Lennon denies notebook claim

THE Morris Tribunal heard yesterday that a notebook discovered in a policeinformer’s bedroom had former Superintendent Kevin Lennon’s handwriting on several pages.

The inquiry heard gardaí identified that a number of pages in the Rhino brand notebook found on William Doherty’s bedside table in September 1997 had Mr Lennon’s handwriting in it because of the particular way he wrote the letter ‘k’.

Cross-examining witness Detective Sergeant Sylvie Henry yesterday, Mr Lennon said he denied the claims and confronted investigating officer Detective Inspector John McGinley on the matter at the time.

Mr Lennon said he even offered his fingerprints and a handwriting specimen to disprove the claims.

“But I was told I was paranoid when I offered this,” he said.

Mr Lennon said Detective Inspector McGinley said to him in Letterkenny Garda Station: “Your f**king handwriting is in the notebook and you can’t deny it.”

According to Mr Lennon, Detective McGinley then made an allegation to Lennon that he was “involved” with Noel McBride - a local man who made incriminating statements against the McBrearty family but later withdrew them.

Mr Lennon said he then replied to Det McGinley: “In other words that I stitched up your already cocked-up investigation.”

Witness Detective Sergeant Henry told Justice Frederick Morris he couldn’t remember this exchange even though he accepted he may have been in the room in the garda station at the time.

Justice Morris said: “It’s a pretty dramatic thing to have two officers stuck in each other. Do you think it didn’t happen?”

“It’s foreign to me sir, I cannot remember that,” Det Sgt Henry replied.

The witness then said that he may have left the room to replace the notebook in his personal garda locker.

Mr Lennon said he could produce his original, contemporaneous notes of the confrontation “and I’ll stand over them ‘till the day I die”.

Mr Lennon later said to the inquiry: “I was known for my upfrontness with members of the force. I was blunt in terms of telling them of what I expected.

“But at the same time, 10 minutes afterwards I drank coffee with them.”

Justice Frederick Morris is hearing evidence relating to the garda investigation into Richie Barron’s death.

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