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Gardai order new review into escape

A SENIOR garda officer has been appointed by Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan to review the case of double-killer John Gallagher.

Gallagher this week voluntarily returned to the Central Mental Hospital after being on the run for 12 years.

Experienced investigator Det Supt John McMahon has been tasked with examining the circumstances surrounding the escape of Gallagher from the hospital in 2000 -- and his whereabouts and behaviour since then.

Gallagher spent his time in England and Northern Ireland, where he lived openly after he absconded.

Gardai were unable to seek his return as he had not committed an extraditable offence.

Supt McMahon, who is attached to the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, will then prepare a report for the commissioner.

Mr Callinan said a decision would then be taken in consultation with their legal advisers on what action, if any, could be taken as a result of the latest developments.

"We are exploring action that can be taken, or not, in the context of what has happened. It would be inappropriate to go beyond that. We will obviously be consulting with the DPP's office", he added.

Gallagher was found guilty but insane of the killing of his girlfriend Anne Gillespie and her mother, Annie, in 1988.

It is believed that he returned voluntarily to make an appeal to be released permanently.

Irish Independent