[Tom Clonan, top, and Stalker by John Stalker (1988)]
” I’d invite you to think about this. Simon O’Brien is a former commander in the London Metropolitan Police, so he’s a very experienced person with, very au fait with intelligence gathering and with policing in general. And last year it got to the stage, that because of their beliefs that they were being surveilled, they were carrying out their most sensitive meetings in cafés on Capel Street.”
“…[They believed they were under surveillance in their own building] And [Mr O’Brien] outlined one test that they carried out with this company Verrimus where it was suspected that O’Brien’s landline, his own landline was actually bugged from his office. So they carried out a confirmation test at one o’clock, in the morning.
“And, basically, the way this test works is, if the phone is bugged, and you carry out this electronic test, then the phone will ring immediately. They carried out the test at 1am and the phone rang immediately. Now that means one of two things. It means the phone was bugged or it means that, at exactly 1am, at precisely the moment they carried out the test, somebody, somewhere, accidentally rang Simon O’Brien’s personal landline.
“…From my perspective it would appear to be part of a concerted attempt to play down these, this very, very serious issue, to dilute its import and again, in my own experience, as a whistleblower in the Defence Forces, drawing attention to sexual violence against women, the first response by the military authority to that time was to shoot the messenger. And I’m seeing exactly the same dynamic here.
“You know it was done with the Garda whistleblowers, questions were raised about their ethical probity, and you know, had they gone through the correct channels, and we’ve had some very, very disturbing transcripts of recordings where one of the whistleblowers was effectively threatened. So this is all part of a pattern of denial, muddying the waters.
“The journalists are now all jumping on this notion of a mole within GSOC, that released this report to a journalist. And, yes, that’s an interesting sub-section to this but the most important thing here is, serious questions have been raised about the security of GSOC and that needs to be investigated by an independent, extrajudicial expert in order to restore public confidence in GSOC and in An Garda Síochána.”
“I’ve heard journalists, my fellow journalists talking about documents being sexed up and, you know, basically, following the Government spin and repeating it and collaborating with it, extending the Government’s spin on this.
“They should go to the library and take out John Stalker’s book and by the time they’ll have got to the end of the first chapter, where John Stalker describes his meetings with John Hermon, that they might think again about supporting Government spin in this regard. An independent expert investigation is needed, not a High Court judge from Ireland – a policeman or an intelligence expert from Ireland.”
Dr Tom Clonan,Irish Times Security Analyst, and former Irish army captain who blew the whistle on the sexual harassment of female soldiers in the Irish army speaking with Pat Kenny yesterday morning on Newstalk.
Meanwhile, read an excellent round-up and analysis of events by Michael Clifford, of the Irish Examiner, here.
Previously: Shame Sheet Different Day
Pic: Dublin Institute of Technology