The O’Higgins Commission of Investigation today presented its final report to the Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald, TD.
This Commission was established under the Commissions of Investigation Act 2004 to investigate and report on certain matters relative to the Cavan/Monaghan Division of the Garda Síochána and related issues.
The Minister is examining the report and consulting with the Attorney General with a view to arranging for publication as soon as possible in accordance with the provisions of the Commissions of Investigation Act 2004.
Minister Fitzgerald said: “I wish to express my gratitude to Mr Justice Kevin O’Higgins and his team for the promptness with which the Commission concluded its challenging work”.
The Commission arose from the report of 6 May 2014 from Mr Sean Guerin, SC, to An Taoiseach concerning allegations made by Sergeant Maurice McCabe. The Government accepted Mr Guerin’s recommendation that a Commission of Investigation was desirable in the public interest in order to ensure continuing confidence in the Garda Síochána and the criminal justice system.
The terms of reference for the Commission are set our in the Order establishing the Commission (SI No. 38 of 2015) – link http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2015/si/38/made/en/print
Under the Order establishing the Commission, the Minister for Justice and Equality is the specified Minister responsible for overseeing administrative matters relating to the establishment of the Commission, including for receiving its reports.
Mr Justice Kevin O’Higgins was appointed as the Commission’s sole member. The Commission commenced its work on 10 February 2015 and was due to report within one year. The Minister for Justice and Equality agreed to the request from the Sole Member to grant an extension to 29 April 2016 for the Commission to report.