Minister Fitzgerald announces appointment of Mr. Justice Frank Clarke to independent inquiry of GSOC following tragic death of Sgt. Michael Galvin
– Supreme Court judge nominated by Chief Justice to conduct inquiry under
section 109 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005
– Inquiry to examine matters relating to GSOC investigation following death
of Ms Sheena Stewart on 1 January 2015
Friday 12 June 2015
Frances Fitzgerald TD, Minister for Justice & Equality, has today announced
the appointment of Mr Justice Frank Clarke, Judge of the Supreme Court, to
conduct an inquiry under section 109 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005.
The inquiry will examine the conduct of designated officers of the Garda
Síochána Ombudsman Commission in relation to its investigation into the
contact of members of An Garda Síochána with Ms Sheena Stewart on 1 January
2015 shortly prior to her death in a road traffic incident.
The inquiry arises following the tragic death of Sergeant Michael Galvin in
Ballyshannon Garda Station on 28 May 2015. Sergeant Galvin had been the
subject of a GSOC investigation as a result of Garda contact with Ms Sheena
Stewart shortly before her death in a fatal road traffic incident on 1
On 4 June the Minister announced that she had decided, following
consultation with the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, and having met
with the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors, to initiate an
inquiry by an independent judicial figure, in accordance with Section 109
of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, into the conduct of the original GSOC
investigation. In accordance with section 109, the Minister wrote to the
Chief Justice requesting her to invite a judge of the Supreme Court, the
Court of Appeal or the High Court to conduct the inquiry.
The Chief Justice invited Mr Justice Frank Clarke of the Supreme Court to
conduct the inquiry and he has accepted the invitation. The Minister is
grateful to Mr Justice Clarke for agreeing to conduct the inquiry which
will be given the necessary resources to carry out its work efficiently and
The tragic events giving rise to this inquiry, involving the deaths of two
people in greatly different circumstances, have been widely reported. The
Minister asks that the inquiry be given the time and space to look into all
relevant matters and to come to its conclusions.