RTÉ Crimes and Confessions documentary shines a light on dark time in Garda past - Martin Kenny TD and Pa Daly TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice Martin Kenny today expressed his dismay after last night's airing of Crimes and Confessions on RTÉ.
The programme focused on the case of Una Lynskey and the events surrounding her abduction, murder, and the subsequent murder and imprisonment of local men Gardaí had wrongly held responsible for her heinous death.
The following weeks will see the broadcast of programmes detailing similar Garda malpractice in relation to the Sallins train robbery and the Kerry Babies case.
Teachta Kenny said:
“It seems to me that in those days, when this very small cohort within An Garda Síochána decided that an innocent person or persons were responsible for a crime, they made sure that the evidence would fit.
“The consequences of this were laid bare for us on last night's programme. One innocent man was killed, one was wrongfully imprisoned, and another is forever haunted by what he experienced.
“This in no way represents the stellar work of An Garda Síochána now.
“But the state, including the Garda Commissioner and Minister for Justice, must consider what factors allowed a small number of high-ranking Gardaí to behave in such a manner.
“The grave miscarriages of justice outlined in the three-part series could not have been allowed to continue without the co-operative silence of other Gardaí involved in these pseudo-investigations.
“Checks and balances are needed to prevent us from returning to a situation like that. It has long passed time that those responsible for these criminal actions were held accountable.
“Many believed that the modius operandi of this Heavy Gang became the example which was followed by other detective units around the country and, over the decades, have led to many miscarriages of justice, violent abuses during interrogations and fit-ups of innocent people.”
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Equality, Inclusion and Law Reform Pa Daly TD also expressed his disgust at the behaviour of Gardaí involved in the Kerry Babies case, which will be detailed on the series in the coming weeks.
Teachta Daly said:
“The apologies by An Garda Síochána to Joanne Hayes, and now to Martin Conmey, are important and they deserve to live out their lives with their good names upheld.
“Questions remain over the actions of Gardaí in Kerry particularly. A full explanation as to how several members of the same family in different rooms in the same Garda station came to sign statements that could not have been true has never been given.
“To ensure such incidents are never repeated, proper implementation of the Commission on the Future of Policing recommendations must be undertaken.
“Some of the proposed changes in the Garda Síochána (Powers) Bill and Policing, Security and Community Safety Bill are worrying and should not be pursued by the government."