herald

Thursday 14 November 2019

Disgraced gardai are sacked from the force after being sent to jail

Eve Doherty has been sacked
Eve Doherty has been sacked

Two gardai who were jailed in separate cases have been sacked by the force.

According to a bulletin that was sent to members, the disgraced duo were "formally dismissed" on Wednesday of last week.

Former detective Eve Doherty (51) and former garda Joseph O'Connor (58) were both based in the capital during their lengthy careers.

It is understood they were both notified of their sackings by Garda HQ in recent weeks.

O'Connor was jailed for two years at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in February for possessing images and videos of children being subjected to sexual acts.

Violated

The west Dublin man had served as a garda for 25 years, mainly in the capital's north inner city.

Two images were found in a laptop's user file. Some of the images and videos were in his computer's recycle bin and some were in inaccessible parts of the computer, showing that they had previously been deleted.

Judge Elma Sheahan said the images found on the garda's laptop could not have been created without a child being violated unspeakably.

She pointed out that O'Connor still did not recognise his behaviour was wrong.

He had claimed a man who came to his house days before his laptop was seized in August 2011 had corrupted his computer.

Joseph O’Connor has also been sacked
Joseph O’Connor has also been sacked

He said he had never seen the material before. He denied downloading it and described it as "sick". A jury convicted him of child porn offences last November.

Judge Sheahan said that as a garda, O'Connor held a position that accorded him a degree of culpability at a high level.

Meanwhile, in a separate case, Eve Doherty walked free from jail in July after being imprisoned for harassing a State solicitor by sending abusive letters.

Doherty, of Blackglen Road, Sandyford, Dublin, had the balance of her three-year sentence suspended by the Court of Appeal during the summer.

Her 2017 trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that over an 18-month period, letters and emails were sent to the home and office of Elizabeth Howlin calling her "corrupt", an "incompetent useless hobbit" and a "two-faced b***h".

At the time, Ms Howlin worked with the Director of Public Prosecutions, where she was involved in deciding whether or not to direct prosecutions in criminal cases.

Doherty held the position of detective sergeant and worked in the crime and security division of An Garda Siochana.

The court heard that Ms Howlin did not know Doherty until the trial and that Doherty was then in a relationship with Ms Howlin's ex-partner.

Doherty was found guilty by a jury of harassing Ms Howlin between September 2011 and March 2013.

She had denied the charge, and was acquitted on two counts of making false statements.

Difficult

Sentencing Doherty to three years' imprisonment in January 2018, Judge Melanie Greally said the communications by Doherty contained outright and "scurrilous" lies.

They contained statements which were variously disparaging, insulting and offensive, both from a personal and professional manner.

Judge Greally noted that Doherty showed no remorse and had not acknowledged her wrongdoing.

Suspending the unserved balance of her 36-month sentence President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice George Birmingham said Doherty's first 12 months in custody were "exceptionally difficult".

As a female first-time offender of previous good character, Mr Justice Birmingham said she had served 20 months in a secure environment, the Dochas women's prison in Dublin.

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