Garda Keith Harrison
You may recall how, on Wednesday evening, Garda whistleblower Keith Harrison’s solicitor Trevor Collins spoke to Miriam O’Callaghan on RTE’s Prime Time about how Keith was the subject of a referral to Tusla over a false abuse allegation.
Yesterday it was announced that Mr Harrison’s complaints will be included in the tribunal of inquiry that will examine the alleged smear campaign against Sgt Maurice McCabe.
Readers will recall how Garda Harrison’s troubles began after he arrested a member of the drugs quad for drink driving in Athlone in June, 2009.
The arrest came a year after Garda Harrison made a complaint alleging that a member of the Garda drugs unit was involved in the sale and supply of heroin in Athlone.
In 2014, Sinn Fein TD Pearse Doherty told the Dail that Garda Harrison made serious claims about how the drink driving case was struck out and how evidence related to the case was stolen by a Garda member.
Mr Harrison, who has been on sick leave since 2014, released the following statement last night:
After a long and difficult battle to have all my complaints investigated I would like to acknowledge the publication [yesterday] of the expanded terms of reference of the Tribunal of Inquiry that now includes an investigation of my treatment and that of other whistleblowers within An Garda Siochana. I trust the Inquiry will establish the truth and bring about a change within Senior Management of An Garda Siochana.
My family and I acknowledge and thank the public for the support received since taking the extraordinary step of bringing our case to national attention.
I continue to remain out of work on sick leave without any pay. I ask that my pay be restored so that I may financially support my family. It remains my wish to return to active duty serving my community as a member of An Garda Siochana.
I thank all those who met with us, listened and assisted us in reaching this point, I acknowledge Minister Katherine Zappone TD, Minister Finian McGrath TD and Minister Sean Canney TD, Brendan Howlin TD, Mr Michael Martin TD and Mr Jim O’Callaghan TD, Dr Michael Harty TD, Mr Pearse Doherty TD and Mr Johnathan O’Brien TD who met and listened to us.
Special thanks to Clare Daly TD and Mick Wallace TD for their exhaustive efforts in highlighting the treatment of whistleblowers within An Garda Siochana.
I would like to particularly thank Alan Kelly TD who offered his wholehearted support in bringing these matters to public attention and, on my behalf, championed our case in the Dail to bring about the widening of the Terms of Reference to include my experiences.
I would like to thank the trojan work of each and every member of staff of Kilfeather and Company solicitors, Galway and in particular the tireless efforts of our solicitor, Trevor Collins.
Finally I thank my family for their love and support in particular my partner Marisa, who continues to be my rock throughout this ordeal. No further statements shall be made and I look forward to the convening of the Inquiry.