herald

Tuesday 24 October 2017

A detective has been acquitted of forging a letter from the DPP in relation to the investigation of a priest accused of sexual abuse.

A detective has been acquitted of forging a letter from the DPP in relation to the investigation of a priest accused of sexual abuse.

Det Gda Catherine McGowan (48), of Bray Garda Station, had pleaded not guilty to one count of forgery on January 15, 2009 at Bray Garda Station and two counts of using a false instrument at Bray and at Harcourt Street Garda Station between June 21 and 22, 2011.

The instrument was alleged to have been a letter from the office of the DPP, dated January 14, 2009.

VERDICTS

After a 14-day trial, a jury returned unanimous verdicts of not guilty on all three counts. Judge Mary Ellen Ring said it had been a "not an easy trial".

The State alleged that Det McGowan had forged the letter to "hoodwink" gardai who were reviewing whether she had acted properly in investigating allegations of sexual abuse by a priest of a teenage girl.

The investigation of her handling of the case was prompted by the publication of the Murphy Report which looked into clerical sexual abuse in the Dublin area.

The priest in Gda McGowan's case was mentioned in the report.

The detective had repeatedly denied forging the letter to cover up the fact she had failed to complete a sex abuse investigation.

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