This is an apology that is unrelated to any pending legal action, and, because of that, is, in a way, more important because it concerns the respect and justice that we each deserve and owe as human beings that is not always delivered.
I am happy to have received an affidavit from Former Garda Sergeant Alan Bailey which I deem to be impartial as well as honest, so I owe him a public apology and explanation.
This is the affidavit I received You should read it, I believe it to be as accurate, honest and neutral as is reasonably possible, in addition it provides accurate information about the attitude and concern of the Gardai that I was familiar with 4km away in a different Garda Division South of the river, until early 1993, so it is an historical document too.
When I saw “Reality Bites” online on 18 or 19 October it did not even occur to me to question his word, this is just fact, and I originally wrote the relevant blog post on those terms. However, within a few days, around October 26, the headlines were full of developments in an unrelated matter, the McCabe tribunal, that suddenly threw the testimony of every current or former member of An Garda Siochana into serious question. It was only then that I checked to see who he was, let alone edited the post to reflect my newfound doubts.
The revelations in the McCabe tribunal created doubt where nothing, even in my own recollection, contradicted him and no doubt would otherwise have been. That is not my fault, but it certainly wasn’t the fault of Former Garda Sergeant Alan Bailey either.
The nature of his sworn testimony has convinced me that it would have been perfectly safe to take him at his word, and to hold the opinion that it would not occur to him to lie outright for any reason, which, in my experience, is representative of almost all the members of An Garda Siochana I have encountered over the years.
I am genuinely very sorry that I felt compelled by matters he had no hand or part in to ask for that sworn testimony and glad to give this unsolicited public apology.