On Saturday 20 May 2017 RTE Radio One carried an interview with Stephen Kershaw on the Marian Finucane Show which remains available on the RTE Player. In the course of the interview Stephen Kershaw stated that after making a 5 page statement he asked [the Detective Garda] who had taken the statement whether he [the Detective Garda] believed him (Stephen Kershaw). Stephen Kershaw stated that [the Detective Garda] replied “Of course I believe it… like just look at it.”
In the 4 months since this interview was first broadcast neither the Garda Síochana as a body or the Detective Garda who is alleged to have said what Stephen Kershaw attributed to him, have publicly contradicted Stephen Kershaw’s version of events. Garda Authorities were made aware of this interview in late June early July. It is reasonable to assume that the Detective Garda who took the statement was informed by Stephen Kershaw of the interview either before it took place or immediately afterwards. Until any contradiction is forthcoming the version of events stated by Stephen Kershaw must be accepted as being true.
According to the Garda Síochana Policy on the Investigation of Sexual Crime paragraph 2.4.4 “the investigating member will at all times display a positive, helpful and non-judgemental attitude.”
This is precisely what the investigating member – the Detective Garda taking the statement did not do. By saying “of course I believe it… like just look at it” the Detective Garda made and stated judgement which is precisely what he was prohibited from doing. And it was done in clear and unequivocal language.
It is therefore indefensible, to say the least, for the Detective Garda taking the statement to make such a judgemental statement in this or in any case. But it is absolutely unfathomable to do so in a case such as this where a contradictory statement had been in Garda possession for some 8 years. Remember that Stephen Kershaw made a statement in August 2000 which was later being contradicted. What was called from the Detective Garda was care and caution, a positive and helpful attitude and no rush to judgement.
The rush to judgement in this particular circumstance requires urgent investigation. What disciplinary action is being proposed? Has any criminal offence, such as misconduct in public office, been committed? And most of all is the conviction of Brian Doolan safe after the starling disclosure of the breach of the Garda Policy on the Investigation of Sexual Offences by Stephen Kershaw on the Marion Finucane Show which has not been denied by the Garda Authorities or the investigating Detective involved?
There is one further fact worth noting. The One in Four organisation in whose offices Stephen Kershaw made his 5 page statement has been asked whether any member of its staff heard Stephen Kershaw ask the Detective Garda whether he the [Detective Garda] believed him (Stephen Kershaw) and heard the alleged answer ‘yes’. The One in Four organisation has refused to answer.