Former detective 'put gun into electrician's mouth'

An electrician today pointed out a former detective garda as the man who shoved a gun into his mouth.

An electrician today pointed out a former detective garda as the man who shoved a gun into his mouth.

Damien McDaid, 41, from Newtowncunningham, Co Donegal, had said he would never forget the ’heavy set’ man who had terrified him during his interview in Letterkenny Garda Station in December 1996.

At the Morris Tribunal, Mr McDaid was asked if he could identify the garda at the centre of the allegations and he pointed from the witness box to a man in a navy blue suit sitting at the rear of the room

“That man, on the right hand side,” he said.

Senior counsel Paul McDermott, representing the Morris Tribunal, said the man was former Detective Garda Sean Herraghty.

Mr Herraghty, who is now retired, was one of seven gardaí involved in interviewing Mr McDaid in December 1996 about the death of Donegal cattle dealer Richie Barron.

Mr McDaid has alleged that during his interview in Letterkenny Garda station, the same heavy set garda roared verbal abuse at him, spat in his breakfast and jumped on his feet during the interview.

“He stamped on my feet so he did. I think the nice guard was there. He went up in the air and he came down on my feet.”

Mr Herraghty’s solicitor Conor Connelly has already told the tribunal that his client emphatically denied that he had put a gun in Mr McDaid’s mouth, or even had a gun on his person, during the interview in Letterkenny Garda station in December 1996.

Although Mr McDaid maintains the incident had happened while he was in the interrogation room alone with Mr Herraghty, the former garda will say that he and his colleague Detective Garda PJ Keating had been in the room together at all times.

Mr Herraghty is also denying that he spat into Mr McDaid’s breakfast or jumped on his feet.

Mr McDaid was being questioned about his movements on October 14, 1996, the night when the body of cattle dealer Richie Barron was found in Raphoe.

Gardaí wrongly believed that Mr McDaid had witnessed Frank McBrearty Junior and his cousin Mark McConnell passing through a local car park on the way to attack Mr Barron. The death of the cattle dealer was later found to be a hit-and-run.

Mr McDaid has told the tribunal how he resisted demands from the garda, now identified as Mr Herraghty, to sign a statement which would incriminate Frank McBrearty Junior for the death of Mr Barron.

But he has described his feelings of terror when he was on his knees, and the gun was shoved into his mouth.

“He (the garda) said ’Sign the f***ing thing’, and I shook my head. I opened my eyes and he was away. If he had held on for another couple of seconds, I would have signed it no problem.”

Last week, Mr McDaid pointed out another detective garda, Martin Anderson, who he said gave him a ’dunt’ while he was in custody in Letterkenny Garda station.

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