Murdered Garda Golden wrote dossier on depleting Garda resources

Notes outline how remote areas in Cooley, Co Louth left without cars and personnel

Murdered Garda Tony Golden had two years ago written a dossier for a residents group in the Co Louth community where he lived and was murdered expressing concern about Garda resources being reduced there.

The document, written by the murdered man for the Cooley Peninsula Community Alert Group in October 2013, was intended to brief them as they campaigned for more resources in the wake of the murder of Det Garda Adrian Donohoe in the area in January of that year.

He expressed concern that the investigation into Det Garda Donohoe's murder at Lordship Credit Union on the Co Louth peninsula was stretching already depleted Garda resources in the area.

Garda Golden also outlined how resources had fallen in the area between 2009 and 2013; from 152 personnel to 133.


He noted the 21 per cent reduction did not include those “working full-time on the (Donohoe) murder investigation and members from the crime unit working part time on the murder investigation”.

As Garda resources were falling, the population of Louth had increased by 10.5 per cent between 2006 and 2011 according the census results, he said.

Basic policing service

Among his other concerns in the document were:

- A fear that increased overtime in 2013 in the area had only been made available because of the Donohoe murder and would be scaled back in 2014.

- Resources were so short that Garda members were unable to take days off or take annual leave.

- Fear of being unable to provide a basic policing service in Louth was resulting in management refusing requests for holiday leave.

- Cars assigned to the Omeath and Carlingford sub districts had been used in Dundalk because of a vehicle shortage there, leaving remote areas with a vehicle shortage.

- Policing on the Cooley peninsula was regularly depleted by the need to transfer members based there to Dundalk to provide cover for lunch breaks, League of Ireland soccer matches and visits by VIPs.

- This meant the area was policed by gardaí based in Dundalk, who were 30 minutes away by car and had no local knowledge of the area.

The Cooley community group said Garda Golden had prepared the points for its members ahead of them meeting with then minister for justice Alan Shatter.

A spokesman for the group told The Irish Times it had decided to publish the material now in the hope more resources would be provided and a Garda member would never be murdered there again.

Garda Golden was shot dead on Sunday, October 11th, as he brought Siobhan Phillips, a 22-year-old mother of two, to her home in the Mullach Álainn estate near Omeath.

She was there to collect personal items because she was fleeing her partner, Adrian Crevan Mackin (24), who was beating her.

Mackin shot Ms Philips in the house and she has been fighting for her life in hospital for the past fortnight. Mackin then shot dead Garda Golden, the 36-year-old father of three, who lived in nearby Blackrock, before turning the gun on himself.

He had been charged with an organisation styling itself the IRA in January but was freed in bail by the Special Criminal Court pending trial.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times