I cried while watching the Dean Lyons story on RTEs excellent Scannal programme yesterday.
The tears were provoked by the dignified but anguished words of Dean Lyons’ mother as she pleaded for justice for her son and family. The tears were coupled with a deep anger at the realisation that she will never get justice because she lives in a corrupt state, a state that utilises all its powers and spares no expense in protecting itself against citizens who demand and deserve justice. It is a state whose police force is totally discredited and yet still enjoys the full support of all the main political parties.
Dean Lyons was an innocent man set up by the police. While they were pursuing Mr. Lyons for a double murder he did not commit another two people were brutally murdered by a man who is almost certainly the real killer. This man, Mark Nash admitted to the first two murders and was able to give exact details to the police that only they and the killer could have known.
Dean Lyons, a well known Walter Mitty character, only gave details after he was led on by the investigating police. But even after obtaining the confession from Mark Nash the police still pursed the innocent Dean Lyons.
As Jim Cusack, the then security correspondent of the Irish Times, said on the programme:
“There’s an extraordinary degree of arrogance and even stupidity at a high level in the force and there are people there who are making ridiculous decisions and instead of confronting the reality of what happened, their preference was to try and ignore it and hope it would go away.”
The families of the four murdered people lost out, the family of Dean Lyons lost out, the credibility of the justice system lost out, the body politic lost out because of its failure to demand an acceptable level of professionalism from our police force and the State itself lost out through its inability/unwillingness to provide a basic justice system for its citizens.
But in true banana republic fashion, the State has promoted all the senior police officers connected with the case. There are times when all you can do is cry.