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'life on pause' Father of woman shot by garda killer Adrian Mackin speaks of frustration at ombudsman report delay

Garda Tony Golden had been accompanying Siobhan when they were both shot by Mackin, who then turned the gun on himself

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The family of Siobhan Phillips has said that it is a miracle that she survived being shot in the head by her former partner Adrian Crevan Mackin. In the same attack in Omeath, Co Louth in October Mackin murdered Garda Tony Golden. Pic Ciara Wilkinson

The family of Siobhan Phillips has said that it is a miracle that she survived being shot in the head by her former partner Adrian Crevan Mackin. In the same attack in Omeath, Co Louth in October Mackin murdered Garda Tony Golden. Pic Ciara Wilkinson

The family of Siobhan Phillips has said that it is a miracle that she survived being shot in the head by her former partner Adrian Crevan Mackin. In the same attack in Omeath, Co Louth in October Mackin murdered Garda Tony Golden. Pic Ciara Wilkinson

The father of a woman shot by Adrian Crevan Mackin - who murdered a garda before turning his gun on himself - has told of his frustration at the delay in the Garda Ombudsman's final report on the incident.

Siobhan Phillips was shot in the head after arriving at the home she had shared with her former partner Mackin in Omeath, Co Louth, on October 11, 2015.

Garda Tony Golden (36) was accompanying Siobhan after she made a complaint of domestic assault against Mackin.

Her father Sean Phillips was also in the car, but Garda Golden urged him to remain behind while they went to the house to retrieve her clothes. She was planning to leave Mackin for good.

Crazed Mackin (24) fired indiscriminately from a Glock 9mm semi-automatic handgun as soon as Siobhan arrived home, shooting her in the head and arm and then opened fire on Garda Golden, who was shot five times.

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Garda Tony Golden

Garda Tony Golden

Garda Tony Golden

Sean Phillips was not injured in the attack as he remained outside the house and he alerted emergency services.

Speaking to the Sunday World this week, Mr Phillips, from Jonesborough, Co Armagh, revealed: "That part of my life is on pause".

Sean received a copy of an interim report in 2019 which he says has left him with more questions than answers.

At the time of the shooting, Mackin was out on bail for IRA membership after admitting to the illegal possession of weapons and bomb-making components.

Sean said: "Mackin breached his bail conditions at least 10 times and nothing was done about it, why was that?

"He then went to the Special Criminal Court and had his bail conditions relaxed; now in fairness to the judges there they based that decision on incomplete information.

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"From the transcripts I have read and from the interim report and some email updates I got sent to me I think it is clear they never got the full picture. For instance, the information on the breaches were not given to them, they were never told Mackin had access to firearms, that was never updated on the Garda system and that is hard to understand.

"What is frustrating now is why the delay? Okay, Covid probably had an impact but GSOC (Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission) started to look at this in 2016 and yet now all they tell me is they are at an advanced stage and they have to talk to this fella and that fella and can tell me no more. "The investigation is ongoing but they cannot give me a completion time.

"If there is one strand of hope I cling to it's that when the full report eventually emerges the system is changed in a way that ensures those tasked with making huge decisions get all the information they need.

"That would be the only positive thing that comes out of the whole horrible mess.

"I doubt we'll ever get closure, we'll never know the full details of it, but if change comes about it may help other families."

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Garda killer Adrian Mackin, the 24-year-old from Northern Ireland who murdered Garda Tony Golden and left his former partner fighting for her life.

Garda killer Adrian Mackin, the 24-year-old from Northern Ireland who murdered Garda Tony Golden and left his former partner fighting for her life.

Garda killer Adrian Mackin, the 24-year-old from Northern Ireland who murdered Garda Tony Golden and left his former partner fighting for her life.

Garda Golden was pronounced dead at the scene. Siobhan was lucky to survive.

She lost her right eye and has since undergone a series of medical procedures.

Sean also heartbreakingly revealed the lasting effects the horror incident has had on Siobhan, his daughter from his first marriage.

"Tough and all as this is for me I am sure it must be even tougher for Siobhan, and because of the injuries she sustained when she was shot.

"I'm not sure she fully processes what's happening.

"When Siobhan came to us for help, I didn't know Mackin at all but it soon became clear he was a bad lad and now it appears he was even on the radar of the FBI, never mind the authorities here.

"I suppose the whole thing has made me far more cynical than I used to be, I was always happy go lucky and easy going, now I find it harder to trust people. Maybe I was naive before this but that aspect of me has certainly changed.

"Life throws you some serious curve balls that's for sure, when this all happened there was on book of instructions on how we as a family were supposed to deal with it, friends and family kept me right, Norma my wife is very switched on and that has helped too.

"There are some parts of it tougher than others, the anniversary each year is an especially difficult time for everyone.

"Look, not knowing the full details is very hard too to be honest - I'm surprised the full GSOC report still isn't complete. Hopefully there will be some recommendations in it to ensure that this never happens again. We want to move on, and we need to know all the facts.

"Sometimes the trauma hits you out of the blue, almost unexpectedly. It comes at you from nowhere and it comes in waves.

"Thankfully I have a great support unit around me in friends and family. Everyone else might have forgotten, but I haven't. How can I?"

A GSOC spokesperson said: "The investigation remains open and inquiries are ongoing.

"This is a complex case, made more complex by the interrelated challenges of Covid, accessing documentation, and securing witness cooperation.

"While GSOC hopes to conclude its investigation as soon as possible, it is not possible to provide a timeline for completion.

"GSOC will not be making further comment on this case at this time."

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