Deering welcomes new Investigations Division in the Department of Agriculture.

1st October, 2014

Fine Gael Carlow/Kilkenny TD, Pat Deering, has today (Wednesday) welcomed the restructuring of the investigations capability of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, resulting in the establishment of a new Investigations Division, announced by Minister Simon Coveney this morning.

“I have been calling for a review of the investigations capability of the Department of Agriculture for two years now so this is very welcome news indeed. Having personally worked on two cases in Carlow, I understand the need for the remit of the investigations unit to be clearly set out.

“This new arrangement brings all investigation capability, both internal and external, into one Investigations Division within the Department.  It is headed by a Senior Superintending Veterinary Officer and supported by a team of investigators. Some of these investigators are core members of the team and others are to be drawn from areas where their expertise will be beneficial to specific investigations.

“An Investigations Steering Group chaired by the Assistant Secretary General responsible for Corporate Affairs, will decide if an investigation is warranted, and whether that investigation should be investigated internally or referred to the Gardaí. Where an internal investigation is warranted, the Group will oversee the investigation and in conjunction with the Investigations Division.

“Departmental investigation staff were correctly lauded last year for their diligent work during the horsemeat crisis. I am pleased that their capabilities will now be utilised to their full potential in the context of an investigations process with clear job descriptions for the staff in the Investigations Division.”