Raonaid garda wins appeal on family's protest
A garda who acted as a liaison officer with the family of murdered teenager Raonaid Murray has won an appeal halting disciplinary proceedings for allegations of discreditable behaviour.
It was alleged that Garda Ian Gillen urinated on a tree at the scene of the killing and drove the dead girl's sister Sarah and pals home from a nightclub after he had drunk alcohol.
Garda Gillen (50), of Kill O'The Grange Garda Station, was subjected to internal disciplinary proceedings after a complaint from the Murray family.
It was deemed inadmissible by the Garda Complaints Board in May 2004 because the complaint had not been made within six months of the date of the alleged breaches of discipline.
Mr Justice William McKechnie, on behalf of the three-judge Supreme Court, yesterday ruled the garda disciplinary regulations required that any investigation into breaches must be carried out expeditiously.
This had not been done in this case and the court was therefore allowing Garda Gillen's appeal.
Given the role gardai play in society, and which the public play in supporting the force, it was critical for all concerned that the mere suggestion of misconduct should be dealt with expeditiously, he said.
"Clouds of suspicion, mistrust and uncertainty cannot be let gather," he said.
Garda Gillen was appointed as liaison officer with the Murray family after their daughter Raonaid was murdered in a laneway in on September 4, 1999. Ms Murray (17) died after receiving several stab wounds to her side, chest and shoulder in an attack near her home at Silchester Park, Glenageary, just before midnight.
Though there were 12 arrests in the investigation, no one has ever been charged to this day.
It was alleged Garda Gillen breached garda discipline by driving Raonaid's sister Sarah, cousin Audrey Territ and friend Jane Bridgeman from Baker's Corner pub to the Club Bar in Dalkey having consumed a number of pints of beer.
It was further alleged that Garda Gillen, in the presence of Ms Bridgeman, urinated on a tree at the scene where the crime allegedly took place.