The Justice Clarke Inquiry
In June 2015, the Minister for Justice and Equality initiated an inquiry in accordance with Section 109 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005. The decision arose following public concern after the tragic death of Sergeant Michael Galvin. Sergeant Galvin had been the subject of a GSOC investigation into Garda interaction with Ms. Sheena Stewart who died after a road traffic incident on 1 January 2015. Mr. Justice Frank Clarke of the Supreme Court conducted the inquiry. The report was received in the Department of Justice and Equality on 4 May 2016.
A copy of the report was forwarded to Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) in accordance with section 109 (6) of the Act. A number of legal issues arose in relation to publication of the full report. In June 2016, part 1 of the report was published on the website of the Department. A link to the full report is included below.
As the legal issues have now been resolved, the Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan T.D., has decided to publish the report with some minor redactions to remove references to a party unconnected with the events or the inquiry.
Mr Justice Clarke’s report includes a summary timeline of the key dates that he considered of relevance to the remit of the Inquiry.
On page 15 of the report it is stated:-
“1/6/15: DDI Wright is informed by An Garda Síochána that the Galvin family have been contacted by Greg Harkin who has told them the investigation had been discontinued 10 days before Sgt Galvin’s death”.
Subsequent to the publication of an extract of the Report by the Minister on 17 June 2016, Mr Justice Clarke wrote to the Minister to inform her that Mr Greg Harkin, a journalist, had pointed out that the relevant 10 day period was a period ending on 1 June 2015, and not the date of Sgt Galvin’s death (28 May 2015).
Mr Justice Clarke, while stating that this error does not materially affect the Report, asked that the matter be clarified in the context of any further publication.
The Minister is happy to provide this clarification.
Department of Justice and Equality