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Dublin Opinion >>
Rape Tape Sergeant James Gill (retired) – To Sue or Not to Sue???
rights, freedoms and repression |
Wednesday September 04, 2013 08:42 by ags
Sgt James Gill (retired) is threatening Pat “The Chief” O'Donnell with bankruptcy over the defamation case, in which Gill's former classmate, Judge Margaret Heneghan awarded him €33,000 plus legal costs.
The former Garda, who retired in the aftermath of the furore over him making comments in which he spoke about raping female campaigners in Garda custody, is now seeking a total of €70,000 from Pat O'Donnell. The defamation case stemmed from a protest on the 3rd of November 2006 in which James Gill alleged that Pat O Donnell accused him of stealing diesel and smuggling tyres. Pat O'Donnell denied accusing Gill of these things however Judge Heneghan sided with Sgt Gill.
Or Not to Sue:
In the case against Pat O'Donnell, James Gill initiated defamation proceedings very promptly, however it seems that he hasn't been nearly as prompt in initiating other defamation proceedings against OSSL or its directors. Since September 2012 there have been consistent references on the Shell watchdog site www.royaldutchshellplc.com to an invoice published by OSSL a former service-provider to Shell on the Shell/Corrib Project.
In the invoice Gill is among four named Gardaí who are accused of accepting alcohol from the Shell subcontrator that had been smuggled into the State. James Gill has been openly accused in a much more publically visible manner than any accusation by Pat O'Donnell, of accepting bribes from Shell and accepting goods that had been smuggled into the State. WHY has James Gill not issued legal proceedings in this matter in as timely a manner as he did when he chose to sue The Chief????
Protecting his good name
In November 2006, then Sergeant James Gill (Jim to his cronies) initiated defamation proceedings in a civil suit against The Chief, Pat O’Donnell. The case took its usual time to trundle through the courts and was due to be heard in mid-2011. That timing was rather unfortunate for Mr Gill because, in the meantime, there was the little contretemps of the Rape Tape incident. Whether by co-incidence or not, Gill’s legal team made a unilateral application to the court to have the hearing deferred until November of that year; a medical cert was produced to the court for Gill and this was accepted.
The case began on November 07 2011 with Judge Margaret Heneghan presiding (by this time Gill had retired from the force and was therefore out of the reach of GSOC who had behaved badly in the whole Rape Tape issue but that’s an issue for another time – those who wish, may access an analysis of that affair at http://www.wsm.ie/c/gsoc-garda-rape-threat-tape).
Accounts of the court case can be read here http://www.mayonews.ie/index.php?option=com_content&vie...id=46 and here http://www.indymedia.ie/article/101060
Shortly after this judgement was reported in the press O’Donnell was contacted by a person of conscience who let him know that the presiding judge had boarded in Gortnor Abbey Secondary School, Crossnmolina for five years and that Gill, repeating his Leaving Cert there, had been in the final year with her; it also emerged that Gill and the judge had both been in attendance at a school re-union some years later. This matter is now the subject of further court proceedings.
Despite unfinished court business, Gill’s solicitors have recently informed The Chief that they intend to have him declared bankrupt if he doesn’t pay approx. €70,000 (legal costs plus Gill’s good name award) immediately.
Accusation of accepting Shell bribes:
Since September 2012 there have been consistent references on the Shell watchdog site www.royaldutchshellplc.com to an invoice published by OSSL a former service-provider to Shell on the Shell/Corrib Project.
This story was covered in The Observer newspaper on 11 August 2013 and a follow-up appeared in the London Times (Irish and English editions) on 18 August 2013. This has been followed up on in local and national press, Mid-West Radio, RnG, Newstalk and, eventually, on RTE radio and television; articles also appeared in the Norwegian press.
Gill is among five named police on the invoice – given that this is in the public domain since September 2012 WHY has James Gill not issued legal proceedings in this matter in as timely a manner as he did when he chose to sue The Chief????