Dáil Éireann - Volume 475 - 27 February, 1997
Written Answers. - Garda Investigations.
Miss Coughlan Miss Coughlan
11. Miss Coughlan asked the Minister for Justice her views on whether a specialised unit should be established within the Garda Síochána to investigate murders; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5416/97]
Minister for Justice (Mrs. Owen) Nora Owen
Minister for Justice (Mrs. Owen): The detailed deployment of Garda personnel and resources is a matter for the Garda authorities. They have informed me that the investigation of all crime, including murder, is the responsibility of the local district officer.
I understand that the Garda authorities recently carried out a review of the structure of the specialist units attached to Garda headquarters and the central detective unit at Harcourt Square. This  review came about as a result of trends emerging in regard to different forms of criminal activity. As a result of this review the expertise and resources available to these individual units have been combined to form the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation under the control of a chief superintendent. The resources of this unit will be available to investigate any serious crime, including murder, should a district officer require it. Of course, this is in addition to the existing specialist services available in the form of fingerprint, ballistic, photography and forensic expertise at Garda Headquarters.
I have been informed by the Garda authorities that the new bureau is under the control of the Assistant Commissioner responsible for all crime related matters. Given the link between different forms of criminal activity the expertise of other specialist Garda units such as the Garda National Drugs Unit, the Criminal Assets Bureau and the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation, which are also under the control of the aforementioned Assistant Commissioner, can be called upon to assist in any investigation throughout the country where expertise in any of these areas is required.
Dáil Éireann 475 Written Answers. Garda Investigations.