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External Review Will Look At Use Of Surveillance Equipment In Wicklow's Retained Fire Service

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has welcomed the announcement that an external investigation has been initiated into the installation and use of surveillance equipment in fire engines in Wicklow.

He called for immediate clarification on the details of the terms of reference for the investigation. 

Deputy Brady previously wrote to both the Minister Darragh O’Brien, whose department is responsible for both local authorities, and the retained fire service, and the Chief Executive of Wicklow County Council Emer O’Gorman, looking for an inquiry into the well being of members of the front line service in Wicklow.

In a statement Brady said:

“This is an important development which has come about following revelations that surveillance equipment was used to covertly record members of the retained fire service in their place of work here in Wicklow.

In May I wrote to both Minister Darragh O’Brien, and Wicklow County Council CEO Emer O’Gorman, expressing serious concern in relation to the covert surveillance which was in place in Wicklow against members of the retained fire service, in which I also set out a series of important questions, and demanding an immediate investigation.

There must be absolute transparency around all aspects of this investigation.

Minister Darragh O’Brien and Wicklow County Council must set out clearly what the terms of reference of the investigation will be, who will be in charge, and who it will be accountable to.

It is critical that any individuals that may have been involved in the authorisation, planting, operation, or supervision of the covert surveillance be kept outside this investigation.

The covert recording and filming of members of the retained fire service in their workplace is a gross invasion of privacy, which is in breach of GDPR regulations.

I hope that the many questions which I have put to the Council will be included as part of the terms of reference for the external investigator."



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