Monday 5 December 2016

Leading garda to investigate scandals

Published 24/02/2010 | 16:22

A top garda was today tasked with investigating letters from junior minister Trevor Sargent to gardai which forced him to quit over allegations he interfered with justice.

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Sargent resigned yesterday after admitting writing to a garda asking for a public order prosecution against a constituent to be dropped.

Chief Superintendent John Twomey will also head a separate inquiry into former Defence Minister Willie O`Dea, who claimed a garda wrongly tipped him off that a Sinn Fein councillor had links to a brothel.

The Limerick TD resigned last week after it emerged he denied the slur on a sworn High Court affidavit.

Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy called in the top officer to examine correspondence from Mr Sargent and to establish how it was leaked.

A second letter has emerged which showed Mr Sargent ask a Superintendent to "keep an eye on the case" after a Balbriggan man Dominic McGowan asked for the TD's help.

Mr Sargent claimed he acted because he was worried about Mr McGowan's safety.

The Chief Superintendent's second investigation was launched after a complaint from a Green Party member over Mr O'Dea's brothel smear.

Gary Fitzgerald contacted gardai in Dublin last Thursday amid suggestions that there may have been a breach of the Official Secrets Act as the false vice allegation against Maurice Quinlivan spread.

Chief Supt Twomey, based at Pearse Street in Dublin will compile a report on the scandals for Commissioner Murphy and Justice Minister Dermot Ahern.

Press Association

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