Adams expresses ‘deep concern’ at the Garda Review Report into Omeath incident
Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has expressed his “deep concern” at today’s report of the review into the events 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 “everyone was shocked by the killing of Garda Tony Golden, a popular community Garda, the wounding of Siobhan Philips and the death by suicide of Crevan Mackin.”
Commenting on today’s report published by Minister Flanagan, Teachta Adams said:
“There are significant matters of grave public interest raised by this report and by the events in Omeath in 2015, including the treatment of the Philips family by An Garda Síochána and now by the Minister for Justice.
“The report acknowledges the two incidents of domestic violence were not recorded properly by the Garda. It also acknowledges that Crevan Mackin’s record of involvement with weapons and explosives and his activities in the North were not disseminated to the general Garda membership. This failure meant that Garda Golden was not informed of Mackin’s history of violence and possession of weapons. The Ministers statement does not deal with this vitally important matter.
“In December, the Minister told me that the criminal investigation by An Garda Síochána was still ongoing. However, the review report, under the section ‘Status of the Investigation into the Murder of Garda Golden and Attempted Murder of Siobhan Philips’ concludes that a ‘comprehensive investigation file was forwarded to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions on 10th May 2017’.
“Why was the family not informed of this important development? Why, when I raised this matter and wrote to the Minister, was I not told the investigation had concluded? In fact, why was I told the investigation was ongoing when clearly it wasn’t? This is not the way for the Philips family to have been treated by the Minister.”
Responding to the part of the report that deals with Crevan Mackin’s previous arrest for possession of weapons and explosives, Teachta Adams said:
“A separate review addressed the relationship between Crevan Mackin and those in An Garda Síochána who arrested him in January 2015 for possession of weapons and explosives and who knew that he still had access to a cache of other weapons. It is believed he used one of these weapons to murder Garda Tony Golden and seriously wound Ms Phillips, before killing himself. Documentation about the prosecution of Mr. Mackin and the Book of Evidence was also reviewed. However, the report comes to no conclusion on these matters. Why not?
“The Minister and the Garda have now shifted the onus for dealing with these events onto GSOC. The family have been told in recent days that GSOC does not have the resources to carry out a comprehensive investigation in a timely manner.
“We also know that in February the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission was forced to go to the High Court seeking the transcripts of the occasions on which Crevan Mackin’s case was dealt with by the Special Criminal Court.”
Concluding the Louth TD said:
“The Philips family continue to have significant concerns, which I share, at the manner in which they were treated by An Garda Síochána on the evening they went to Dundalk Garda Station to report the domestic violence abuse of Siobhan Philips.
“The Philips family insist they were told by the Garda in Dundalk that they had to go to Omeath to make the complaint.
“I know from speaking to senior Gardaí in Dundalk that they accept that their facilities are woefully inadequate for dealing with victims of domestic violence. However, requests for funding to improve those facilities have been turned down.
“There is clearly a serious matter of public accountability that must be addressed. The Philips family are seeking a full public inquiry. Today’s report underlines the need for this to be established as soon as possible.”