[Sinn Fein]

8th November 2002

Ferris `not surprised' by Garda complaint decision

Sinn Fein TD Martin Ferris has described the decision of the DPP not to proceed with any action against members of the Gardaí following his formal complaint of assualt as ``not surprising''. He went on to say the DPPs decision and the statement from the Garda Complaints Board that ``the matter was now closed'' reinforced his view that there needs to be ``an independent complaints body or ombudsman established to deal with complaints against members of the Force''.  The North Kerry TD was reacting to news that the DPP and the Garda Complaints Board were not going to take any action in relation to his complaint of assault at Killarney Garda Station in March of this year.

Deputy Ferris said it is ``a joke that we still today have a situation where Gardaí are investigating themselves. With all the statements coming from the Morris Inquiry indicating widespread Garda corruption it is imperative that public confidence is restored in the force. This can only happen when we have an open and accountable police service. Gardaí investigating other gardaí does not work and is open to extreme abuse.

``The facts of the matter are, I was assualted in Killarney Garda Station in March of this year during the election campaign. I made available the photographic and medical evidence to support my claim and yet still the Garda Complaints Board are saying there is no case to answer - this is wrong. Sinn Fein will continue to call for an independent complaints body to be established to deal with complaints against members of the Force.''

He finished by saying that ``I am now going to consult with my colleagues and legal advisors to see if a civil case can be taken against the Gardaí involved.'' ENDS

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