Garda takes his own life after child abuse probe

Garda takes his own life after child abuse probe
File photo

A garda liaison officer who was arrested over the weekend in connection with an historic child sexual abuse complaint has been found dead.

The garda was arrested by Gsoc last Saturday. He took his life earlier this week.

The garda in his 50s was arrested on foot of a complaint of historic child sexual abuse. He was detained in a station in Dublin and questioned for a period before being released.

The garda had worked for the latter stages of his career as a juvenile liaison officer and was well-liked by colleagues. Sources within the force have questioned whether the arrest occurred at a very early stage of the investigation, and whether the issue could have been handled better.

“On the face of it, it looks to be harsh,” one garda aware of the case told the Irish Examiner.

Was it necessary to arrest him this early into it? Did he have any advance notice that he was being investigated?

It is the latest in a series of controversial arrests or investigations of gardaí.

In 2015, a garda sergeant who was under investigation by Gsoc took his own life unaware that he was due to be cleared of any wrongdoing. Sergeant Michael Galvin and two colleagues were being investigated about interactions with a woman soon before she died in a road traffic accident. Gsoc interviewed the sergeant and a decision was made not to prosecute, but he died before the decision was conveyed.

A report at the time suggested the deceased man could have been contacted about the decision a week before his death but an inquiry by Chief Justice Frank Clarke concluded last year that this was not the case.

Nine garda members died by suicide last year.

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