A former Garda sergeant today denied he had been spitting and hitting the table while interviewing a suspect.
Martin Moylan was one of seven gardai who questioned electrical contractor Damian McDaid in Letterkenny garda station about his activities on the night when Donegal cattle dealer Richie Barron died.
Solicitor Ken Fogarty, representing Mr McDaid, put it to Mr Moylan that spittle had been coming out of his mouth during the interview with his client and that he had been striking the table.
“No way, I’d never be like that,” replied Sergeant Moylan.” “I’d never strike a table or never hit a table, never did.
Mr Moylan, who is now retired from the force, said the decision to arrest Mr McDaid on December 17, 1996 had been taken at a garda conference two weeks earlier by Superintendent John Fitzgerald.
He said it had been motivated by a belief that Mr McDaid had seen Frank McBrearty Junior and his cousin Mark McConnell in a car park in Raphoe, on their way to attack Mr Barron.
“He was in the car park on the night in question at about the time the culprits came down the car park and that he could have seen them,” he said.
In his report on the garda investigation on the Barron death, Judge Frederick Morris said the leadership of the senior officers, including Superintendent Fitzgerald, was “prejudiced, tendentious and utterly negligent“. Superintendent Fitzgerald retired from the force last year.
Mr Moylan, who is currently receiving medical treatment, denied that gardaí had been roaring and shouting when they arrested Mr McDaid close to his home in Newtowncunningham in Co Donegal on the morning of December 17, 1996.
He was asked if he could identify which garda had been at the passenger side of the van but said he couldn’t remember.
Mr McDaid’s younger brother Gavin has told the tribunal that this garda showed him his ID and then kicked him in the backside when he got out of the van.
Senior counsel Anthony Barr, representing the tribunal, put it to Mr Moylan that he had once denied showing photos from Richie Barron’s post mortem to a man in custody but had later admitted it.
“Don’t you tell lies when it suits you?” he asked.
“I’d been suffering from health problems at the time. I don’t know?” replied Mr Moylan.
Judge Frederick Morris over-ruled objections to this line of questioning from Mr Moylan’s defence team and allowed the cross-examination to continue.