Article from Irish Times by Conor Lally.
Why did it take 12 months to reach this decision. Obvious from the start the Garda acted lawfully at all times, in the face of adversity.
An armed Garda member, who fired the shot that killed the man who abducted and murdered Jastine Valdez last year, will face no criminal charges over the incident.
The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc) must now decide whether there should be a disciplinary inquiry.
The direction by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) that no criminal charges should be pursued was anticipated. It follows an investigation by Gsoc.
The commission, which investigates complaints about Garda members as well as matters of public interest related to policing, was legally obliged to open a criminal investigation into the shooting of Mark Hennessy.
It was also obliged to send a file on the criminal case to the DPP following its inquiry.
However, as armed Garda members are permitted to open fire to protect life and property, it was always highly unlikely the Garda member who fired the shot would face criminal charges.
Gsoc has confirmed that a file was sent to the DPP’s office, which has recommended no charges be pursued against the garda who fired the fatal shot. The commission made no further comment.
It is now open to Gsoc to commence a disciplinary inquiry into the incident.
The Garda watchdog was precluded from opening such an inquiry before the DPP had issued its direction on the criminal aspect of the case.
It is unclear whether a separate investigation by the Garda into the shooting dead of father-of-two Hennessy (40) in May 2018 has concluded.
The death of Hennessy is down for mention today before the Dublin Coroner’s Court. A brief hearing offering an update from the Garda is expected.
Hennessy, a construction worker with an address in Bray, Co Wicklow, had been the subject of a manhunt for almost 24 hours when he was shot dead by the armed garda in Cherrywood Business Park on Sunday, May 20th, last year.
He had abducted Ms Valdez, an accountancy student from the Philippines, from a roadside just outside Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, at about 6pm the previous day.
No evidence has ever emerged that the killer and his victim knew each other or had ever met.
Hennessy strangled Ms Valdez soon after the abduction and immediately dumped her body at Puck’s Castle Lane, Rathmichael, south Dublin.
However, at the time he was spotted in his Nissan Qashqai in Cherrywood and approached by Garda members, officer did not know Ms Valdez was dead and believed Hennessy may have been holding her hostage in the car.
Garda closed in on his vehicle and it appears Hennessy was making stabbing motions with a knife inside his vehicle.
A shot was discharged at Hennessy by a Garda member.
A postmortem on Hennessy’s remains showed he had been shot in the shoulder and that the bullet entered his torso causing fatal injuries.
A knife was found in his vehicle and his body showed several injuries consistent with self-harm.
In response to queries, Garda Headquarters said: “As the death of Mark Hennessy remains before the Coroner’s Court we are not in a position to comment.”