Sunday 25 February 2018

Garda got false licence for brother, court hears

Ann Healy

A GARDA has gone on trial charged with issuing a false driving licence to his brother -- who is also a garda -- while he was formerly employed as a clerical officer.

Brendan Folan (31), with an address at 97 Mount Anville Wood, Lower Kilmacud Road, Dublin 14, denies issuing a false 10-year driving licence to his brother, Garda Ciaran Folan (40), while employed at Galway Co Council's offices at Prospect Hill, Galway, on September 13, 2006.

He also denies corruptly obtaining an advantage for Ciaran Folan by issuing him with the licence while he (the accused) was employed as a public official.

Prosecuting barrister Conor Fahy said Brendan Folan was now a serving garda currently stationed at Harcourt Square garda station in Dublin, while his brother Ciaran was stationed in Co Wexford.

Mr Fahy said it was alleged that Brendan Folan issued a false driving licence in 2006 to Ciaran Folan, who was then a garda stationed in Clifden, Co Galway.

He said Brendan Folan was at that time a clerical officer employed at the driving-licence section of Galway Co Council, where he worked from 2001 to 2007. He subsequently left the council and joined the gardai.

Mr Fahy said the driving licence should only have been issued on the production of a certificate of competency (to drive) from An Garda Siochana. The evidence would be that there was no such certificate.

Supt John Grogan of human resources (HR) at Garda HQ, told the trial there was no record on Garda Ciaran Folan's file to show that he had successfully completed a garda driving course.

In fact, he said, he had undertaken a garda personnel-carrier driving course but was deemed incompetent to drive official garda vehicles.

Officials at Galway Co Council and at the Road Safety Authority were asked to check their databases but there were no records of Ciaran Folan ever having sat an RSA driving test.

Detective Inspector John Hunt told the jury he obtained a search warrant on February 12, 2009, to search Garda Ciaran Folan's home in Fethard, Co Wexford for the driving licence.


He stopped a car being driven by the off-duty Garda Ciaran Folan the next day and told him he had a search warrant. Garda Folan handed over the driving licence to him straight away.

Galway Co Council motor-tax supervisor Eileen Keaveney said that from office records Brendan Folan had issued the licence to his brother.

Michael O'Donoghue, from the Department of Transport, said security checks showed that Brendan Folan had issued the licence.

The trial continues today.

Irish Independent

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