THE father of an innocent teenager murdered in Limerick 14 years ago said he feels “let down” by the State after several investigations into claims that a Garda failed to record information prevalent to his son’s murder have either run cold or have been abandoned.
It has emerged that the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) wrote to Alan Hannan on May 17 this year informing him that it was not in a position to continue its inquiries into the matter.
The letter stated that the alleged failure to record the information on the Garda PULSE system came to light during a Garda review of the file.
The letter revealed that a Garda file including the alleged non-recording of intelligence about the murder was forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
The letter also informed Mr Hannan that “a disciplinary investigation was instigated against (named Garda)”.
“The result of the investigation led to a discipline board being convened and a finding made against (named Garda).”
The GSOC letter stated that the Garda appealed this finding, but retired while the appeal board was adjourned.
“Accordingly, the appeal board never sat and the matter was finalised as (named Garda) was no longer subject of the Garda Siochana Discipline Regulations 2007 as amended”.
GSOC said the Garda in question denied the allegation.
A local Garda peer review of the original murder investigation and separate enquires made by a Garda Assistant Commissioner have failed to bring the case forward.
The DPP wrote to Mr Hannan in 2017 and informed him that the evidence available to Gardai was “insufficient to prosecute to the standard required by the criminal law”.
The DPP said 20 people had been arrested and interviewed, all relevant CCTV footage was examined and house to house enquiries were carried out.
The DPP added that “some of the persons interviewed have since passed away”.
Speaking this Wednesday, Mr Hannan said he was flabbergasted by the GSOC letter: “I had to read it about twenty times and it still doesn’t make sense to me, I think the letter is unbelievable.”
Mr Hannan said he has replied to GSOC “seeking further answers in relation to what is in the letter”.
Mr Hannan said he also feels let down by Justice Minister Helen McEntee whom he also asked for help, but was told by a spokesperson for the Minster that she could not interfere in the case as “disciplinary matters within An Garda Siochana are a matter for the Garda Commissioner and not for the minister”.
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has not responded to requests by Mr Hannan to meet him.
“I think the Gardaí and the government have let me down; they assigned an Assistant Commissioner to meet me, which we did, but I have not heard anything from them in the last six months.”
“Even the Minister for Justice said she didn’t want to get involved, and anytime I go to the Gardaí I can’t get a straight answer.”
Mr Hannan said he wants a State inquiry into the matter.
“All I want is justice for my son, but nobody appears to want to help me,” he said.
Mr Hannan said he would like an independent Garda cold case review conducted into his son’s murder “similar to what is happening in the Sophie Toscan du Plantier case”.
“The shock of what happened to Jeffrey hasn’t gone away, it is constant, the questions we have have not been answered.”
“At the end of the day, all I want is justice. I’m not giving up, I’m doing this for my son.”