Civil liberties body calls for publication of Carty report

 

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has called for the immediate publication of the Carty report, and for the extension of the terms of reference of the Morris Tribunal into the activities of certain Donegal gardaí.

"Even after the first two days of the tribunal it is clear that allegations of Garda involvement in the most serious type of wrongdoing were recorded by the Carty inquiry, set up by the Garda Commissioner himself over two years ago," said Mr Liam Herrick, research officer of the ICCL.

"The decision by Commissioner Byrne to withhold the results of his own internal Garda investigation and instead to allow them to 'drip down' day after day at the tribunal is incredible. The commissioner has never offered a reasonable justification as to why this report, and indeed a long line of other internal reports, still sit on a shelf in his office and we now call on the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform to publish the Carty report."

A spokesman for the Minister said any decision on the publication of the Carty report lay with the Garda. The report, examining alleged Garda misconduct in Co Donegal, was prepared between February 1999 and May 2000 by Garda Assistant Commissioner Kevin Carty.

A Garda spokesman said the Carty report was an unpublished report, the result of an extensive criminal investigation that went to the DPP. "We don't publish the reports we send to the DPP," said the spokesman.

"A number of people came before the courts as a result of that investigation," he added. "All matters investigated in that report are now the subject of the Morris Tribunal."

A spokesman for the DPP said his office had made its decisions arising from the Carty report, and a number of people had been prosecuted. "Anyone that was going to be prosecuted has been prosecuted," he said.

Sgt John White, whose alleged activities were described by Mr Peter Charleton SC at the Morris Tribunal on Tuesday, made his second appearance before Letterkenny District Court last Friday charged with the illegal possession of a firearm. He has pleaded not guilty.

He was charged with possession of the firearm at Burnfoot on May 22nd, 1998. This relates to the alleged "find" of a firearm at a Travellers camp that night in Burnfoot, as outlined by Mr Charleton.

When he appeared in Letterkenny District Court on Friday, Sgt White's solicitor, Mr Patrick Dorrian, sought an adjournment until January. He said he would be mounting a private prosecution against a garda whose statement in the book of evidence admitted a criminal offence. "Both matters will have to run together," he said.

Sgt White was remanded until December 6th.

The Morris Tribunal was adjourned for a day yesterday to permit other business to take place in Donegal courthouse. It will resume today when Mr Charleton resumes his outline of the investigation into the death on a Donegal roadside of cattle dealer Mr Ritchie Barron on October 6th, 1996.

On Tuesday the tribunal heard that there appeared to be "no co-ordination or overall responsibility taken" in the initial investigation of the death.