Garda kept job despite admitting sex with sex worker he helped convict

A garda kept his job despite admitting to having sex with an escort he helped convict.

The woman told GSOC “she felt compelled” to have sex with Athlone-based garda Brian Lynskey because he was involved in a prosecution that led to her conviction.

One in five sex workers have been exploited by gardaí, according to a recent Department of Justice-funded study.  

‘Felt compelled to have sexual intercourse’

In autumn 2011 gardaí raided a property in Athlone town centre. They arrested two women in their 20s, both from a country in eastern Europe, who were brought before Athlone district court later that day. 

It is unclear if Brian Lynskey was in the apartment when the raid took place but he was, according to GSOC, “involved in (the womens) prosecution”.

Both women were fined at Athlone District Court after being convicted of running a brothel under a law that makes it an offence for two or more people to offer sexual services from the same residence. The court heard the women had been operating in Athlone for a couple of days and had agreed to leave the state immediately.

One of the women later lodged a complaint with Gsoc in which she claimed to have “felt compelled to have sexual intercourse” with Lynskey because he was a garda involved in her prosecution. 

The other woman, who had been living in the same apartment, told Gsoc in her statement she witnessed the incident.

Lynskey, who is from Ballinasloe in county Galway, was arrested by Gsoc in December 2012 and questioned at nearby Loughrea garda station. 

He told investigators he went to the apartment shortly after the woman was released from garda custody. He admitted they had sex but said it was fully consensual. 

No criminal charges were brought against Lynskey, who was suspended from duty during the investigation. 

“A criminal investigation was undertaken by a Garda Ombudsman investigator and the file was referred to the DPP. No prosecution was directed,” said Gsoc in its 2015 statement.

“A disciplinary case with regard to possible abuse of authority, corrupt or improper practice and discreditable conduct was subsequently opened by the Garda Ombudsman,” it said.

“A report summarising the above findings of the investigation and making a recommendation was issued to garda authorities. A breach of discipline was found by garda authorities and a sanction applied,” added Gsoc referring to the fine that was imposed on Lynskey by an internal board of inquiry.

Lynskey joined An Garda Síochána in 2003 and has worked in Athlone garda station since 2008. Following a disciplinary process he was allowed to return to frontline duties.

A spokesperson for the garda press office said the force is committed to supporting victims of abuse of authority. 

“The Garda Commissioner, since his appointment in 2018, is on public record as expecting the highest examples of professional and ethical conduct by all members,” said the spokesperson.

“An Garda Síochána is committed to supporting the victims of any form of gender based violence or abuse of authority,” they added.

The Ditch editors

The Ditch editors