Inquest into Sgt Mick Galvin hears he died by shooting himself with a Garda-issue Sig pistol



The inquest into Sgt Mick Galvin death has heard today that he was found slumped in a chair in the detective’s room at Ballyshannon Garda station.

He shot himself with a Garda-issue Sig pistol and he had left a suicide note in his own office in the same station, Coroner Dr Denis McAuley was told at the inquest in Donegal town.

The gun, taken with a key from the locked armoury in the station, was beneath the chair. There was no evidence anybody heard the shot being fired.

Dr McAuley returned a suicide finding at the inquest.

The 45-year-old father of three, who was under investigation by the Garda Ombudsman commission and didn’t know he had been cleared, last spoke to colleague Garda Paddy Battle shortly before he took his own life in the early hours of May 28, 2015.

Gda Battle, a friend for 10 years, told the inquest he received a phone call at 11.50 pm on the 27th and they talked about the job and sport.

Garda Claire O’Hara, who was on duty in Ballyshannon with Sgt Galvin, said that at 4.40 a.m. Colette Galvin phoned the station inquiring if her husband was still there.

Gda O’Hara said that with colleagues she checked all offices and didn’t locate him. She returned to Sgt Galvin’s own office and saw a suicide note addressed to his wife. She accepted that it may have been there when she first entered.

The inquest heard from other witnesses that Sgt Galvin wasn’t located until after 7 a.m. when a detective came on duty and had a key to the detectives’ room where he saw that the dead body.

Earlier this year Mr Justice Frank Clarke investigated the GSOC handling of its inquiry into an incident on New Year’s morning 2015 when 23-year-old mother of three Sheena Stewart died in a road accident in Ballyshannon.

Sgt Galvin had some interaction with Ms Stewart before the accident.

He had been cleared of any wrongdoing but had not been notified.

Judge Clarke reported that the GSOC was mistaken in its decision to instigate a criminal investigation into the actions of the gardai following Ms Stewart’s death.