Mayor of Limerick's metropolitan district Cllr Jerry O'Dea
THE Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc) has launched an investigation into the handling of an incident which saw Limerick metropolitan district mayor Jerry O'Dea involved in a road accident.
The inquiry is running at the same time as an internal Garda disciplinary probe into how members of the force conducted the investigation into the December 2014 crash.
In the days leading up to Cllr O'Dea's election as metropolitan district mayor, he contacted gardai to find out whether he would be charged with an offence.
Due to the fact six months had already elapsed since the incident, no charges were forthcoming.
The inquiry from the independent garda watchdog will seek to establish why no prosecution was pursued in the aftermath of the incident.
It will test whether the Garda’s inquiry was conducted properly and without any influence, and Gsoc will examine whether Garda members, or anybody outside the force, became involved in the case to exert influence.
After the story initially broke back in October, Cllr O'Dea said he considered the matter closed, stating he co-operated fully with the gardai.
But days later, and following calls from Fianna Fail party leader to clarify his position, the mayor insisted he "made no effort to influence the gardai".
In a statement released to the Limerick Leader at the time, the Fianna Fail councillor said he “very much regrets the incident” and “apologises for any controversy caused” after an investigation was launched into why local officers failed to follow up on the accident.