By Dominic McGrath, PA
The Garda Commissioner has said there will be a review of garda vetting procedures for the homelessness sector.
His comments come as investigations continue into allegations of sexual assault against Anthony Flynn, the late homelessness campaigner.
The 34-year-old Dublin councillor and founder of the charity Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) was found dead in tragic circumstances at his home in East Wall last month.
Attending the Scott medal ceremony in Dublin on Friday, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said: “There are strict criteria as to who can be vetted and who aren’t vetted then.
“In light of this incident, we’ll obviously have to review that because one can regard that the homeless are particularly vulnerable and that then may be an area that needs resolution.”
“Certainly, we’re looking into that,” he told reporters.
Justice Minister Heather Humphries also attended the ceremony.
She said: “My Department of Justice is carrying out a complete review of the vetting legislation and depending on what this finds, we’re happy to make changes if necessary and change the legislation.”
It comes as emergency calls to the Garda’s 999 phone lines have continued to be cancelled, with no policing response, despite controversy after details about cancelled calls emerged.
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said investigations were ongoing into the matter.
Mr Harris said 53 cancellations had come to the attention of senior Garda officers since the controversy broke publicly about 10 months ago, according to The Irish Times.
He said he was “shocked” that 999 calls were still being cancelled.
Policing Authority chairman, Bob Collins, said it was “completely incredible and an extraordinarily risky and grave matter” to continue cancelling 999 calls.
Mr Collins added that it was “wholly inappropriate and utterly dismissive” to discharge a serious responsibility to the public in that way.
The Garda Commissioner said he “wished he had an insight” into the motivations of those involved.