A FORMER Met policewoman has hit out at alleged garda injustice and the lack of state support in the search for missing people in Ireland.
Catherine Costelloe, who is from Limerick, policed London’s Peckham, Eltham and Woolwich for 15 years.
She is now a leading figure in Searching for the Missing and, most recently, Justice For All – a group campaigning against ‘garda corruption.’
Justice For All was formed last December after TD Clare Daly and other United Left Alliance politicians named those who had penalty points quashed
Last month, the group held a protest outside Tullamore garda station in Co. Offaly against alleged garda corruption and the Garda Ombudsman’s office.
Mrs Costelloe told The Irish Post there are plans for more protests in the coming months.
“The group was formed by people who feel the justice system has collapsed,” she said.
Justice For All founder TD Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan added: “This isn’t about having a go at guards. This is about trying to bring about accountability so that the majority of good, decent, hard-working gardaí can actually get on with their job.”
Mrs Costelloe, who lives in Limerick, has been a prominent voice for Ireland’s missing people, as well as a supporter of those who continue to highlight what are claimed to be mysterious circumstances around the death of Fr. Niall Molloy in Offaly in 1985.
“There is a commission in the North of Ireland investigating the Disappeared,” she said. “But no one is looking in the south.”
Mrs Costelloe said much her free time spent while as a serving policewoman in Britain was dedicated to the search for missing persons.
“Every day I’d go to the missing persons’ book straight away,” she added. “I’d a deep interest that came back to Ireland with me. As an Irish woman coming back I was totally shocked at the number of children reported missing in Ireland every year.”
Every year approximately 6,000 people are reported missing in Ireland, according to missingpersons.ie.
Mrs Costelloe added: “We are trying to change the system. We need more professionalism. You have to look at the bigger picture, there are hundreds of unsolved murders and the statistics for missing persons county by county are shocking.”