Garda corruption scandal may make silver screen

The story of garda corruption in Donegal could be making its way on to the screen as a new book on the saga hits the shelves today.

'Chaos And Conspiracy', by journalist and author Gerard Cunningham, recounts how detectives attempted to frame the McBrearty family for a murder that never was and senior officers orchestrated a subsequent cover-up.

The gripping tale explores how gardaí took rumour as fact and tried to stitch up local publican Frank McBrearty Junior over a mysterious death in the once sleepy town of Raphoe.

Mr Cunningham, who staffed every day of hearings, said: “People are talking that it would make an excellent drama, whether that makes a TV series or a one-off TV drama or ends up being a film, it depends on so many things.

“There’s been early approaches but nothing more.”

The long-awaited story graphically details the subsequent arrests, verbal and psychological abuse and cover-up as gardaí botched the investigation into the 1996 death of cattle dealer Richie Barron.

The events sparked a five-year long state inquiry, the Morris Tribunal, which found rank-and-file gardaí and detectives conjured up evidence, made bogus arrests and tried to cover up their actions.

It is the first book on the notorious episode in Donegal. Another was planned by one of the main victims of the corrupt garda probe, Mr McBrearty Junior, but it has so far failed to materialise.

“All of the arrests have been put in the context of everything that was happening,” Mr Cunningham said.

“When the tribunal was going on you only really got a small snippet each day. Each arrest was treated in isolation as a separate module almost.

“The book showed how everything happens and how everything fitted in with everything else, and tells the complete story for the first time.”

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