Home > Seanad Eireann debate. Garda Síochána (Functions and Operational Areas) Bill 2021: Second Stage.

[Oireachtas] Seanad Eireann debate. Garda Síochána (Functions and Operational Areas) Bill 2021: Second Stage. (27 Jan 2022)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/seanad...

Question proposed: "That the Bill be now read a Second Time.


Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): … Section 28 amends section 3(1) of the Garda Síochána Act 2005. It adds the definitions of "controlled drug", "psychoactive substance" and "sample" to the 2005 Act.


Section 29 amends section 26 of the 2005 Act. It provides that the Garda Commissioner may perform the functions assigned to him or her by regulations that establish, maintain and operate the drug testing regime.


Section 30 amends section 122(1) of the 2005. It adds the establishment, maintenance and operation of a drug testing regime to the list of issues for which the Minister may, having consulted with the Garda Commissioner and with the approval of the Government, utilise a regulation-making power. Section 30(b) inserts a new subsection in the 2005 Act that sets out the individuals to whom drug testing will apply: applicants to the position of Garda member; Garda trainees; existing members; and civilian staff of An Garda Síochána.


Section 31 amends section 123(2) of the 2005 Act. This amendment expands upon the Minister's pre-existing regulation-making power with regard to discipline. It provides that any drug test failure or any failure to comply with the drug testing regulations made under section 30 will result in a disciplinary procedure.


Section 32 amends Schedule 5 to the 2005 Act, which deals with breaches of discipline. Section 32 reflects the fact that intoxication in the context of a breach of discipline includes "liquor, controlled drugs or psychoactive substances" as opposed to the Schedule previously referring to "liquor and drugs" only.


I thank Senators for their attention. This Bill is just one part of a wider programme of reform measures being undertaken by An Garda Síochána, a programme that includes several legislative measures. I look forward to debating each of them in the House with colleagues in the near future.


[Click here for the full debate on the Oireachtas website]

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