Hope that DNA advances may help solve Hannan murder case

Alan Hannan at his son' Jeffrey's grave.

by David Raleigh


SHORTLY before the 14th anniversary of his son’s murder, Alan Hannan met with Limerick gardaí for an update on the internal investigation into the killing.

19-year-old Jeffrey Hannan, who had no involvement in crime, was beaten to death with a hatchet on a green in Southill, on November 22, 2007.

The Garda review team, comprising a senior investigating officer and three detectives, has been liaising with Forensic Science Ireland in relation to examining items of evidence, in the hope that recent advances in DNA technology might yield a fresh lead in the case.

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A separate investigation by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman (GSOC) is examining claims that a retired detective Garda withheld a witness statement about who was behind the killing from the investigation team.

A disciplinary board heard allegations that the detective, who was not involved in the Hannan murder investigation, withheld the witness statement in a bid to shield an informant.

The disciplinary inquiry was also investigating a claim that another Garda was aware of this.

The detective retired while appealing the findings of the inquiry, thus ending the disciplinary process, as it only applies to serving members of the force.

Most GSOC investigations also cease if a Garda under investigation retires, however GSOC are now examining the findings of the internal inquiry.

A GSOC spokesperson explained that if an offence is allegedly committed by a Garda while they are a serving member, “a criminal investigation would be conducted by GSOC under Section 98 of the Garda Síochána Act”.

A second internal Garda probe into an allegation that the detective interfered with the murder case also ended when the detective retired.

Earlier this year, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris ordered Assistant Commissioner Michael Finn to re-examine the allegations against the retired detective.

A/C Finn has been liaising with the senior investigating team who were sanctioned by Chief Superintendent Gerry Roche, head of the local Garda division, to review the Hannan investigation.

Alan Hannan said: “All I want is justice for Jeffrey, after he was beaten to death his body was dumped on a green near to where we were living at the time in O’Malley Park.”

“Jeffrey was an innocent victim, as innocent as Shane Geoghegan, or Roy Collins, but unlike the investigations in their killings, his case has not being solved and the allegations against this retired detective have shocked our family to the core,” added Mr Hannan.

Shane Geoghegan, who played rugby with Garryowen, was gunned down near his home in Dooradoyle by members of the Dundon drugs gang in a case of mistaken identity on November 9, 2008.

Businessman Roy Collins, was shot dead at his Coin Castle amusements premises at Roxboro Shopping Centre on April 9, 2009, as revenge for his family giving evidence against members of the Dundon gang in another criminal trial.

Gardaí said they do not comment on internal investigations, while GSOC said it was not commenting as the investigations were ongoing.