It’s easy to forget what things were like in June 2000.
Back then, allegations of Garda corruption sounded like a madman’s ravings. Who would believe Gardaí were involved in harebrained blackmail plots, or planted fake bombs to promote their careers?
Since June 2000, Judge Morris found those things happened.
In the district court, Frank McBrearty fought several dozen malicious summonses. His lawyers had a plan – first deal with each summons, then argue the ‘wider issue’, systematic harassment.
In June 2000, it all fell apart. The DPP dropped the charges against. On the one hand, it was a victory. But it also meant the lawyers couldn’t argue the ‘wider issue’.
McBrearty was disheartened. The Carty inquiry seemed to be going nowhere. Only a public inquiry could uncover the truth.
So it was, the Morris tribunal concluded, McBrearty composed a fax. Ultimately, it’s allegations led to the tribunal that cleared his name.
As it turned out, the allegations – a mixture of ‘half-truths, lies and rumours’ – were far off the mark.
This week, the tribunal that cleared McBrearty and others, cleared the two senior officers he accused of corruption in that fax. The investigation has come full circle with the final report.