THE garda watchdog has criticised gardai for being "slow" in co-operating with an investigation which led to two gardai being convicted for assault and another for trying to pervert the course of justice.
The Garda Ombudsman Commission said documentation it sought during an inquiry into allegations that a member of the public had been assaulted by gardai in Waterford was obtained "at a very late stage" and other documentation was not received at all.
In a report published yesterday, the Ombudsman said it was "a cause of concern" that documentation it sought but didn't receive from the gardai was then produced during the course of a court trial by the defence for some of the accused.
Garda Daniel Hickey was jailed for 18 months after being found guilty of assaulting Anthony Holness (40) on the street in Waterford in January 2010.
Sgt Martha McEnery was found guilty of assault and was given a suspended four-month sentence. Garda John Burke was also jailed for a year for attempting to pervert the course of justice.
"An effect on the investigation was that some documentation sought by the Ombudsman from the gardai was procured at a very late stage in the investigation, some not received at all. This, while not ultimately fatal to the case for the prosecution, was, at the least, inconvenient," the report said.