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Parliamentary Questions asked about Garda 'Operation Bedrock'
TaraWatch has asked for an investigation into Garda 'Operation Bedrock'
An Oral Parliamentary Question, regarding Garda 'Operation Bedrock' - which now appears to be an ongoing investigation into Tara campaigners, has been submitted to the Minister for Justice, Brian Lenihan. If the Minister chooses to answer, it will take place on Thursday afternoon. If not, a written answer will come early next week.
Gardai at Tara
The text of the Oral question submitted by Martain Ferris, nominated by Aengus ÓSnodaigh, TD to the Minister for Justice is as follows:
To ask the Minister for Justice, equality and Law Reform if "Operation Bedrock" is being commissioned or monitored by his Department or any particular Department or Minister; if it comprises or is part of an ongoing investigation into Tara campaigners ; what the scope of the operation is, and if private data is being shared between Gardai and private security or investigators involved in the construction of the M3; and if he will comment on the matter.
Martin Ferris, TD
Proof of the existence of Operation Bedrock first came to light in an article in the Meath Chronicle, about a court hearing in Navan concerning demonstrators at Tara. It said "Mr Finucane said there had been a reference to "Operation Bedrock" in material he had received and he wished to obtain additional information on that." (Meath Chronicle 10/11/2007)
Then, after a later hearing, RTE made the following report:
Tara link to garda documents sought
RTE News: Monday, 3 December 2007 15:00
A district court judge is to review documents relating to a garda operation codenamed 'bedrock', to see what relevance it has to campaigners opposing the route of the M3 motorway through the Tara / Skryne valley. At Navan District Court today, Judge John Brophy refused a defence request to step aside from hearing the case, telling barristers that they could go to the High Court if they were dissatisfied with his decision. Before the court were ten campaigners who face a variety of public offences arising out of protests at site works on the route of the motorway.
Judge Brophy told the court that after he reviewed the documents relating to Operation Bedrock he would decide if they relate to the defendants. If they did he would allow only their legal teams to see the documents.Barrister for some of the defendants, David Whelehan, asked the judge to disqualify himself from hearing the case when it does go ahead, saying he had already dealt with other similar cases. However, the judge rejected the request and set 21 January as a date for the hearing of the case.
On 4 December 2007TaraWatch sent a letter to the Taoiseach, and issued a press release. A response was received from the Minister's Office the next day, which said that he had referred the matter to the Minister for Justice, Brian Lenihan.Confirmation came from Minister Lenihan's office yesterday.
Also, on December 5, the following article appeared in the Irish Independent:
Gardai ‘not spying’ on motorway protesters
6 December 2007
GARDAI have rejected claims they are “spying” on campaigners opposed to construction of the M3 motorway.
The Tarawatch campaign last week asked Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to launch an investigation into whether the so-called ‘Operation Bedrock’ involved the surreptitious monitoring of anti-motorway campaigners.
In September, a district court judge also adjourned a criminal case being brought against a number of campaigners, asking gardai to provide details about the operation. Yesterday, a garda spokesman said there was nothing “sinister” about the operation.
“It is local operation dealing with the construction of the M3. It ensures the right of workers to go to work unimpeded, and the right of people to protest,” he said.
So, now we know that there is an ongoing investigation into Tara campaigners, and that it was not just a one-day operation. Let's see what the response is on Thursday to the questiosn that have been asked.
FOR MORE INFORMATION SEE:
TaraWatch letter to Taoiseach -
RTE News: Tara link to garda documents sought -
Meath Chronicle: Three plead guilty to offences at Lismullen site - 10/11/2007