Publication of the Report of the MacLochlainn Commission of Investigation
20 December 2018
The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, has today published the final report of the Commission of Investigation into the fatal shooting of Mr Ronan MacLochlainn by members of An Garda Síochána (“the MacLochlainn Commission”).
The Commission was established in August 2014 to undertake a thorough investigation of the fatal shooting of Mr Ronan MacLochlainn by members of the Garda Síochána in the course of an attempted armed robbery of a Securicor van in Co. Wicklow in May 1998. The Commission was established under the Commissions of Investigation Act 2004. Mary Rose Gearty SC was the Sole Member of the Commission.
The Commission in its report found that the shooting of Mr MacLochlainn was justified. However it found serious deficiencies in the Garda investigation of the shooting, as well as in relation to record keeping, the disclosure of information, and other matters.
The report notes a range of developments since the events in question, including in particular the establishment of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC), which would have responsibility for investigating any comparable incident if it were to happen today.
Speaking today, Minister Flanagan said: “I am pleased to today publish the full and final report of the MacLochlainn Commission of Investigation and am grateful to the sole member, Mary Rose Gearty SC, for the comprehensive report produced. We must acknowledge all those who have been affected by these events – the partner, family and friends of Mr MacLochlainn, as well as the Garda members involved and the members of the public who witnessed these events. I hope that the full investigation carried out by the Commission and its clear findings will bring a degree of closure to all concerned.”
The Report of the MacLochlainn Commission of Investigation can be found on the website of the Department of Justice and Equality at http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/MacLochlainn_Commission_of_Investigation_Final_Report.pdf/Files/MacLochlainn_Commission_of_Investigation_Final_Report.pdf
Notes to Editors
The Commission was established in August 2014 by the Government by way of the Commission of Investigation (Ronan MacLochlainn) Order 2014 (SI No. 346 of 2014).
It was tasked with undertaking a thorough investigation of the fatal shooting of Mr Ronan MacLochlainn by members of the Garda Síochána in the course of an attempted armed robbery of a Securicor van in Co. Wicklow on 1 May 1998. Mary Rose Gearty, SC, was the Sole Member of the Commission.
The Commission was established following an application to the European Court of Human Rights by Gráinne Nic Gibb, the partner of Mr MacLochlainn, on the basis that the Garda investigation into his death had not satisfied the requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Commission of Investigation was established in settlement and striking out of that application, with the European Court of Human Rights agreeing this was an appropriate method by which to vindicate the rights of the family and of the public.
The Minister for Justice and Equality is obliged under of the Commissions of Investigation Act 2004 to publish the report of the Commission, provided such publication would not prejudice criminal proceedings pending or in progress. To ensure no such prejudice, the Minister consulted prior to publication with the Office of the Attorney General, the Director of Public Prosecutions and An Garda Síochána.
Having concluded that consultation process, the report was brought to Government this week.
The full report is available on the website of the Department at www.justice.ie