Press Release: Remove these Children from the Garda PULSE Database

Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre
Press Statement
March 27th, 2014


Pavee Point: Remove these children from the Garda PULSE database

Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre today call for the immediate removal of the details of Traveller and Roma children improperly entered in the Garda PULSE database and an investigation by the Garda Siochána Ombudsman Commission and Data Protection Commissioner into the gathering and storing of this data.

We believe that recording Traveller and Roma children on the PULSE database in the absence of legitimate reasons is ethnic profiling. We want to know how endemic this practice is, whether it is ongoing and when the parents of recorded children will be notified. We demand an immediate end to illegitimate use of Traveller and Roma children’s data and details.

The Minister for Justice has stated that the PULSE database holds information not just of a criminal nature but also details relating to witnesses, road traffic incidents, child welfare and intelligence. We acknowledge that these are legitimate uses of the PULSE system but question how two Traveller children seeking passports for a family holiday could be assigned criminal intelligence numbers. Is this legal?

Pavee Point has long called for the recognition of Travellers as an ethnic group and for the implementation of an ethnic identifier to provide better services to minority groups. The state refuses to implement these protective actions, but as yet fails to address the unethical recording of Traveller and Roma children on the PULSE database.

For twenty years, Pavee Point has worked extensively with An Garda Siochana to improve relations between Travellers and the police. The recent revelations have undermined and threatened decades of work. Now, we need answers to basic questions: how many children have been recorded? Why have they been recorded and when is it going to stop?