Garda convicted of harassing state solicitor

A garda detective has been found guilty of harassing a state solicitor by sending her abusive letters and emails.

Eve Doherty, aged 49, a detective sergeant based in Dublin, had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to a charge of harassing Elizabeth Howlin between September 2011 and March 2013.

She also denied making false statements on two dates in March 2012 claiming Ms Howlin was perverting the course of justice.

At the time Ms Howlin worked with the DPP where she was involved in deciding whether or not to direct prosecutions in criminal cases.

Over an 18-month period, letters and emails were sent to Ms Howlin’s home, her place of work and to her GP calling her a “corrupt bitch”, an “incompetent useless hobbit”, and a “two-faced bitch”.

Ms Howlin said that she found the material very upsetting and distressing and an invasion of her privacy.

The material, which included A4 posters left around her housing estate, falsely claimed Ms Howlin was a political appointee and that she would “pull” files to prevent the prosecution of anyone connected to her or the Government. Ms Howlin is a distant cousin of the TD Brendan Howlin.

Sgt Doherty had denied being the author of any of the material, which included anonymous emails containing similar allegations.

After a 15-day trial, a jury of five men and six women found the accused guilty of the first charge of harassing Ms Howlin. The jury returned a not guilty verdict on the two counts of making false statements claiming Ms Howlin was perverting the course of justice.

Judge Melanie Greally thanked the jury for their time and care in assessing the evidence. The jury had been out for just over three hours.

She remanded Sgt Doherty on continuing bail until October 27 for sentence. She noted the conditions of bail included not having any contact with any parties in the proceedings.

She also said that there should be no postings on social media concerning any person or any matters relating to these proceedings.

The court heard Ms Howlin did not know Doherty until this trial and that Doherty was then in a relationship with the victim’s ex-partner.


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