Saturday 24 June 2017

Man who killed garda and seriously injured former partner was 'asked to infiltrate IRA' - solicitor claims

Adrian Crevan Mackin and Garda Tony Golden
Adrian Crevan Mackin and Garda Tony Golden
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The family of a man who shot dead Garda Tony Golden claim he was an informer and have questioned why he was freed on bail after he was arrested for buying weapons online.

Adrian Crevan Mackin shot dead Garda Golden following a domestic dispute at his home in Omeath, Co Louth in October 2015. His girlfriend Siobhan Philips was also injured in the attack before Mackin killed himself.

Mackin (24) had been arrested in January of that year after gardaí were tipped off by the FBI that he was importing guns.

Despite confessing to possessing the weapons in garda interviews  Mackin was charged with membership of the IRA, an offence he did not admit to.

An RTE Investigates documentary, broadcast on Thursday night, carried claims that Mackin was sent to Portlaoise Prison to “spy” on the Real IRA and was later released on reduced bail after republicans refused him access to their wing.

His solicitor Paul Tiernan claimed: “He [Mackin] told me that he was advised that he was to infiltrate the Real IRA in Portlaoise. He confirmed in his instructions that he was brought onto the political wing but very soon after arriving on the political wing he was expelled.”

Siobhan Philips
Siobhan Philips

Mr Mackin’s sister, who did not give her name or show her face as part of the documentary, said Mackin was granted bail ten days after he was first jailed.

She said this had been reduced from €20,000 to €5,000.

She insisted that following his release he became increasingly paranoid and violent towards his girlfriend.

He believed dissident republicans were going to target him because they believed he was an IRA informer, his sister claimed.

“He says, ‘I’m a marked man now', I could see a downturn in his mood.”

She said that Mackin handed over some weapons he had stored at a vacant property to gardaí following his arrest.

“He told me that one or two guns was handed over initially and later on it may have to happen again. It was left open ended. ‘We will keep you out of prison but you have to do this for us’.

“Why did they think Creavin was a good candidate to be a grass or a tout, or whatever word you have to put on it.”

The sister said she did not believe Garda Golden knew the full background to Mackin when he travelled with Ms Philips and her father to the home in October 2015.

She said he might not have done this if he had known this.

Sinn Féin TD for Co Louth Gerry Adams said there are a number of outstanding questions that he has raised with the Minister for Justice but siad he has not received a satisfactory answer.

“Why he wasn’t charged with these very serious offences,? Why he was allowed, despite his history to go about as he was going about? They haven’t got an explanation for what occurred here.”

Asked why Mackin was charged with IRA membership rather than possession of weapons gardaí said in a statement to the show: “In all cases An Garda Siochana provides the DPP with all relevant evidence. The DPP then decides on what charges are to be preferred based on that evidence.”

Responding to a question over whether Mackin was an informer gardai declined to comment but said their system of management “is supervised by a High Court Judge only to be maintained by an insistence on the highest standards of professional integrity on the part of all members of An Garda Siochana.”

A Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) has been launched into the garda handling of Mackin.

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