20 gardai turned up 'to support' colleague

A bit of a non-story really, but related to the ongoing Morris Tribunal.

About 20 gardai­ and some business people from Sligo turned up in court in 2002 to support a garda who was being prosecuted for submitting forged certificates, the Morris tribunal heard yesterday.

Anthony Barr SC, for the tribunal, asked Insp Gerard Connolly, Sligo, what the purpose was of having so many gardai­ turn up for the court case of John Nicholson.

“Was it the case that Mr Nicholson was in a very public way taking the rap for the seven certificates, when in fact his involvement, according to his evidence here, was much less than the seven?” he asked.

Insp Connolly replied that at that time, Mr Nicholson’s health was very bad.

Mr Barr asked how the presence of gardai­ and a number of business people would help his condition.

“I’d say it was a form of support for Mr Nicholson. He was very supportive to everybody over the years – to colleagues and the public in general,” Insp Connolly replied.

Mr Nicholson, now retired, pleaded guilty to three charges of uttering, or submitting, forged certificates and received the Probation Act.