Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ongar murder not forgotten  SF councillor in IRA murder probe controversy on policing board

Sinn Fein's Daithi Doolan

A SINN Fein councillor who was embroiled in controversy over his cooperation with the investigation into an alleged IRA murder has been elected to a senior position on a policing board in Dublin.

Sinn Fein's Daithi Doolan was elected as the vice-chairman of the Citywide Policing Committee after being the party's nominee.

The move comes at a time when Sinn Fein's links to the IRA are under the spotlight again following Mairia Cahill's allegations of a cover-up of her rape.

Mr Doolan is now based in the Ballyfermot-Drimnagh area on Dublin City Council. He moved areas after losing his seat in the South East Inner City area following the controversy over the killing of Joseph Rafferty.

Mr Rafferty (29) was shot dead by a lone gunman outside his home in the Hayward apartment complex in Ongar Park in west Dublin on April 12, 2005.

Mr Rafferty's murder was immediately linked to a man believed to be a member of the IRA and Sinn Fein. The deceased had suffered six months of taunts that the IRA would kill him because he had confronted the man after he had assaulted a family member at a party.

Following his murder, Mr Rafferty's family embarked on a high-profile campaign to raise awareness of his death alleging that Sinn Fein members were protecting his killers.

Esther Uzell-Rafferty ran as an independent candidate in the 2007 general election and 2009 local elections to call on Mr Doolan to fully co-operate with the garda investigation into her brother's death.


Mr Doolan told the Irish Independent last night there was no conflict between his role on the policing board and the murder investigation. "That has no implications whatsoever. It was 10 years ago. I fully co-operated every step of the way and I want to say anyone who has any information should come forward," he said.

Mr Doolan said he had long championed a community response to anti-social behaviour.

"As a right, I am on the Policing Committee," he said.

Fianna Fail councillor Daithi de Roiste is the new chairman of the policing committee, which covers the whole city.

Meanwhile, the Director of Public Prosecutions in Northern Ireland has appointed two high-profile lawyers to review the legal issues arising from Ms Cahill's allegations.

Former director of public prosecutions for England and Wales, Keir Starmer, and Australian-born lawyer, Katherine O'Byrne, have been appointed to the role by Northern Ireland's DPP Barra McGrory.

The lawyers will carry out their independent review of the prosecutorial systems used in the three interlinked cases involving sex abuse and terrorist related charges, including IRA membership. The five individuals were acquitted of all charges after Ms Cahill indicated she was not going to give evidence.

Fionnan Sheahan, Irish Independent

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