A garda superintendent under criminal investigation was shown a photograph of his child during a recent garda interview, the Irish Examiner has learned.
The production of the image of Superintendent Eamon O’Neill’s two-year-old son was claimed to have been an error by interviewing gardaí but the senior garda reacted with extreme emotion. The incident was recorded on CCTV.
Superintendent O’Neill is understood to have declared that even when he was interviewing hardened criminals during the gang feud in Limerick he never “stooped that low”.
Meanwhile, a retired chief superintendent has written to Garda Commissioner Drew Harris to express concern about the manner in which
Superintendent O’Neill’s case is being dealt with and the toll it is exercising on him and his family.
Gerry Mahon, who oversaw the response to the gang feud in Limerick in the 2000s, has asked the commissioner for a meeting on the matter.
He, and another retired chief superintendent, John Kerins, have sworn High Court affidavits expressing concern at how Supt O’Neill’s case is being dealt with based on their respective opinions on policing.
Supt O’Neill and another officer, Inspector Arthur Ryan, have been suspended since they were both arrested early on the morning of 15 May 2019. The High Court has heard that both were questioned about a meeting in a pub in Limerick in February 2019 in which the investigating gardaí claimed Inspector Ryan ingested cocaine and Supt O’Neill observed him but did nothing about it.
Both men say the allegation is “preposterous”. The DPP has determined Inspector Ryan has no case to answer. The inspector remains subject to an internal disciplinary process but a hearing has been repeatedly delayed.
Inspector Ryan is understood to have acquired forensic expert evidence in defence of the allegation.
Supt O’Neill is currently challenging his continued suspension in the High Court.