GSOC probes suicide of State witness in trial

GSOC has confirmed that it is conducting an examination into the suspected suicide of a man living under Garda protection who was due to give evidence in an upcoming trial linked to the Kinahan-Hutch feud.

GSOC probes suicide of State witness in trial

Once its officers make a determination on the basis of an initial inspection of the information, GSOC will decide whether or not a full investigation will be launched.

There were separate media reports over the weekend that a man, who had been due to give evidence at a forthcoming trial in relation to the murder last December of Noel Kirwan, died last Friday.

He was found in a house he was staying in and is suspected of having taken his own life.

Mr Kirwan, aged 62, had a long-time friendship and association with Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch, having grown up with him in north inner city Dublin.

He was shot dead outside his partner Bernadette’s house at St Ronan’s Drive, Clondalkin, west Dublin, on December 22.

The death of the witness has been referred by An Garda Síochána to the Garda Ombudsman.

This is an automatic referral under Section 102 of Garda Síochána Act 2005, which states: “The Garda Commissioner shall refer to the Ombudsman Commission any matter that appears to the Garda Commissioner to indicate that the conduct of a member of the Garda Síochána may have resulted in the death of, or serious harm to, a person.”

Sources have stressed this does not mean there has been any fault or misbehaviour involving a garda.

In a statement, the Ombudsman said: “GSOC can confirm it has received a referral under Section 102 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 following the death of a man who may have had contact with An Garda Síochána prior to his death.

“GSOC has deployed a team of investigators who will carry out an examination to establish the facts of the situation.”

The examination will determine whether or not a full investigation is needed.

The team is expected to speak to any detectives who had contact with the deceased. It is understood gardaí had been providing secure accommodation and living expenses to the witness.

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