The Morris Tribunal has found that gardaí investigating the death of Richard Barron in Co Donegal were negligent in their duties and that the investigation was prejudiced.

The finding was made in the tribunal's second report on garda corruption in Co Donegal, which was published today by the Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell.

The report also found that the system for reporting major incidents through Garda Headquarters to the Department of Justice is unsatisfactory.

In his second report, Mr Justice Frederick Morris found that elements within the gardaí had set out to frame Frank McBrearty Junior and Mark McConnell for Mr Barron’s murder.

Speaking at the publication of the report, Mr McDowell said it made for disturbing and depressing reading.

The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, said the Garda Siochána Bill  currently going through the Houses of the Oireachtas dealt  fundamentally with issues of accountability within the force.

He said that when the bill is enacted we will have a better garda force.

Frank McBrearty Junior said the latest report did not go far enough.

He said he did not need Mr Justice Morris to tell him he and his family were innocent. He said the whole country knew this and he has been telling Michael McDowell this since he was Attorney General.

Fine Gael spokesman Jim O'Keeffe said the Dáil now had to debate the findings of the report before its summer recess.

Labour's Joe Costello has insisted that there are still quite senior gardaí serving in Co Donegal who must share a great deal of the blame for what he called a shocking saga.

In a statement, Mr Costello said there was now a compelling case for the establishment of an Independent Garda Authority.

The second module of the tribunal examined the garda investigation into the death of Mr Barron in Raphoe in 1996.

Mr Barron was found in a pool of blood on a roadside leading out of Raphoe in the early hours of 14 October of that year. 

Initially it was thought he was the victim of a hit-and-run but within days gardaí had re-designated the case to a murder inquiry.

Frank McBrearty Jnr and his cousin Mark McConnell were arrested and allege that gardaí forged a murder confession in Frank’s name.

Numerous flaws were found in the garda investigation and following the exhumation and re-examination of Mr Barron’s remains in 2001, the death was again re-designated a hit-and-run.

In his first report in July 2004, Mr Justice Frederick Morris found that two members of the Garda Síochána orchestrated the planting of ammunition and hoax explosives in Co Donegal.

Superintendent Kevin Lennon was sacked from the force, while Detective Garda Noel McMahon resigned following the findings of the report.

Click here to read the second report from the Morris Tribunal.