Proportional Response


From top: Mark Hennessy and the scene of his fatal shooting in Cherrywood, County Dublin on Sunday

Via Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission:

An investigation by GSOC into the circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting of a 40-year-old man at Cherrywood Business Park, Co Dublin on Sunday last is ongoing. Following the post mortem, and the issuing of the required notifications of the GSOC investigation to the relevant parties, GSOC can confirm the following:

The incident was referred to GSOC under section 102 (1) of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended (“the 2005 Act”) at 20.43 on Sunday 20 May. Section 102 (1) requires the Garda Commissioner to refer to GSOC “any matter that appears to the Garda Commissioner to indicate that the conduct of a member of the Garda Síochána may have resulted in the death of, or serious harm to, a person”.

A team of GSOC investigators from Cork were at the scene from 23.50.

A garda service weapon was recovered from the scene by GSOC. The remaining ammunition and one spent cartridge was located in the firearm. A Stanley knife was subsequently recovered from the vehicle, the Nissan Qashqai, which had been the subject of a garda alert in the preceding hours.

A post mortem on Monday 21 May established that the man identified as Mark Hennessy had been shot in the shoulder, and that the bullet entered his torso causing fatal injuries. The deceased was in the driver’s seat at the time of the shooting. Other wounds consistent with self-harming were noted on his body.

GSOC investigators are in the process of collecting evidence including video footage of the incident. In particular GSOC is in possession of a recording from the ANPR camera of the Garda traffic car which was at the scene. CCTV recordings from premises in the vicinity have been provided to GSOC investigators. Witnesses are being identified and contacted in the ordinary way.

Following a preliminary examination of the incident under s. 91 of the 2005 Act, GSOC is now undertaking an investigation under s. 98 of the 2005 Act, , which is for incidents that appear to involve offences. Under the provisions of s. 98 of the 2005 Act GSOC investigations have, for the purposes of the investigation, all the powers, immunities and privileges and duties imposed on members of the Garda Síochána.

GSOC has appointed a family liaison officer (FLO) to engage with the family of the deceased man.

A statement from GSOC last night into the fatal  shooting of Mark Hennessy (top), a suspect in the murder of student Jastine Valdez.

Fatal shooting at Cherrywood Co Dublin on Sunday 20 May 2018 (GSOC)

Previously: Mark Hennessy on Broadsheet

Pics: YouTube/Press Association

48 thoughts on “Proportional Response

  1. Not On Your Nelly

    Shot while sitting in the car. Odd. People where saying on twitter that there were reports they thought he had a gun. Without that it’s very hard to see what danger they were in from a man sitting in a car. Such an odd thing for a detective to discharge a weapon.

    1. Murtles

      The telephone call to the Guards from his relative stated there was two people in the car. According to other reports when the Guards got there they seen him making a stabbing motion in the car and they assumed his was killing the poor girl so Detective discharged a shot to disable him (he was self harming it was discovered). As it was all over in a matter of seconds, it’s impossible to say what the guards should or should not have done. If they waited and he did kill her in front of them, more uproar.

      1. Daisy Chainsaw

        When you’re in one of those “split second” situations, there will always be someone who’ll criticise what you’ve done.

        Lots of CSI/NCIS watchers critiquing the situation like armchair gymnasts and divers watching the Olympics.

        1. Andrew

          Well the story keeps changing Daisy. That’s all and forgive me if I am sceptical of what the likes of Paul Reynolds/Williams says or indeed the Garda press office.

          1. Toe Up

            “forgive me if I am sceptical of what the likes of Paul Reynolds/Williams says or indeed the Garda press office.”

            Are they not one and the same?

  2. Brother Barnabas

    “A team of GSOC investigators from Cork were at the scene from 23.50.”

    is that normal procedure?

      1. Cian

        If the Gardaí in question were from Dublin, possibly the GSOC comes from outside Dublin.

        It wouldn’t be unusual to look for the investigators to be from a separate location to ensure independence.

  3. Junkface

    Its very strange that he was shot in the shoulder, a non fatal area of the body, but that the bullet changed direction as it hit bone and went further into his torso and killed him. Its a probability that something like that could happen, I’ve just never heard of it much before. Such a perplexing case all in all.

    1. Not On Your Nelly

      From my extensive watching of tv and googling many important things, bullets ricochet off bone and can go all over the shop. It’s the fact that they shot a man seated in a car that is very worrying. No matter the crime he had committed, unless it was specifically mentioned he was armed with a gun.

      1. Cian

        ” It’s the fact that they shot a man seated in a car that is very worrying.”
        …unless the car was moving and was threatening the life of someone.

        I’ve no evidence that the car was moving – just saying it because it would change the dynamic and give a reason for the shooting to happen.

        1. Brother Barnabas

          there’s also a video clip going around whatsapp of him driving headlong into a group of 6 or 7 people outside killiney dart station. presume the guards would have known this by then.

          1. Pat Harding

            Well there may and there may not be a video on Whatsapp. Why is it not up online yet?

    2. Cian

      It would also depend on where the shooter was relative to him.

      If the shooter was in front/behind him, then a bullet hitting the shoulder won’t continue into the torso (unless it changes direction).
      If the shooter was beside him, then a bullet hitting the shoulder will continue into the torso.

    1. rotide

      They are obviously going to do some manner of preliminary investigation before releasing any sort of statement.

  4. RuilleBuille

    RTEs Paul Reynolds was out of the traps quickly telling us the crazed killer ran at Gardai with a knife.

    Reynolds has a long history of false reporting when Garda actions are called into question.

    1. Andrew

      Paul Reynolds relays what his Garda sources tell him, as does Paul Williams.
      Calling these pair journalists is stretching it, even in Ireland where the bar is fairly low.
      Originally it was two shots fired and he was running at a Garda with a stanley knife!
      The Gardai are all over the place with this and we still do not know when they acted on the abduction report.
      They very quickly contended that Jastine was killed within an hour of abduction when they could not have known that.
      Then they kill this guy not knowing where the victim was or whether she was alive or dead.

        1. postmanpat

          Its all a media tactic to burn out the publics interest in trigger happy guards. They say a gun was recovered from the scene with one round spent. ? so …. The guard dropped the weapon after firing? Did the bang bang scare poor widdle detective?

          1. Cian

            Again, you are assuming lots from “A garda service weapon was recovered from the scene by GSOC. The remaining ammunition and one spent cartridge was located in the firearm“.

            What if: The guard holstered the weapon after the shooting. Then remained there until GSOC arrived. (s)he then surrendered the weapon to GSOC.

            would this be a possible scenario that matches the statement above?

          2. Nigel

            This is the kind of calm, level-headed, fair-minded objective approach to judging events like this shooting that make me think we get what we bloody deserve in terms of inquiries and investigations.

            Edit – damn now it looks like I was replying to Cian.


          3. rotide

            Are you completely illiterate?

            A gun being ‘recovered’ from the scene doesn’t mean they found it hidden under a bush where the miscreant secreted it.

  5. rotide

    This information changes things a bit alright. However there’s still a lot of information missing from it. They would clearly have interviewed all garda present and It’s hard to believe they haven’t looked at the video mentioned on the traffic car. So any amount of speculation is based on incomplete evidence.

    My guess is their releasing this statement to get out ahead of any leaks pending the full investigation

  6. alfie

    Getting like a Hollywood blockbuster like enemy of the state.
    Seems to me the story keeps changing ,and apparently where he was shot was near where the luaus departs.
    Looks like when he went on his binge of drugs and drink he was a responsible motorists ensuring he did not drink and drive
    And the gsoc team from cork
    Why not Dublin.?
    So considering the guy was not out of his car how could he lunge at the garda
    It looks like at very least the garda messed up and used a shoot to kill because of a Rambo mentality This case stinks, more and more as time goes on .

    1. Brother Barnabas

      “It looks like at very least the garda messed up and used a shoot to kill because of a Rambo mentality”

      Three massive assumptions in 21 words

      1. postmanpat

        They dont seem like massive assumptions. Give a guard a gun and every problem looks like a firing target.

        1. Brother Barnabas

          yeah, i suppose that’s true when you consider the long list of incidents involving guards shooting people unnecessarily. sometimes I wonder how any of us are still alive.

        2. Cian

          So how many people have been shot by Gardaí in the last 5 years?

          Dammit Brother Barnabas, you got in too fast!

      2. alfie

        Yes assumptions unless it is shoot to kill
        The story keeps changing by the minute,,,,,,,,,,,,

    2. Not On Your Nelly

      You need to use a kappa. And questioning how odd it is for a person to be shot by a detective on this small island when that rarely happens is important. We might not have any facts in detail but that doesn’t stop people having an opinion. About a tax funded organization, killing a person.

      It’s ok, you are related to a guard and that’s fine. People are allowed raise concerns.

      1. alfie

        A few years ago I remember reading about the man in was it Galway who was shot dead by gardai
        It was chilling especially when he requested to speak to a solicitor before they just gunned him down
        His name I think was john Carney and he died may 2000 a primetime investigation was shown on TV
        Maybe the gardai should not be armed and the armed response unit being from our army who are trained properly how to handle peace keeping
        It would take a change of law to allow them to do this but it would be a good move

  7. Lush

    If he was trying to kill himself or someone else in the car, us there not a certain logic in an armed Garda targeting his shoulder in order to disable him?

  8. the bottler

    No point in asking Paul Williams where he got his orinigal information about a suspect endangering the life of an unarmed Garda. He will deny everything.

  9. Mary Jane

    I read this last night. Since last Sunday this case has perplexed me, as soon as I heard there was an abduction, and then when it was announced that the chief suspect was killed.

    From investigative journalist point of view. Firstly, who witnessed the abduction, where and at what time precisely? According to the Independent “A woman and her young family witnessed the incident and alerted the gardaí.” A real journalist would have talked to this woman, and persuaded her to give an interview. But this has not happened so far.

    Secondly what route did Hennessy take from the Kilcroney Road. Did he take the R760 through Enniskerry onto Monastery road and then onto the R117 driving in the direction of Kilternan before taking the Ballycorus Road leading to Puck’s Castle lane. Or did he he take the R117 directly from Enniskerry, take the Ballyman Road and then Ballyman Lane before reaching Puck’s Castle Lane. Alternatively, did he take the N11 exiting at Fassaroe, passing St Gerard’s School before turning left at Old Conna and heading up the Ballyman road from the opposite direction? According to the Independent a witness said “About an hour later, a man phoned the gardai to say he had spotted a young woman in distress in a car on the N11, a short distance from where the abduction took place. So who is this man, has any journalist identified him, and asked him to give an interview to verify if this is true?

    In relation to the shooting on Sunday night. GSOC are now saying that Hennessy was in the car. A very different version of events to what was being put out there on Monday. The next question is whether the car was surrounded? Could Hennessy have moved the car (seems unlikely) Surely, some effort must have been made to get Hennessy out of the car before the shot was taken. What negotiations took place, if any? How long was Hennessy in the parked car before the shot was taken? What time was the fatal shot taken?

    1. Cian

      Interesting questions about the witnesses. Unfortunately our media is rubbish.

      As for the shooting, we can hope that the cameras on the squad cars recorded enough for the truth to be known.

  10. Shane

    This was the story on Tuesday as reported in several newspapers:

    “As gardai approached him on Sunday, he lunged at an unarmed traffic officer with a knife – and it was at this point he was shot. Gardai had begged Hennessy to drop the blade, he then began to self-harm, stabbing at himself. Then he advanced towards the officer – stabbing at him. A detective then fired a shot to protect his colleague.”

    This suggests he was shot while running at detectives. The GSOC statement suggests a very different narrative. Given the likelihood the lunging story is incorrect, who released it and why? Paul Reynolds mentioned it on Monday on RTE as “one line of inquiry” – but he either did or didn’t run at them and get shot down. The quality and credibility of Irish crime reporting is once again exposed as weak.

    1. Cian

      The dark side of “protecting our sources” is that the media can literally make stuff up.

  11. Mary Jane

    Further to my post earlier, this story makes absolutely no sense to me. have now posted a video of Hennessy from CCTV footage in the car park in Ballybrack at 5.41pm last saturday (note he is wearing a navy top) He is on his mobile as he walks towards the Qashqai. There has been chatter that he was looking to score cocaine (according to the Irish Sun, the dealer came forward initially to say Hennessy was in touch and has since gone into hiding?)

    Hennessy then drives to Kilcroney Road, an unusual place to drive to from Ballybrack. Unusual because it is only a couple of kilometers from his home on the Boghall Road but in the opposite direction? to put this simply, he drives 3/4 of the way home and then takes a random detour towards Kilcroney (you can use google maps to follow the route)

    The suggestion is that he randomly pulled up beside Jastine Valdez, assaulted her and put her into the car (was it into the backseat (it would appear so) if a witness on the N11 says he saw a distressed woman in a black Qashqai a little later. The assault was witnessed by a 12 year old boy, initially it was reported by a woman with a young family. So who saw what and when?

    Perhaps, this encounter is not as random as seems to be suggested.

    Later on that evening, Hennessy is videod in the same bar in Ballybrack. He’s wearing a beige T-shirt (not navy) so where and when did he change?

  12. Catherine costelloe

    I think he was shot from passengers side? The drivers side window has punch hole size on top left corner.
    I fully support the detective; it was a fraught situation . We don’t know if this hoor locked himself in and Garda had to force entry and that’s when he lunged at the officer.
    Time will tell. Goodbye little lady. Awfully sad.

  13. Dinny Do Well?

    Asking for a friend:

    If this had happened post GDPR deadline (today, May 25th) would the Gardaí have been able to download Hennessey’s vehicle’s onboard computer data without his consent?

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