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Wednesday, May 03, 2006
A GARDA sergeant yesterday denied a suspect suffered violent abuse during his arrest over the death of a Donegal cattle dealer by being pulled from his car and thrown across the bonnet.
Mark Quinn, who was arrested in December 1996 by gardaí investigating the death of cattle dealer Richie Barron from Raphoe, Co Donegal, has maintained before the Morris Tribunal that he was manhandled during both his arrest and detention.
Sgt Joseph Hannigan, who was accompanied by Det Sgt PJ Keating who carried out the arrest, denied there was any confrontation during the arrest.
Mr Quinn maintains Mr Keating manhandled him during his arrest and detention, dragging him from the vehicle, pushing him onto the bonnet of his car, pulling him upstairs in the garda station with no shoes on, showing him bullets while another garda placed a gun on the table.
"I am sorry a lot of people were arrested as a result of a flawed investigation and I know the arrest of Mr Quinn impacted upon him and his family but I can say for a fact that he wasn’t abused by me, he wasn’t abused by Det Garda Keating," the sergeant said.
"But I know and I accept his standing in the community would have suffered because of his arrest and the investigation that preceded it."
Pressed by Mr Quinn’s lawyer, Ken Fogarty, Sgt Hannigan said: "I don’t agree with his allegations because what he has described did not happen."
The sergeant said Mr Quinn may have been motivated by a deep-seated grievance over the arrest in December 1996.
"Mark Quinn is possibly affected by a sense of outrage at his arrest and the subsequent affect on his life, on his business, on his home life and he would have a grievance about that. But all I am telling you, and I can’t tell it any stronger, that didn’t occur," he said.
Mr Quinn was held in Letterkenny Garda Station in December 1996 in relation to the murder investigation.
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