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Gerry Adams TD urges Justice Minister to meet Garda Commissioner on Omeath deaths

14 December, 2017 - by Gerry Adams TD

Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams met the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan on Tuesday along with Peter Fitzpatrick TD, Declan Breathnach TD and Fergus O’Dowd TD, to discuss the incident in Omeath in October 2015 in which Garda Tony Golden was killed, Siobhan Philips grievously wounded and Crevan Mackin took his own life.

Teachta Adams said:

“On November 29th I raised with the Taoiseach during Leaders Questions the fatal shooting of Garda Tony Golden, the serious wounding of Siobhán Phillips and the death by suicide of Crevan Mackin in Omeath on 11 October 2015.

"Crevan Mackin had been arrested for possession of weapons and explosives and admitted to this. He was released without being charged with these offences, despite some detectives knowing that he had access to four other weapons.

"It is believed he used one of these weapons to murder Garda Tony Golden and seriously wound Ms Phillips, whom he had also brutally beaten, before killing himself.

"In October 2015 I gave a file on these matters to the then Taoiseach, Deputy Enda Kenny, and the then Minister for Justice and Equality, Deputy Frances Fitzgerald. I wrote to Deputy Kenny four times. I spoke to him directly on a number of occasions.

"I wrote to Deputy Fitzgerald eight times. I also spoke to her. I gave information to the senior Garda officer investigating the case and I wrote to Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC).

"When Deputy Varadkar took over as Taoiseach I sent the same file to him. The Minister, Deputy Charles Flanagan eventually agreed to meet with me on the case and we did this on Tuesday evening.

"I had asked for the meeting with Minister Flanagan because of my serious concerns at the lack of progress by An Garda Síochána into the incident; the delay in concluding its investigation and in producing a review of its handling of the case which it had undertaken.

"The Phillips family continue to raise legitimate concerns with this process; including the designation of the GSOC investigation as a section 95 investigation - which may preclude criminal proceedings - as well as concerns relating to a lack of resources within GSOC. I share these concerns, especially the lack of resources at GSOC.

"The family also have grave concerns, which I share, about how Siobhán was treated when she presented at Dundalk Garda Station with visible signs of being domestically abused.

"Minister Flanagan told me that there are new guidelines for the Garda dealing with complaints of domestic abuse. He said that he would send them to me.

"In respect of the ongoing Garda investigation and review, the central issue is that Crevan Mackin was arrested for the possession of weapons and explosives and he admitted to that. He was then released without being charged with these offences while some Gardaí had evidence that he still had access to other weapons.

"This is serious matter of public accountability that must be addressed. I expressed my disappointment to the Minister that he had not yet spoken to the Acting Commissioner on this issue. I urged him to do so as a matter of urgency. Minister Flanagan did not accept that he should and I appealed to him to reconsider his position.

"I also pressed him to meet with the family of Siobhán Philips and to establish a properly resourced public inquiry as the family have request."

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