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NWCI responds to the appearance of Garda Síochana Analysis Unit at the Joint Oireachtas Committee

Published: Wednesday, March 07, 2018

NWCI responds to the appearance of the Garda Síochana Analysis Unit at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality hearing on the review of homicide cases.

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) today responded to the appearance of members of the Garda Síochana Analysis Unit at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality hearing on the review of homicide cases.

Orla O’Connor, Director of the National Women’s Council of Ireland said:

“In today’s hearing, Lois West, the Deputy Head of the Garda Síochána Analysis Service and Senior Crime and Policing Analyst Laura Galligan, members of the Garda Analysis Unit gave evidence of difficulties they say they encountered when undertaking a review of domestic homicide cases within the State between 2007 and 2016. NWCI would like to thank both Laura Galligan and Lois West for bringing to light the issues they have uncovered during the review of homicide cases, and for the important work they carried out during what appears to have been a very challenging 15 months.”

Orla O’Connor continued,

“This homicide review was undertaken following a request by NWCI and Women’s Aid for a thorough investigation of domestic homicides by An Garda Síochána to then Tanáiste Frances Fitzgerald, T.D 2016. This review was urgently required to bring a greater understanding of the patterns of domestic homicide in Ireland and to enable the development of best practice responses to identify risks and achieve early intervention for women experiencing violence. The evidence given at today’s hearing significant concerns about inaccurate recording, particularly the fact that the Committee was told that the misclassification of some domestic crimes had left victims of abuse at risk of being attacked again.”

Orla O’Connor concluded,

“Femicide is the most serious crime perpetrated against women in Ireland. Since 1996, 216 women have died violently in Ireland (an average of 10 women per year). In total, 88% of women were killed by a man they knew.[1] Women experiencing violence in their homes must be protected without delay. We have serious concerns about the length of time which was elapsed since the review was announced in November 2016. We now need to establish a Domestic Homicide Review mechanism on a statutory basis and publish annual data.”

“In other jurisdictions, Domestic Homicide Reviews are systematic multi-agency reviews which are used to improve risk assessment and management and to identify gaps in policy and practice, following such crimes. Ireland must ensure a comprehensive review of domestic homicides in Ireland, so that we can develop a best practice response in relation to domestic violence including risk assessment and risk management. Lessons must be learnt to ensure we protect victims of domestic violence and ultimately work towards the eradication of these crimes against women.”

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For more information please contact Sarah Clarkin, Communications Officer, 085 8619087



[1] Women’s Aid Ireland (Dec. 2017) Femicide Watch 2017. https://www.womensaid.ie/about/policy/publications/femicide-watch-2017-republic-of-ireland/