Gardai quiz GSOC officers on Monk ‘party’ colleague
It is understood that investigating gardai have met with several GSOC staff members and interviewed them as part of the escalating probe
Gardai are now interviewing members of GSOC over a party that their colleague is alleged to have attended for Gerry Hutch.
This paper has learned that gardai investigating the since-retired GSOC officer began interviewing his colleagues over the last few days. The officer, who retired after the allegation that he attended a ‘welcome home’ party for ‘The Monk’ last month, is understood to be complying with the probe by the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI).
And now as part of the probe, it is understood that investigating gardai have met with several GSOC staff members and interviewed them as part of the escalating probe. The staff members are understood to have been quizzed on their relationships and interactions with the officer who is under investigation, it is understood
The officer himself, who was residing in a property just a couple of doors up from ‘The Monk’ in north Dublin, was arrested and released without charge late last month. The Irish Mirror exclusively broke the story that the officer was alleged to have attended the party for Hutch after he walked free from the Special Criminal Court on April 17, having been found not guilty of the February 2016 murder of Kinahan cartel associate David Byrne.
Now it is understood that the officer claimed to gardai that he did enter Hutch’s home in north Dublin on the day that family members and friends had gathered there to celebrate his freedom. However the officer has claimed that he merely stepped into the property momentarily — having been invited in as he was there to pick someone up.
The man under investigation, who is in his 60s, is understood to have claimed to have innocently gone into the premises — but claimed he was not invited in, and has no prior relationship or inappropriate contact with Hutch (60). The man was a senior GSOC investigator involved in investigating the tragic death of Detective Superintendent Colm Fox. Det Superintendent Fox, who was the lead investigator in the Regency Hotel murder of David Byrne, died in a tragedy at Ballymun Garda Station in 2019.
Officers are now probing whether there was any conflict of interest in the former GSOC investigator’s alleged attendance at the party for the man who has only recently been acquitted of Byrne’s murder. They are also investigating if there was any prior relationship or inappropriate contact between the officer and Hutch — or anyone else connected to him. Concern has been raised about the fact that the retired GSOC investigator had access to the entire Regency Hotel murder investigation file — and whether he had access to the Garda PULSE system.
Gardai arrested the man in late April on suspicion of illegally leaking information and he was quizzed on suspicion of breaching the Garda Siochana Act of 2005. That act outlaws gardai from leaking information that causes harm — but there is also an identical section that specifically covers GSOC. And anyone convicted of that offence faces a fine of up to €75,000 — as well as being hit with a jail term that could reach seven years.
It is believed that Gerry Hutch himself may need to be spoken to as part of the Garda probe. It is understood that Hutch has already claimed to pals that he does not know the GSOC investigator personally. Hutch, who was found not guilty of the murder of David Byrne at Dublin’s Regency Hotel, left Ireland for Lanzarote last week. His trip comes three weeks following his acquittal at the Special Criminal Court.