Belfast Telegraph

Senior-ranking gardai have called for new laws to allow the force to fingerprint everybody who is arrested.

Jim Smith, president of the Association of Garda Superintendents (AGS), said the move would help solve more crimes.

Presently, gardai are only allowed to fingerprint suspects in the cases of certain serious offences, or if they volunteer.

Mr Smith said an extension to cover everyone arrested, linked up with a new Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), would speed up criminal investigations.

Appealing directly to Justice Minister Dermot Ahern at the AGS annual conference, Mr Smith said: “We urge you to broaden the current legislation to allow for the taking of fingerprints from all arrested persons.”

The AGS president said civil liberties concerns could be addressed through exceptions for young people and the vulnerable.

Mr Smith also called for greater controls on the publication of jury lists after the recent discovery of the names and addresses of jurors involved in a Dublin murder trial at the home of the accused’s girlfriend.

A Garda investigation is ongoing into how the documents ended up in the home of the partner of Brian Rattigan, who was last year found guilty of the 2001 murder of Declan Gavin in Crumlin. Other confidential Garda files were also found at the Adamstown flat.

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