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Is the DPP acting in the public interest?

  • 11-05-2023 4:50pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 4,407 ✭✭✭


    Last week, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) said that its current level of funding is not enough for a modern prosecution service.

    However, it has seen fit to decide to prosecute a garda in connection with the deaths of three burglars who died when their getaway car was destroyed in a crash as they were pursued by gardaí, even though it was driver of the getaway car who decided to drive the wrong way on a one-way road. GSOC disclosed the DPP's decision at the inquest yesterday.

    In a similar case in London last year, a police officer stood trial on charges of dangerous driving causing death even though it was the driver who the officer was pursing that caused the deaths. That officer was acquitted.


    So why would the DPP in this country consider it to be a worthwhile spending of public money to prosecute the garda in connection with the deaths of the burglars?



Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,521 ✭✭✭Allinall


    If the DPP is of the view that an offence has been committed, and thinks there is sufficient evidence to secure a conviction, then they don't really have a choice.

    It's literally what they are tasked with.



  • Registered Users Posts: 81,445 ✭✭✭✭Overheal


    How is the problem of DPP funding linked to you disliking the prosecutions they take up?

    It sounds like you'd like them to prosecute the 3 robbers as well - I'm sure they would have preferred to? But you cannot prosecute corpses. Reports don't even say what he's being charged with yet.




  • Registered Users Posts: 6,820 ✭✭✭Gusser09


    Putting aside the actions and backgrounds of the scumbags that were killed if the DPP believes that the Garda acted in a way that was illegal then they should prosecute. It's that simple.



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,407 ✭✭✭political analyst


    The DPP is independent. So how can it not have a choice? The English case that I cited ended with acquittal. So I don't envisage a jury in this country, which is also a common-law jurisdiction, convicting the garda in this case.

    How could the garda have committed a crime if it was the getaway driver's course of action that let to deaths of that driver and his accomplices? So how could there be a realistic prospect of conviction? That is where funding comes into the equation.

    It is reported that the garda will be charged with either reckless endangerment or dangerous driving causing death.



  • Registered Users Posts: 81,445 ✭✭✭✭Overheal


    The DPP is independent. So how can it not have a choice?

    Do Police in Ireland have Qualified Immunity to break the law? If so, what are the constraints?

    How could the garda have committed a crime if it was the getaway driver's course of action that let to deaths of that driver and his accomplices? So how could there be a realistic prospect of conviction? That is where funding comes into the equation.

    How could you jump to conclusions without any of the facts or having read an indictment to the same? So how could there be a realistic prospect you know exactly what will be charged or what the jury would find? You answered your own speculation though that matches mine, reckless endangerment likely, a cop who for example, flies through a quiet neighborhood (a busy highway here, another scene with risks for driving dangerously) to maintain a high speed chase even when conditions for a high speed chase are reckless to innocent bystanders (in this case oncoming traffic). It sounds like the cop/everyone involved is lucky that the truck driver survived a head on collision, not without injury I imagine.

    From GRA

    The news that any member would face the threat of criminal charges for any actions while carrying out their duty for the protection of the public has come as a shock and is extremely concerning for our members.

    "However, as we do no know the details or context of any possible charges, it would be inappropriate to comment any further at this time except to say that the association will be providing any assistance and supports we can to our colleague at this time."


    Hedging statement to say the least. Does the truck driver, a member of the public, feel like they were protected?



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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,051 ✭✭✭Augme


    The statement from the Garda Representative Association was genuinely frightening.


    "The news that any member would face the threat of criminal charges for any actions while carrying out their duty for the protection of the public has come as a shock and is extremely concerning for our members."

    The inly shocking snd concerning thing is that the the GRA and the Gards think they should be always be immune from prosecution for any action a garda takes while on duty. A bizarre attitude to have, and given the extremely dodgy standards within the Garda that is even more worrying.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,897 ✭✭✭eggy81


    Did the guard follow him down the wrong side of motorway. If not it’s impossible to see how any charge can be brought. The only other alternative was just not bothering to chase criminals at all in a vehicle.



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,407 ✭✭✭political analyst




  • Registered Users Posts: 18,086 ✭✭✭✭bucketybuck


    People don't even know what the charge is, how the hell can anybody offer an opinion on it?



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,407 ✭✭✭political analyst


    This isn't about a firearms officer - this is about a garda involved in the pursuit of a getaway car that crashed because that car's driver chose to go into a dangerous situation. There is a perception that the ability of police officers on both sides of the border on the island of Ireland and in Britain to protect the public is being hindered by what is cynically regarded as 'wokeness' - for want of a better word.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 40,291 ✭✭✭✭Gatling


    Likey the families involved put pressure on the right people to make sure this gets blamed on someone else and they get entitled to a large settlement for all the families involved



  • Registered Users Posts: 81,445 ✭✭✭✭Overheal


    You only quoted half the statment,

    "However, as we do no know the details or context of any possible charges, it would be inappropriate to comment any further at this time except to say that the association will be providing any assistance and supports we can to our colleague at this time."



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,407 ✭✭✭political analyst


    Why would the DPP cave-in to pressure from the families of the dead burglars? That's not how it works. Actually, I got the impression from reading yesterday on the RTÉ News website that the families were annoyed that the inquest is being adjourned.



  • Registered Users Posts: 40,291 ✭✭✭✭Gatling




  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 25,157 Mod ✭✭✭✭Podge_irl


    They quite often choose to stop a chase because of the danger posed to the public.



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,407 ✭✭✭political analyst


    There's no evidence that the DPP is susceptible to lobbying. Two decades ago, a girl was severely injured by a driver who was involved in an unlawful race with another driver. The DPP decided not to prosecute. There was uproar and so James Hamilton, who was DPP at the time, commissioned an independent council to review the case but the DPP's original decision still stood due to insufficient evidence. Hamilton was interviewed about the case. He denied that the suspect's cultural background had anything to do with the decision.



  • Registered Users Posts: 81,445 ✭✭✭✭Overheal


    Two decades ago, a girl was severely injured by a driver who was involved in an unlawful race with another driver. The DPP decided not to prosecute.

    Personally I think we should focus more on these settled cases not on current/new cases still to go before the irish circuit to have the talk about DPP and the public interest. The Garda agencies and union groups etc. have said their piece that's all there is for now anyway right.

    Do you have a link to this story or anything we can expand on? You seem quite more familiar with it.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,897 ✭✭✭eggy81


    It’ll be interesting to see if it is reckless driving causing death in that case.



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 22,105 CMod ✭✭✭✭Ten of Swords


    Mod - There is a thread discussing the 3 burglars that died in that crash, and the subsequent possibility of a garda facing charges, we do not need another one. Please discuss that issue here

    https://www.boards.ie/discussion/2058199039/what-do-you-even-call-this-funeral-procession-joyride-maybe#latest


    Please keep this thread to discussing the funding of, and overall role of, the DPP rather than pick apart specific cases. Thanks



  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 9,974 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jim2007


    The DPP is not tasked with acting in the public interest, if you want to make up the rules and then get all up set about that is on you, nobody needs justify it to you.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 879 ✭✭✭Get Real


    The DPP is absolutely tasked with acting in the public interest. The term "public interest" occurs 42 times in their 2019 guidelines, link below.

    Even where evidence exists, the prosecutor must follow up and ask whether it is in the public interest to prosecute and also, if there are reasons why in the public interest a prosecution shouldn't take place. Section 4.6.



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,941 ✭✭✭Oscar_Madison




  • Registered Users Posts: 81,445 ✭✭✭✭Overheal


    I don't honestly see how in general the DPP is the rub.

    My impression of your headlines and thread titles over the years across the Boards fora is not that 'scum aren't being prosecuted etc' you do still get that sentiment too, but far from it, they're usually in and out and in and out and in and out and in and out and in (I'm not copy pasting I swear) in and out and in and out of court. Lenient sentencing seems to be the rub, lack of prisons or precise targeting of the right criminals to keep jailed etc. seems to be the rub. 'DUI? Dead kid? Sorry about it? Got money? Good lad, suspended sentence' etc. and whole reams of ink, kilowatts of boards server power spent talking about the likes of martin nolan over the years too.

    Which is not to say the DPP can only be examined by comparison, but it's a pretty stark comparison.



  • Registered Users Posts: 8,878 ✭✭✭Gregor Samsa



    I think the OP seems to think that the "public interest" includes factoring in the character of the people involved in this situation. This is not the case.

    Here's the DPP website's own words of the role that "public interest" plays in their decisions.

    How do we decide if there is a ‘public interest’ in prosecuting?

    Even if there is enough evidence, the DPP must also decide if there is a public interest in prosecuting.

    In considering the public interest, the DPP must take a number of factors into account, including the interests of the victim, the suspect and the wider community.

    There is a clear public interest in making sure that the wrongdoer is prosecuted, convicted and punished when a crime is committed. The more serious the crime and the stronger the evidence, the more likely it is that it will be in the public interest to prosecute


    It's clear that "public interest" is weighed in favour of prosecuting when the evidence is strong and the charge is serious.

    Contrary to the OP's suggestion, it's not the case that the "public interest" is determined to be diminished just because there's a Garda and the death of known criminals involved.



  • Registered Users Posts: 996 ✭✭✭lmao10


    You either support corruption or you don't.

    If someone commits a crime, they should be punished with accordance to the law.

    I hope the garda in this case gets off because these lads were no loss to society. They would only have burgled and traumatised some more people and had kids who are likely to grow up and do the same.



  • Registered Users Posts: 43,024 ✭✭✭✭SEPT 23 1989


    Nothing is independent in a small country



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,220 ✭✭✭...Ghost...


    The DPP doesn't always act in the public interest IMO. Sometimes they are utterly incompetent and bias and bend to the flavour of the month.

    I wonder what "evidence" the DPP was looking at when a decision to charge Sil Fox was made. Maybe they missed the CCTV footage they had in the file? The DPP have a choice and plenty of resources if they didn't waste so much time prosecuting cases with no merit and no chance of a conviction.

    Stay Free



  • Registered Users Posts: 353 ✭✭a clanger


    There were reports that violent/aggravated burglary went down by 75% in Leinster after these 'victims' of an over zealous Garda removed themselves from society. These renegade unarmed Garda who have uphold our laws while dealing with 'victims' who after 200 convictions have lost faith in the justice system. The Garda should be made an example of too all. I suggest a Scott medal and parade him in front of the President at the Aras.



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