Monday 27 March 2017

Unclear if findings will form basis of any future criminal prosecutions

Tom Brady Security Editor

THE Moriarty Tribunal has not issued any recommendation that its findings should be referred to the gardai for investigation.

Last night, gardai had not been contacted about the report and had not received a copy of its damning findings.

It was unclear whether a garda investigation would be launched without specific complaints being made to the force.

And if an investigation was launched, gardai would have to operate without the benefit of the evidence given to the Moriarty inquiry. As in previous tribunals, details that emerged during the inquiry cannot be used as evidence in subsequent criminal or civil proceedings, unless there is independent verification of that evidence.

The Flood/Mahon Tribunal report did result in a number of criminal prosecutions but these were based largely on a series of incriminating statements made by former government press secretary Frank Dunlop to the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).

Among those prosecuted were Mr Dunlop and former minister Ray Burke, while former west Dublin TD the late Liam Lawlor spent time in jail for contempt of court.

Garda prosecutions have also stemmed from the Morris Tribunal into allegations of garda wrongdoing in Co Donegal.

But that tribunal was run largely on the back of an earlier garda criminal investigation. Among those prosecuted were former members of the force.

A major garda review is still under way into the findings of the reports into child sex abuse by clerics.

The beef tribunal did not result in criminal prosecutions.

If a criminal investigation is to emerge from the Moriarty report, it is likely to be headed by the CAB as any complaints will centre on alleged financial corruption.

Irish Independent

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