The bodies of three men killed in a head-on collision with a lorry on the N7 in Dublin last year have had to be identified using DNA samples from relatives, an investigation has found.
The men were being pursued by Gardaí when the collision occurred.
The three men – Dean Maguire, 29, Karl Freeman, 26, and Graham Taylor, 31, all from Tallaght in Dublin – died when their BMW vehicle burst into flames following a high-speed crash between Citywest and Baldonnell on July 7. 2021 while driving on the wrong side of the N7.
A former Forensic Science Ireland scientist, John Hoade, told a Dublin District Court session that he was able to match DNA samples taken from one of the parents of each deceased person with blood samples taken from the man’s body were taken
Mr. Hoade estimated the probability that Mr. Taylor was not related to the DNA profile provided by his mother, Brenda Taylor Freeman, at one in seven million.
The forensic scientist said there was a 1 in 90,000 and 100,000 chance of similar findings being made in relation to Mr Maguire and Mr Freeman, respectively.
Louise Woods, a senior investigator with the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC), told the inquiry that significant progress had been made in GSOC’s investigation into the deaths of the three men.
Ms Woods requested and was granted a six-month stay of the case in relation to Mr Freeman’s death.
However, following later objections from lawyer Michael Finucane, who is representing Mr Maguire’s family, coroner Clare Keane agreed to adjourn the inquest into all three cases for a period of three months.
When asked why GSOC was not seeking a shorter adjournment, Ms. Woods said six months was needed because GSOC did not have the same resources as An Garda Síochána.
Ms Woods told the court that just last month, GSOC received a report on the fatal accident from Lake Garda’s forensic collision investigators.
When asked by Mr Finucane, Ms Woods said GSOC had received numerous testimonies from Garda witnesses but could not say how many. She confirmed that statements from civilian witnesses had also been received.
The investigation found GSOC had also collected CCTV footage and images from taxi dashcams, which Ms Woods called “significant”.
The GSOC investigator said she couldn’t remember if social media images were part of the investigation, but agreed with Mr Finucane that it would be surprising if they didn’t form a line of inquiry in the case.
Ms Woods was repeatedly questioned about the length of the investigation and the need for a further six-month hiatus, stressing that GSOC had limited resources and the investigation had “generated a large file”.
“We can’t move it faster,” she added.
Mr Finucane said the need for another long adjournment was “exaggerated” as there was a legal requirement, “fueled by the European Convention on Human Rights” to deal with such cases without delay.
“I don’t think 13 months [since the deaths] It’s in everyone’s definition of prompt,” he noted.
Ms Woods said she will present the completed file to GSOC commissioners with a likely recommendation that it be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
With the approval of the GSOC, Dr. Keane rescheduled the inquest to October 25 to keep abreast of the progress of the inquest.
Lawyers representing Mr Taylor and Mr Maguire’s relatives also opposed the coroner’s proposed issuance of a death certificate.
Cian McCann, representing Mr Taylor’s family, said it was not appropriate for a death certificate to be issued at this time as details of the medical evidence should be retained until the full examination.
dr Keane said the purpose behind issuing a death certificate at a preliminary hearing of an inquest was for the “convenience” of the deceased’s loved ones.
However, Mr McCann claimed his client would not be reassured by such a move.
The men’s deaths sparked a major controversy over the behavior of mourners at Mr Maguire’s requiem mass and funeral last summer.
The funeral at St Mary’s Priory church in Tallaght made international headlines after a screwdriver and torch – tools associated with burglars – were brought to the altar as offerings, while many attendees ignored attempts by local priests to use the Limit numbers in church and get the congregation to observe social distancing and mask-wearing. within the framework of the Covid-19 restrictions.
A woman who delivered a eulogy said Mr Maguire would not be forgotten, before adding: “Sorry for the language father – rest in peace you bloody legend.”
A placard placed inside the church read: “RIP Dean – You know the score, get on the floor, don’t be funny, give me the money.”
Father Donal Roche, who oversaw the requiem ceremony and threatened to halt the ceremony at a stage unless greater respect was shown in the church, later described it as the “most disturbing” funeral he had ever attended.
A funeral procession consisted of motorcyclists doing wheelies and burnouts in a high-speed convoy, while Mr Maguire’s staff also performed dangerous maneuvers on public roads in Crumlin and other parts of the city in the days after his death.
All three men, who had over 200 convictions combined, were known to gardaí and believed to be key figures in a burglary gang linked to “fat” Andy Connors – a criminal gang leader who was shot dead outside his home in Saggart, Co .Dublin in August 2014.
https://www.independent.ie/news/three-men-who-died-in-high-speed-collision-identified-using-dna-samples-from-relatives-inquest-hears-41892442.html Three men who died in a high-speed collision have been identified using DNA samples from relatives, the investigation said