Data Retention: Brian Crowley’s Explanation

As before, my thanks to The Dossing Times for permission to reprint the below.

Thank you for your email regarding the voting on the ALVARO Report on Data Retention.

As you may be aware the two largest political groups in the Parliament, the EPP and PSE, agreed a deal on a compromise package of amendments which forced the Rapporteur, Mr Alvaro to withdraw his name from the report.

The main points with regard to the amendments which were adopted relate to the type of data to be retained and this will not include the content of the data, also that the data will only be provided to competent national authorities as laid down by national legislation, and the crimes for which data is to be sought must be defined by member states in their national legislation also.

Yours is one of the many letters I have received on this matter and I should point out that the law at present on Data Retention in Ireland is not affected or impacted by this legislation.

You may also know that my colleagues and I abstained on the final vote as we believe that the issue should have been dealt with on the third pillar and not the first pillar which is also the position of the Irish government, however, this was a minority viewpoint.

Regarding your second point, there has been no case taken to the European Court of Human Rights regarding this directive, and indeed the Irish legislation which was passed this year wasn’t challenged in the Irish Courts either on the question of contravention of human rights.

Thank you for taking the time to write to me.

Kind regards
Is mise le meas

Brian Crowley M.E.P.
President U.E.N. Group
Leader F.F. Group in Europe

Not for the first time, I believe that Mr. Crowley is somewhat misleading in his communication to a constituent.
“I should point out that the law at present on Data Retention in Ireland is not affected or impacted by this legislation” does not reflect the full effect of a Directive. While no Directive comes into force immediately, an uninformed reader might take from this that it has no effect on Irish law at all. In fact, a Directive places a legal obligation on the government to bring in legislation to implement its terms. There is a time limit (which may be months or years), after which, if the legislation has not been brought in and where certain conditions are met, the Directive becomes directly effective in Irish courts.


  • Simon says:

    Testing Comment Filter Plugin

  • Simon says:

    More Spam Filter testing

  • celtictigger says:

    So he abstained because it was being dealt with in the wrong pillar of the EU… which meant that it got through. That is a plan so cunning it could lecture to foxes on cunning in cunning college Cambridge.

    Perhaps a protest No vote would have been better… NO, you can’t do it this way.

    I remember one of my old teachers in school advising us to get off our arses and vote because if we didn’t we really had no excuse to whinge – a non-vote is a voice not heard was the poetic spin I’d put on the language he actually used.

    Harrumph…. at least the Shinners know to vote early (and often) rather than let a limp silence carry the day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.