herald

Wednesday 17 January 2018

Gun victim's family insist attacker could have been stopped before shootings

Sean Phillips and his wife Norma outside Leinster House
Sean Phillips and his wife Norma outside Leinster House

The father of a woman seriously injured by her partner, in the same incident in which a garda was shot dead, has appealed to the Government for a full public inquiry into the shocking events.

Garda Tony Golden was shot dead and Siobhan Phillips critically wounded by her partner Adrian Crevan Mackin, who then killed himself at the couple's home in Omeath, Co Louth, on October 10, 2015.

Sean Phillips (49) said his daughter and Gda Golden would not have been shot if the killer had been arrested the previous day for beating up Siobhan.

Mr Phillips and his wife Norma (45) visited Leinster House in Dublin yesterday to appeal to TDs and senators to back his family's demand for a public inquiry into all matters leading up to the double shooting.

He was introduced to politicians at Leinster House at a meeting chaired by Louth TD and Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams and appealed to them to demand a public inquiry.

The domestic violence and death threat complaints made by Siobhan should have been acted upon immediately by gardai, who should have arrested Crevan and prevented the horrific shootings, he said.

The family also wants to know why the killer was bailed on a charge of membership of a terrorist organisation when he had pleaded guilty to possession of firearms and explosives but had not been charged.

Mr Phillips added that the family had no confidence that the Garda Ombudsman's investigation would be sufficient to reveal all relevant information.

Mr Adams said his party would be seeking cross-party support for a public inquiry.

Fianna Fail TD Ray MacSharry was among a number of Oireachtas members who spoke in support of the family's wishes.

The Phillips family is also planning to launch legal proceedings against the Irish State, the Garda Commissioner, and the Justice Minister.

Statement

Siobhan has been recovering but is blind in one eye and has been left with a lifelong brain injury.

Gda Golden was shot dead by Mackin in October 2015 after accompanying Siobhan on a visit to her home to retrieve her personal property after she had made a statement to gardai.

Mackin shot Siobhan four times, including in the forehead. He then turned the gun on himself.

Mr Phillips said he had remained outside the house in his car and he was "frozen" at the sound of the gunshots.

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