Tuesday 12 December 2017

'World-beater' scientists who helped convict wife killers Eamon Lillis and Joe O'Reilly honoured for work

Eamon Lillis (left and Joe O'Reilly
Eamon Lillis (left and Joe O'Reilly

Mark O’Regan

Forensic scientists who helped convict wife-killers Eamon Lillis and Joe O’Reilly have received a special award for being ‘world beaters’ in gathering crucial evidence from bullets, fingerprints, and handwriting.

Crime scene investigators attached to the Technical Bureau were honoured at a ceremony at Garda Headquarters in the Phoenix Park this morning.

They have now been awarded the prestigious ‘Technical Bureau ISO Accreditation’

Garda Commissioner, Noirin O’Sullivan, said the achievement was an “important milestone” in the journey of renewal within the force.

“The technical experts in the Bureau translate the information into evidence that can be presented in court.

“We’ve seen increasingly, with the complexity of cases going before the courts, the importance of information from forensic evidence.

“A lot of people who see the Technical Bureau van, and people in white suits on TV, and may think it’s very easy.

“Or else they look at CSI Miami on TV and they think it’s all very glamorous.”

The Commissioner said the “glamour versus the gritty reality'' of the work deserves to be recognised.

The Technical Bureau are experts in specific areas of forensic science, including examining microscopic evidence from bullets found at the scene of shootings, analysing photographs and handwriting, along with specialist skills in the area of fingerprints.

In order to receive accreditation, An Garda Siochana’s laboratories were rigorously inspected by the Irish National Accreditation Board (INAB).

Dr Adrienne Duff, head of the INAB, said today marks the culmination of a lot of “hard work and dedication.”

“This accreditation brings the international recognition across all forensic institutes, both in Europe and worldwide.

“I have seen first hand the huge amount of work undertaken by staff at all levels, and which is done in addition and on top of their day-to-day job.”

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