Gogarty says inspector's statement was incorrect


A statement made to the Flood Tribunal by Insp Gerard Harrington of Raheny Garda station was incorrect, Mr James Gogarty told the tribunal yesterday.

Under cross-examination from Mr Garrett Cooney SC, for the Murphy group, Mr Gogarty said he gave evidence that he had never told Insp Harrington that he had handed £30,000 to Mr Ray Burke as part of a bribe to secure planning permission.

Mr Gogarty, who has given evidence only that he was present when Mr Joseph Murphy jnr gave the former minister £40,000, said he had not had any detailed conversations with Insp Harrington about the handing over of cash.

He said he had approximately six meetings with Insp Harrington's superior, Supt John McElligott, three of which were attended by Insp Harrington.

However, he maintained his discussions were "directly with Supt McElligott and Mr Harrington made no contribution". Mr Gogarty also said that no notes were taken until his sixth meeting with Supt McElligott, a meeting at which Insp Harrington was not present.

When it was put to him that Insp Harrington had made a statement to the tribunal alleging that Mr Gogarty had admitted handing £30,000 to Mr Burke, Mr Gogarty said: "That is not my recollection."

He did, however, acknowledge that he "was present and party to it".

Following a request for clarity from Mr Cooney, Mr Gogarty replied that while Insp Harrington was there when the payment was discussed, his statement was "incorrect, I have to say. I'm sorry I have to say it, incorrect".

Mr Gogarty said he had made a complaint about the conduct of Det Sgt Sherry over the decision not to prosecute Mr Joe Murphy jnr for intimidation, given what he thought was "clear evidence".

Later he sought a copy of Supt McElligott's notes of the meetings they had "so that we could incorporate them into a formal statement and check them", but they were not forthcoming.

"He got around giving it to me. He was assuring me that I would be happy with his investigation into the conduct of Det Sgt Sherry and I accepted that. His investigation was ongoing.

Mr Gogarty also said that Supt McElligott had described the notes as being not a statement but aidesmemoire.

Counsel for the tribunal, Mr John Gallagher, then said the statements provided by the gardai were not contemporaneous, but had been made for the purpose of facilitating the tribunal.

Mr Gogarty repeated that he had not directly told Insp Harrington anything, and again denied that he had said that he personally handed over £30,000.