This is probably the most under reported story in recent times. It appears to have gone completely under the radar. The repurcussions of this, if true, are absolutely staggering.
Det Sgt White said bugging in Garda stations was a well-kept secret. He had told two senior officers, Assistant Commissioner Kevin Carty and Chief Supt Austin McNally, of the internal Garda investigation team, about it in 1999 but they both told him they were not going to investigate it.
He had made an allegation that an interview between Ra³isan McConnell and her solicitor was bugged at Letterkenny Garda station in 1996 when she was arrested in connection with the investigation into the death of Richie Barron. However, yesterday he said bugging was widespread.
The chairman, Mr Justice Frederick Morris, asked if the Letterkenny bugging was not an isolated incident and he replied: “No, not by any means.”
Read that again. A former Senior Detective from Donegal has said that it is a widespread practice in Ireland for the Gardai to bug rooms where suspects are speaking to their solicitors. Not alone that, but when told of this the Carty team (headed by the then Assistant Commissioner) ignored it entirely. One has to ask the question, why? Why would the Assistant Commisioner ignore such a huge allegation? Did he believe it to be spurious? Did he know of the practice but choose to ignore it?
How many laws would this be breaking? How many constitutional rights to this infringe on? How many trials and investigations have been tainted by this practice? Why has no one investigated this allegation?
This warrants at least a look by an independent authority. Oh yes, we don’t have one.