From top: Garda Tony Golden; Screengrabs from last night’s RTE Investigates
Paul Murphy, of RTÉ’s Investigates, revisited the shooting of Garda Tony Golden and Siobhan Phillips by Adrian Crevan Mackin in Omeath, County Louth, on October 11, 2015.
Father-of-three Tony died in the shooting while Siobhan was left blind in one eye. Adrian, aged 25, took his own life shortly after the shooting.
Mr Murphy outlined the following events concerning Mackin.
2008: Mackin received probation for criminal damage.
2012: Mackin received a suspended sentence for possessing 23 images of extreme pornography.
December 2013: Mackin received a three-year suspended sentence for possessing a gun and ammunition
January 2015: The FBI informed gardaí from the Special Detective Unit on Dublin’s Harcourt Street that Mackin was buying weapons online. The FBI gave gardaí a list of weapons that Mackin bought over a two-year period.
Following this, the gardaí obtained a warrant stating they believed Mackin had six guns in his possession and other material to make explosives.
It also stated:
“Mr Mackin has also made enquiries with undercover agents in the FBI, USA to import Ricin, a highly toxic poison, with the intent of killing a Social Services Officer from Northern Ireland.”
January 16, 2015: At least 16 gardai from the Special Detectives Unit, some or all armed, went to Mackin’s house in Otmeath to execute this warrant. The gardai found material for making pipe bombs and gallons of sulphuric and nitric acid.
Mackin was taken into custody and, according to transcripts of the Garda interviews obtained by Mr Murphy, Mackin was asked if he was a member of the IRA, and he said ‘No, I’m not’. He was then asked if he has ever been a member of the IRA and he said, ‘No’.
Mackin was then asked another 27 questions about the IRA and he responded, ‘No comment’.
In a second Garda interview, Mackin was asked had he ever prepared explosives in his home and if he knew what a pipe bomb was. He answered ‘No’ to both questions.
January 17, 2015: Then, during the fifth Garda interview, as gardai showed him a list of paypal transactions, Mackin admitted to buying bomb-making materials over the internet, including the sulphuric and nitric acid.
He also admitted to buying parts for six guns online. And when he was asked if he bought them for IRA use, he said ‘No’.
He maintained he was not a member of IRA.
However, the DPP ordered that Mackin be charged with membership of the IRA, and not with any firearms offences such as gun possession, or importing weapons parts – which he admitted.
He was sent to Portlaoise Prison to await bail. His initial bail was cut from €20,000 to €5,000 and, ten days after he was arrested, he was out.
After this point, Mackin’s mental health deteriorated, and he started to assault his girlfriend Siobhan Philips regularly.
In addition, Mackin told his sister that he was ‘a marked man’ and that ‘it was only a matter of time’. He believed dissident republicans believed he was an informer.
October 9, 2015: Mackin beat Siobhan intermittingly over 12 hours, cutting her arm and legs with a bread knife.
The next day, Norma Phillips – wife of Siobhan’s father Sean – collected Siobhan from her workplace. Norma told Mr Murphy that Siobhan said she was afraid Mackin was going to kill her.
Norma and Sean took Siobhan to Dundalk Garda station but a garda there said he wouldn’t take a statement as Siobhan could have had a ‘brain injury’. He then told them to go to Otmeath station. The guard also said he’d arrange a meeting between them and Garda Tony Golden for the following day.
October 11, 2015: Siobhan went to Otmeath station where she gave a statement to while Norma and Sean waited outside. At this point Garda Golden said it was time for Siobhan to get her stuff from her and Mackin’s home and leave him.
Siobhan went with Sean to the house – a two minutes’ drive from the Garda station – while Garda Golden drove up separately.
Siobhan spotted Mackin’s car outside the house. Garda Golden and Siobhan got out of their respective cars and went into the house while Sean waited outside.
Sean said as the door was open, he could hear what happened. He said Mackin asked them what they were doing at the house, Garda Golden said they were there to collect Siobhan’s stuff and then Mackin shot Siobhan four times, shot Garda Golden and then turned the gun on himself.
Norma Phillips told Mr Murphy:
“I certainly can’t, at any level, accept that Tony Golden knew what lay ahead for him or would have had any knowledge that this guy had guns or access to weapons.”
But, Mr Murphy said, other gardaí did.
“Nine months earlier, during questioning Mackin told detectives that he had access to weaponry including parts for two Glock pistols, the model used to kill Tony Golden. He even admitted to storing guns at a derelict cottage in Louth a few hundred yards from the Border.”
Mr Murphy explained that Mackin told his sister and solicitor that he showed gardai his cache of weapons parts and guns, partly in exchange for not being charged with firearms offences and only being charged with IRA membership.
Watch back in full here