Tonight’s Evening Herald
Let’s focus on the dog.
Not the trigger-giddy, gun totin’ ‘tec’?
Yesterday: The Curious Incident Of The ‘Dead’ Dog
Tuesday: Meanwhile, In Longford
Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan
Further to the incident in Longford last night.
Last month, Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan:
‘What the level of firearm training provided to armed Garda personnel in each of the years 2016, 2017 and to date in 2018; the number of gardaí by grade or rank with firearms training; the type of weapon they are trained to carry and or use; the company engaged to provide training; the cost of training on an annual basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter.’
In a written reply, Mr Flanagan said:
The Deputy will appreciate that the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling generally the administration and business of An Garda Síochána, including by arranging for the training of its members and civilian staff and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter.
Training is provided by Firearms Instructors attached to the Garda College and the Emergency Response Unit under the control of the Director of Training, Garda College.
Following a recent audit conducted at the Garda College figures show there are approximately 2700 personnel that are currently authorised to carry firearms.
This can increase to approx. 3500 depending on operational requirements. This caters for all ranks of Gardaí who carry firearms.
Members attached to regular units and Detective units are trained in handguns only, namely Smith & Wesson revolver, Sig Sauer & Walther semi-automatic pistol.
Specialist Units such as Emergency Response Unit and the Armed Support Unit are trained in Sig Pistol, H&K MP7 Sub-machine gun, Taser and 40mm direct impact munitions (Less Lethal options).
For the Deputy’s information listed below are figures for attendance at firearms training in each of the years 2016, 2017 and to 31st August 2018.
2016 – 7851
2017 – 10555
2018 – 6891 as of 31st August 2018
The increase in 2017 is as a result of the increase in ASU (Armed Support Unit). Each member attends more than one training course each year.
Earlier: Meanwhile, In Longford
Edgeworthstown, County Longford
Via Sceal Doire:
Shortly before 6pm, A garda allegedly helping a friend remove a van that the repairs on it hadn’t been paid for…When the man who repaired it tried to stop the van from being taken, the garda, shoving the man and his wife and when his tie was grabbed, raised a pistol and shot the man having already allegedly shot and killed his dog…
‘The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission is to investigate the circumstances of a shooting incident at a house in Co Longford yesterday after a man was injured when a garda firearm was discharged.
The man was later treated in hospital for his injuries which are not said to be life-threatening
Gardaí say they were at the scene as part of another investigation and were being assisted by a member of the public when they were confronted.
In the moments that followed a garda discharged his firearm in the direction of a guard dog, which was killed and a man nearby also sustained shotgun wound injuries to his leg.’
Usual health warnings apply to the veracity of the above text.
More as we get it.
The dog at the centre of a garda shooting – previously thought dead – has vanished and investigators are trying to track down the injured hound.
The Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) and garda investigators are probing the shooting of a man in Longford by an on-duty Detective Sergeant.
Witnesses said that a large German Shepherd was shot during the incident.
Sources have said that the dog is missing, having run from the scene.
….The site of the incident is close to a location where €500,000 of suspected stolen industrial plant, tools, trailers, vans, cars engine and vehicle parts was recovered.
Last Thursday gardai carried out a search operation at the alleged “chop shop” in a large industrial unit last Thursday…
Thanks Dave Wilson
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris (left)and former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan
Further to yesterday’s Sunday Times report which outlined how the state plans to cover former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan’s legal costs in an action taken by Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe..
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says the representation being offered to the former Commissioner is standard practice.
“As a former State employee who is being sued in the course of his work it is the norm for the State to offer representation for him,” said Mr Varadkar.
“That is not to say that he is being given an indemnity or anything like that, it is representation as regards the case.”
According to senior sources, Mr Harris is seeking his own legal advice on the matter of Mr Callinan’s legal costs in light of the tribunal’s damning findings against the former commissioner.
Mr Harris is seeking advice on whether to he is bound by the decision of Mr Ó Cualáin to recommend that the State fund Mr Callinan’s defence. Depending on the advice, it may be open to him to ask the Minister to reverse his decision.
Sgt Maurice McCabe
The Irish Examiner understands Sergeant McCabe met Assistant Commissioner Fintan Fanning at the weekend and applied to retire. As he has served the requisite 30 years, he is entitled to retire on a full pension.
His application was accepted and will come into effect from 12am.
His retirement comes three weeks after publication of the Disclosures Tribunal report in which Judge Peter Charleton described the Cavan-based sergeant as having done the state “considerable service”.
For the first time, and exclusively for @rte, Maurice and Lorraine McCabe will tell their personal story in a two-part documentary, Whistleblower: The Maurice McCabe Story, to be broadcast on @RTEOne across consecutive nights on 12 and 13 November #MauriceMcCabe @KatieGHannon pic.twitter.com/h6wB45uooh
— RTÉ Press Office (@RTEPress) October 31, 2018
A man has been arrested after a day-long incident in Ronanstown area of Dublin. Gardaí say a taser device was used and matter has now been referred to GSOC. A ‘media blackout’ was requested and observed during the incident.
— Gareth O’Connor (@garethoconnor) October 18, 2018
Ronanstown, County Dublin.
More to follow.
From top: Former Garda Commissioners Martin Callinan and Nóirín O’Sullivan, former head of the Garda Press Office Supt Dave Taylor, solicitor Gerald Kean, (from left) former Assistant Commissioner for the Northern Region Kieran Kenny, former Chief Supt Jim Sheridan, Det Supt John O’Reilly, and Inspector Pat O’Connell; Sgt Maurice McCabe and his wife Lorraine McCabe
This afternoon, statements will be made in the Dáil in respect of Judge Peter Charleton’s report on the Disclosures Tribunal from 4.50pm this afternoon.
It follows the Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan telling the Dáil this morning that, since the publication of Judge Charleton’s report, he has apologised to Sgt McCabe and his family.
In addition, Sgt McCabe and his wife Lorraine will this week meet the newly appointed Garda Commissioner Drew Harris to discuss Judge Charleton’s report.
Ahead of this…
Mr Justice Peter Charleton found it was “a dreadful struggle to attempt to uncover what may have gone on behind closed doors” in relation to Sgt Maurice McCabe before he ultimately found that former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and former Garda press officer Supt Dave Taylor acted together to denigrate the Garda whistleblower’s character.
He said such a “struggle” should not happen, adding:
“People are obligated by patriotic duty to cooperate with judicial processes, whether in the police or public service or not.”
In his report, Judge Charleton praised the truthfulness of several witnesses.
But, elsewhere, he wrote how some witnesses from An Garda Síochána, TUSLA and the media frustrated the tribunal’s efforts to effectively find out what exactly happened to Sgt McCabe.
In relation to members of An Garda Síochána…
Judge Charleton said the tribunal wrote to more than 430 different individuals at assistant commissioner, chief superintendent and superintendent rank, including retired senior officers.
“none of these individuals replied with any relevant information, apart from two officers” before adding that “no inference can be drawn as to whether these other senior officers had any relevant information which they chose not to share”.
He did find that after accepting the evidence of four individuals – namely that of Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness, Comptroller and Auditor General Seamus McCarthy, Fine Gael TD John Deasy and RTÉ journalist Philip Boucher-Hayes and rejecting Mr Callinan’s denials of the same – it is likely that other people close to Mr Callinan were told similar things about Sgt McCabe.
Judge Charleton accepted Mr McGuinness’s evidence that Mr Callinan told him Sgt McCabe “fiddles with kids” and referred to both Sgt McCabe and former Garda John Wilson as “fucking headbangers”.
He accepted that Mr Callinan told Mr McGuinness, during a meeting in a car park of Bewley’s Hotel on the Naas Road, Dublin, on Friday, January 24, 2014, that Sgt McCabe sexually abused his children and nieces.
And he accepted that Mr Callinan led him to believe there was a live investigation of some kind, causing Mr McGuinness to believe that charges against Sgt McCabe were imminent.
Judge Charleton accepted that Mr Callinan told Fine Gael TD John Deasy, on the way to the same PAC meeting, that Sgt McCabe was not to be believed or trusted with anything.
He also accepted the evidence of the Comptroller and Auditor General Seamus McCarthy – whose report into the quashing of penalty points was being discussed at that PAC meeting – that Mr Callinan told him Sgt McCabe was not to be trusted, that he had questions to answer, and that there were live allegations of sexual offences against him.
And he accepted that Mr Callinan told Mr Boucher-Hayes, before a broadcast of RTE’s Crimecall, that Sgt McCabe was a “troubled individual” with a “lot of psychological issues and psychiatric issues”.
Because of the evidence of the four witnesses above, Judge Charleton wrote:
“The tribunal does not find it probable that interactions of a similar nature were not had with at least some of those who were close to Martin Callinan in An Garda Síochána.
“No such evidence was volunteered to the tribunal or otherwise given in evidence by any serving or former officer. The tribunal is not able to make any finding of fact in this regard against any particular person.”
While finding that the then Deputy Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan played no part in the smear campaign, Judge Charleton did note:
“It is also improbable that she did not have an inkling at the very least about Commissioner Callinan’s views. At the very least, it was more than improbable that nothing emerged in the car journey with him back to Garda Headquarters from the meeting of the Public Accounts Committee on 23 January 2014. It was disappointing to hear her evidence on this.”
Judge Charleton also found the manner in which Mr Callinan briefed solicitor Gerald Kean about Sgt McCabe ahead of a broadcast on RTE’s Marian Finucane in January 2014, and assisted Mr Kean in responding to a legal letter from Sgt McCabe post-broadcast, as “strongly speaking to a strong animus by Commissioner Martin Callinan against Maurice McCabe”.
[Sgt McCabe took a defamation action against Mr Kean and RTE following the broadcast with Sgt McCabe ultimately settling with RTE and not pursuing the case against Mr Kean]
The judge said he was satisfied Mr Kean knew of the tribunal’s public appeal for information but noted that “it was only through the diligence of tribunal counsel, sorting through tens of thousands of items of discovered documents”, that it learned of the episode concerning Mr Callinan and Mr Kean.
Specifically, Judge Charleton had the following to say about other members of An Garda Síochána.
Mick Wallace dressed for beach as he Q’s the Joint Policing Committee.Did he write those rambling Q’s on a beer mat. pic.twitter.com/gKKTLvtZmM
— Padraig O’Reilly (@padraig_reilly) October 10, 2018
Arrest that man.
John Gallagher writes:
Crime photojournalist mugs Mick Wallace for a fashion crime and implies he’s a rambling drunk…
From top: Frederick Street removal: Mick Wallace; Joan Collins; Claire Daly and Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan in the Dáil today.
In the Dáil.
Further to the eviction of housing activists from a vacant property at North Frederick Street last week…
Independents 4 Change TD Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan who authorised members of An Garda Síochána – who wore fire retardant hoods – to attend the eviction.
Joan Collins, also an Independents 4 Change TD, asked Mr Flanagan on what basis were the gardai asked to attend.
Ms Collins referred to the mater as “very, very sinister”.
Independents 4 Change TD Clare Daly then said:
“I think we have to be very conscious that this incident has set back public confidence in An Garda Síochána considerably. That’s actually my starting point on this issue.
We have, at the backdrop, an unprecedented housing crisis. Where people are homeless, families are homeless. And that the Garda organisation, whose motto is supposed to be ‘to protect and serve’, rallies around to carry out an eviction – resonates really badly with the Irish public and you can call it politically with a small ‘p’.
It was lunacy whoever made the call.
“And, like Deputy Wallace, I don’t believe it was the Commissioner [Drew Harris].”
“The minister says the gardai were only upholding the law. Well my neighbour’s house was broken into and they called the guards and they didn’t’ see one for love nor money. That’s their job, as well.
“They chose to take sides in this incident. There was no signal that they were going to be public order problems of the scale that merited masks and balaclavas and all this type of carry-on and palaver which was really intimidatory.
“And it does deserve an investigation. It particularly deserves and investigation, given that concrete evidence has been produced that shows that the security firm were breaching the law and yet the perception was that the gardai were there to protect them and not actually the public.”
Mr Flanagan, in his response, said:
“I would reiterate again, that the gardai present faced a most difficult task, managing protest, in enforcing the law. There was a matter of abuse, including racial abuse, online threats and intimidation, came to light at the weekend.
“Such threats are utterly unacceptable, rightly being investigated. Gardai work on our behalf. They need support from the public, not intimidation, not abuse. As I’ve said Commissioner Harris has made a statement in relation to the protest. I understand he’s requested a report from Assistant Commissioner DMR, to see what lessons can be learned from the event.
“I can assure the house my department continues to work closely with all stakeholders including An Garda Síochána, to further enhance the safety of the public at such events, while safeguarding the fundamental right of people to protest.
“Of course if people have concerns about the way the garda behave, which I’ve just heard, if people have those concerns, in relation to this or, indeed, any other matter, there are established procedures for pursuing such matters. Deputies are aware of the role of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission [GSOC] in this regard…”
Previously: What’s Going On Here?