15 May 2006

More damning Morris reports to be made public


15/05/2006 - 15:49:52

Damning reports alleging corruption and negligence among gardaí in Donegal in the 1990s will be made public within the next 10 days.

Justice minister Michael McDowell tonight confirmed material contained in three reports from the Morris Tribunal will be released.

But Mr McDowell said he had concerns that some information would be prejudicial in an existing prosecution against an officer and that he would be going to the High Court to get directions.

“It is my intention to put them into the public domain as soon as I can,” he said of the reports.

He added he hoped that would be within the next 10 days.

The Morris Tribunal is investigating seven modules concerning the behaviour of gardaí.

Three reports were last week handed to Mr McDowell.

They concern allegations that officers planted a bomb and gun, intended to frame a group of travellers, manufactured a death threat and psychologically intimidated two sisters in custody.

Tribunal chair Mr Justice Frederick Morris has already heard evidence on three controversial incidents.

The Silver Bullet module focussed on claims that gardaí arranged for Sligo man, Bernard Conlon, to make up allegations of a death threat against himself and a detective sergeant.

A second module concerns allegations that gardaí planted a bomb or explosive device in a telecommunications mast near Ardara in order to arrest three locals.

The Burnfoot Module probed the arrests of seven travellers after the apparent discovery of a sawn-off shotgun.

It is believed the reports contain information regarding suspended Detective Sergeant John White in relation to a charge of illegal possession of a firearm.

His lawyers have argued that revealing details of the Burnfoot episode before his trial date in Donegal would be prejudicial to the case.

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