A RETIRED garda detective, who was a senior investigator on the Shane Geoghegan murder case, has announced that he will run in next summer's local elections.
Sean Lynch, who retired from the force last June following a distinguished career, said he will be a "strong voice" for the gardai if elected to Limerick City Council.
"I was approached by a member of Fianna Fail at grassroots level and asked if I would be interested in running," Mr Lynch told the Herald. "We sat down to talk about it and I decided that I would. I secured the nomination on Friday."
Mr Lynch was one of the first officers at the scene of Shane Geoghegan's murder in Clonmore, Kilteragh, Dooradoyle, Limerick, on November 9, 2008.
He was a key witness during the trial that eventually saw John Dundon convicted of the innocent 28-year-old Garryowen rugby player's murder.
Mr Lynch (50) said that he believed that his experience in the gardai would stand to him in public life. "When I was in An Garda Síochána I got things done. They all know my reputation," the father-of-four said.
"Politics is not too far from the job I was doing."
He was keen to stress that his interests stretched to a wide range of issues, though the treatment of the State's police force by the Government was a key concern.
Mr Lynch is furious over the spate of cutbacks that gardai have had to endure in recent years.
"I was a member of An Garda Síochána for 32 years. Morale has dropped drastically," he said.
"We don't know if we are going to be attacked in our wages again.
"Alan Shatter (Minister for Justice) seems to be misinformed," he added. "Garda stations are being closed across the country and there is a massive lack of resources."
Mr Lynch said that he wanted to speak up for a group that has been unable to defend itself owing to laws that forbid gardai from unionising or striking.
Following his retirement, Mr Lynch said he can now highlight issues without fear of being reprimanded.
"The guards are completely silenced. They provide a fantastic service and they are not being paid fairly for it," he said.
Fianna Fail received a hammering in the last General Election, but Mr Lynch said he believed the party has always been strong when in power.
"Fianna Fail has always been great towards the public sector. The country was going great the last time they were in power," he said.