A chief superintendent has been appointed to investigate the circumstances surrounding the failed prosecution of a superintendent by one of his gardaí.
Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan made the decision after a judge presiding over the case called on her to investigate the matter.
Judge Kevin Kilrane dismissed the prosecution of Superintendent Kevin English for an alleged parking offence taken by Garda Sinead Killian and accused the garda of being driven “out of malice”.
Gda Killian rejected this claim in court and said she was simply doing her job.
Judge Kilrane, in his ruling at the district court in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim, said at the time Gda Killian was the subject of a disciplinary action brought by Supt English.
He said it was “completely inappropriate” for her to have involved herself with an investigation into Supt English.
The court heard Gda Killian was the observer in a patrol car being driven by a colleague, Garda Dermot O’Connell, in Carrick-on-Shannon, on August 20, 2015.
Both gardaí said an elderly woman motioned at them to stop and told them a car was parked on a footpath at the side of the Landmark Hotel and they went to investigate.
Gda Killian said the car was parked the whole way up on the footpath and she knew that it belonged to Supt English.
She said she had filed a fixed charge penalty notice for an alleged parking offence, but that it was not paid and a summons was issued.
Solicitor for Supt English, Patrick Groarke, put it to Gda Killian that she had her differences with the superintendent and that he had her reported for neglect of duty in February 2015.
Gda Killian said she had been served with disciplinary proceedings and that the matter was ongoing, but she said it was outrageous to allege that she acted out of malice.
Gda Killian said she was doing her job and that she saw that an offence had been committed. She said she gave ample time for the car to be moved.
Mr Groarke said CCTV footage showed that the patrol car returned to the area eight times in two hours. He also said the footage did not capture an elderly lady walking past the superintendent’s car.
Judge Kilrane said he believed that the elderly lady mentioned by both gardaí did not exist. In his ruling, given on June 21, the judge urged authorities “up as far as the Garda Commissioner” to investigate the case.
A spokesman at Garda HQ said they had been made aware of the case and the judge’s comments.
He confirmed that a chief superintendent from another division had been appointed by the commissioner to conduct an investigation.
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