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Rebecca Browne

GSOC investigation into Garda car collision that killed Derry woman now a criminal probe

The investigation originally set out to determine if the actions of the Gardaí had amounted to a breach of discipline.

GSOC HAS CONFIRMED its investigation into the death of Derry woman Rebecca Browne has been redesignated and will now seek to establish whether the actions of An Garda Síochána relating to the incident were criminal in nature. 

Rebecca Browne, 21, from the Galliagh area of Derry, was struck by a Garda patrol car at 3:15am on 21 May as she was returning home from a night out in Donegal. 

The investigation, which was initially launched under Section 95 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, is now being conducted under Section 98 of the same Act. 

The investigation originally set out to determine if the actions of the Gardaí had amounted to a breach of discipline but now it will ascertain whether the actions amounted to a criminal offence. 

In a statement the solicitor for the family Conor Moylan of Madden & Finucane said: 

“The family of Ms Browne have had concerns surrounding the tragedy from the outset and

want the circumstances to be investigated rigorously.

“We will continue to work closely with the family to ensure a full and proper investigation is carried out.”

Rebecca’s mother Rachel Lynn Smith said: “We are pleased to hear that the investigation is being taken seriously by the Garda Ombudsman.

“We are eager to find out what occurred on the night of Rebecca’s death. We miss our daughter dearly and can only hope that justice will be served.”

Speaking In the wake of Rebecca’s death, SDLP councillor Brian Tierney said the community in Galliagh was devastated. 

He said: “I have known Rebecca and the Browne family for many years and they are absolutely devastated by her loss, which has touched the entire community here in Galliagh.”

- With additional reporting from Press Association  

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