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category mayo | crime and justice | other press author Thursday October 07, 2010 10:15author by anarchaeologist Report this post to the editors

Former Garda Superintendent Pat Doyle finds employment with IRMS

According to this week's Mayo News, former Garda Superintendent Pat Doyle has joined IRMS, the Kildare security firm with central European paramilitary links.
Pat Doyle at his recent retirement do in Castlebar
Pat Doyle at his recent retirement do in Castlebar

New recruit
Shell/IRMS can pat themselves on the back for employing yet another 'local'. Carlow-born Pat Doyle, who for the 11 years prior to his retirement in May 2009 held the position of Superintendent in Westport. According to the Mayo News Doyle has recently joined the controversial security firm in a senior managerial role. Apart from running the Westport Division Doyle also held responsibility for the Public Order Unit in the county and in this capacity was present on the several occasions when the Unit was deployed in Erris.

This is not exactly a happy development (although it does admittedly bolster Doyle's meagre state pension).

When needs be
Pat, for those readers with long memories, will be remembered for a bizarre incident involving him and his wife Bernie, proprietor of a well known Castlebar children's clothes shop Beez Neez. In early 2004 Margaret McGreal of Main Street, Balla, Co. Mayo succeeded in the High Court in obtaining a judicial review of a decision to prosecute her for the theft of 582.90 worth of items from the said store, where she had been a part-time employee. The following December the DPP entered a nolle prosequi clearing McGreal of the theft.

McGreals travails in the hands of the law began on her arrest at 5.55pm on October 25, 2002 at Beez Neez where she was found to have 615 in her bag, including 170.35 which she had been paid that day, an incredible amount of money to be in the possession of a working-class woman. The 56-year-old was taken to Castlebar Garda Station and at 6.16pm she was taken into a cell and strip-searched by two female garda. According to her affidavit to the High Court "I was never in a garda station before other then for attending to simple matters. This sense of shock was quickly replaced by horror when I was ordered to strip to my bra and pants I have never been so humiliated or degraded."

Mrs McGreal was questioned for several hours until her release at 4pm the following day regarding the alleged the theft of money from the shop. McGreal stated: "I was repeatedly shouted at, abused, accused and subjected to the foulest of language, being ordered at one point by Det Sgt Clarke to 'sign the fucking statement'." At 6.40pm she was told that her husband Michael McGreal had been contacted, but when he called to the station he was told he wasnt allowed see his wife as his presence would "hinder the investigation". During questioning Mrs McGreal was told that undercover garda had gone into the shop and paid for clothes with money that had been photocopied. This money had now been found in her bag.

Det Sgt Clarke shows his softer side
Clarke allegedly had a softer side: according to an interview transcript given to the court Clarke assured McGreal "I don't arrest people unless I have grounds for doing it, and you know me long enough to know that.
"I know it's hard on you," he continued.
"It's awful," she admitted.
"You're fucking sure it is, it's desperate so it is," replied the detective.
"It's not easy for us either, but it's something we have to do," added Inspector Keaveney, who was present for part of the interrogation.

In the course of interviewing her they also went through her Irish Nationwide Building Society book. They quizzed her about her spending habits, her holidays and what she did with her money. McGreal told them she travelled to Spain the previous May. They asked her how much she spent. She told them 200. They told her that wasn't very much. She replied that she didnt smoke or drink.

Michael McGreal contacted his solicitor, Daniel Coleman, who claimed that when he called to Castlebar Garda Station at 8.15pm he heard Det Sgt Clarke shouting at Mrs McGreal to "sign the fucking statement", which the detective denied. He protested at the tenor of the interrogation and was allowed to see his client who was later released. At this point Coleman contacted Supt Doyle about what was happening to his client.

Sworn affidavit
Colemans sworn affidavit stated that Supt Doyle had no wish or desire to meet with either Margaret McGreal or her husband, going on to state that a large sum of money had been stolen." The following December Mrs McGreal received a Christmas card which read: 'Thief: Don't walk around Castlebar with your head so high. Everyone is talking about you.' Mrs McGreal and her husband also alleged that the fact of her arrest was widely circulated in Castlebar and in county Mayo by garda.

Give us 30 grand and well drop the case
In April 2003 Coleman again made contact with Supt Doyle and they held a 30-40 minute meeting at Westport Garda Station. Doyle told Coleman that the case would be dropped if a figure of 30,000 was paid to his wife, a sum calculated by her brother who did her accounts.

"It was to be paid and upon this there would be no further discussion," the solicitor said in his affidavit. He further stated that Supt Doyle told him that if the money was not paid, Mrs McGreal would 'hang' in court.

In the interim, Mrs McGreal was "horrified" when her husband told her a sum of 30,000 had been requested "as being representative of the amount I was supposed to have stolen from his wife's shop, payment of which he demanded failing which he would ensure a prosecution with no holds barred."

Coleman said, "Supt Doyle was repeatedly ringing my office enquiring as to when the money was being paid over." Solicitor Thomas J. Walsh also started phoning him, he said. Coleman was "completely astounded" by these developments. Michael McGreal said that "given the notoriety which this case would clearly attract it was determined, in the interests of my wife, her mother and my family, to concede and pay the sum demanded". On securing a loan from Ballinrobe Credit Union he contacted his solicitor who, against his better judgement, sent a bank draft for 30,000 to Walsh. Coleman said he felt his clients' free will was removed because of the threats made by Supt Doyle.

On May 9 he got confirmation that the money had been received. "For the first time Thomas J. Walsh was acting for Bernie Doyle," he said. The confirmation read: "My client Bernie Doyle will make an application to the Superintendent Garda Siochana, Castlebar to withdraw the complaint." Mr Coleman interpreted that as Mr Walsh attempting to conceal Supt Doyle's involvement in the affair.

On May 17 Bernie Doyle made a statement to Sgt Sean Cunnane in which she said she had "suffered enormous stress and financial difficulty bordering on financial ruin" as a result of money taken from her. She said she didn't want the prosecution to go ahead. However, in early September 2003 Mrs McGreal received a summons from Sgt Cunnane alleging that she had stolen 582.90 from the owner of the Beez Neez, the same Bernie Doyle. When the case came before the District Court Mrs McGreal opted for trial by jury and a book of evidence was served on the defendant in December 2003. There was no indication that Supt Doyle would be investigated for demanding money with menaces, apparently illegal under Irish law.

The Doyles rumbled
In 2004 Mrs McGreal was granted a High Court order preventing her prosecution. In December, the DPP, presumably aware of the 30,000 payment to Bernie Doyle and the allegations about the involvement of her husband, Supt Patrick Doyle, entered a nolle prosequi. a result for the McGreals who were still 30,000 down on the deal.

The DPP now appointed Chief Superintendent Kieran T. McGann to investigate the matter. According to McGanns report "It is accepted by Superintendent Doyle that there was discussion of the value of what was missing from his wife's shop and that the sum of 30,000 was subsequently paid by the applicants' solicitors to the solicitor acting on behalf of Mrs Doyle on certain terms, including that Mrs Doyle would withdraw her statement of complaint." McGann continued "I say and believe that it is clear this sum was paid to and received by Mrs Doyle. However, even if the payment could be construed as having been paid to Superintendent Doyle, it is clear that the same was paid to him in his personal capacity and not as a Superintendent of An Garda Sochana. I can confirm from my said investigation that the monies which were paid by cheque were lodged to accounts held by Superintendent and Mrs Doyle."

So there.

Ah go on...
Despite there being "deep and grave disputes of fact and background" in the case, McGann concluded it was a private matter between the McGreals and the Doyles. McGreal was subsequently refused a declaration under Judicial Review that the Garda Commissioner was under an obligation to return the 30,000 paid to the Doyles.

Superintendent Doyle 'retires'
Thirty-five years to the day after swearing to uphold the laws of the State, Supt Doyle's career was celebrated at a lavish function at the Knockranny House Hotel. Present were Judge Mary Devins and her husband, FF TD Jimmy Devins. However, according to Mayo News journalist Michael Duffy, the night belonged to Pat Doyle himself, "and true to the forensic way in which he prosecuted his cases in the District Court, he left no stone unturned in thanking a whole host of people during a lengthy address, after [naturally enough] a sumptuous meal".

The previous unpleasantness was referred to by Bernie's sister Gene Quinn, who opined that "Pats time in Westport had been extremely happy, although she did mention there was one period where matters surrounding the running of Bernies clothes shop business in Castlebar had been difficult, but this was beyond Pats control, as he had not been implicated in any wrongdoing, She said Bernie had been married to Pat for 30 years and anyone who knew him well knew how straight he was. The whole episode had been difficult for the whole family but they had been there for each other and got through it." Bernie apparently had been too emotional to speak.

So what now for Pat?
Pat's new role within IRMS could not be confirmed this morning by head office. Doubtless his contacts within the Public Order Unit will be useful when it comes to discouraging citizens' demands that the natural resources of the country belong to the people of the country. Pat certainly has form when it comes to sequestering resources which are not his to sequester. With classic understatement, Doyle "made no announcement with regard to his plans for the future but it seems certain he will remain involved in some role in community life in either Castlebar, where he lives, or in his home from home, in Westport".

Related Link: http://www.mayonews.ie/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=10983:former-westport-garda-chief-pat-doyle-joins-irms&catid=23:news&Itemid=46
author by Datpublication date Thu Oct 07, 2010 23:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"The whole episode had been difficult for the whole family"

Still, he got to keep the thirty grand, so it wasn't all bad, was it?

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