Northern Ireland

Family of Derry woman killed in gardaí car collision welcome new Ombudsman probe

Rebecca Browne (21) died after being struck by a Gardaí patrol car in Co Donegal in May.
Rebecca Browne (21) died after being struck by a Gardaí patrol car in Co Donegal in May. Rebecca Browne (21) died after being struck by a Gardaí patrol car in Co Donegal in May.

THE Garda Ombudsman is to investigate whether actions by officers were criminal in nature after a Derry woman was killed after being hit by a patrol car in Co Donegal.

The new probe into circumstances surrounding the death of 21-year-old Rebecca Browne in May follows an ombudsman investigation previously launched into whether or not the actions of officers was a breach of discipline.

Ms Browne, who was from Derry's Galliagh area, died after being struck by a Gardaí patrol car near Buncrana on May 21.

The hairdresser had been on a night out in Buncrana and was returning to her overnight accommodation when the collision happened.

The re-designation of the Gardaí watchdog investigation followed a review of evidence.

Ms Browne's family's solicitor, Conor Moylan of Madden and Finucane, said: “The family of Ms Browne have had concerns surrounding the tragedy from the outset and want the circumstances to be investigated rigorously.

Read more: Road accident victim Rebecca Browne 'radiated life and love'

“We will continue to work closely with the family to ensure a full and proper investigation is carried out.”

Ms Browne's mother, Rachel Lynn Smith, said: “We are pleased to hear that the investigation is being taken seriously by the Garda Ombudsman.

“We are eager to find out what occurred on the night of Rebecca’s death. We miss our daughter dearly and can only hope that justice will be served.”