Serious questions on Garda collaboration with Eamon Cooke must be answered

21 June 2016

Statement by Joe Costello

The revelation in The Herald newspaper on Monday, 13 June, by Gerry O’Carroll, former Garda Detective, that Eamon Cooke, who is the main suspect in the disappearance of the thirteen year-old schoolboy Philip Carins, was given an official Garda code designated “Alpha Seven” is a remarkable piece of information and begs a host of questions.

How could a civilian be given an official Garda number? Are there other members of the public who were designated as Garda officers? Who was responsible for such a designation? Who gave Cooke a CB radio to communicate with Garda Command and Control Section in Dublin Castle?  Why did the Gardaí collaborate with Cooke in his night-time vigilante patrols of the Inner city, pursuing and ramming suspected stolen cars?  Were other civilians given the same latitude over the decades by the Gardaí? 

But the most worrying question of all: was Eamon Cooke grooming the Gardaí so that they would never suspect him of the rampant paedophilia that he was engaged in under the cover of Radio Dublin?  And thirty years ago, despite conducting hundreds of interviews in relation to the disappearance of Philip Cairns, the Gardaí never had the slightest suspicion of Eamon Cooke and he was never interviewed.  Was that because the Gardaí had been duped into the belief that he was above suspicion?

All these questions need to be answered in the context of the present investigation into Philip Cairn’s disappearance.  We also need to know how such bad Garda practices developed, how extensive they were and whether they remain in situ in any capacity in the Gardai to the present day.

I am calling on the Garda Commissioner and the Minister for Justice to make statements on the matter.