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Saturday 25 November 2017

Husband of murdered woman sues Garda and minister for €4m

Sylvia Roche Kelly
Sylvia Roche Kelly

The husband of murdered mum-of-two Sylvia Roche Kelly is suing the Garda Commissioner, the Minister for Justice and the State for at least €4m.

The lawsuit, which the State wants the High Court to dismiss, alleges that her killer Jerry McGrath was "free to commit the crime of murder, when he should have been in custody".

Events leading up to Ms Roche Kelly's murder are under fresh scrutiny as part of a dossier given to Taoiseach Enda Kenny last week by Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin.

Mr Martin was given the files by garda whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe – but it subsequently emerged, in transcripts read into the Dail record, that Justice Minister Alan Shatter has had the dossier for at least two years.

Government sources say an independent review of the cases is an option as ministers weigh up what action to take.

Senior ministers, including Mr Kenny and Finance Minister Michael Noonan, continued to back Mr Shatter yesterday, amid the ongoing controversy about transparency within An Garda Siochana.

Meanwhile, the family of Ms Roche Kelly are preparing the wrongful death action against the State and other parties.

Widower Lorcan Roche Kelly has claimed that his late wife's death was caused by neglect and default on the part of gardai who dealt with McGrath, before and after her killing.

The claim does not relate to the actual murder investigation, which led to a conviction and mandatory life sentence in January 2009, but relates to the circumstances in which McGrath was earlier released on bail.

The Irish Independent has learnt that actuaries have estimated the cost of the care of Ms Roche Kelly's children – including a son from a previous relationship who has autism and requires special care – to be close to €4m.


Dearbhail McDonald Legal Editor

Irish Independent

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