The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) welcomes the establishment of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland, having long campaigned for the overhaul of laws, structures and practices concerning policing in Ireland. Indeed, ICCL’s establishment in 1976 was a reaction to proposals for extensive emergency powers legislation and allegations of systemic mistreatment of suspects by an identified group of Gardaí who were referred to as “The Heavy Gang”.
Over the intervening forty years, Garda reform has been at the heart of ICCL’s work. We campaigned for the establishment of the Policing Authority, the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission and the Garda Inspectorate as necessary oversight bodies. Policing was a common thread throughout our early and subsequent campaigns challenging emergency powers; our work defending freedom of association and assembly; and our participation in national debates on immigration, gender violence and respect for private and family life. In short, issues about An Garda Síochána have always been centre stage in Irish human rights discourse. Now it is time to move human rights discourse to centre stage at An Garda Síochána.
Read our full submission here: