Detective sergeant 'sorry' for sisters' hurt

John White has asked for an apology, but why did he deny the women’s story for 9 years? He got the nail on the head that the culture in the Gardai is to ‘deny allegations where possible’.

Tribunal counsel Paul McDermott SC asked Det Sgt White if he would have continued to deny the allegations, as he had for nine years, if Det Garda Dooley had not made his new statement.

Det Sgt White said he had not thought about this module as he had been involved in so many others, but he would not have committed perjury.

“To be honest, Mr Chairman, I was hoping they [ Ms Brolly and Ms McConnell] wouldn’t come in,” he said. Mr McDermott said there was not a scintilla of evidence to suggest that Det Sgt White was going to tell the truth before last Saturday.

While giving evidence yesterday, Det Sgt White said: “I want to apologise to the two ladies, Mrs Ra³isa­n McConnell and Mrs Katrina Brolly, over the pain and hurt or trauma that they were caused by the interviews,” he said. He said he had meant to say it previously but his head was in a fog.

Det Sgt White said when the complaints about mistreatment were made officially, he met Det Garda Dooley and they discussed it and came to a decision that they would not admit to wrongdoing.

One reason for this was that some of the serious allegations made were not true, another was self-preservation and also that the investigation would not come to a hearing, he said. Another was that he didn’t want to go against “the culture that was there to deny allegations where possible”.

He said he had never threatened to take Ms Brolly’s children away. It was not a threat, it was a fact. If she was convicted, she would go to prison.

Asked what the apology was for, he replied: “The apology is about the photos being shown to Mrs Brolly and the abusive language used to her.”

If she was upset about what was said about her children, he apologised for that.