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Garda challenges reopening of GSOC investigation against him – Irish Times


Irish Times Report

Tuesday 4th March 2014


A Garda has brought a High Court challenge to a decision by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission to reopen its investigation of a complaint made against him in connection with a Garda investigation concerning jailed murderer Jerry McGrath.

Pádraig McEvoy, stationed at Ballyconnell, Co Cavan, is seeking to quash a GSOC decision to readmit a complaint by taxi driver Mary Lynch against him.

He claims GSOC had in October 2011 discontinued its investigation into that complaint and is not entitled to reopen the matter.

Ms Lynch was attacked by McGrath as she drove her taxi in Virginia, Co Cavan. The incident happened some months before McGrath murdered Sylvia Roche Kelly (33) in a hotel in Limerick in December 2007. Garda McEvoy was involved in investigating the attack on Ms Lynch.

In April 2011, Ms Lynch complained to the GSOC about the conduct of the Garda investigation into the attack on her. Ms Roche Kelly’s widower, Lorcan, has also made a complaint to GSOC.

In his High Court judicial review proceedings, Garda McEvoy claims the commission is acting in breach of natural and constitutional justice by reopening an investigation into a complaint that had already been investigated. He claims the GSOC is also guilty of inordinate and inexcusable delay in notifying him of the complaint.

In an affidavit, Garda McEvoy said he submitted a full written defence to the alleged breaches of discipline and, in October 2011, was notified by the GSOC that its investigation into the matter had been discontinued. The reason was that it had failed to give consideration as to whether the time limit for extending the complaint should be extended, he said.

On May 17th, 2012, he was given a caution by a Garda superintendent under the Garda disciplinary regulations arising out of his involvement in the investigation of the assault on Ms Lynch, the Garda said.

The complaint by Lorcan Roche Kelly continued to be investigated and on January 3rd, 2013, he was cleared of any breach of discipline in regard to this complaint, he said.

On January 11th, Ms Lynch made a further complaint arising from the same matter, he said. He said he was not notified of that complaint until December 2nd last and it came as a surprise to him. “I had been under the impression that this long-running investigation into matters which occurred many years ago was completed and the matter closed.”

Mr Justice Michael Peart granted Mark Harty SC, for Garda McEvoy, leave to bring a judicial review challenge.