Dáil Éireann - Volume 613 - 02 February, 2006

Written Answers. - Garda Operations.

  170. Mr. Boyle asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform further to Questions Nos. 1112 and 1113 of 25 January 2006, when, to whom and the reason the Garda authorities make comments regarding the existence or otherwise of intelligence information that relates to the security of the State. [3744/06]

  171. Mr. Boyle asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the reason seeking information from Garda intelligence on a category of persons and the number of persons in such a category, without seeking information on specific individuals, would be deemed to be injurious to the security of the State. [3745/06]

  Mr. McDowell: I propose to take Questions Nos. 170 and 171 together.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the sharing of intelligence information held by the Garda Síochána in relation to matters con[2059] cerning the security of the State is confined to legal obligation or necessity and then only to persons or organisations which have responsibilities in the area.

Issues of security relating to the holding of intelligence information arise not only from the content of such information but also from the extent to which lawful intelligence-gathering techniques may be operational against a readily identifiable group or sub-group of persons. Confirming that intelligence gathering by the Garda in relation to specific persons or groups is ongoing could in certain circumstances result in a lessening in the success of such work. This would be contrary to the public interest.