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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Barry Clifford: The Rumble Of Shatter Rumbles On



Prime Minister Enda Kenny has been handed a file claiming scores of serious crimes were not properly investigated over several years.

One of the cases relates to the killing of 33-year-old Silvia Roche Kelly in the Clarion Hotel in Limerick in December 2007.

Jerry McGrath, from Dundrum, Co Tipperary was jailed for life for her murder in 2009. At the time he had been on bail after being charged with attempting to abduct a five-year-old girl from her bedroom and months before that had been charged with assaulting a middle-aged female taxi driver in Co Meath.

It is said the documents involved inadequate policing and failures to fulfil basic duties which led to murder, abduction and assaults.

The allegations are the latest in a series of controversies to hit the Garda, Justice Minister Alan shatter and the Government following claim and counter claim over suspicions of a surveillance operation at the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) and the penalty points scandal.

One whistleblower, Sgt McCabe, is understood to have spoken to a number of TDs about his claims over the last number of months and years.

In the last month he also gave evidence in private to a parliamentary committee over alleged Garda abuse of the fixed charge notice system for driving offences.

It is also claimed that the material compiled by the Garda whistleblower includes the circumstances around the murders, assaults and abductions, how the cases were dealt with and the consequences for victims.

Sgt McCabe has been pursuing allegations of corruption and bad policing among some officers in the Cavan-Monaghan region for a number of years and claims that none of his reports have been properly investigated despite going through the Garda confidential recipient.

The lawyer who acted as that official liaison, Oliver Connolly, has been sacked, it was announced today.

The Prime Minister said he had been relieved of his duties after a transcript of a conversation he had with Sgt McCabe was leaked out showing him warning the whistleblower not to pursue cases of rogue policing or cases against the Justice Minister.

The GSOC last year launched an investigation into an allegation of a cover-up within the force over Ms Roche Kelly’s murder and the fact that the killer was on bail for serious violent charges at the time.

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