Garda Confidential

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[From top: Alan Shatter and Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan; Garda Whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe and Garda confidential recipient Oliver Connolly]

Several TDs have read into the record certain sections of a transcript of a conversation between Garda Confidential Recipient, Oliver Connolly and Garda whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe.

We have been provided with a full transcript of that conversation [below].

The confidential recipient’s role is to receive information from whistleblowers in the force and present it to the Justice Minister.

Oliver Connolly was appointed as a confidential Garda liaison by Justice Minister Alan Shatter in 2011. Mr Connolly had donated €1,000 to Mr Shatter’s campaign for the 2011 General Election and Mr Shatter was trained as a mediator by Friary Law, the company owned by Mr Connolly.

Sgt McCabe had given Mr Connolly a report containing a number of allegations of Garda wrongdoing.

The follow-up meeting took place in a Dublin hotel on Thursday, February 9, 2012.

At the meeting Sgt McCabe was told that the Justice Minister had referred his complaints to Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and that no further action would be taken. We have redacted certain names.

Maurice McCabe:  “Sure it’s a joke really Oliver, when you see it. Like the minister should go to someone independent to look at it. Like what do I do with all the falsification of records and now even the Minister is now saying, now saying that everything was OK.”

Oliver Connolly: “What he’s saying basically is there is no actual evidence against the Commissioner.”

McCabe : “He is believing the Commissioner and not me. So, it’s a joke, isn’t it really Oliver?”

Connolly:  “Look…”

McCabe: “Like almost all the incidents involved were upheld in other words I was right.”

Connolly: “Yes but it’s your allegation of malpractice and corruption against the…”

McCabe:  “No but do you see what he says in the letter it’s he says it was an investigation by [REDACTED] and there is no evidence.”

Connolly: “Well I have to tell you there is nothing in the regulations preventing you, you can make as many confidential reports as you wish and you can actually point out, the only way I can go to the actual minister is if you actually directly implicate the Commissioner.”

McCabe: “But sure I did?”

Connolly: “Only in so far and he made a flawed appointment.”

McCabe: “No I said that he should have been aware.”

Connolly: “You probably exhausted, you probably exhausted the limits of the office.”

McCabe: “I have yeah. So in other words you can go nowhere else except to court.”

Connolly:  “Probably. I mean the minister has given me a three-page letter; it’s more than he gives to most people.”

McCabe : “But I’m sure if the minister read it, he did read it?”

Connolly:  “Shatter would have read your report in detail, I know he did, he communicated with me and he will have read all of your exhibits, which I actually labelled them numbered one to nine in the actual, in the order they were highlighted so he did know. And you know I redacted, the only thing I redacted was your name. Alan studied everything in fact I know he did.”

McCabe: “Yeah but do you see the flaw in the system Oliver he goes back to the commissioner, if anyone complains against the……”

Connolly: “You were guarded in the report I have to say in implicating the Commissioner directly you even gave him a way out, you actually said on page 3 he may not be…”

McCabe: “He may not be…”

Connolly: “Yes but the point is and I know what you are saying . I mean I have to say I am surprised.”

McCabe: “I showed you.”

Connolly: “There are other issues that…”

McCabe: “I showed you the records Oliver.”

Connolly: “There are other issues I am aware of that are not related to you at all, course they’ll go to the Commissioner. But I’m very surprised he pushed the man’s appointment, so he was appointed was he?”

McCabe:- “Yeah, he’s now a Chief Superintendant based on what the commissioner told him.”

[they discuss the appointment]

McCabe: “But Oliver what do you do then with all the falsification of records? What do I do with them? What do I do with the hundreds of cases that haven’t been investigated? What do I do with innocent people being set up.

Connolly: “I tell you Maurice, the only thing I’ll say to you is….”

McCabe: “What?”

Connolly: “Use the public forum of the courts.”

McCabe: “Yeah.”

Connolly: “What I would say to you is I still think you should go for mediation, I don’t think they want all this in the broadcast media. I think you should, you should have your submissions in. I give you some advice, your solicitor and [Michael] McDowell are now aware of it. If you can get them in  the court would be happy to accept mediation. And you go in there looking for the numbers and whatever else you want you’ll get it. If stuff was to get out into the public, the print media, it must only come from what happens in the courtroom. I’ll tell you something Maurice and this is just personal advice to you. If Shatter thinks your screwing him, you’re finished.

McCabe: “Right.”

Connolly: “Forget about it, I mean he is dealing with a lot of shit at the moment, and what I’m saying to you is if stuff is to get into print or broadcasting media, it comes public before the court not any other way. If Shatter thinks it’s you, if he thinks or is told by the Commissioner or the Gardaí here’s this guy again trying another route trying to put pressure on, he’ll go after you.

McCabe: “Alan Shatter?”

Connolly: “Yeah I mean he will.”

McCabe:-“Alan Shatter will go after me?”

Connolly: “Yes, if he thinks, if he thinks, if he thinks and this is a conclusive finding you don’t know it, you don’t know if it’s Gardaí, it’s none of my business,. What I’m saying to you, if you’re going to kill a king, if you’re going to strike, and I mean in the public forum of the courts with the former AG [McDowell], they’ll be all terribly interested. The broadcasting media will get a field day on your case, it’s actually the only forum to speak to them. Then what will happen with the minister, all’s fair in love and war, if he’s told you see I gave it personally on the day and I’d be very careful. No intermediaries.”

McCabe: “No, no and I’ll give you my word.”

Connolly: “…but what I’m saying to you, you have to that day what you will have to do if Shatter if this turns, he’ll turn with you , he’s scaremongering with the Commissioner, but he’s too close [to the Commissioner].”

McCabe: “But how is that?’

Connolly: “That’s a relationship they [Callinan and and Shatter] forged [during the] Obama [visit]. He [Shatter] was only in the job a month and he had the Queen of England and the President of the United States [visiting] and he’s Minister of Justice and Defence and he has to work very closely [With Callinan] because both their careers, everything is on the line, both of them, Shatter and the Commissioner. He’s his new best friend for about two or three months…”

McCabe:  “The Commissioner?”

Connolly: “Had to be had to be and I would say I’m only speculating.”

McCabe: “No problem.”

Connolly: “I would say he forged a reasonably good relationship with Martin [Callinan] now however I know Alan and what I can tell you that I’m lucky…Listen the Commissioner is taking a view to embarrass you.. What I’ll say to you is, [your report] went to the Department of Justice and that annoyed the Commissioner greatly. I’m sure it’s going to be an embarrassment for the Gardaí, a disaster for them and listen if your complaints are exposed to the print media it will make him an angry man.

McCabe: “Well I’m not going to the media.”

Connolly: “Journalists not necessary…they’re the public courts.”

McCabe: “Oh sorry you mean at the courts?”

Connolly: “Yes, that’s the only way, if there is anything other than that, and I know this. I’d have journalists calling me up trying to disclose private matters between with dealings I might with have Alan through the back door to Shatter you know. I mean what I have to say to you, you have to just be careful that, you’d have Shatter on your case, he has read stuff I’d say he has been told of you….. give him some other ammunition. Unless the Commissioner is implicated I cannot go to the Minister.”

McCabe: “But it’s amazing the way if he reads that and he goes to the Commissioner and gets the Commissioner’s version he believes totally total what the Commissioner tells him. I mean I can prove every single thing I have. There are injured parties, their solicitors and victims of crime, Oliver.”

Connolly: “The system is wrong.”

McCabe: “Yes the whole lot of it is, isn’t it?”

Connolly: “It provides a function… There are certain reports which I have submitted and given to the Commissioner that I know and they’ll be attended to but they just hit a brick wall for individual Gardaí and because of my close proximity to Alan he’s going to help us and will deal with those. They have been in the broadcast media and they are at the highest state of alert for ‘Maurice McCabe’ and it came to the Minister which implicates the Commissioner but only reason and not necessarily by his flawed appointment that was directly made. That was the substance of your complaint.”

McCabe: “Yeah it was.”

[Oliver Connolly reads out Alan Shatter’s response to Sgt McCabe’s complaints].

Connolly: “I’d say he spent the whole week.”

McCabe: “I’d say he did. But it’s awful to think that they are all waiting for me, you know, I may give up. Really.”

Connolly:  “I haven’t seen your pleadings.”

McCabe: “I may quit Oliver! I have excellent support up where I am. And they all know…”

Connolly:  “I know it’s true.”

McCabe: “Em and they all know it’s true. The injured parties know it’s true. And in relation to [REDACTED] was the assistant commissioner in charge of the region at the time.”

Connolly: “Have you been able to serve a statement of claim?”

McCabe: “No. Not just yet, no.”

Connolly: “That’s an important document.”

McCabe: “But Oliver I thought that if I complained against the Commissioner that there is someone appointed then to investigate it.”

Connolly:  “In the Department of justice.

Connolly: “The Commissioner should be asked to stand aside, he’s a vested interest…”

McCabe: “No I wouldn’t.”

Connolly: “To stand aside during the investigation. He’s after investigating himself and is again.”

McCabe:  “And Alan Shatter has believe every word he has said. And Oliver I have the hundreds of documents to show it. I showed you evidence of complete…”

Connolly:  “I saw.”

McCabe: “Destruction of records. Anyway, ah sure look it doesn’t matter, you know I’ll go through the courts.”

Connolly: “You made a report which outlined and that was the course, you did actually, open to you.”

McCabe:  “And if  Alan Shatter saw what I got in relation to the findings and saw what
Brian McCarthy got, the last whistleblower.”

Connolly: “Alan is not out to get you.”

McCabe: “At the moment.”

Connolly: “No. What would cause him to be hostile if further leaks were outside the court because the media actually has a deeply vested interest in your allegations.”

McCabe: “But Alan he should look at Garda headquarters cause that’s where all the leaks were.”

Connolly: “If that was to happen that would create a huge storm for you.”

McCabe: “Yeah but I’m not leaking anything. headquarters have leaked everything so far.”

Connolly: “Now he’d investigate you and I’m saying now (threats inaudible) you have to be very careful.”

Connolly:  “Parts inaudible. That will formulate and it is very important and it will be I’m sure. You are looking for your allegations to be validated and you have suffered emotional stress and your saying in your allegations that they are validated and you suffered. If that goes to hearing it’ll come to some agreement…………you have to be very careful you need to get that in there. They’re in a club and if stuff was to get out to the media, be very careful!”

McCabe: “I won’t do that i have too must to lose Oliver . I wouldn’t do it I would not do it that’s in breach of everything.”

Connolly:  “That’s good. That’s what important. That’s good.”

McCabe:  “And I’d be destroyed.”

Connolly: “It actually would test your credibility in terms of and that would stop them being implicated forever.”

McCabe: “And [REDACTED] assaulted me and look where he is now.”

Inaudible.

McCabe: “And yet the Minster is saying no that didn’t happen.”

Connolly: “He has listened to the Commissioner.”

McCabe: “Yes he has.”

McCabe: “If he interviewed [REDACTED] a victim who was never interviewed, it’s shocking.”

Connolly: “I have to tell you, I would be confident you have put it. It’s over to your legal team if you want finality and redress? I said to you when I first met you personally I think you should avail of mediation. That was a shot across the bow for the Minister. The next stage is the public forum of the courts, the court of public opinion.”

McCabe: “But Oliver it is clear to see…”

Connolly: “I think you should mediate.”

McCabe: “But sure that’s not up to me to mediate, it’s up to them.”

Connolly: “It’s up to either party to make the application and I would be confident that it would proceed.”

McCabe: “We did make it…”

Connolly: “You didn’t make it.

Connolly:  “I came up before two high court judges in late November December period and they didn’t even know it existed. A formal application to allow you to mediate under 156A which you have in your possession invite the parties to mediate, then adjourn the proceedings in order to mediate and if you don’t participate there are cost implications. The state could actually win against you but they would still have to pick up your costs if the state failed to participate with mediation. You have nothing to lose; you have nothing to lose by it all. Either You don’t have to reach a finale for a year if you want but you can compel the other side into it and you’re not compelled to reach an outcome in it. You might get what you want cause I can’t see for the life of me them them wanting that in the broadcast media. That’s an application that has to be made by you.”

McCabe: “We did ask the Garda Commissioner and he said no.”

Connolly: “It doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter.”

McCabe: “Does it not, well I don’t know.”

Connolly: “I’m saying to you.”

McCabe:  “Oliver, can I just raise one thing.”

Connolly: “You have to ask, you have to ask yourself what is it and your capable of doing it. You can have it done and dusted by Paddy’s day. You’ll be living with this till 2015 you can get the same result by Paddy’s Day or by Easter, it will take you three years and I don’t know how many burst blood vessels. I’m giving you advice and it is very very well worth it!”

McCabe: “I take all you’re saying, definitely.”

Connolly: “A formal application for formal of notice of motion granting you can apply once you. You can apply now today.”

McCabe: “Oliver can I just say?”

Connolly:  “What is it you want?”

McCabe: “But Oliver can I just say my point. Here’s my point Oliver. Where do I go in relation to, where do I go in relation to policing now?”

Connolly: “Can I ask you a question – forget about who you’re going to and where your going to or transfers – what do you want out of this?”

McCabe: “ I want somebody independent to have a look at all the allegations and I would not look for that only I can stand by everything I have said. Because Oliver wait till I tell you why just let this because when it is all over what to I do now. Do I go back threatening and assault the public, not investigate things and hide evidence and destroy records?”

Connolly: “No, no I’m just trying to establish here what you want. What you want is an independent investigation to look into your allegations.”

McCabe:  “Yes. Would Martin Callinan…”

Connolly:  “I don’t think the courts….”

McCabe: “Oliver we, we are putting innocent people on my system every day of the week as offenders.”

Connolly: “I just thinking how you would get that.”

McCabe: “No but Oliver, Oliver what’s happening here at the moment is the Commissioner is saying it’s OK to falsify records, it’s OK to destroy records, it’s OK that a lady was killed below in Limerick [REDACTED], we can do all that. We don’t have to investigate any cases anymore. We don’t have to investigate assault, abductions, kidnappings, sexual assault. We just leave it and if there is any investigation we will cover up…”

Connolly: “Maurice that can’t happen.”

McCabe: “I could go back…”

Connolly: “Its policy.”

McCabe: “According to Commissioner it can.”

Connolly:  “No it’s when they are exposed they are not investigated in a transparent manner. It actually not their policy they are proactive. Oh there’s a rape let’s not investigated it. It’s not a pro active policy and where is does occur it shouldn’t occur. But where it does occur that’s the problem. You are trying to say Maurice Mc Cabe its terrible, so you would like a massive enquiry.”

McCabe:  “Not necessary a massive inquiry.”

Connolly:  “You have to step back for a second You have to park your allegations.”

McCabe: “OK we’ll park the allegations.”

Connolly: “What is it you want to bring to your family.”

McCabe:  Ok I’ll tell you. My name has been ruined in relation to Cavan/Monaghan. [REDACTED] ruined my name, as did [REDACTED] and as did the Commissioner now. And Alan Shatter is now saying more or less the same.”

Connolly: “Alan’s not but you need to be careful of him. You have to say you respect him as a Minister. He has responsibilities to the Commissioner, shouldn’t be of concern to you. I don’t know if they, the minister for justice, have jurisdiction to appoint an independent….”

McCabe: “They have. It’s in a section in the 07 act where he can appoint a retired judge or a barrister to have a look at it. There is a section there. I didn’t know the one until two years ago Michael McDowell told me..”

Connolly: “ It’s tough.”

McCabe: “I did not know that there was a section. I went through it tooth and nail. Michael McDowell said to me there is a section and I said no there’s not. He said there is. Maurice I brought it in and brought it in for cases like yours and next thing he showed us the section and I think Sean Costello then wrote to Alan Shatter or the previous minister and quoted that section. But they all just say no leave it to the guards, leave it to the guards.”

Connolly: “What was it you were going to give me.

McCabe: “Oh yes I was going to give you , it was come here it’s totally unrelated Oliver total unrelated to. It was in relation to other stuff that was happening and I’m just making a complaint and i wasn’t complaining against anybody. I’m just saying here is what is happening in the force and it should be stopped. That’s all Oliver. Its unrelated to that ok totally is yeah.”

Connolly: “I was hoping it might be something else with your case.

McCabe:  “That all only one page.

Connolly: “OK that’s great. It can actually be redacted.”

McCabe: “Basically it about there are guards issuing tickets for that offence, a driving offence, and they aren’t allowed. And I have highlighted all the details.”

Connolly:  “I’ve read it. That’s outrageous.”

McCabe: “Look Oliver I know you’re doing your best but it’s a closed field.”

Connelly:  “I am. Not my style I have to say not the strongest.”

McCabe: “But come here Oliver let me make one last point.”

Connolly:  “I believe, I believe, I believe you.”

McCabe:  “I know you believe me Oliver and its great that you did believe me.”

Connolly: “I believe you and I think the Commissioner has a case to answer. I think you have the evidence they destroyed you, a man has only got his reputation. You were just standing up for what is right if you ask me.”

McCabe: “I did nothing wrong in my job. I was only doing my job.”

Connolly: “You are not destroyed in the eyes of the media.”

McCabe:  “Oh I am and in particular Cavan/Monaghan. No not the public, the guards, but some of them. Oliver I go to work..”.

Connolly: “If what your saying is true, the stress on the family……….. by a senior officer.”

McCabe:  “Oliver it was all investigated at the time by the persons in charge of the region and [REDACTED] was getting bonuses at the end of the year so there was no way he was going to come to any findings. He was getting bonuses. I can’t come back, that’s finished now.”

Connolly: “Yes you can.”

McCabe:  “If I went to the Taoiseach’s office would that work?”

Connolly: “No that would just go back to justice.”

McCabe: “OK, you’re right you’re right.”

Connolly: “You have nothing…”

McCabe:  “We have a woman in Limerick in her grave because [REDACTED] was told in writing by a sergeant. This man is in custody for abducting a 5 year old girl.

Connolly: “Why did he not act?”

McCabe: “Incompetence. Incompetence. Half the management are.”

Connolly:  “Incompetence.”

McCabe:  “Incompetence. Absolute incompetence. Oliver I always tell this. I even told it to [REDACTED]. I was telling him [REDACTED] one day about serious problems, right. And next thing when I was finished he looked to the sky and said Maurice the OPW [ Office of Public Works] are coming Tuesday, will you be around. Everything I said went in his ear and out the other. He was only thinking of the OPW I said to myself, you haven’t fucking heard what I have said. You know. And he acknowledged that there were serious problems. The standards were gone and he was in charge of them. [Redacted]  is the ring leader and covered up. He blamed me for stuff when I was in Mullingar. How can he blame me for stuff and me in Mullingar?”

McCabe:  “I thought Alan Shatter might have listened to me. But sure anyway look it there’s nothing we can do.”

Connolly: “Unless you can come again with something fresh.”

McCabe: “I’ll talk to my legal team. No I’m going to let it go to the courts.”

Connolly:  “I still think you have to formulate what it is you want out of this. Do you want a public inquiry, I think you want more than that.

McCabe: “Ah I’ll leave it.”

Connolly: “But that’s all relevant to me. Redress is relevant.”

McCabe: “You were very straight and honest with me. And that’s what I like. I’ll talk to my legal team. Just those few issues are all in relation to driving tickets which shouldn’t [have been] issued and they have been issued to members of the public.”

Connolly:  “No I see that.”

McCabe: “I just said I’d better do something with that.

Connolly:  “Are you saying there is up to 4,000 tickets?”

McCabe: “A year.”

Connolly:  “That can’t in fact be issued.”

McCabe: “Can’t be issued without a direction and there are guards with only 6 months service and twelve months service.”

Connolly: “And are there prosecutions being issued.”

McCabe:  “No prosecutions, they are paying the fines and two penalty points. They shouldn’t be getting penalty points. You know. Sure that’s its Oliver, I better be motoring.”

Connolly:  “All I’ll say to you is that, I’ll get that (referring to the coffee).

McCabe: “OK thanks cheers.”.

Connolly:  “I suppose you went in with your best documents really and you chose long and hard before you gave this information.”

McCabe: “I did.  It’s a pity that Alan hadn’t….”

Connolly: “He read all of it.”

McCabe: “No it’s a pity that Alan hadn’t asked me for examples in relation to falsification and destruction of records, that’s what I’d ask but it’s a pity he didn’t ask me. Like, here is what I think Oliver, 80 guards in Mullingar all believe me. 80 guards in Mullingar believe me from the top down and an a/c in Mullingar believe me but yet the ring leader [REDACTED] and I can say that openly if you want and publically. He was the ring leader and he said there is no way that a little Sergeant is going to tell us how to run our job. And he has poisoned me, I know for a fact [REDACTED] has but anyway…”

Connolly:  “Hold on a second, no you have to go.”

McCabe:  “Yes I have to go back to Cavan.”

Connolly: “ I have exams.

[They discuss exams]

Connolly:  “What I was going to say to you You’d just wonder if your pleadings could also be submitted to me after for the attention so I can give them to the minister.”

McCabe: “We’re putting everything forward.

Connolly: “I think the minister might be interested in.”

McCabe: “Right.”

Connolly: “You know he has an open mind. Genuinely he has. I’ll be very careful what you told me. [he reads from the document again] You will have a forensic document of your statement of claim? You’re entitled to come to me and say that it relates to, I hope you’re going to pursue this.”

McCabe: “Look it, even if I don’t look it.”

Connolly: “It’s a serious error of judgement. The point is….

McCabe: “Oliver, if the minister only took one incident in relation to [REDACTED], a sergeant said to [REDACTED]….

[They discuss pleadings and mediation]

Connolly:  “I think the minister might be interested. It’s a pity you hadn’t a more forensic view pleaded by a former holder of his office. I am pretty confident and I have permission to give that to the minister.”

McCabe: “Oliver he has also alluded, I made a complaint against [REDACTED] and he hasn’t made any reference to that.

Connolly: “The Commissioner made a serious error of judgement and he did know or should of known about the malpractice That has to be one of your pleadings and I am entitled to give it to the Minister.”

McCabe: But I also made an allegation against [REDACTED] but he hasn’t addressed that after {REDACTED] covered it up.

Connolly: “Get me the act where a judge can be put in.”

McCabe: “I’ll get you that act it’s under the Criminal Justice Act 2007 and I didn’t know that only for Michael McDowell and I went through it and he found that any time he can appoint a judge or…”

Connolly: “The minister can?”

McCabe: “Yes the minister can.”

Connolly:  “Once your pleadings are in and against the Commissioner I am entitled to get them and suggest he is required to do under the regulations but it’s open to the minister to do x. He’s not required to do but it is open to the minister.

McCabe: “Right, thanks for everything Oliver.

Connolly: “Oh we’re not finished.”

McCabe: “No we.re not finished.”

Connolly:  “Look. Your pleadings have to be very careful. What is it you want?  The one thing you said to me was [you want] an inquiry into your allegations, an apology…so now there are three things Maurice McCabe wants…an inquiry into your actual allegations, apology and decimal sum. Damages.”

McCabe: “But anyway we could talk about it the all night Oliver .as soon as i hear anything I’ll get back to Sean Costello about the pleadings.”

McCabe: “But Oliver even the injured parties and victims of these incidents will say what happened them.”

Connolly: “It can’t be let go. It does require an independent inquiry….I’m totally surprised he [Shatter] went back to the Commissioner.”

McCabe: “It’s a pity when he read it he didn’t realise and see if his wife was abducted the way [REDACTED] was how would he feel?

Connolly: “I must tell you I’m certain he does. But not totally surprised but….”

McCabe: “I know Oliver they are going to try to get me to court to shut me up. As I said to Sean Costello I’m not going to be shut up. I’m not. I want my day in the witness box to tell exactly what happened. To every member of the public that’s where I’m going. They are not going to shut me up…”

Connolly: “OK  OK..”

Previously: The Appalling Vista

Good Cop, Good Cop

Martin set to intensify attack on Shatter (Michael Clifford, Irish Examiner)