Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

New Irish Justice Minister in pledge to listen to whistleblowers

Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald has announced more poor areas are to receive funding to improve children's chances.
Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald has announced more poor areas are to receive funding to improve children's chances.

The Republic's new Justice Minister has vowed to listen to whistleblowers and critics as she declared a new era and culture of policing has begun.

Frances Fitzgerald was handed the job after the shock resignation of a party colleague who was found to have inadequately handled allegations of corruption and malpractice in the Garda force.

The former social worker, promoted from Children's Minister, said the attitudes and actions that led to recent crises of confidence in policing have to be changed.

Ms Fitzgerald took up her new role on the eve of the publication of a devastating report which forced Alan Shatter to resign.

The 300-page document has uncovered damning failures in the way the Department of Justice handled allegations of malpractice, negligence, corruption and falsification of records by officers.

Twelve complaints were first sent to Mr Shatter more than two years ago.

Ms Fitzgerald said: "I recognise there's a very large amount of work to be done in the department, a huge range of challenges that must be met."

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