Students at the University of Limerick (UL) were privileged to attend an outstanding presentation on the work of the Garda Forensic Collision Investigation (FCI) Unit. Sgt. Frank Lavin National Senior Forensic Collision Investigator with An Garda Siochana delivered the address organised by the new School of Engineering at UL. Sgt. Lavin’s presentation was scheduled to compliment a collaborative project involving students of civil engineering, construction management and law now in its ninth year.
The annual interaction involves law students trying ‘real’ cases in moot court. The lawyers ‘hire’ the engineers to investigate the technical aspects of each case and write an expert report that assists the court in its deliberations. In UL’s state-of-the-art moot court, the experts present for examination and cross-examination by the lawyers for each side. Cases typically involve construction related failures but serious road collisions were introduced for the first time this year.
Sgt Lavin gave an indepth account of the establishment and work of the FCI unit. He followed this with a detailed description of two cases involving fatal collisions. One of these involved an emotional account of a colleague who was killed in the line of duty. According to the event organiser Dr Declan Phillips, “This was a very powerful and heart wrenching talk. All gathered certainly felt a renewed sense of appreciation for the challenging work An Garda Siochana undertake on our behalf. To my mind a way must be found to incorporate such presentations in the secondary school curriculum.”