Luke Luby takes a look at the recent on-goings regarding the whistleblowing scandal within An Garda Síochána.
Recent reports from Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin have shown that several more whistleblowers have stepped to the fore in regards to Garda malpractice, in addition to the claims made by Sergeant Maurice McCabe.
Sergeant McCabe’s whistleblowing has shown that many Gardaí have wiped a number of people’s penalty points from their record, or decided not to give out penalty points to certain people, most notably friends and family members.
Minister Micheál Martin and Sinn Féin justice spokesman Padraig Mac Lochlainn have both said that they were contacted by a number of people with regards to Garda misconduct, while their reports make it clear that these whistleblowers are not the same person.
Mr. Martin has said that he was contacted by both a male and female whistleblower, while Mr. Mac Lochlainn has said that he was only contacted by a female whistleblower, although it is currently not clear if the female whistleblower in each case is the same person.
Speaking on Monday, February 24, Mr. Mac Lochlainn said he had yet to be furnished with documentation from the whistleblower but would pass it on to Taoiseach Enda Kenny once he had, for further inspection.
Talking to Pat Kenny on his Newstalk show, Mr. Martin said that “when something like this happens, a lot of people contact you”, referring to Sergeant McCabe’s whistleblowing. He continued by stating that:
“I met another whistleblower on a separate issue completely within An Garda Síochána, on a different case completely, and met the person for about an hour and a bit and he handed over a dossier to me in relation to another murder case he feels wasn’t properly dealt with.”
He continued: “This person would have got compensation by the way in the High Court on the basis of wrongdoing done to him which was admitted but the material [was] then locked up in a confidential agreement. This whole thing about ‘deal with it in the courts’, ‘deal with it in mediation’. That’s what worries me about that trend, the stuff doesn’t get out then in the end.”
Mr. Martin has also called for the full report of the inquiry into the penalty points scandal, which was brought to light by Sergeant McCabe, to be published for the public to see, as well as expressing his opinion that Minister Alan Shatter should apologise for claiming in the Dáil that Sergeant McCabe had not cooperated with the inquiry. Mr. Martin’s comment for an apology comes after it was revealed that Sergeant McCabe had not been “offered the opportunity… to submit any evidence or other relevant information”, as Minister Shatter put it.
Sergeant McCabe has told the minister that he was “never afforded a right of reply or a right of response” after he complained about alleged widespread abuse of penalty points cancellation by members of the force, according to recent reports.