"Sylvia Roche Kelly is dead because they didn't handle my case properly"

Mary Lynch was the victim of a serious assault by Jerry McGrath, the man who went on to murder Roche Kelly.

"Sylvia Roche Kelly is dead because they didn't handle my case properly"

Sylvia Roche Kelly

Mary Lynch has said that "somebody has to be accountable" for the series of incidents that led to the murder of Sylvia Roche Kelly in Limerick in December 2007.

The Clare woman was killed at the Clarion Hotel by a man who was on bail for two serious crimes which he committed in the same year as her death - the assault of female taxi driver Mary Lynch in Co. Cavan, and the false imprisonment of a child in Co. Tipperary.

A commission by Mr Justice Kevin O’Higgins was established in February of last year to investigate claims made by Sergeant Maurice McCabe about the Cavan-Monaghan division of An Garda Síochána - Jerry McGrath had been granted bail from this division following the assault of Lynch.

Details of the report have been leaking to the media over the past two weeks, but so far there is no sign of the Government publishing it.

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast about the leaks, Mary Lynch said she has not been kept informed about the contents of the report ahead of publication: "I'm just working on reports in the media".

"From what I hear nobody is accountable, still."

She believes that in order for an Garda Síochána to "rectify their mistakes", younger members of the force need to be given better training.

"The problem in Bailieboro, and my case, was that there were so many young unsupervised guards there. The arresting Garda in my case was, according to him, the only Garda available within two units to drive a squad car."

She feels nothing has changed and those problems still remain, however she was quick to point out that young Gardaí are not at fault: "You have to blame the people above them who were supposed to be training them and supervising them."

She also expressed annoyance at the leaks suggesting that the Minister for Justice and others have been vindicated in the report: "In every job, the buck stops with the boss. These people need to know what's going on in every station."

Mary also spoke about how she feels her case was handled at the time saying she "was ringing every single week, sometimes twice a week" for an update.

"They kept telling me my file was gone to the DPP and they were waiting for it to come back," only for her to discover it "never went to the DPP until after the child was attacked" in October 2007. 

While Mary appreciates the mammoth task ahead for the Justice Minister and Garda Commissioner in order to effect real change in the police force, she says that "they have to start somewhere, and they had the chance to start with my case."

Mary says she wants a system that ensures a crime like this can never happen again.

You can listen back to the full interview here:

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