Gsoc denied access to confidential file

Gsoc has been denied access to confidential records in the Garda’s Security & Intelligence Section in relation to Adrian Crevan Mackin, who shot Garda Tony Golden dead and almost killed his estranged partner Siobhan Phillips in October 2015.

Gsoc denied access to confidential file

Internal Garda reviews have found that two domestic abuse incidents prior to the event had not been properly classified by gardaí, and that a garda should have taken a statement from Ms Phillips, after she presented at Dundalk Station, having seen she had physical injuries.

But it said that the gardaí concerned had taken “significant actions” and that even had the incidents been classified more appropriately, it was “unlikely” Garda Golden would have taken a course of action other than bringing Ms Phillips to her Co Louth home to collect her personal belongings on 11 October.

The two related Garda reviews into the shooting at the house in Omeath, and the interaction between Mackin and Gardaí, including his alleged subversive activity, were published yesterday.

The Garda Ombudsman is separately investigating the matter after setting up a public interest inquiry in April 2017.

Mackin, who was on bail for IRA membership charges at the time of the shooting, killed himself in the same incident.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan laid before the Oireachtas yesterday afternoon a document, written by Deputy Garda Commissioner John Twomey, containing the two Garda reviews, which had been received by the Department of Justice 14 weeks ago.

Parts of the reviews were redacted, for “legal and security reasons” according to Mr Flanagan.

Deputy Commissioner Twomey said the first review, conducted by Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll, found that Garda Golden was an “exemplary member”, his actions “beyond reproach” and his approach “professional and community focused”.

The review found that the Criminal Intelligence Office at the Special Detective Unit, which combats terrorism, issued an intelligence bulletin in January 2015 detailing the arrest and charge of Mackin that month and his bail conditions.

The review said this bulletin was sent to the Criminal Intelligence officer at Drogheda Garda Station, but was not disseminated any further among gardaí.

RTÉ Prime Time reported in April 2017 that Mackin was arrested in relation to the possession of firearms and importation of gun parts and that the 24-year-old made admissions to gardaí.

The programme report, based on interviews with Mackin’s solicitor Paul Tiernan, said Mackin was not charged with these offences, but with membership of the IRA, which he denied. He was remanded on bail.

The report raised questions about attempts to use Mackin as an informant.

Ms Phillips’ parents, Sean and Norma, have repeatedly called for a public inquiry in this matter and also how gardaí handled prior complaints of domestic violence.

Deputy Commissioner Twomey said the second review, conducted by Asst Comm Eugene Corcoran, reviewed documentation relating to intelligence matters, but a subsequent paragraph is redacted.

He said relevant files had been withheld from the Gsoc investigation, based on legislative provisions on security matters.

“An Garda Síochána awaits the outcome of the investigation being conducted by Gsoc into these matters, and it is advised that all materials sought by Gsoc have been fully complied with, save for records held at Security & Intelligence Section, which are being dealt with under the relevant protocols governing sensitive material,” he said.

Gsoc said that it had no comment to make on the internal Garda report.

When it launched its inquiry, Gsoc said that full and timely cooperation by the Garda Síochána would be “critical” to the effectiveness and progress of the important investigation.

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