Updated: 01/12/17 : 07:07:01
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Tribunal finds garda's claims 'entirely without any validity'

Allegations made by Garda Keith Harrison and Marissa Simms examined by the Disclosures Tribunal have been found to be "entirely without any validity".

The pair had accused senior gardaí of interfering in their private lives due to malice against him, according to the Tribunal's second interm report.

Garda Harrison said senior officers targeted him by involving social services in his family life.

He alleged that social workers were alerted by senior gardaí to what he said were untrue allegations of domestic abuse

The Justice Minister has welcomed the publication of the Tribunal's second interim report.

Minister Charlie Flanagan hanked the Tribunal for its work in investigating "the very serious allegations of improper conduct by Gardaí and those working in social services".

He welcomed the central conclusion of the report that the allegations against the Gardaí and social services personnel were found to be without any validity.

The Tribunal's second interim report is available here.

Meanwhile, a letter has been written to the Justice Minister by the Acting Garda Commissioner passing on concerns over the operation of the Disclosures Tribunal unit within the Gardaí.

The unit is responsible for coordinating documents for the inquiry.

It is understood the letter suggests the unit should be outsourced and handled externally.

A garda spokesman has confirmed the Minister for Justice has been made aware of an internal concern relating to the unit.

The Department of Justice is understood to be giving the matter "careful consideration".

Meanwhile, Tusla also welcomed the report.

"Tusla acknowledges the Tribunal’s exoneration of social work staff and the finding that they acted in line with Children First and procedures in place at the time. The report also references the professional standards of Tusla witnesses and the independence of Tusla as a statutory agency.

"As Ireland’s dedicated state agency for child protection and welfare, we strive to achieve the highest possible standards in our work. When we make mistakes, we acknowledge and learn from them. When good practice is identified, we learn from these examples and seek to build upon them," it said.