Independent enquiry to be set up into death of garda sergeant

Independent enquiry to be set up into death of garda sergeant

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald is to establish an independent judicial inquiry into matters surrounding the tragic death of Sgt. Michael Galvin. The minister said she wishes to express her 'deepest sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of the late garda sergeant'.

In a statement issued this evening, the minister said meetings held today 'were highly constructive and beneficial '.

She said an inquiry by an independent judicial  figure will take place and, under section 109 of the Garda Siochana Act, the Chief Justice will be invited to nominate a High Court or Supreme Court judge to conduct the inquiry and to report back to the minister.

She also welcomed the fact that the GSOC investigation into the death of Sgt. Galvin has now been discontinued.

Sgt Galvin, who took his own life, had been the subject of a GSOC investigation following a fatal traffic accident. But he was not aware that he had been cleared of any wrongdoing before he ended his own life.

Friends say he had expressed fears about losing his job and his home if he was charged with perverting the course of justice.

Following his death, colleagues found a letter in a sealed envelope which was addressed to his wife Collette.

It is understood that he explained that he could not take the pressure of the GSOC investigation which had left him feeling like a criminal.

Sources close to the family have said that Collette Galvin is "beside herself" with grief and can not understand why her husband had not been informed by GSOC that he had been cleared of any wrongdoing.

The GSCO inquiry had related to a fatal road accident in Ballyshannon on January 1 this year. But GSOC found Sgt Galvin had acted appropriately.

The Taoiseach today extended his personal sympathy to Sgt Galvin’s family and said it was a most tragic and distressing case.