first_imgThe Irish State has sensationally agreed to pay the court costs of Frank McBrearty and his family after discovering that gardai with-held vital information on their case, Donegal Daily can reveal.The State has agreed to pay the McBrearty family’s legal costs if they drop their Supreme Court appeal.The McBreartys were wrongly accused of being involved in the death of cattle dealer Richie Barron whose body was found on a roadside outside the village of Raphoe in 1996. The well-known family battled to clear their names but were met with a litany of Garda corruption.This resulted in the setting up of the Morris Tribunal 2002.It was arguably the single biggest judicial inquiry into allegations of Garda malpractice ever to have taken place in the history of the Irish State which eventually saw the McBreartys receive large compensation payments.However the fallout from the Morris Tribunal, which concluded in 2008, took another unexpected twist this week after the State agreed to pay the legal costs of both a previous High Court and Supreme Court Appeal taken by the McBrearty family.The costs of both appeals could run into hundreds of thousands of euro which the taxpayer will now foot the bill for.It comes just days after the resignation of former Minister for Justice Alan Shatter and the appointment of his successor Frances Fitzgerald.The decision by the State to pay the McBrearty family’s legal costs happened after it emerged that Gardaí had failed to disclose information to the court which may have influenced the court’s decision to rule against the appeal.Following a 2003 Judicial Review case taken by Frank McBrearty Snr in which the decision of the Tribunal not to provide legal aid for the McBrearty’s attendance at the Tribunal was constitutionally challenged, Judge Michael Peart ruled against the appeal.This ruling was later appealed to the Supreme Court by the McBrearty family.During the High Court challenge, and also for the duration of the Tribunal hearing both before and after the appeal, Gardaí failed to disclose during the course of proceedings that the case involving the death of Richie Barron – six weeks before the Tribunal even began – had been re-designated by An Garda Síochána as a ‘death by road traffic accident’.As the re-designation of the case into the death of Richie Barron was not revealed during the initial stages of the Morris Tribunal, nor were they disclosed to the High Court when the McBrearty’s appeal was heard in 2003, the full facts of the case were – as a result – not known by Judge Michael Peart.This, according to the McBreartys’ legal team, ultimately influenced Judge Michael Peart’s decision in ruling against the Donegal family’s High Court challenge.The McBrearty family then decided to appeal Judge Michael Peart’s High Court decision ruling to the Supreme Court.This challenge had only been listed for call over this week in the Supreme Court.However, following correspondence between the family’s legal team, Attorney General Ms Máire Whelan, as well as former Justice Minister Alan Shatter, the State conceded to the family’s demands over costs, asking the McBrearty family in return, to strike out the Supreme Court Appeal.Speaking following the decision by the State, Frank McBrearty Jnr, now a Donegal county councillor, said that he welcomed the State’s offer, but criticised the length of time in which it has taken for the matter to be brought to a satisfactory resolve.“Yet again my family and I have had the justice we deserve delayed; this is not only reprehensible but fundamentally wrong.”“The decision by the State highlights their complete unwillingness to see that justice is done and done promptly. After more than ten years since our initial High Court Appeal, in which we were dealt an injustice due to Garda corruption and deception, we as a family can finally close yet another chapter of our lives – one which we’d much rather forget.”Commenting further about this latest revelation to rock the force, Cllr Frank McBrearty blasted the behaviour of members of the gardaí involved in the High Court challenge whom he claims, wittingly withheld crucial information from the court proceedings, describing their actions as being ‘an insidious and despicable abuse of power’.“Important details were kept secret from Judge Michael Peart when presiding over our High Court Challenge and, had the re-designation been made known to the court then I have no doubt that this would not have resulted in the court’s ruling against us.”“An Garda Síochána not only misled the court, but they also misled the office of the Attorney General; had it been revealed that the case had in fact been re-designated as a hit and run, then the court could have been advised that we were no longer suspects in the death of Richie Barron and our names could have been completely vindicated.”In a further condemnation of An Garda Síochána, Cllr McBrearty claims the court was not only misled by the force’s failure to divulge the re-designation of the case, but also by the fact that the family’s legal team had their telephone conversations bugged, and that secret recordings from garda interrogation rooms were carried out while the McBrearty’s were being questioned over the death of Richie Barron.Cllr Frank McBrearty, who was the Mayor of Donegal last year, slammed the many failures which continue to plague the Irish Justice system.He has also called on the new Justice Minister Francis Fitzgerald, to reopen the inquest into the death of Richie Barron, in a final effort to grant closure to all those who were affected by the Raphoe man’s death.Moreover, Cllr Frank McBrearty yesterday (FRI) also called on the Minister to ensure that the many outstanding issues which remain following on from the closing of the Morris Tribunal now be included in the new commission of inquiry into Garda misconduct.“It’s my opinion that in order to bring this whole debacle to a close and to bring closure to everyone who has been deeply affected by Richie Barron’s death, I am calling on the Justice Minister to act now and reopen the inquest into this matter.”“It’s been almost eighteen years since Richie Barron’s death and today, there remains as many unanswered questions as ever.”“A threat to justice anywhere in Ireland is a threat to justice everywhere in Ireland.”The McBrearty family were wrongfully accused and arrested in 1996 over the death of Raphoe cattle dealer Richie Barron.Following one of the biggest public inquiries ever to have happened in Ireland, the family were eventually vindicated.However, despite this, the episode has profoundly affected the McBrearty family who have endured untold suffering and heartache as a result of erroneous conduct by certain members of An Garda Síochána.The decision by the Irish State not to pursue costs has brought to a close one of the last remaining chapters of the McBreartys’ long and unenviable quest for justice.Set up in 2002, the Morris Tribunal uncovered some of the gravest issues of Garda corruption and dishonest policing within the Donegal Division of An Garda Síochána.The Tribunal concluded almost six years ago, and despite promises by the then Government to implement a number of reforms within the Irish policing service, further questions over Garda malpractice continue to blight the force.STATE AGREES TO PAY McBREARTY COURT COSTS AFTER GARDAI WITHHOLD VITAL INFORMATION was last modified: May 16th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:court costsdonegalFrank McBreartyMorris Tribunallast_img

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