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'No bid for minister to influence DPP on Bailey' - garda

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Ian Bailey at court. Photo: Courtpix

Ian Bailey at court. Photo: Courtpix

Ian Bailey at court. Photo: Courtpix

A senior garda has denied a State solicitor was asked to contact the then Minister for Justice to put pressure on the DPP over the Ian Bailey case, a court heard.

Now-retired Chief Supt Dermot Dwyer said, after the second arrest of Mr Bailey on January 28, 1998 in connection with the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier, he was "very perturbed" about some of the correspondence from the DPP's office concerning the garda file.

He said west Cork State solicitor Malachy Boohig was asked to meet with himself and senior gardaí at Bandon Garda Station on March 9, 1998.

Mr Dwyer said he and the late Chief Supt Sean Camon outlined matters to Mr Boohig. He himself did most of the talking and outlined "very clearly" gardaí had a "very good" case including five or six admissions.

There were some 200 to 300 pieces of correspondence from the DPP's office and he was very perturbed about some of that. He had never seen the DPP's own name on any of it and asked Mr Boohig to talk to the then DPP Eamonn Barnes himself.

Mr Dwyer was asked whether Chief Supt Camon, just after that meeting, told Mr Boohig he understood he and then Minister for Justice John O'Donoghue had gone to the same college and would Mr Boohig get the minister to have a word with the DPP. Mr Dwyer said he never heard Supt Camon say that.

He himself never asked Mr Boohig to get on to the Minister for Justice or anyone else.

In 40 years as a garda, he never asked a politician to do anything for himself or the force, he said.

From 1998 to May 2014, he never heard a word from Mr Boohig, former DPP Eamonn Barnes or Robert Sheehan of the DPP's office, suggesting a garda made any approach to anyone. He was "shocked" when told in May 2014 this matter was raised in the High Court.

He was giving evidence in the action by Mr Bailey against the Garda Commissioner and State over the conduct of the Garda investigation into the murder of Ms du Plantier, whose body was found near Toomore, Schull, on December 23, 1996. The defendants deny all of Mr Bailey's claims, including wrongful arrest and conspiracy.

Mr Dwyer denied as "very wrong" suggestions by Tom Creed, for Mr Bailey, that the garda investigation was approached with a view to get Mr Bailey charged "at all costs".

Irish Independent