McBrearty wants policing inquiry

Frank McBrearty Jnr, whose family were famously the victims of Garda corruption in Co Donegal, has called for a public inquiry into policing.

McBrearty wants policing inquiry

The Morris Tribunal found Mr McBrearty was wrongly framed for a fake murder. He received a substantial settlement following a legal action.

He has since been elected a councillor for the Labour Party but resigned the whip and now stands as an Independent. Mr McBrearty said that the current coalition partners had been very supportive of his family’s long campaign for justice.

But he said a traditional tribunal was no longer sufficient and the allegations levelled against gardaí need to be the subject of a fully independent, judicial inquiry that can make findings of fact.

“The Governments needs to establish an inquiry that will be headed up by an international judge from outside Ireland. The judge needs to be given the powers in this inquiry to make findings of fact in law and not opinions.

“The problem with other public inquiries is that their findings were only opinions of its chairperson and are open to a legal challenge at any time,” he said.

Mr McBrearty said the inquiry should be wider than the recent allegations and include the unresolved matters from the Morris Tribunal. He also wants it to look at ways of planning policing and how best to avoid repeating the failures.

He said there had been particular problems on the handling of informants by the gardaí and this covered his own case, the Kieran Boylan affair and the Smithwick Tribunal.

He said there were too many occasions when the gardaí had been allowed to investigate internal issues and in doing so had failed to resolve the problems.

The latest allegations and the treatment of the whistleblowers had only served to underscore the way in which controversies had been mishandled, he said.

“I commend the two whistleblowers for their courage to date, and their battle for justice has to be applauded. What we see at present is the circling of the wagons, this is nothing new when the State tries to protect its self-interest and not the interests of the people.

“What’s the first thing we need to do to start the reform needed? Stop gardaí investigating themselves,” he said.

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