His replacement is to be Chief Superintendent John O’Mahony, a native of Milford, Co Cork, who is currently working with the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI).
Last night Chief Supt O’Mahony paid tribute to Felix McKenna, who has been in charge of CAB since 1999.
“I will certainly be trying to fill big shoes, because Chief Superintendent McKenna has done marvellous work over the last few years,” Chief Supt O’Mahony said. The married father-of-three, who joined the gardaí in 1977, has been involved in a number of high-profile investigations, including the manslaughter of 11-year-old schoolboy Robert Houlihan in Midleton, Co Cork, last year by his neighbour Wayne O’Donoghue.
He also investigated the December 1998 brutal rape and murder of schoolgirl Siobhan Hynes, whose body was found on a beach at Carraroe, Connemara. Farm labourer John McDonagh, 27, was later convicted of the crimes.
Chief Superintendent O’Mahony also worked on the Malcolm Macarthur case in 1982. Macarthur murdered 29-year-old nurse Bridie Gargan, who worked at St James’ Hospital, Dublin, as she was sunbathing in the Phoenix Park.
He was eventually tracked down to a house in Dalkey, which happened to be owned by the then Attorney General, Patrick Connolly.
Charles Haughey was later to famously describe these events as ‘grotesque, unbelievable, bizarre and unprecedented, or GUBU as it came to be coined by media.
Chief Supt O’Mahony said he was looking forward to the challenge of heading CAB, which he described as “change of direction and a different type of work”.
After growing up in North Cork he moved to Cork city and in his younger days played football with St Michael’s Club in Blackrock.
He is expected to take over from Chief Supt McKenna in two weeks’ time.