From top: Garda Nicky Keogh, Garda Keith Harrison; Acting Garda Commissioner Dónal Ó Cualáin and former Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan
Further to Noirin O’Sullivan stepping down from her position as Garda Commissioner.
The new acting Garda Commissioner, until a replacement is found, is Deputy Commissioner Dónal Ó Cualáin.
Readers may wish to note that Mr O’Cualáin has previously been named in the Dáil, in relation to claims of a cover-up regarding Garda collusion with heroin dealers.
Garda Keith Harrison first raised his suspicion that a garda was involved in the distribution of drugs in Athlone in November 2008 but he claims, in a complaint to GSOC and in his statement to the Disclosures Tribunal, that nothing happened on foot of making his suspicions known.
Garda Harrison later arrested this same garda for drink-driving in June 2009.
Garda Nicky Keogh then made a formal complaint to the then Confidential Recipient Judge Pat McMahon about the same garda and the sale of heroin in Athlone in May 2014.
His complaint was investigated by then Assistant Commissioner Donal Ó Cualáin.
In October 2015, Garda Keogh made a complaint to GSOC regarding the manner in which the then Assistant Commissioner Dónal Ó Cualáin was carrying out his investigation into the alleged involvement of a garda into heroin dealing with Garda Keogh alleging that there appeared to be a cover-up.
Later that month, Mr Ó Cualáin was promoted to Deputy Commissioner.
A GSOC report into their investigation of Garda Keogh’s complaint has yet to be released.
On May 25 in 2016, following the publication of the report of the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation, which investigated complaints of Garda misconduct in Cavan/Monaghan by Sgt Maurice McCabe, TDs gave statements in respect of the report.
During his speech in the Dail, Mick Wallace, Independents 4 Change TD, said:
“In the past two years myself and Deputy Clare Daly have raised issues 18 times about how the Department and the Commissioner have dealt with whistleblowers.
Garda Nicky Keogh wrote to the Minister [Frances Fitzgerald] last week. He made allegations on May 8, 2014 to the confidential recipient, Judge Pat McMahon. After that, he said he was subject to five internal investigations and relentless harassment. He said he has been driven out and has been out sick since December 26. He also says he has got no protection. The Minister will know this from the letter she received.
His letter went on to say that further to his letter dated July 25, 2015, he had made a protected disclosure to GSOC in respect of a flawed Garda criminal investigation into a conspiracy to supply heroin involving a member of An Garda Síochána in contravention of section 21 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977.
He said he believed this was no more than a deliberate and unmitigated cover–up by the Deputy Commissioner, Donal Ó Cualáin. He said he believed that the investigation was similar to the internal Garda investigations into Garda misconduct in Donegal in the 1990s.
He went on to say that the protection offered to him as a whistleblower under the terms of the protected disclosures legislation was completely disregarded and ignored by the Garda Commissioner, Nóirín O’Sullivan.”
Two years prior to Mr Wallace’s statement to the Dáil, then Independent TD Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan spoke of Garda Nicky Keogh’s allegations in the Dáil, on May 8, 2014, saying:
“His allegations are serious, including a cover up of an original file which was stolen, with the original incident being removed from the PULSE system; the creation of new statements and appearance of new original information; non-compliance by the Garda with the court order for disclosure and at least one of the accused being threatened by a garda to plead guilty on the day of the court case.”
“[Garda Nick Keogh]’s greatest concern with the drugs operation in November 2009 is that there was a systematic and orchestrated effort by high-ranking Garda officers to induce and coerce citizens, in this case citizens with no previous criminal conviction, to buy drugs from drug dealers, putting them in personal danger, and sell the drugs in turn to undercover gardaí without making any profit, thus boosting crime detection figures concerning arrests, charges and convictions.
The result of this operation was that these mostly young citizens of the State, who had no previous drug convictions, now have serious drug convictions.”
“Finally, a further aspect of grave concern regarding the planning of this operation was that the list of persons nominated to be targeted had a notable omission in that a significant and well recognised drug dealer in the area who has long been associated with a senior member of the drugs unit was excluded.”
On October 2, 2016, John Mooney, in The Sunday Times, reported that an internal investigation into Garda Nicky Keogh’s complaints of Garda collusion in heroin dealing in the Midlands had “found evidence to substantiate claims” made by Mr Keogh but that the DPP advised there was “insufficient evidence to prosecute those implicated”.
Broadsheet understands no report on this internal investigation has been published to date.
Readers will recall how the report into the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation didn’t mention certain events which took place during the private commission.
After the report was published, Michael Clifford, of the Irish Examiner, and Katie Hannon, of RTE’s Prime Time, reported that Colm Smyth, the senior counsel for the Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan, set out in the early stages of the commission that evidence would be produced to show that Sgt McCabe had told two other gardaí that he was making his complaints out of malice.
But a few days after this submission, Sgt McCabe told Judge Kevin O’Higgins he had a tape recording of the meeting in question.
The matter was subsequently dropped when the recording proved the allegation to be wrong.
In addition, readers may also wish to note that Broadsheet reported last week that, in regards to the wrongful allegation of malice, An Garda Siochana also claimed the reason Sgt McCabe was supposedly acting out of malice was because he wanted the DPP’s directions against him, in respect of Ms D’s 2006 allegation of “humping” – a matter which is part of the current Disclosures Tribunal – overturned.
It’s understood An Garda Siochana made this allegation on the belief that Sgt McCabe didn’t know the DPP’s directions.
However, it was also dropped when Sgt McCabe informed Judge O’Higgins that he had full knowledge of the DPP’s directions and was very satisfied with them.
Previously: A Breathtaking Timeline