Father of teenager beaten to death has “lost confidence” in 13-year old Garda investigation into son’s murder

Alan Hannan at the grave of his son, Jeffrey Hannan. Photo: Cian Reinhardt

THE father of an innocent teenager beaten to death with an axe has said he has “lost confidence” in the 13-year old garda investigation into his son’s murder.

Gardai have so far failed to charge anyone in connection with the killing of father of two, Jeffrey Hannan, (19), from Southill, on November 22, 2007.

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Two years ago, Alan Hannan, the dead youth’s father, sought a meeting with the Garda Commissioner Drew Harris, and is still awaiting a response.

Speaking on the Late Late Show two weeks ago, Commissioner Harris said he carries with him the “awful” trauma of his own father’s killing “everyday”.

RUC Superintendent Alwyn Harris, (51), was murdered in an IRA car bombing in 1989.

Commissioner Harris said he has “an empathy for those who have been the victims of serious crime, and spent a lot of my service overseeing murder investigations, and I always thought that was ‘our’ opportunity to give the person who was the victim, their last voice”.

“We in policing have an opportunity to give a victim, who might otherwise be silent, a voice, and actually an opportunity for justice,” Mr Harris added.

Mr Hannan said: “The Commissioner says he is there for people who don’t have a voice but he’s declined to meet me. He has written to me through his secretary telling me he has received my correspondence, that’s no good to me.”

“We want closure, we want somebody brought before a court and charged with Jeffrey’s murder. The gardai know who it is, I know, the whole of Limerick knows who did it and they’re walking the streets.”

Last November, Alan Hannan, made a formal complaint to the Limerick City Coroner, John McNamara that his son’s inquest had not yet been held.

The inquest was initially opened and adjourned in 2008 because of the ongoing Garda investigation.

Mr Hannan has received a letter from Limerick City Coroner, John McNamara, stating that he intends to list his son’s inquest for the next available sitting of the Coroner’s Court in 2021, however Mr McNamara said gardai have said they “will be seeking to adjourn the inquest”, because a peer review of the original garda murder investigation is still live.

The review of the 2007 murder probe is now nearly two years old and no new evidence has emerged, Mr Hannan said.

“I feel like I’m in Limbo, the whole family are. I feel like I’m just been pawned off for months on end in the hope that I’ll just go away, I’m fighting for justice for Jeffrey for over 13 years and I won’t go away,” Mr Hannan said.

In April 2014 he was contacted by a person claiming to be in possession of key information about the murder.

In March 2017 the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) informed Mr Hannan that gardai “fully investigated” this information — which led to the re-arrest and questioning of six people — however, “it was not possible to take the investigation further based upon the available evidence”, added the DPP.

A garda peer review of the murder probe was ordered in July 2019 and is continuing.

Despite 26 arrests, including the six re-arrests in 2014, gardai have been unable to press charges so far because they say they have insufficient evidence.

According to Mr Hannan, “the dogs on the street know who did it, and my family has to live with that everyday”.

Gardai met him last November and informed him they were hoping to have items, which were recovered from the 2007 murder scene, examined for DNA, but they said that this could take up to nine months.