The widower of murdered woman Sylvia Roche Kelly has this week begun a €4m High Court civil action suing the State for damages over the fact Co. Tipperary man Gerard McGrath was on bail when he murdered his wife in a Limerick hotel in 2007.
Lorcan Roche-Kelly is suing the State, Garda Commissioner and Minister for Justice for damages alleging his wife’s killer was “free to commit the crime of murder when he should have been in custody”.
The central issue of the case arises from the fact McGrath was on bail in relation to two serious crimes at the time of the murder. Those crimes were the false imprisonment and assault of a five year-old girl he attempted to abduct from her home in Dundrum, Co. Tipperary in October, 2007 and the assault of Cavan taxi driver Mary Lynch in April the same year.
At the High Court on Monday, the State’s application to dismiss the civil action was adjourned to May 26 for hearing.
Meanwhile, the Government has announced it is to appoint a barrister to examine the claims made by Garda whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe to determine whether a full inquiry is warranted. The circumstances under which McGrath was out on bail when he murdered Sylvia Roche-Kelly is one of the cases included in a dossier of allegations compiled by Sgt. McCabe that Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin handed to Taoiseach Enda Kenny last week. Mr Martin told the Dail the Minister for Justice received the dossier 2 years ago.