The recent collapse of the trial of a young man for the Regency Hotel gang related murder yet again highlights the serious inadequacies in the ‘investigating’ practices of the Garda Síochána.
The suicide of one of the chief lead investigators, tragic as it was, was not of itself related to the investigations. But the fact that it occurred during the trial, that it was committed in a garda station, and done with an officially issued garda revolver connects it directly with the prosecution that was rapidly unravelling under intense scrutiny in a public forum.
It seems that the issue of contention were a series of emails passing between various gardaí. But what is far from clear is when and in what manner these emails surfaced during the trial.
Were these emails disclosed before the trial by the DPP who was under a legal obligation to do so? Or were they ‘discovered’ during the trial? If the latter occurred what excuse does the DPP offer for this failure? Is her excuse that she did not know of them because the gardaí never told her of the existence of these emails?
And if that is so why did the gardaí not tell the DPP? And if this happened in this case in how many other cases have the gardaí failed to disclose ‘relevant’ evidence to the DPP who would have passed it on to defendants in order to ensure that those defendants received a constitutional trial in due course of law?
But the more pertinent, and potentially damaging to the gardaí question is what do these emails discuss? Was it that a particular individual was being ‘set-up’ as a ‘fall guy’ by the gardaí? Whatever was discussed – and it must have been something explosive – was sufficient to push a senior garda involved in the case over the edge.
Will these emails ever be released to the public? It’s a fair bet that the gardaí will not disclose them voluntarily. The way they might become public – which the public have a right to know – is by way of a civil action for malicious prosecution against the State.
The fact that the gardaí have launched an investigation is hardly reassuring given the track record of the gardaí ‘investigating’ themselves. And GSOC is toothless and useless, only established to give a mirage that ‘wrongdoing’ by the gardaí is independently investigated.
And the good old DPP will hide behind that mantra that the gardaí inform her that they act ‘professionally’ at all times.