Wednesday 13 December 2017

Ex-garda will not face probe over bail release

Aodhan O'Faolain

A RETIRED garda inspector has settled his legal challenge over an internal inquiry into the release of a man on bail who later allegedly committed murder.

Martin Byrne, formerly of Castlebar Station, Co Mayo, who retired last February with 30 years' service, was among a number of gardai who became the subject of the board of inquiry established by the Garda Commissioner on January 12.

The inquiry was set up to find out whether there were serious breaches of discipline in relation to the release on bail on February 16, 2011, of a man who should not have been let out.

Mr Byrne claimed he should not have been included among those officers made a subject of the inquiry because garda regulations did no allow for this once he ceased to be a garda.

Earlier this year, he was given leave by the High Court to seek to quash the commissioner's decision to establish the inquiry insofar as it related to him.

Yesterday, the president of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, was told the matter had been settled and Mr Byrne was no longer the subject of an inquiry. Paul McGarry SC, for Mr Byrne, said his side were seeking their legal costs arising out of their application to challenge the matter.

However, lawyers for the Garda Commissioner asked the court not to make any order in regards to costs. It was claimed the application was ill-conceived because, prior to the High Court application, a letter was sent informing Mr Byrne that he may only be required to attend the inquiry as a witness.

Mr Justice Kearns ruled that the fairest thing to do in this situation was to make no order as to costs.

Irish Independent

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