Thursday 20 October 2016

Commissioner meets widow of suicide garda


Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan has welcomed a judicial review into the tragic death of Michael Galvin.

Sgt Galvin, a 45-year-old father-of-three, took his own life 10 days ago at Ballyshannon Garda Station in Donegal.

The Commissioner travelled to Manorhamilton in Co Leitrim to meet with his widow, Collette Galvin, and other relatives who had demanded a judicial inquiry into her husband's death.

Relationships between the service and the Garda Ombudsman (GSOC) are at such an all-time low that many gardai said they were "relieved" GSOC were no longer involved in the investigation into their colleague's death.

Later, Ms O'Sullivan told a packed meeting of Donegal gardai that she welcomed what she called "a completely transparent" investigation into Sgt Galvin's death.

She told gardai she was there to support them and said she knew what they were going through. "We are the garda family and we stick together as the garda family," she said.


Sgt Paul Wallace, a representative for the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) and a friend of Sgt Galvin, said the visit by the Commissioner had been important.

"The guards here in this station and this division are grieving, but more than that there is a family grieving - and that's what our focus has been all along this past week," he said.

"It has been a very tough week for Collette and the family and a very tough week for all of us, but now there is a judicial investigation, we can at least draw breath and let that take its course.

"There has to be some legacy to Mick who was just a man doing his job and who didn't do anything wrong," he added.

A High Court or Supreme Court judge will lead the inves tigation, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said on Thursday.

The national executive of the AGSI moved its monthly meeting to Ballyshannon yesterday as a mark of respect.

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