Garda free after jury is split in fraud trial
THE JURY in the trial of a Dublin-based garda facing corruption charges has failed to reach a verdict.
Brendan Folan (32), of Mount Anville Wood, Lower Kilmacud Road in Dublin 14, had been charged with issuing a false driving licence to his brother.
This is the second time a jury has failed to reach a verdict in this case. A previous trial was held over three days in November of last year but resulted in the same outcome.
Brendan Folan, who is originally from Connemara, in Co Galway, pleaded not guilty to the charges when he was arraigned at Galway Circuit Criminal Court.
The 32-year-old garda could have faced up to 10 years' imprisonment if he had been found guilty.
The incident allegedly occurred more than five years ago. Garda Brendan Folan was charged with corruptly obtaining an advantage for his brother by issuing him with a 10-year licence.
It was alleged that Brendan Folan issued a false driving licence in 2006 to his brother.
Brendan Folan was at that time a clerical officer employed at the driving licence section of Galway Co Council, where he worked from 2001 to 2007. He subsequently left the council and joined the garda. The incident allegedly occurred on September 13, 2006.
Following a two-day trial, which concluded late on Wednesday evening, a jury failed to reach a verdict.
The driving licence in question should only have been issued on the production of a certificate of competency to drive from An Garda Siochana.
During the trial, Chief Supt John Grogan told Galway Circuit Criminal Court that the defendant's brother stated in a transfer application form he had completed a driving competency course in 2003, which entitled him to drive personnel carriers.
But it was claimed he had been deemed incompetent to drive a personnel carrier.
Council worker Eileen Keaveney said a copy of the application which should have been submitted was never found. The defence stated that the prosecution had failed to prove Garda Brendan Folan had actually issued the licence.