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Monday 23 September 2019

Review of Berkley case may lead to changes in bail laws

Eoin Berkley breached bail conditions at least five times
Eoin Berkley breached bail conditions at least five times

Liam Cosgrove

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has said "operational outcomes" will arise from a review into how rapist Eoin Berkley was out on the streets to attack his victim, despite breaching bail conditions.

Berkley (25) was spotted breaching conditions on at least five occasions before he attacked a young Spanish student, between July 15 and 16, 2017.

The Garda Commissioner stopped short of confirming whether the contents of that review, led by Assistant Commissioner Pat Leahy, would be made public.

But, speaking to the media last night following a public meeting of Co Longford's Joint Policing Committee on the challenges posed by rural crime, he hinted changes in bail laws might be considered as part of its overall findings.

"There will be operational outcomes from that and in some ways what we will do with that is, we will report to the Policing Authority and to the Justice Minister on what we have found from the examination of that case," he said.

"At the same time I don't really want to inform criminals or those on bail about what tactics we are going to adopt."

He said it was an approach to see how the force manages and polices bail provisions and how to do it into the future.

"Let's do the review first. Obviously it's a very concerning case and that is why we undertook a review and why I have asked for that to be done quickly," he added.

The Commissioner also said he "would not be found wanting" in acting on the Charleton Report findings, but refused to comment on the retirement of disgraced former Garda press officer David Taylor.

Irish Independent

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