Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan
The information used in the failed attempt to discredit Sergeant Maurice McCabe came from evidence submitted by two senior officers who had met the whistleblower in Mullingar in 2008.
The officers – an unnamed superintendent and a sergeant from outside the Mullingar area – said McCabe had admitted he ‘bore a grudge’ while making allegations of malpractice against a superior.
This evidence was used to demonstrate Sgt McCabe’s ‘malice’.
It was only when Sgt McCabe produced a tape recording of the conversation that the matter was quietly dropped.
Michael Clifford in today’s Irish Examiner writes:
If the commissioner is to retain credibility as a leader who wants to oversee a force where whistleblowing is welcomed as a positive element of policing, she needs to explain whether she was aware that two of her officers were going to give false evidence against another, McCabe, a man whom the commissioner had publicly lauded.
If she did know that false evidence might be proffered under those circumstances, her position is untenable.
If she didn’t know, there are plenty of questions that require answers. In such a scenario she was misinformed by her officers.
How well did she research the claims being made by the two officers? This, after all, was something that would put her in direct conflict with McCabe whom she had publicly lauded.
Surely she would want to know exactly what she was getting into.
If she didn’t know then, she was inadvertently placed in a position where she was party to an attempt to mislead the inquiry.
Surely she must be hopping mad on a personal basis if that is the case.
On a professional basis what has she done? The Irish Examiner understands that absolutely no action has been taken against the two since this affair emerged last May.
How exactly has the commissioner dealt with a matter that could be a conspiracy to commit a crime within her force in an attempt to discredit a whistleblower?