FBI WARNED ABOUT GARDA KILLER’S GUNS
He wasn’t charged for having firearms ‘That boy should not have been out’
THE FBI warned the Irish authorities that crazed garda-killer Adrian Crevan Mackin was buying guns online from the US, a new documentary reveals.
The low-level dissident republican shot dead Garda Tony Golden and seriously injured Mackin’s ex-partner Siobhán Phillips, the mother of his two children, in October 2015.
The 25-year-old then turned the gun on himself at his home in Omeath, Co. Louth. An unarmed Garda Golden had brought Ms Phillips to collect her belongings from the home she shared with Mackin when they were shot.
RTÉ Investigates also revealed last night that Mackin attempted to buy the highly toxic poison ricin from an undercover FBI agent in order to kill a ‘social worker in Northern Ireland’.
The programme also explored whether the killer was possibly working as a Garda informer at the time of his death.
His sister, who remained anonymous in the documentary, said her brother told her that he had handed over weapons to gardaí in exchange for not facing criminal charges.
She said her brother told her that gardaí had said: ‘We’ll keep you out of prison if you do this for us [tell us where the guns are]’.
She said her younger brother also lived in fear that the IRA were going to kill him because they believed he was an informer.
‘He believed the republicans would target him because they believed he was an informer. He said, “I’m a marked man now”. He couldn’t sleep. He couldn’t eat. He had anxiety disorder and was self-medicating,’ she said.
Gardaí from the elite Special Detective Unit raided Mackin’s home in January 2015 because of the information the FBI passed on in relation to him buying six guns online. They found various explosives and pipe bomb components at the property.
Days later, the young criminal led gardaí from the SDU to two weapons he had stashed in a cottage near his home.
He was not charged with firearm possession – just IRA membership. He was then granted bail. Transcripts of his Garda interviews, obtained by RTÉ, show he denied IRA membership but admitted buying guns online.
Siobhán’s father Seán Phillips and his wife Norma both spoke on the RTÉ documentary about how they believe Garda Golden was unaware Mackin had access to guns when he went with Siobhán to help collect her belongings on the day he died.
While local gardaí were aware Mackin was out on bail for IRA membership, the documentary explored whether local officers knew the criminal had handed over guns to the SDU.
Norma said: ‘If Garda Golden had all the information he would have made a different decision to go up to that house on his own, unarmed.’ Seán Phillips went with his daughter and Garda Golden on the day of the shooting to the killer’s home in Omeath. Seán stayed in the car while Siobhán and Garda Golden went inside. However, he heard the conversation from outside.
‘It happened that quick, inside of two minutes. He [Mackin] said, “What are you doing here, what are you doing here?” Then Tony Golden said, “Siobhán’s here to collect her things”. He didn’t answer Tony. Then I heard “bang bang, bang, bang”.
‘Then I was running, I was expecting bullets to be fired at me. I was shouting the names of my kids, thinking it was the last time I’d be saying them.’
A couple of days before the shooting, Siobhán broke down and admitted to her father and his wife that Mackin was beating her. This followed a savage, 12-hour overnight attack in which he had cut her arms and legs with a knife.
‘She was in pieces. She said “he’s going to kill me. I’m terrified”,’ Norma Phillips said. The family first went to Dundalk Garda Station but an officer directed them to Omeath, as it was the local station. The garda in Dundalk said he didn’t want to take a statement from Siobhán that day as he was concerned she could have a ‘brain injury’ because of the assault she had suffered at the hands of Mackin.
But the garda did set up an interview with Siobhán and Garda Golden for the next day. The then 22-year-old duly went to the interview with Garda Golden. ‘Siobhán came out and said, “I told him everything”,’ added Norma, who had accompanied her to the station. ‘Garda Golden said, “This guy is nothing but a bully. It’s time for Siobhán to get her belongings”.’
Seán then described arriving at the house in his car with his daughter, while Garda Golden was in his own vehicle.
‘Siobhán saw his [Mackin’s] car and said, “Oh s**t, he’s here”. Because we were with a garda, I thought, “We’re safe here”. I put my hand on her knee and said, “You’re safe here, he can’t hurt you anymore”.’
Siobhán and Garda Golden then entered the house and the savage shooting took place.
‘If I’d known he’d access to weapons I’d definitely not have gone near the house,’ Seán said.
‘That boy should not have been out.
‘Who thought it was a good idea to let him out? That’s nuts.’
Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams has raised several issues of the Garda handling of Mackin with the Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald. The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission is also now investigating, following a complaint from Mackin’s sister.
Seán said his family have not yet been contacted by the Garda watchdog.
Couple: Killer Adrian Crevan Mackin with then girlfriend Siobhán Phillips, whom he seriously injured in the October 2015 shooting
Funeral: Tony Golden’s wife Nicola and children behind his coffin
Shot dead: Garda Tony Golden