Government approves establishment of Commission of Investigation as recommended in Guerin Report
· Commission to investigate certain matters relative to the Cavan/Monaghan Division of the Garda Síochána
· Mr. Justice Kevin O’Higgins to be the sole member of the Commission
19 December 2014
Frances Fitzgerald TD, Minister for Justice & Equality has today announced that the Government has approved the establishment of a Commission of Investigation to investigate certain matters relative to the Cavan/Monaghan Division of the Garda Síochána.
The Minister further announced that the Government has nominated Mr. Justice Kevin O’Higgins, former Judge of the High Court and of the General Court of the European Union, as the Sole Member of the Commission.
Minister Fitzgerald stated: “This Commission of Investigation is being established in line with the commitment made by Government following our consideration of the Guerin Report.”
“The Government has accepted Mr. Guerin’s recommendation that a Commission of Investigation would be desirable in the public interest to ensure continuing confidence in the institution of An Garda Síochána and the criminal justice system”.
All of the matters recommended by Mr Guerin SC for inclusion in a Commission of Investigation are included in the terms of reference.
The draft Order, which was agreed by Government, has been laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas in accordance with the requirements of section 3(2) of the Commissions of Investigation Act 2004. The draft Order includes the terms of reference for the Commission.
The Commission is expected to report within one year after establishment.
Note for Editors:
Commission of Investigation (Certain Matters relative to the Cavan/Monaghan Division of the Garda Síochána)
Terms of Reference
1. The Commission is directed to investigate the following matters:
(a) The investigation by An Garda Síochána of a public order incident and possible sexual assault on a bus at Kingscourt, Co Cavan on 25 February 2007;
(b) The investigation by An Garda Síochána of an assault at the Lakeside Manor Hotel, Virginia, Co Cavan on 14 April 2007;
(c) The investigation by An Garda Síochána of two incidents in 2007 involving Jerry McGrath, i.e. the assault on Mary Lynch near Virginia, Co Cavan on 30 April 2007 and the abduction of a child during the burglary of a house in Tipperary on 9 October 2007, and the management and coordination by An Garda Síochána of those investigations, in particular in relation to the question of bail;
(d) The investigation by An Garda Síochána of a public order incident in Cafolla’s restaurant, Bailieboro, Co Cavan on 5 August 2007;
(e) The investigation by An Garda Síochána of an incident of assault and false imprisonment of a girl in Cootehill, Co Cavan on 2 September 2007;
(f) The investigation by An Garda Síochána of a dangerous driving incident at the Lakeside Manor Hotel, Virigina, Co Cavan on 27 December 2007;
(g) The investigation by An Garda Síochána of an assault in Crossan’s public house in Bailieboro, Co Cavan on 23 May 2007;
(h) The investigation by An Garda Síochána of sexual offences and child pornography offences in respect of which Michael Molloy was convicted in 2009, having particular regard to the loss of a computer seized during the course of that investigation;
(i) The investigation by An Garda Síochána of the allegations made by Sergeant Maurice McCabe of malpractice and corruption in relation to PULSE records seized from him on 11 October 2010 at the Hillgrove Hotel, Monaghan;
(j) The investigation by An Garda Síochána and the Minister for Justice and Equality and Department of Justice and Equality of complaints made by Sergeant Maurice McCabe in relation to matters at (a) to (i);
(k) The investigation by An Garda Síochána and the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission of Garda disciplinary issues arising out of the above matters;
(l) The general conduct of policing at Bailieboro Garda District in 2007/2008 with reference to the management and operational structure and resource allocation for Bailieboro Garda District, at the relevant times, including:
· The number of probationary Gardaí assigned to Bailieboro Garda District;
· The number and experience of Sergeants available to supervise and monitor on a daily basis the work of those probationary Gardaí;
· The significance, if any, of the absence of an Inspector permanently allocated to Bailieboro Garda Station;
· The stability, continuity, and experience available at District Officer level in Bailieboro District;
· The arrangements in operation for the supervision and monitoring of probationary Gardaí in relation to their operational and, specifically, investigative duties, and
· The standard of accommodation at Bailieboro Garda station and its possible impact on the performance of the policing function.
2. The Commission should exercise discretion in relation to the scope and intensity of the investigation it considers necessary and appropriate having regard to the general objective of the investigation.
Profile of Mr. Justice Kevin O’Higgins
· Crescent College Limerick
· Clongowes Wood College
· B.A. (Hons) University College Dublin
· Diploma in European Law University College Dublin
· Studied law at Kings Inns.
Called to the Irish Bar 1968.
Barrister (1968 to 1986).
Senior Counsel 1982 -1986.
Appointed Judge of the Circuit Court 1986. Served on the Dublin Circuit, the Midland Circuit and the South Western Circuit.
Appointed to the High Court 1997.
Served for a number of years as Irish Representative on Consultative Council of European Judges.
Served as Judge of Court of First Instance (now General Court) of the Court Of Justice of the European Union from 2008 until 2013.
Married with four children.