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Dublin: 8 °C Monday 30 March, 2020

'I’m very concerned at reports regarding the bail situation': Garda review into Eoin Berkley case announced

A Garda review into policing matters around the case of Eoin Berkley is to take place.

Eoin Berkley has been sentenced to 14 years for the multiple rape and imprisonment of a Spanish student.
Eoin Berkley has been sentenced to 14 years for the multiple rape and imprisonment of a Spanish student.
Image: Collins Agency

AN INTERNAL GARDA review is to be carried out into the policing of bail conditions attached to Eoin Berkley. 

Berkeley, of Hampton Wood Way, Finglas, was yesterday sentenced to 14 years for the repeated rape and false imprisonment of a Spanish student in Dublin between 15 and 16 July 2017.

The 25-year-old had 25 previous convictions and was on bail at the time of the attack.

Speaking this evening Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said he was very concerned about the matter: 

I’m very concerned at reports regarding the bail situation. 

Minister Flanagan welcomed that Assistant Commissioner Pat Leahy has been appointed to undertake a review into the policing of the case saying he hoped any issues raised as a result “will be dealt with in a timely manner”:

I trust that will be done at the earliest opportunity and that the matter can be examined in full. 

Flanagan said he looked forward to seeing the results and the lessons that have been gleaned from the review:

If there are issues pertaining to the practice and procedure of an Garda Síochána they need to be dealt with and they need to be dealt with in a timely manner. 

Earlier today Fianna Fáil Justice spokesperson Jim O’Callaghan said the conviction raised some significant concerns: 

The conviction of Eoin Berkley for a crime of the most depraved and serious nature, committed while he was on bail, once again highlights the dangers associated with the violation of bail conditions.

O’Callaghan said Berkley had breached bail, “In this particular instance, one of the terms of bail was that this individual would stay away from Dublin City centre. This was breached”.

He also has a series of serious previous convictions and had consequently been identified by the justice system as dangerous; breaching a term of bail should have meant that his bail was revoked.

New laws around bail came into place in 2017, however the Justice Minister has highlighted these were not in force at the time of the attack on the Spanish woman.

Minister Flanagan said he would consider legislative changes if required, but “it seems to me at this stage, and I’m speaking subject to Assistant Commissioner Pat Leahy’s review”.

It seems more in the area of practice and procedure, but I don’t wish to preempt the outcome of ass comm leahy’s review.

A Garda spokesperson said the review would look at policing issues raised during the case:

The Assistant Commissioner will examine issues such as communications between divisions in Dublin city centre and Garda monitoring of bail conditions of the convicted individual. The review will establish the lessons to be learnt and whether changes to processes are needed.

With reporting by Christina Finn

Comments are closed on this article, as the victim chose to retain her right to anonymity in this case.

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