The Morris tribunal heard today that a notebook discovered in a police informer’s bedroom had former Supt Kevin Lennon’s handwriting on several pages.
The inquiry heard that gardai identified that a number of pages in the Rhino brand notebook found on William Doherty’s bedside table in September 1997 had Lennon’s handwriting in it because of the particular way he wrote the letter ‘k’.
Cross examining witness Det Sgt Sylvie Henry today, Lennon said he denied the claims and confronted investigating officer, Det Insp John McGinley on the matter at the time.
Lennon said he even offered his fingerprints and an handwriting specimen to disprove the claims. “But I was told I was paranoid when I offered this,” he said.
Lennon said Det Insp McGinley said to him in Letterkenny Garda Station: “Your f*****g handwriting is in the notebook and you can’t deny it.”
According to Lennon, McGinley then made an allegation to Lennon that he was “involved” with Noel McBride – a local man who made incriminating statements against the McBrearty family but later withdrew them.
Lennon said he then replied to McGinley: “In other words that I stitched up your already cocked-up investigation.”
Witness Det Sgt Henry told Justice Frederick Morris that he couldn’t remember this exchange even though he accepted he may have been in the room in the Garda station at the time.
Justice Morris said: “It’s a pretty dramatic thing to have two offices stuck in each other. Do you think it didn’t happen?”
“It’s foreign to me sir, I cannot remember that,” Det Sgt Henry replied.
The witness then said that he may have left the room to replace the notebook in his personal garda locker.
Lennon said he could produce his original contemporaneous notes of the confrontation “and I’ll stand over them ‘til the day I die’.”
Lennon later said to the inquiry: “I was known for my upfrontness with members of the force. I was blunt in terms of telling them of what I expected.
“But at the same time 10 minutes afterwards I drank coffee with them.”
The Morris Tribunal is into its 231st day of evidence into alleged Garda corruption in the Donegal division during the 1990s.
Justice Frederick Morris is currently hearing evidence in Dublin on the module relating to the Garda investigation into cattle dealer Richie Barron’s death on a roadside in Raphoe in October 1996.