it is not just the people who are carrying out the investigation, it is in the nature of their powers and if there were lay investigators under a particular format without the power to subpoena witnesses or to cross examine them, I do not think they would have got any further than the Garda investigators, or maybe not as far. This tribunal will have the powers of the High Court and it would not be wise to set up investigating bodies which would automatically have the powers of the High Court. In this case witnesses will have the same protection as they would have in the High Court as the tribunal will have the powers of the High Court.
Deputy Wilson referred to the Shercock case. The case of one of the gardaí involved is sub judice. In a recent interview I indicated that action had been taken by the Commissioner but, as Deputy Wilson pointed out, the individual garda he named was never before the courts and that should be said. I do not propose to respond to the questions raised about other cases. Some of them have been the subject of parliamentary questions and I have dealt with them and will be dealing with others shortly. I have acknowledged that other cases caused me concern. I do not think it proper to say any more about the Shercock case but I accept that Garda Galligan was not tried for any offence.
I now come to Deputy Woods's amendment. As I said, the warrant setting up the tribunal will be signed by me and it will involve a report to me by the tribunal when they reach their conclusions. In the meantime, the judge has the powers of the High Court at his disposal and he will organise the tribunal as he sees fit. He will also report to me. On the question of recommendations, if it emerges from the findings of the tribunal that a criminal offence took place, then  the statutory officer who proceeds on foot of that is the Director of Public Prosecutions and it would not be proper for a recommendation to be made by anybody else. It would be up to the DPP to examine it and to make recommendations as he sees fit. If a question of Garda discipline arises, the statutory officer responsible in that case is the Commissioner and it would be up to him to make a decision.
On the question of Garda procedures and safeguards necessary for people in custody, we debated pretty fully in the Criminal Justice Bill and many of us have a good idea of the safeguards required. It is not so long since we had the Ó Briain report which was specifically set up to indicate the safeguards which should be applied to people held in Garda custody. I said in the House that statutory regulations will be introduced here and this House and the Seanad will have ample opportunity to debate the regulations governing the treatment of people in custody.
I also said in the House that I will be drawing very fully on the Ó Briain report. We are great for making recommendations but we should implement some of them for a change. We have had the recommendations of the Ó Briain report since 1979 and I have told the House that I am bringing in regulations to govern the control of people in custody. Deputies and Senators will have the opportunity of debating them——
Dr. Woods Dr. Woods
Dr. Woods: Why is the Minister afraid of recommendations?
Mr. Noonan (Limerick East) Mr. Noonan (Limerick East)
Mr. Noonan (Limerick East): The judge will be making a very full report and I hope that the nature of the action which we and others will take will be self-evident from that report.
Mr. R. Burke Mr. R. Burke
Mr. R. Burke: The Minister is leaving it to the judge to make recommendations.
Mr. Noonan (Limerick East) Mr. Noonan (Limerick East)
Mr. Noonan (Limerick East): The judge will make a very full report. The nature of the action taken will be absolutely evident. I do not think we should prejudge the issues involved. Now that  the tribunal is being set up we should leave it to the tribunal and to the judge——
Mr. R. Burke Mr. R. Burke
Mr. R. Burke: Why tie the hands of the tribunal?
Mr. Noonan (Limerick East) Mr. Noonan (Limerick East)
Mr. Noonan (Limerick East): We are not tying the hands of anyone. The terms of reference are very wide. We should leave it to the judge to come up with the fullest report possible.
Amendment put and declared lost.
Question put and agreed to.
Dáil Éireann 354 Kerry Babies Case: Motion.