GSOC probe allegation that gardaí failed to act on threat to life
Officers were allegedly informed 24 hours prior to Ballymun killing
Flowers at the scene on Belclare Terrace where Paddy ‘Pappy’ Lyons was shot dead. Photograph by Gerry Mooney
February 20 2021 02:30 AM
An investigation has been launched into allegations that three gardai were aware of a threat to the life of a man murdered in north Dublin last week but failed to act on the information.
The garda ombudsman (GSOC) has launched a probe into all details surrounding the murder of the 44-year-old man in Ballymun.
Senior sources said last night that gardaí are following a “definite line of enquiry” in relation to the tragic gun murder of Patrick ‘Pappy’ Lyons who was shot dead on Thursday, February 11, though no arrests have been made in the case.
But a massive internal investigation was also launched after it emerged that three gardaí were informed 24 hours prior to the murder, that there was an active threat on his life, but they did not inform their superiors.
It has also emerged that the same gardaí were key members of the murder investigation team and participated in murder case conferences throughout last weekend without disclosing the information until Monday.
Senior sources said last night that all three officers had now been taken off the case but have not been suspended from duty.
Last night gardaí refused to confirm reports that a garda informer is at the centre of the ‘murder tip-off’ debacle and may have recorded his interactions with the officers in which the death threat information was given before Mr Lyons was killed.
Gardaí of the most senior level have been involved in the internal investigation which has led to the matter being referred to the GSOC who have begun an investigation.
Petty shoplifter Mr Lyons was shot once in the head and three times in the chest in an attack that gardaí say was a case of “complete unjustified overkill.”
The young son of tragic drug addict Mr Lyons lost both his parents after it emerged his mother died less than three weeks before he was shot dead.
Independent.ie previously revealed that he could have been murdered over a €200 drugs debt.
Sources said last night that senior gardaí have been left “extremely concerned” about how information about a threat to his life was handled.
“In the first instance, it is perhaps understandable that the victim did not receive an official notification of a threat against his life because this information needs to be analysed and distilled before deemed to be credible,” a senior source said last night.
This is known as a Garda Information Message – also known as a GIM form – which is served on people who gardaí have information that there is an active threat to their lives.