GSOC to investigate links with garda murderer

Gardaí who dealt with Adrian Crevan Mackin in the months before he murdered Garda Tony Golden are to be investigated on their knowledge of the risk he presented and whether they shielded him from prosecution.

GSOC to investigate links with garda murderer

The Garda Ombudsman said it began an investigation last year after a complaint from Mackin’s sister, but it was in the early stages.

Mackin’s partner, Siobhán Phillips, whom he shot four times in the attack before turning the gun on himself, was only informed of the move last week.

Seán Phillips, Siobhan’s father, told RTE he wanted an immediate public inquiry and that the family had no faith in anything else other than that, including a GSOC inquiry.

GSOC said they would probe whether gardaí acted appropriately when they discovered Mackin possessed guns and explosives.

They will also examine “the extent and nature of the interaction” between members of the gardaí and Mackin. His solicitor and the Phillips family claim that gardaí tried to make an IRA informant out of him, despite his mental health problems.

Garda treatment of Ms Phillips and her family in the days before the shooting will also come under scrutiny. The Phillips family said they tried to file a complaint about Mackin beatingMs Phillips but were turned away from Dundalk Garda Station and told to talk to Garda Golden in Omeath.

It was at the subsequent meeting with Garda Golden in October 2015 that the father of three took a statement from Ms Phillips and then went, unarmed, with her to her house to collect personal belongings.

Mackin was in the house and shot Garda Golden, Ms Phillips, and himself with a gun of the same type he had admitted to possessing when he was arrested earlier in the year on a tip-off from the FBI that he had been buying gun and bomb parts online.

The DPP directed he not be not charged with firearms offences but IRA membership, which he denied. His solicitor and the Phillips family believe this was done to get him remanded to the IRA wing of Portlaoise Prison so he could act as an informant.

He was rejected by inmates there, however, and his bail was, without explanation, reduced from €20,000 to €5,000, enabling him to leave prison to await trial. He was out on bail when he carried out the shootings.

The background to the incident was revealed in an RTÉ Prime Time investigation, prompting calls for a full explanation from the Minister for Justice.

Fianna Fáil justice spokesman Jim O’Callaghan said: “If decisions are made by State authorities that expose the community to danger, then those decisions must be explained and subject to scrutiny.”

Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams said he had raised questions repeatedly for months in letters to the minister but he had been “fobbed off”.

The Department of Justice said the minster believed the GSOC investigation must be allowed to take its course. She could not comment on the decisions as to what charges Mackin faced as she had to respect the independence of the DPP.

The Garda Press Office said: “As there is currently an investigation by GSOC it would be inappropriate to comment.”

The DPP does not comment on specific cases.

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