McBrearty vows he will go to jail rather than testify

Frank McBrearty has warned that he will not be attending the Morris Tribunal, he will likely face the almost crazy prospect of being prosecuted by a Tribunal he helped set up.

“I’m prepared to go to jail. I’m not afraid of Michael McDowell or anything he might threaten me with,” Mr McBrearty Jnr told the Irish Independent from Florida, where he is on holiday.

“Me and my family have been the biggest victims of a miscarriage of justice in Ireland and have been treated like second-class citizens. Why should the Garda Commissioner and Minister for Justice have their legal fees covered while we don’t?

“The thing that hurts us most is that we have put an awful lot of effort to get a public enquiry into this scandal investigated in the first place,” he said.

The tribunal is due to investigate the circumstances surrounding Mr McBrearty’s detention in Letterkenny garda station in December 1996.

He was filmed being pulled unconscious down corridors by gardai. He also allegedly signed a confession stating he had murdered cattle dealer Richie Barron. It is now accepted that Barron died as a result of a hit-and-run incident.

The hearings on the module are due to begin in July. Anyone who refuses to co-operate could face a possible €12,750 fine, up to two years in prison, or both.

“Look at the Rossport Five and the support they got,” Mr McBrearty said. “Think of the support we would get. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, but I have told Minister McDowell that I am prepared to go to prison.”