34 gardaí retire after Morris investigation

THE full impact of the scandals in Donegal on An Garda Síochána emerged yesterday.

More than 30 gardaí whose actions were investigated by the Morris Tribunal have retired. Six were dismissed, two resigned while three gardaí were charged with criminal offences.

The details show the damage to the force in what Garda commissioner Fachtna Murphy described as a “dark period” for the gardaí.

The list includes guards of all ranks, including two chief superintendents and six superintendents.

Information provided to the Irish Examiner by An Garda Síochána in relation to gardaí and the Morris Tribunal show:

* 34 gardaí retired.

* 6 members were dismissed.

* 2 gardaí resigned.

* 3 members were prosecuted in the courts.

A Garda spokesman said, while 34 gardaí investigated by the Morris Tribunal had retired, it was not possible to say they retired directly because of the tribunal.

He said a number, particularly senior officers, had completed their 30 years’ service before the tribunal was set up in 2002 and were entitled to retire.

Six gardaí faced internal disciplinary proceedings and five gardaí were transferred formally by Human Resource Management (HRM) at Garda Headquarters. This does not include transfers within the Donegal division.

The six gardaí dismissed were superintendent Kevin Lennon (October 2004); detective Sergeant John White (December 2006); Garda Martin Leonard (February 2006); Garda Patrick Mulligan (January 2005); Garda James McDwyer (October 2006) and Garda John O’Dowd (January 2005).

The two officers who resigned were detective inspector Noel McMahon (July 2004) and Garda Philip Collins (October 2004).

High-ranking officers who retired after Morris reports were: chief supt Denis Fitzpatrick (September 2004); supt John Fitzgerald (December 2004); supt Joe Shelly (July 2005); supt John McGinley (July 2005) and supt John P O’Connor (September 2004).

Senior officers who retired before the Morris Tribunal was set up include chief supt Sean Ginty (June 1995) and supt Michael Duffy (June 1998).

Gardaí who retired after Morris reports include sgt John Conaty (December 2005); sgt Martin Moylan (June 2005) and Garda JP McDermott (August 2005).

Garda John Nicholson pleaded guilty in 2002 of uttering forged documents and received the Probation Act. He retired in 2003.

Det Sergeant White was acquitted in February 2005 of attempting to pervert the course of justice and making false statements.


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