The government have not heard the last of this man.His fight is only beginning.Bertie Ahern will rue the day he participated in the whitewash. He thinks handing it to a costly Tribunal will keep it at bay.It may.But it will come back to haunt the Soldiers of Destiny.The people will pay over and over again in legal fees as the state/Fianna Fail administration endeavour to defend the indefensible.To shield the guilty.A few early retirements for the crooked cops. We wish the McBrearty family success in their fight for justice, full exposure, and long overdue reform of the Garda Siochana. It is only the beginning of a long struggle .Frank will not rest until the republic of Ireland has an Independent police Ombudsman with full independence and investagative powers as has our Northern Ireland equivalent.He is going to the high Court and to the European Court of human rights if necessary to ensure that no irish citizen will ever again have to re-live his experience at the hands of a corrupt police force. Nothing but nothing changes under a Fianna Fail Government.This issue must also be made part of the next election campaign,and a commitment received from would be coalitionists or whatever ,to amend the law if they are elected.
Training school for scoundrels.?
FURTHER IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENTS;NOVEMBER 2005. A meeting was hosted by frank McBrearty,in Dublin (November 2005).Frank was recently handed one million five hundred thousand Euros of taxpayers money by Fianna Fail,in an out of court settlement,as a result of wrongful imprisonment by corrupt Gardai. The central agenda of the meeting was corruption in politics,and the Gardai. Frank Connolly who recently set up "The centre for Public Enquiry", was present.This new entity is an organization funded by wealthy american philanthropist Chuck Feeny,s charity; " Atlantic Philanthropy" and it,s purpose is to investigate all aspects of corruption which permeates the structure of irish politics,- particularly the current party in office. He announced that he is struck when he attends these meetings at the "vast number of people deeply hurt by agencies of the state....and the avalanche of allegations against the judiciary , the gardai etc.." His group, the "Centre for Public Inquiry", is actually inundated with so many cases that he now realises that they simply don't have the resources to deal with them. Instead of talking further about the "so called Irish justice system" he outlined his history of digging up corruption in the planning system and highlighted the story of Tom Gilmartin. Gilmartin has alledged that his life was ruined by a combination of some powerful Irish businessmen, Ireland's largest bank, the UK inland revenue and, Connolly pointed out, there are even allegations about two taoisigh and "a [sic!] serving taoiseach".
Aisling Reidy of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties,stated that she has been endeavouring to highlight the fact that over the course of the life of the ICCL the gardai and state agencies are actually getting more and more draconian powers despite all the evidence that has emerged since the Sallins case of the gardai abusing those powers. This she feels is because the majority of people still need to be persuaded that this abuse of power is the main problem. They in fact are heavily influenced by the media highlighting of things like gang warfare, which is what happens when the "government constantly plays the politics of fear".
Dan Boyle TD
He talked about the difficulties of holding the system to account and he offered his services to help out a new independent movement that would challenge the corruption.
A gentleman named Joe Mooney ,among many others, spoke on behalf of the Mulhall family of Dublin city)
Jimmy and the rest of this family were prominent anti-drugs campaigners and for this reason they have faced 10 years of constant harassment from the gardai. They were constantly stopped, strip searched etc (to look for drugs on a family that was campaigning against them). Jimmy was beaten up in garda stations ("unrecognisable when he came out") and incredibly his 10 year old son Wayne was stopped and searched. Wayne has now had non stop harassment as well since this time, for example he was beaten up at one point by the gardai repetitively banging a car door against him. The family are at their wits end. All the local politicians know all about this harassment but still it doesn't stop and this family know of this kind of thing happening to other families all over the city.
Report queries how addict was charged with double killings
CONTROVERSY over low standards in the gardai escalated September 2006.
It came as Garda Commissioner Noel Conroy yesterday bluntly rejected damning evidence from the Morris Tribunal of widespread insubordination and indiscipline in the force.
In his first public comment on the Morris report, the garda chief said it was inevitable in an organisation of 12,500 members that some personnel would perform below the necessary high standards.
He said those breaches of discipline were being tackled and rejected claims of widespread indiscipline and insubordination in his force.
However, another scathing indictment of garda procedures emerged last night - this time in a report into a controversial murder investigation.
The 198-page report, which was compiled by senior counsel George Birmingham, examined how 24-year-old heroin addict Dean Lyons could have falsely confessed to the murders of two psychiatric patients, using details known only to the killer and gardai.
Last night Labour leader Pat Rabbitte said the public would find it difficult to accept that a heroin addict who attended a special school "could have outwitted three teams of experienced Garda interrogators".
He said they would be puzzled by Mr Lyons' ability to "deduce details that could only have been known to the killer from questions put to him".
And Dean Lyons' parents expressed their disappointment at the report's finding that there was no "deliberate attempt" to frame their son.
The report concluded "it was difficult to understand" and "even harder to justify" how Lyons, who was borderline mentally-handicapped, was charged with the murders.
It also found that gardai had not attempted to frame Lyons but should have taken doubts expressed by junior colleagues about his confession more seriously.
Mr Rabbitte said the report provided further evidence of the need for "far more fundamental reform of the gardai than either the minister or the Commissioner have shown any appetite for so far".
And Independent TD Tony Gregory said the report had "dismally failed" to give a proper explanation as to how Lyons had crucial information about a murder he did not commit.
Dean Lyon's mother Sheila asked: "If there was no deliberate attempt, then how did he know everything that was going on?"
She said the conclusion was contradictory in also finding that Dean had been asked "inappropriate leading questions".
Justice Minister Michael McDowell said the report was the first of its kind to be published.
He said the Commission's work had been completed in less than six months at a cost of under €1m.
Meanwhile, Garda Commissioner Noel Conroy rejected claims of widespread indiscipline and insubordination in the force, despite the damning evidence in three reports from the Morris Tribunal.
But he accepted the findings had hurt the standing of the gardai in the eyes of the public. Giving his first public response to the Morris Tribunal findings, Mr Conroy admitted there were problems outside of the Donegal division and that there had been a systems failure within the gardai during the late 1990s which meant the management of the force had not detected wrongdoings until a late stage. He was satisfied a similar failure could not occur now.
Grainne Cunningham and Paul Melia (Irish Independent)
September 2005;Congratulations to Frank.It's getting too near election time for Bertie to meet Frank in the public courts.A shrewd move by an Taoiseach-the cutest of them all...
The Department of Justice has confirmed that Frank McBrearty junior has settled all claims with the state for a sum of €1.5million.
The settlement relates to four claims, two in the name of Mr McBrearty, one in the name of his wife and one joint claim.
Some 47 high court actions by members of the extended Mr McBrearty family had been due to commence on October 18th. The claims relate to alleged malicious prosecution, wrongful arrest, planting of evidence and false arrest.
State lawyers conceded liability for damages to McBrearty junior in June last.
The Morris Tribunal found that members of the Gardai attempted to frame 36 year old Mr McBrearty and his cousin, Mark McConnell for the murder of Richie Barron in October 1996. Five pathologists have subsequently stated that Mr. Barron died as a result of a hit and run accident. Case closed. Phew..narrow escape Bertie.!
A KEY witness walked out of the Morris Tribunal in November 2006 vowing to sell his business to fight his case in the High Court.
Nightclub-owner Frank McBrearty Senior stormed out of the witness box after several heated exchanges with tribunal chairman Justice Frederick Morris and barristers.
Demands from the Donegal publican, wrongly arrested 10 years ago in a botched murder probe, drew robust responses from Mr Justice Morris who moved to defend his independence from the State.
The retired High Court judge said he would not be blackmailed or held to ransom by Mr McBrearty Snr, who insisted five conditions be met before he handed over evidence and continued with cross-examination.
Mr Justice Morris said he will consider whether to go to the High Court to compel Mr McBrearty Snr to cooperate, or send a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions on the case.
Mr McBrearty Snr had earlier revoked his permission for the tribunal to take documents in the hands of his solicitors. He outlined five demands he wanted met before releasing the material.
These included access to papers relating four Dublin-based detectives involved in his arrest, a number of Garda reports and investigations and that his legal team be guaranteed costs.
Mr Justice Morris pointed out he had no power to meet the final demand. "You know that I do not have power to make that order," he said.
Mr McBrearty Snr remarked there were several people at the hearings into garda corruption representing the State, including the tribunal itself, as it was "paid for by the chequebook of the State".
The comment provoked a strong backlash from the chairman who said: "Well you are very wrong there Mr McBrearty. I can assure you no judge is part of the State."
"I'm not working for the State. I'm working for the public," he said.
The hearings were disrupted again when George Birmingham SC, representing a number of gardai, began cross-examining the witness. Mr McBrearty Snr refused to answer any further questions until his demands were met and left the witness stand.
The hearings were adjourned until tomorrow afternoon when Mr Justice Morris will rule on what action the tribunal will take against the witness.
Mr McBrearty Snr was arrested on December 5, 1996, under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act, by officers investigating the death of Raphoe cattle dealer Richie Barron.
His son and nephew were also arrested as prime suspects in the murder case, but it was later found that Mr Barron died in a hit-and-run collision and the family were innocent of any involvement in his death.
The tribunal is presently investigating 12 wrongful arrests during the case.
Brian Hutton (Irish Independent)
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FRANK McBrearty Jnr has had one helluva decade. Since being wrongly accused of murder 10 years ago, the Donegal publican has had to fight like a dog for justice and truth. But events last week make one wonder if he knows when to give it a rest.
On Tuesday, McBrearty walked out of the Morris tribunal (for the fourth time), when a solicitor, acting for a garda who questioned the publican in 1996, got under his skin. The current sub-module of the Morris tribunal is to decide, specifically, if McBrearty and others were mistreated in detention.
The publican faces a rake of lawyers, but is without counsel himself. Solicitor Tom Murphy suggested to him that he had "told lies" about a particular document, and that McBrearty's father had also lied "for 10 years".
Mr Justice Frederick Morris informed Murphy that his reference to McBrearty's father had "really nothing to do" with the present witness. But McBrearty Jnr was far less polite, calling the solicitor a "f***ing asshole".
"Please stop that. That is disgraceful, to be using language like that," said the judge.
When Judge Morris said the "shouting" did not impress him in the slightest, McBrearty shot back: "I don't care what impresses you. I am here trying to defend myself."
He added, before walking out: "I'm telling you now, I'm taking no more of this. Without having a legal team to cross-examine them. Not another thing."
Judge Morris acknowledged that the witness was "under a considerable amount of pressure", and gave him a chance to return to give evidence the next day. McBrearty did not come back, inconveniencing the tribunal and possibly costing the taxpayer money. He has evaded some questions and wildly made accusations against people in court. His mother also became emotional in the witness box last week.
One reason that McBrearty is under pressure is that he has not been allowed the sort of ongoing legal aid that ordinary members of the public might hope for, if they found themselves in his position - framed for murder and under heavy cross-examination at a tribunal.
He has already been awarded some substantial legal costs, but the Government will not burden the public purse by permitting demands for legal assistance to be met in advance.
Using language that would normally not be tolerated by a judge, and that might land a court witness in jail for contempt, McBrearty said to one lawyer on Tuesday: "I'm f***ing telling you now, don't you f***ing accuse me ever again of making a confession, because I'll tell you now, I'm not f***ing frightened of one of you c***s in here. I'm sitting in here with no lawyers or nothing and no redress or anything to cross-examine, I wouldn't have a problem if I was allowed to cross-examine with the same legal representation as the Garda Commissioner and the Minister for Justice have."
Judge Morris has been sensitive to the fact that McBrearty has no counsel of his own present, to guide and watch over him at every turn.
Following McBrearty's latest walk-out, Judge Morris told those left behind that, "It's been suggested to me and hinted to me that I have been 'I'm f***ing telling you now, don't you f***ing accuse me ever again of making a confession. I'm not f***ing frightened of one of you c***s'
over-generous to Mr McBrearty, in the way that he has been treated, and that I have given him far too much leniency, to the extent that it has certainly come up against or bordered on unfairness to the people, the persons against whom he is making allegations."
He added: "I am conscious of that. I tried to avoid, obviously, drawing any conclusion in my mind as to what exactly Mr McBrearty is attempting to achieve by the wholesale abuse that he has given to everybody who has tried to transact the business of the tribunal with him."
But the judge is right to give McBrearty leeway, even if McBrearty is not behaving as he should. For the fact remains that Judge Morris has already found that some gardai did act very wrongly in McBrearty's case, overall. Such wrongdoing injured Frank McBrearty Jnr and his family. Equally important, it brought the gardai into disrepute, and highlighted significant weaknesses in a police force that should be focused efficiently on dealing with the real and serious crimes of organised gangs.
Like other tribunal chairmen, Morris has managed to highlight crucial flaws in Irish society, that the State and its politicians still seem unable to remedy fully. And it is easy to understand Frank McBrearty's frustration and outbursts when one recalls, even very briefly, the chief aspects of what happened to him when Richie Barron was killed in Donegal in the early hours of October 14, 1996, in what the evidence now points to as a hit-and-run road traffic accident.
The Morris tribunal has already found that from the moment Barron's death was reported the responding gardai were negligent in their investigation in many ways. Apparently, based on groundless local rumours, and speculation passed on to the gardai by an informant, a murder inquiry was launched.
The gardai were consumed by the notion that Frank McBrearty Jnr and Mark McConnell were guilty, when, in fact, there had been no murder, and the two men were completely innocent. Evidence to the contrary was rejected. In what the Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell, has described as "a deeply troubling finding" by Judge Morris, it was revealed in 2005 that certain gardai, who were interviewing a local man in connection with an unrelated offence, coerced him into making a statement that he had seen McBrearty near the scene of the accident at a critical time.
"In fact," as Minister McDowell pointed out, "this alleged witness was not even in Raphoe on the night of the death of Mr Barron, and the statement was fraudulent." Morris has already found that any cross-checking of this statement by other gardai would have revealed it for the fraud that it was, but such cross-checking was not done.
As a result of this statement, Frank McBrearty Jnr and others were arrested.
Judge Morris found, in his second published report, that there were elements within the Garda who set out to frame McBrearty for murder, and that the investigation was prejudiced and negligent in the highest degree.
Following publication of that report in 2005, Frank McBrearty Jnr settled certain claims against the State. These amounted to €1.5m, and related to malicious prosecution, as well as wrongful and false arrest.
It seems wrong that McBrearty has not been furnished with counsel at all times, in the interests of decorum and justice. He might then be obliged more easily to behave in a restrained and coherent fashion by answering reasonable, if provocative, questions, and by helping Judge Morris to come to the conclusions that the public needs to hear.
Whatever its justification, the failure to provide effectively for such representation has hampered the tribunal in doing its important job.
Colum Kenny(Irish Independent) Jan 2007
Mysterious hit & run death in Lucan March 2007 Possible garda involvement.
DEREK O'Toole used his experience from his courageous battle with childhood leukaemia to help others struggling with the disease.
His distraught parents, Derek Snr and Christine, yesterday agreed that everyone adores their children, but in this case the label "model son" really did apply to their beloved son.
Fighting back tears, Christine spoke about her son's painful battle with illness and his voluntary work on behalf of others.
They stressed that Derek had never been in trouble in his life.
"He loved life and he loved people. The other one thing he loved was where I work, the Family Centre, where he did voluntary work," Mrs O'Toole said.
"He has never come to the attention of the gardai, absolutely never at any stage has he been involved with the gardai, either good, bad or indifferent.
"I know people say 'Ah, sure, his mother's son, she would say that about him', but I can honestly say he was a model son."
Eighteen years after they worriedly sat by his bedside in Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin, the family were left seeking answers into how their son met his death on the main street in Dublin's Lucan.
Mystery still surrounds how the 24-year-old from Clondalkin in west Dublin came to be run over by a car driven by an off-duty garda in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Mrs O'Toole told how Derek used his experiences from his long stints in the Crumlin hospital - where he twice battled childhood leukaemia and underwent a painful bone marrow transplant - to ease others through their illness. He also suffered cataracts in both eyes and appendicitis.
"My work colleagues came this morning and my boss actually said 'You make sure that people know the voluntary work that he done for people, and that he was a giver, he was loved by everybody'," Mrs O'Toole said.
"His involvement in life was to look after people and help them. That is the way Derek was. He had never ever touched drugs or been in trouble in his life."
He gave his time to the group CanTeen Ireland supporting young cancer sufferers, as well as fundraising for the local family support group in Clondalkin.
Mrs O'Toole said that after suffering leukaemia at six and the bone marrow transplant at eight, Derek was left with a dread of needles.
After fearing they would lose him during his lengthy battle with illness, the family said they never expected him to die this way.
Derek, who was the middle child in the family, has an older sister Sharon and a younger brother David.
His parents said they have been looking for answers about the garda investigation ever since they received the dreaded 6am phone call from a nurse to tell them he was lying in Blanchardstown hospital.
The family said they were told that a taxi driver discovered him on the side of the road in the early hours of the morning and that he was rushed to hospital, where he died hours later.
They are demanding an "honest and open" investigation into how he died.
"He has a family that know nothing about the case, know nothing about what is happening and who are listening to it all on the radio only," Mrs O'Toole said.
The family knew he had been out socialising with a friend until around 4am on Sunday before travelling to Lucan in a taxi to ensure that a barmaid from a pub in the area arrived home safely.
Mrs O'Toole spoke of the family's annoyance after two garda inspectors failed to tell her that a man arrested near the scene was a garda. She said that an inspector said a man had been breathalysed and was found to be under the legal limit.
"And that was the last I heard about any arrests or anything else," she told RTE radio.
Louise Hogan irish Independent