‘Why Are Nine Garda Whistleblowers Out Sick?’

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You may recall a post from last week concerning Garda whistleblower Keith Harrison.

It included excerpts from a letter sent by Mr Harrison’s solicitors to Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan on May 20, 2016, outlining how he had been subjected to harassment and continued attempts to smear his reputation and undermine his credibility.

It was one of 14 such letters sent to Ms O’Sullivan by Garda Harrison’s solicitors.

Last October, during a meeting of the committee on justice and equality, Independents 4 Change TD Clare Daly repeatedly asked Ms O’Sullivan if she was privy to any information about allegations of mistreatment of Garda whistleblowers and Ms O’Sullivan repeatedly replied:

“I’m not privy to, nor did I approve, nor would I condone any campaign of harassment…”

Further to this…

Last night, Ms Daly returned to the matter of Garda whistleblowers and what Ms O’Sullivan knew, and when, in the Dáil. She told how she’s been in contact with 10 Garda whistleblowers – all of whom, bar one, are currently out sick.

Ms Daly was speaking during a debate on a report on Garda oversight and accountability compiled by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality.

She said:

This report is not just aspirational, containing ideas we have circulated for the craic; these are serious observations, made in part on the basis of the engagement we had with the oversight bodies and the Commissioner and her team and in part from our experience over recent times. In that context, I welcome the fact that the Minister will take on board some of the committee’s recommendations.

“That is a very welcome development. Without in any way being churlish, I believe it is an awful pity some of the recommendations were not taken on board previously.

It is a matter of record that many of the recommendations contained in the report and the Minister’s Bill were made by us a number of years ago during the debate on the first GSOC and Policing Authority Bills. I am not saying this to score points, but people have suffered as a result of some of these provisions not being available during the two years since the most recent GSOC Bill was implemented…

“…We must be realistic about why the concept of oversight has gained popular currency and is being talked about by the dogs on the street. There is just one reason, that being, the heroic stance of a number of Garda whistleblowers who shed a light on an insular blue wall of silence, an organisation in which, contrary to what the Commissioner says, dissent was deemed to be disloyalty and punished accordingly. The order of the day was rats, death threats and serious intimidation of people who tried to do the right thing.

The public perception of what a whistleblower is has been stood on its head. Now, being a whistleblower is identified as a position to be lauded, and one that makes a valuable contribution to improving the situation for all gardaí and members of society. There are many good gardaí and, for some time, they have believed that the situation will change. They stepped forward accordingly to join the ranks of the whistleblowers and improve matters.

We have engaged with ten serving members of An Garda Síochána who have made protected disclosures of one sort or another. Under a change in the previous legislation, GSOC is now the confidential recipient and the vehicle through which gardaí make complaints. That service needs to be beefed up radically because GSOC does not have the time or resources to provide it adequately. It does not have the legislative power to compel Garda co-operation that it needs.

Many cases have stalled because of delays in the Garda handing over material that GSOC needs to conduct its investigations. This non-co-operation continues today. It can be covered up as administrative delays and so on, but it impacts on the work being done.

A number of the whistleblower cases in question are in the public domain, but others whose cases are with GSOC – in the instance of Keith Harrison, for more than two years – have had relatively limited meaningful engagement with GSOC because of delays with documentation and so on. In Nicky Keogh’s case, the GSOC investigation has practically concluded and disciplinary recommendations have been made, but the Garda has not agreed to GSOC’s involvement.

“These serious matters are ongoing. One must ask, if the situation is improving, why all these gardaí bar one are out sick. All have made allegations about bullying and harassment since coming forward, which is in direct contrast with the public statements of the Commissioner that she does not know of any harassment.

“We know that she has been directly informed of that harassment, as has the Minister. Most recently, serious allegations were made, and were widely covered in the provincial media, during an assault case after Christmas. In open court, evidence was produced of doctored witness statements. The people involved in the assault were also involved in a case in which a garda had been accused of involvement in the drug trade and so on. Criminal prosecutions are being impacted.

The situation cannot be right if so many people are out sick. The case of the only garda who made a protected disclosure but who is not out sick is appalling. It involves a family law case. He received information to the effect that the judge, who was a family friend of his former wife, had held a meeting before the court case and then granted a protection order against him. He then made a complaint to the Garda. Not only was his complaint not investigated, but the senior garda involved initiated criminal proceedings against him for interfering with the judicial process when the circumstances clearly did not meet the criteria.

“That person, albeit a member of the Garda, was a victim, only to be revictimised by what the senior garda did. To add insult to injury for him and a number of other Garda whistleblowers, the very man who did that was brought by the Commissioner to attend our committee’s hearings into oversight as a witness for An Garda Síochána. Confidence among serving members is not developed if this type of behaviour is happening.

The Minister will see from the committee’s recommendations that we want the Policing Authority to have more control over the Commissioner. This is not a new idea.”

Transcript: Oireachtas.ie

57 thoughts on “‘Why Are Nine Garda Whistleblowers Out Sick?’

  1. No more mr nice guy

    I like Clare but I wish someone would buy her a present of a hairdressers appointment. I know we are not supposed to say things like that but do I look worried?

    Reply
    1. scottser

      you are supposed to engage with the substance of the points she makes, not about her appearance. but you go ahead and look like an idiot – do we look worried?

      Reply
      1. No more mr nice guy

        You were obviously worried enough to remark on it. It seems you agree after all that if she made a little more effort in her appearance people would take her more seriously.

        Reply
        1. scottser

          i don’t really give a monkeys about her appearance. she does however, get my first preference at each election.

          Reply
    2. Romeo C

      seriously after the issues she and other raised about the state of the people that police our society and the integrity and lawfulness they carry out their duties you find concern with her hair……you my friend live in a bubble…..I hope you never fall foul of poor or corrupt policing practices….you are the definition of a self absorbed dumb ass

      Reply
      1. No more mr nice guy

        That’s a bit harsh

        You sound kind of angry, annoying and bitter

        My point isn’t that she’s not doing great work. It’s that she undermines herself by not paying a little more attention to her appearance and personal brand. Now I hasten to add that this is just one person’s opinion. You are free to disagree. Like the other chap above clearly you agree otherwise you wouldn’t have bothered paying my comments so much respect as to lace into me with personal invective.

        Reply
        1. Sham Bob

          My point is, is that No more Mr etc is absolute small syringe for douching the vagina, especially as a contraceptive measure.

          Reply
          1. No more mr nice guy

            Right. So I’m an essential and useful tool for population control and women’s health in general? It’s interesting how you would characterise such a useful and progressive item which helps women’s lives as a term of abuse.
            It says a lot about you and your misogyny.

  2. Joe Small

    I wish she wouldn’t sit beside Mick Wallace. I just keep cringing at the thought of their wrong love. I’d rather walk in on my parents.

    Reply
  3. danc

    $Christ almighty.. any chance someone would care to comment about the substance of the contributions from Clare / Mick ?

    Pffffft, nah, sure look at the STATE OF HER / HIM

    how could they possibly have anything relevant to contribute?

    FWIW, Clare will always get my vote for the outstanding work she does, I feel lucky to have a TD that works as hard as she does.

    Reply
    1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

      I know and I agree. Sometimes, she’s brilliant.
      BUT. Seriously, who goes to work dressed like that? I know it’s old-fashioned of me but I think you need to show a bit of respect for the institution. It doesn’t take much to do, and people might stop wanging on about it and listen to what she’s saying.

      Reply
      1. Boj

        I also think she’s great. My own theory is that Mick/Clare do this on purpose to get up the backs of all the ‘old fashioned’ brigade. I mean who would honestly think a flowing head of long grey curly hair looks good on a grown up? But does it really matter though, they have done brilliant work for all this time while looking like that. Their appearance will never change my opinion of their work which is the important bit.

        Reply
      2. Romeo C

        that’s exactly what is wrong……too much respect for the institution……that’s why things will never change

        Reply
    2. realPolithicks

      Agree 100%. This is one of those issues that will roll on for another while with these kind of occasional statements from Clare Daly, then something will happen to bring this issue to the fore. This will result in the sudden “retirement” of the Garda commissioner and possibly the Minister….that’s generally how things seem to go in Ireland. Fair play to Deputy Daly.

      Reply
          1. CiúnCainteach

            I would have thought (considering the inane comment you left above) that you wouldn’t be so quick to dole out judgement on the comments of others.

            I guess it was wrong of me to presume you would have a sense of self-awareness.

          2. Boj

            FYI: The pot calling the kettle black” is a proverbial idiom that seems to have been of Spanish origin, versions of which began to appear in English in the first half of the 17th century. It is glossed in the original sources as being used of a person who is guilty of the very thing of which they accuse another and is thus an example of psychological projection. Have a good weekend

        1. No more mr nice guy

          I would have thought given you’ve added absolutely nothing whatsoever of value to this thread you would just STFU. But I was wrong.

          Reply
          1. CiúnCainteach

            You seem really intent on continuing with this psychological projection. I’m not sure it’s doing you any good. You’re getting very worked up.

  4. Toni the exotic dancer

    poor gards earning 24k ….blah blah…nurses……teachers…heroes etc. PS spin doctors spouting their usual tripe. A gards average salary is 65K plus. And that’s before the pension

    Reply
    1. Romeo C

      if I ever earn that type of cash you suggest while getting spat on, assaulted, or trying in vain to resuscitate a person, I’ll be sure to pay for a lap dance…..what twat you are…..either a bitter low paid private sector worker who hadn’t the drive to succeed or a government artist with an arrogant right of entitlement with a keyboard you are……

      Reply
  5. Peter Dempsey

    The elephant in the room is this.

    Clare Daly has a lot of support from people who post on Rabble.
    Lots of people who post on Rabble think ACAB (All Cops Are Bast*rds)
    So is her concern real or crocodile tears?

    Reply
      1. Anne

        He questions her motives or something coz people on da internets dont like cops n people on the internets support Claire..ergo Claire something something. What an analytical mind we have amongst us.

        Reply

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