Dundalk as it Happens
Family of Siobhan Phillips call for public inquiry into incident that led to the murder of Garda Tony Golden
The family of Siobhan Phillips, who was seriously wounded in the murder-suicide that claimed the life of Garda Tony Golden in Omeath two years ago today have called for a full public inquiry into the events that led to the shooting.
Siobhan’s partner Adrian Crevan Mackin shot her and Garda Golden after they called to his home in the north Louth village on October 10th 2015 before turning the gun on himself.
Both Crevan Mackin and Garda Golden died at the scene while Siobhan was left on life support.
Two years on from the incident that shocked the nation the Phillips family have claimed that Gardaí failed to take a statement from her the day before the shooting in relation to a violent assault by Mackin on her and threats to kill both her and her family.
The Phillips family told The Irish Times that Mackin should have been arrested the day before and believe reports that he was a Garda informer were central to the apparent refusal to take a statement from him.
Siobhan’s father Seán told the paper in an exclusive interview today that on Friday night October 8th Mackin subjected her to a sustained assault over a 10 hour period during which he punched her face, cut her wrists and thighs with a steak knife, kneed her in the ribs, pulled her head back by her hair, pinned her against the wall, threw her to the floor and kicked her several times in the head.
The next day Siobhan, Seán and his wife Norma (not Ms Phillips’ mother) drove to Dundalk Garda Station where he had to sign on regularly due to bail conditions in relation to a charge of dissident republican activity.
Seán said: “We were landing in with Siobhán black and blue. We were expecting to be brought into a quiet room. There was one garda at the counter. As soon as we mentioned Crevan Mackin everything shut down.
“I didn’t even know what he was on bail for. I said: ‘Get him up on your system.’ He did and he says, ‘Oh I couldn’t take a statement on that here . . . You need to get medical treatment for that girl.”
He says they demanded that a statement be taken, explaining that Mackin was “threatening to kill us and we needed help”, but this was “just refused”. They left “baffled” and went to Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry.
The next day they went to Omeath Garda Station where they met Garda Golden. Siobhan gave her statement over the course of two hours and Garda Golden suggested they go to the house to collect her things.
It was then that the pair were shot.
Seán feels the incident, which he described in great detail to journalist Kitty Holland, could have been “completely avoided if people had done their job”.
“We told these men that this guy was threatening to kill our family, our kids,” he told The Irish Times. “We definitely think the Garda saw Crevan as ‘don’t touch’.
“Normal citizens should be protected. Crevan shouldn’t have been out on bail in the first place. I understand the Garda need informers but at the risk of other people’s safety?”
Calling for a full public inquiry, Mr Phillips said the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission investigation, which opened in November 2016, was “just a disciplinary investigation”.
Pending the GSOC report, the Garda Síochána declined to comment.
Siobhan Phillips is still recovering from the injuries sustained by her shooting.
Read the full interview here.