According to this morning’s Irish Times newspaper, Thurles Garda Station, here in Co Tipperary was one of twenty named Garda stations which were upgraded with digital logging / recording equipment, following a contract which was first agreed to go to tender in 2008.
It is understood that Senior Garda officials launched the tender to install this technology, same which now leads to the contentious debate being currently raised regarding the recording and storage of digital data at named Garda Stations throughout Ireland.
Originally the specifications sought a new, quote “digital logging recording system” that would be compatible with the older analog and digital communications systems then in use throughout the Garda force and stipulated that this new infrastructure must record communications; including 999 calls among others, while also ensuring the storage of same to facilitate “instant playback.”
This 2008 tender also stipulated that any company which won this contract must supply and install all software and hardware for any accepted system and also fully train Garda personnel in the use of same. The contract again stipulated that winners of the contract should also provide computers and any necessary accessories, latter capable of backing up archive material, thus allowing for the playback and the copying where deemed necessary of certain identified recordings.
While a time frame for the archiving of such data was not stipulated, other recording technology for Garda call centres have in the past remained archived for some 6½ years before being for the most part destroyed.