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Response To 'Operation Bedrock' Is Unsatisfactory'


'Minister for Justice Response to 'Operation Bedrock' Questions is Unsatisfactory'

Written responses by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform given last night, to questions posed concerning Operation Bedrock, are unsatisfactory.

On Thursday 6 December, Oral Parliamentary Questions had been put to Minister Lenihan, by Martin Ferris, who had been contacted by TaraWatch. However, the questions put to the Minister were not answered in full.

The Minister did make some limited responses, stating:

- There is "a policing plan which has been prepared in respect of the obligations on An Garda Síochána to prevent any breaches of the criminal law during the construction of the M3 motorway."

- "The policing measures in place are deemed necessary by local Garda management."

- "the Garda authorities are satisfied that no private data is being shared between An Garda Síochána and private security or investigators."

We can assume from the responses that Operation Bedrock is an ongoing investigation. However, the Minister did not confirm or deny whether Operation Bedrock "is being commissioned or monitored by his Department or any particular Department or Minister." Neither did he define "the scope of the operation".

Vincent Salafia of TaraWatch said:

"We are not satisfied with the responses to our questions, and have asked Sinn Fein to resubmit more detailed questions.

"Who is behind the establishment of Operation Bedrock, and what is the scope of the operation? What resources are being allocated to it?

"We do not accept that this is a purely local operation."

Laura Grealish said:

"The reality here is that this operation is being used to criminalise peaceful, legitimate campaigners, and quell free speech."

"We're very concerned about our rights of privacy being invaded.

***

ATTACHMENTS

QUESTION NO: 33

DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. Lenihan) by Deputy Martin Ferris for ORAL on Thursday, 13th December, 2007.

To ask the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if Operation Bedrock is being commissioned or monitored by his Department or any particular Department or Minister; if it comprises or is part of an ongoing investigation into Tara campaigners; the scope of the operation; if private data is being shared between Gardaí and private security or investigators involved in the construction of the M3; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

- Martin Ferris

RESPONSE FROM MINISTER LENIHAN:

"I am informed by the Garda authorities that a policing plan has been prepared in respect of the obligations on An Garda Síochána to prevent any breaches of the criminal law during the construction of the M3 motorway. The policing measures in place are deemed necessary by local Garda management who are satisfied that sufficient Garda resources are available to prevent any such breaches. The allocation of resources for this operation will be closely monitored and kept under review. I am further informed that the Garda authorities are satisfied that no private data is being shared between An Garda Síochána and private security or investigators as referred to in the Deputy's question.

ENDS

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