Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe on duty in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, when he met Enda Kenny while the Taoiseach was canvassing in the town in May
In yesterday’s Sunday Times, Gemma O’Doherty reported how garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe has claimed that certain gardaí are continuing to cancel penalty points for colleagues, friends and relations, despite assurances from Garda management that the practice no longer takes place, particularly since the new regulations were introduced in June.
Sgt McCabe has made an official report on the matter, while the interim commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan forwarded the allegations to Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald who has, in turn, sent them to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission for investigation.
Further to Ms O’Doherty’s report, RTÉ’s This Week reported yesterday that:
It is understood that the new dossier of claims includes: off-duty gardaí caught driving their own private vehicles who subsequently had points cancelled on the basis they were driving “emergency vehicles”.
In one case, in the past two months, this included a garda driving a 15-year-old car who had points cancelled on the basis he was driving an emergency response vehicle.
A significant number of the cases relate to penalty points which were cancelled after no address for the driver could be found.
Among these cases there were serving gardaí whose addresses are readily available to gardaí, it is alleged.
In Ms O’Doherty’s report, Fianna Fáil’s John McGuinness – who is also chairman of the Public Accounts Committee – said he had concerns for Sgt McCabe, in light of the fresh allegations, saying:
“I am deeply concerned that Maurice will be targeted again. We need a guarantee that he will not be punished again in any way for trying to do his job and helping to improve our police force.”
And well he might be concerned.
Lest we forget.
Among other things, Sgt McCabe was…
– Transferred from Cavan to Mullingar after he made allegations of malpractice in the Cavan/Monaghan division in 2008, including claims that gardaí in Cavan didn’t carry out proper investigations into incidents including physical assaults, sexual assaults and false imprisonment.
– Allegedly assaulted and falsely imprisoned by then Assistant Commissioner Derek Byrne in the Hillgrove Hotel in Co. Monaghan on October 11, 2010, after Sgt McCabe revealed he had removed hundreds of files from Pulse which showed gardaí had falsely claimed that certain people were involved in criminality.
– Investigated by gardaí in Baileboro Garda Station in Cavan after it emerged that a hard drive seized from a Fr Michael Molloy – who was later convicted of child abuse and child pornography – had vanished. An attempt was made to blame the disappearance of the hard drive on Sgt McCabe. A disciplinary process continued for 18 months before Sgt McCabe was cleared of any wrongdoing.
– Was told, in February 2012, by the then Garda Confidential Recipient Oliver Connolly that no further action would be taken on his (Sgt McCabe’s) complaints. Mr Connolly also warned Sgt McCabe: ‘I’ll tell you something Maurice – and this is just personal advice to you – if Shatter thinks you’re screwing him, you’re finished.’ Mr Connolly advised Sgt McCabe to avoid going to the media and to go through the courts system.
– Was almost blocked from giving evidence to the Pubic Accounts Committee in January – about the quashing of penalty points – when former Garda Commissioner Callinan consulted the Attorney General Maire Whelan’s office about preventing Sgt McCabe from going before PAC.
– Was wrongly blamed by Garda colleagues for releasing Jerry McGrath from custody before McGrath went on to kill Sylvia Roche Kelly.
– Was forced to write to the Ceann Comhaire Sean Barrett to ask former Justice Minister Alan Shatter to correct the Dáil record over Mr Shatter’s comments that Sgt McCabe and former Garda John Wilson didn’t cooperate with Assistant John O’Mahony’s penalty points inquiry.
– Was forced to contact interim Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan in May after she told the Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality that: “Senior Garda management are very supportive of Sgt McCabe and certainly are in contact with him on a daily basis” as this was untrue.
– Was tasked with drawing up a road safety plan in the Midlands in May but important information – including a Road Safety Authority report critical of a Garda proposal on the road safety plan – was deliberately withheld from him.
– Only got his access to PULSE restored in May after being prohibited from using it, for 18 months.
Separately, readers may also wish to recall how former garda whistleblower John Wilson only received his ‘certificate of service’ after a recent story appeared in The Sunday Times (by Gemma O’Doherty) which outlined how he had been waiting 15 months for the cert – which he needed to apply for work elsewhere. During a High Court case against the gardaí in May, Mr Wilson was offered an exemplary certificate of service on the condition he withdrew his action, but he refused to do so.
Previously: The Thin Blue Timeline [Updated]
UPDATE: Sgt Maurice McCabe will meet with senior gardaí today to discuss his new allegations.