22 December 2008 at 12.30(update)
That following upon the publication of the seventh and eigth reports of the Tribunal and the Ruling on Costs Applications arising therefrom, and the making of all consequential and ancillary Orders connected with its enquiry, the Tribunal has now completed all its work. On the 19th of December 2008 the Sole Member of the Tribunal informed the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform that the work of the Tribunal had concluded.
Please note that the Tribunal's offices at Belfield Office Park, Clonskeagh, Dublin 4 have now closed for business. Any persons who have queries regarding the Tribunal, or its enquiry, should direct their queries to the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform for the attention of Mr. Eamon Saunders, at
Pinebrook House, 71-74 Harcourt Street, Dublin 2. Telephone: 01-6028202.
Brendan O' Donnell, Registrar to the Tribunal.
The Rulings of the Chairman on Applications for Costs arising out of the Tribunal's Seventh and Eighth (final) reports have issued. There is also a ruling on a late Application for Costs on behalf of Mr. John White in respect of Terms of Reference (b), (d), and (f). They can be found in the Reports and Rulings section of this website www.morristribunal.ie.
The Tribunal's eight reports are now available on the Tribunals Website in the Reports & Rulings section.
The Seventh and Eighth (Final) Reports was published by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform on the 7th October 2008. The full text may be viewed on the Tribunal's Website www.morristribunal.ie and copies are available for sale at the Government Publications Sales Office, Sun Alliance House, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2.
Applications for costs will be received by the Tribunal in writing arising out of the findings of the Seventh and Eighth (Final) Reports from interested parties. All written applications for costs in respect of the Seventh and Eighth (Final) Reports must be received by the Registrar of the Tribunal, Belfield Office Park, Beech Hill Road, Clonskeagh, Dublin 4 before 5pm on Friday 31st October 2008.
The seventh report deals with Allegations of Harassment of the McBrearty Family of Raphoe, County Donegal and of Relatives, Associates and Agents of that family by members of The Garda Siochana subsequent to the Death of Mr. Barron including the issue and prosecution of summonses relating to offences alleged to have occurred between 28th October, 1996 and 28th September, 1998 (Term of Reference (c))
The effectiveness of The Garda Siochana Complaints Inquiry process vis-a-vis the Complaints made by Frank McBrearty Senior and his family between 1997 and 2001 (Term of Reference (j).
The Eighth and final Report deals with Allegations contained in Documents received by Deputy Jim Higgins on the 25th of June 2000 and in information received by Deputy Brendan Howlin on the 25th of June 2000 that two Senior Members of An Garda Siochana may have acted with impropriety (Term of Reference (h)).
25th June 2008 at 15.30pm
The Chairman has ruled on the applications for costs arising out of the Tribunal's 6th Report. The ruling can be found in the Rulings section of this website.
The Tribunal delivered its Sixth Report to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform on the 24th April 2008. This report deals with the Arrests and Detentions of twelve persons in the course of the Garda investigation into the death of the Late Richard Barron in 1996 (Term of Reference (b)). It also deals with the Arrest and Detention of Mr. Frank McBrearty Junior on the 4th of February 1997 and matters related to the investigation by An Garda Siochana of an alleged assault on Edmond Moss (Term of Reference (f)). It considers allegations that visits to prisoners were electronically monitored and taped. It also deals with issues surrounding the Arrests and Detentions of Mr. Mark McConnell on the 1st of October 1998 and Mr. Michael Peoples on the 6th May 1999 (Term of Reference (d)).
The Report was published by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform on the 7th May 2008. The full text may be viewed at the Tribunal's Website www.morristribunal.ie and copies are available for sale at the Government Publications Sales Office, Sun Alliance House, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2.
Applications for costs will be received by the Tribunal in writing arising out of the findings of the Sixth Report from interested parties. All written applications for costs in respect of the Sixth Report must be received by the Registrar of the Tribunal, at Block 5, Belfield Office Park, Beech Hill Road, Clonskeagh, Dublin 4 before 5pm on Wednesday 28th May 2008.
The Sixth Report
The reader should note a typographical error in paragraphs 1.04 and 1.22; the date 4th of February 1996 should read 4th of February 1997.
The reader should note a typographical error in paragraph 10.67, line 11 at page 858; the words
"an unlawful" should read "a lawful".
The Tribunal has concluded the taking of evidence and submissions in respect of Terms of Reference (c), (j) and (h).
The Tribunal has now concluded all hearings in respect of each of its ten Terms of Reference and will report on all outstanding matters in due course.
Ruling on Applications for Costs concerning Terms of Reference (d), (g) and (i) are now available on the Tribunals Website in the Reports and Rulings section.
The Chairman Mr. Justice Frederick R. Morris has made his ruling in respect of the application for third party discovery, dated 25th of July 2007, by Mr. John White. The ruling can be viewed by clicking on the Reports and Rulings Section on the Tribunals website and following the on-screen instructions.
Following the publication of the third, fourth and fifth Reports of the Morris Tribunal by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, the third, fourth and fifth Reports are available for sale at the Government Publications Sales Office, Sun Alliance House, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2.
The cost of the third report is €2, with the fourth and fifth reports, €5 each. To order a copy of the reports from the Government Publication Sales Office, Telephone : 01 - 6476000 of Fax: 01 - 6476843.
The transcripts of the Tribunal's hearings in respect of the arrest and detention of Mrs Roisin Mc Connell were the subject of an Order made by the Tribunal Chairman on the 3rd of July 2006 restraining their publication until further order of the Tribunal in order not to prejudice the trial of Detective Sergeant John White which was then pending in Letterkenny Circuit Court. Detective Sergeant White has now been acquitted and the trial has concluded. The Chairman has therefore ordered the release for the publication of the transcripts of the hearings of the sub-module concerning Mrs Mc Connell's arrest and detention which are now available on the Tribunal's web site in the download transcipts section. The Tribunal will continue to hear balance of the evidence in respect of this sub-module on the 18th of September 2006 in public.
Please note that, as and from 7.30pm on Monday 3rd April, the transcripts for Module 6 - The Arrest and Detention Module will be in E - Transcript format for onscreen viewing. The transcript can be viewed by clicking on the Download Transcripts area of the Morris Tribunal Website and following the on-screen instructions.
A transcript of the updated opening statement delivered on the 27/03/2006 is available by clicking here.
The Tribunal has a policy in terms of calling witnesses to give evidence. This policy has been stated publicly at hearings on a number of occasions.
It is the Tribunal’s duty to complete its hearings with expedition. The Tribunal is required to investigate issues that are within its Terms of Reference only. The Opening Statement of Counsel to the Tribunal has focused attention on issues that the Tribunal considers to be of importance in the context of investigating the particular paragraphs of its Terms of Reference. The Tribunal has identified relevant witnesses in this regard and the names of such witnesses appear on the Tribunal website before the commencement of the relevant module. Additional relevant witnesses are called as the hearings proceed. In order to request the Tribunal to call a witness beyond the schedule proposed on its website, the following procedure applies:
(1) Name the witness and give his/her full address, telephone number and/or contact details;
(2) Supply a statement from that witness that sets out clearly the relevance of his/her proposed evidence;
(3) Alternatively, supply a text of the proposed evidence of the witness or what it is believed the witness will say;
(4) Give an explanation as to how the proposed testimony of the witness will impact on any fact at issue within the Tribunal’s Terms of Reference.
Such applications should be in writing to the Tribunal. In the event that the application is that a particular witness should be recalled to give evidence, indicate in the same terms as above what additional testimony might reasonably be expected. The decision as to whether to call a witness or not is for the Tribunal Chairman.
The Tribunals Ruling on applications concerning Terms of Reference (a) and (b) the Barron Module is available to download in the Reports and Rulings section of the Tribuals web site.
The Tribunals second report is now available at the Government Publications Sales Office, Sun Alliance House, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2. The cost of the Report and CD-ROM is €5 each. To order copy of report from Government Publications Sales Office, Telephone 01-6476000 or Fax 01-6476843.
The Tribunals second report can now be downloaded from the Reports and Rulings section of the website. The report will deal with issues set out in paragraph (a) and (b) of the Tribunal's Terms of Reference.
STATEMENT FROM THE MORRIS TRIBUNAL
Since its return from Donegal, the Morris Tribunal staff have been engaged in the task of distributing documents, and contacting witnesses, for the purpose of commencing public hearings.
The Tribunal legal personnel have had a number of meetings with representatives of the Garda Commissioner, with the Department of Justice and with former Ministers for Justice. We thank those parties for the courtesy they have shown us and for their cooperation to date. Further meetings are scheduled to take place. The Tribunal is determined to discover the origin of any fault that may be found with the matters encompassed by the Terms of Reference, and in that regard feels entitled to explore the involvement of all State agencies which may have had dealings in this matter. Discovery of documents has been made by a number of parties, in that regard, and the Tribunal staff are in the process of actively following up what further discovery may be necessary.
The first section scheduled for hearing was that related to explosives finds in County Donegal. In the expectation that all parties would be ready, in the aftermath of a comprehensive opening statement, hearings were scheduled to commence on Monday, the 3rd of February, 2003. A number of parties were in the process of making voluntary discovery in order to meet this hearing date. Unfortunately, one of the main parties to the Tribunal, namely the Commissioner of An Garda Síochána and those represented by him, have now sought a two week extension of time within which to file an affidavit of discovery, following on an order for discovery having been made by the Tribunal on the 5th of December, 2002. In addition, a number of documents have been delivered to the Tribunal in respect of which a claim of privilege has been made by this party, resulting in the Tribunal being unable to study these until that claim is clarified on an affidavit of discovery and then resolved by a hearing. Further documents, which are claimed to be privileged, have yet to be delivered. This has had the result that the hearing of this section must be deferred to Monday, the 3rd of March, 2003.
The Tribunal expects the full cooperation of all parties in our endeavour to expeditiously dispose of the task of hearing evidence in relation to all sections of the Terms of Reference. At the very least, continual delays will have the result of an increase in the cost of the Tribunal. Our endeavours are focused on the disposal of the business of the Tribunal in the shortest time consistent with fairness to all parties.
Registrar to the Tribunal. Dated this 7th day of January, 2003