The death of Terrence Wheelock is, and was, upsetting. He was a young man from of similar age to me who, in some ways, would be a lot like lads I was in school with and grew up around. The recent findings of the Garda Ombudsman Commission investigation which have cleared the Gardaí of serious wrong-doing has brought the story back into the public eye.
I only wish to draw attention to this quote from an Access Info report on police forces and public information published late last year;
This finding shows that the laws in most countries are consistent with the Council of Europe Convention on Access to Official Documents which makes no exemption for the police, and which states specifically in the Explanatory Memorandum to the Convention that the police fall under the scope of the right to access to official documents.
…[This report] shows that there is just one country in which the police force is entirely exempt from opening its files to the public: The Republic of Ireland.
Gavin also noted the publication of the report on the day.
All that is needed for An Garda Síochána to come under FOI is the signature of Finance Minister Brian Lenihan, and some regulations to be implemented. Then we can take our place among such nations as Moldova, Georgia and Azerbaijan as a country that allows citizens to request information from their police force.