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Saturday 19 August 2017

Lawsuit aims to get answers over handling of garda killer

Adrian Crevan Mackin, who shot Garda Tony Golden
Adrian Crevan Mackin, who shot Garda Tony Golden
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

The parents of Siobhán Phillips are to issue High Court proceedings against An Garda Síochána and the State in a bid to get answers about the circumstances leading up to a gun attack by her partner in which a garda was murdered and she was left for dead.

Sean and Norma Phillips have also called for a public inquiry following revelations about the handling of a prosecution against their daughter's attacker Adrian Crevan Mackin.

The Irish Independent understands the family hope the release of documents as part of a discovery process will shed light on the relationship between gardaí and Crevan Mackin.

The move comes in the wake of an RTÉ documentary which raised questions about why Crevan Mackin was not subjected to weapons charges despite admitting to weapons possession during an interrogation.

Crevan Mackin seriously injured Ms Phillips and murdered Garda Tony Golden before turning the gun on himself in October 2015. The attack happened after Ms Phillips complained to gardaí about a horrific beating she suffered at the hands of her partner.

The shooting occurred when Gda Golden accompanied her as she visited her home near Omeath, Co Louth, to retrieve belongings.

The killer's family has claimed he was a garda informant and has questioned why he was freed on bail after he was arrested for buying weapons online.

Despite admitting in interviews to firearms and explosives offences, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions did not direct he be charged for these. Instead it was directed he be charged with IRA membership, which he had denied.

The RTÉ programme also carried claims Crevan Mackin was sent to Portlaoise Prison to "spy" on the Real IRA. But he was later released on reduced bail after republicans refused him access to their wing.

The lawsuit against the force and the State was confirmed yesterday in a statement issued by the family's law firm, Madden & Finucane.

Solicitor Katie McAllister said the firm had also been instructed to write to Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald seeking a public inquiry.

"These revelations raise issues of significant public importance and require an investigation at the highest level," she said.

In a statement, Ms Fitzgerald did not address the family's call for a public inquiry.

Instead the Tánaiste said an ongoing investigation by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) must be allowed to take its course.

Among other issues, GSOC is examining the extent and nature of the interaction between gardaí and Crevan Mackin.

Irish Independent

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