Irish Daily Mail - - Front Page - By Ali Bracken ali.bracken@dailymail.ie

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

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