Taoiseach must correct Dáil record on Senior ODCE Garda position

Issued 19 November 2017

Labour Party Leader Brendan Howlin TD has said that the Taoiseach should correct the Dáil record on the misleading information provided on the filling of the most senior Garda position in the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE), and that the position must be filled immediately if the Government is serious about tackling corporate crime and corruption.

Deputy Howlin said:

"The most senior Garda position in the ODCE has been vacant since September 2016, and despite efforts by the Director of the ODCE to have the position filled quickly, this vacancy has clearly not been treated with any urgency.

“On Tuesday 7th November the Taoiseach replied to my question in the Dáil and stated that the duties and role of the position of Garda Detective Inspector in the ODCE was now undertaken by another Detective Inspector on a part time basis in addition to other duties.

“Correspondence released to RTE’s ‘This Week’ programme under the Freedom of Information Act show that the position has not been filled in any practical way.

“The Detective Inspector was not assigned to the ODCE and cannot be delegated with powers under the 2014 Companies Act or have confidential information shared with him. In effect the Detective Inspector was only responsible for line management and admin issues.

“Clearly the Taoiseach misinformed the Dáil, and was misinformed himself about how this critical position was being filled.

“For all practical, useful purposes, the vacancy of the most senior Garda position in the ODCE has not been filled since September 2016, well over a year now.

“This underscores the complete lack of efforts to beef up the capabilities of the ODCE. The Government’s pretence and spin that it is scaling up efforts to tackle corporate crime is quite clearly a joke.

“The so-called part-time filling of the position has had no practical effect for the investigation of crimes.

“The Taoiseach should now correct the record of the Dáil, and ensure that this essential role is filled immediately.”