Tag Archives: breath tests

A Garda checkpoint

Conor Lally, in The Irish Times, reports:

Garda breath testing figures were “out of kilter” by six million at one point, the Oireachtas Committee on Justice has heard.

Assistant Commissioner Michael O’Sullivan, who carried out an internal review of the inflated figures, which concluded that breath test numbers were inflated by 1.4 million in a seven year period, made the admission on Wednesday morning.

…[Mr O’Sullivan said:] “Part of my recommendations are that in future there is joint training between GISC and the guards.”

He said there were “two interpretations on how the figures were to be recorded” and that he had heard disagreement as to what numbers should go into what boxes on the force’s Pulse computer system.

“For me, it resulted in significant data… In fact at one stage the figures were six million of out kilter.”

Mr O’Sullivan said neither the individual gardaí nor the call takers at GISC understood each other’s position in the process. This was because their training was different and their instruction manuals were not the same.

Meanwhile….

Gas.

Garda breath tests ‘out of kilter’by six million at one point (The Irish Times)

Previously: A Breathtaking Timeline

Rollingnews

Niall Kelly, head of Internal Audit at An Garda Síochána

You may recall the near one million breath tests that gardaí recorded they took between November 1, 2011 and October 31, 2016, but, in March, conceded they didn’t take.

Further to this.

Conor Lally, in The Irish Times, reports that the head of internal audit at An Garda Síochána, Niall Kelly, has contacted the Policing Authority about the Garda review of these figures.

Mr Lally reports:

Mr Kelly has pointed out that neither he nor his staff were involved in the review process. Because of that, and also because the formal rigours of an audit process were not followed, he has insisted the process cannot be called an audit.

Senior Garda management have referred to the process as an audit.

At a press conference when the scandal broke in March, Deputy Garda Commissioner John Twomey referred to it as an audit.

Garda audit boss voices breath-test concerns to Policing Authority (Conor Lally, The Irish Times)

Meanwhile…

A paragraph Niall Kelly deleted from the final version of a report on the Garda College in 2011, recorded in the 2017 Interim Audit Report into Financial Procedures in the college

Readers may recall how, last week, Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan and other senior gardai attended a Public Accounts Committee  meeting to discuss financial irregularities at the Garda College in Templemore.

Mr Kelly also attended PAC, during which it was discussed a matter mentioned in the Interim Audit Report into Financial Procedures in the Garda College which was given to PAC in March.

This matter was in relation to how, in 2011, he deleted a paragraph (above) from the final version of his Report to the Garda Commissioner in relation to Financial Controls in 2010 – after he was assured that the issues were addressed.

In PAC, Mr Kelly had the following exchange with Sinn Féin TD David Cullinane, in which Mr Kelly said he felt he had been “duped” and that he was caught in the “circling of wagons”.

Micheal Culhane, executive director of finance and services at An Garda Siochana, was also involved in the exchange.

David Cullinane: “Page 14 of the report refers to the Garda Commissioner and 2 March 2011 and contains a paragraph which says “no assurances were given”. That paragraph was removed and deleted and Mr. Kelly said this was because he was given assurances.”

Niall Kelly: “I was provided with a summarised report from Mr Culhane [Michael Culhane, executive director of finance and services at An Garda Siochana] and assurances that the issues were being dealt with.”

Cullinane: “Did Mr. Culhane give the assurances to Mr. Kelly?”

Michael Culhane: “I did not give them directly to Mr. Kelly. It went to the CAO showing the progress that had been made on some of the issues.”

Cullinane: “However, the assurances were given by Mr. Culhane. The CAO was the conduit but the assurances were given by Mr. Culhane.”

Culhane: “I did not give assurances. I gave an update on the report.”

Cullinane: “However, Mr. Kelly saw this as assurances because he said he deleted the paragraph because of assurances that were given.”

Kelly: “Yes. I had conversations with the audit committee.”

Cullinane: “Who gave Mr. Kelly the assurances he talked about?”

Kelly:I got the report. I spoke to the CAO at the time. I spoke to the chairman of the audit committee at the time. It had gone to the Commissioner. The note had come back from the Commissioner, in the margins of the letter back from the Commissioner, that this report should be provided to me. I had highlighted my issues to the highest level in the organisation. Ultimately, my role is an advisory role.”

Cullinane: “Everyone is passing the buck.”

Kelly: “I am not passing the…”

Cullinane: “I do not say Mr. Kelly is here. He deleted a vital paragraph based on assurances that action was being taken. Who gave him those assurances?”

Kelly: “The CAO primarily.”

Cullinane: “Who did he get them from?”

Kelly: “From Mr. Culhane.”

Cullinane: “That is what I am trying to establish exactly. Mr. Kelly’s view now is that those assurances were not worth the paper they were written on. Would that be a fair...”

Kelly:That would be true. I would also say that it was a mistake on my part to delete that paragraph.”

Cullinane: “Mr. Kelly is brave enough to accept that he made a mistake.”

Kelly: “Absolutely.”

Cullinane: “I commend him on that. Does he feel he was duped?

Kelly:I do.”

Cullinane:Does he regret that he was duped in that way?”

Kelly: “Yes.”

Cullinane: “Who does he believe duped him? Perhaps he should name offices rather than individuals.”

Kelly: “I think that is an unfair question to ask. It could be a range of people.”

Vice Chairman Alan Kelly: “In the interest of fairness, does Mr. Kelly feel it was multiple people or one person?

Kelly: “Reference was made to culture. There was a different culture at that stage. There was a culture of circling the wagons and I got caught trying to bang into the wagons.”

Cullinane:Does Mr. Kelly agree that the culture of An Garda Síochána up to 2015 was to circle the wagons rather than to accept there was wrongdoing and correct it? Would that be his view as head of internal audit?

 Kelly: Speaking now, having gone through the past five years and writing this report, that is the only conclusion I can come to.”

Transcript via Oireachtas.ie

Previously: ‘I Was Counselled To Be Very Careful’

sullivanScreen Shot 2017-03-31 at 14.03.44From top: Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan leaving the Justice Committeee hearing yesterday; Deputy Commissioner Dónall O’Cualáin, Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan, Deputy Commissioner John Twomey, and Assistant Commissioner Michael Finn before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality yesterday

Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan appeared before the Oireachtas justice committee yesterday to field questions on the near one million phantom breath tests and 14,700 wrongful motoring convictions.

Further to this…

A timeline of events…

2009: An Garda Síochána start recording Mandatory Alcohol Testing (MAT) checkpoints on PULSE.

May 15, 2013: A report by assistant commissioner John O’Mahoney into the quashing of penalty points by gardaí is published and finds there is no widespread quashing of penalty points.

October 1, 2013: The Comptroller and Auditor General, which was given information by Sgt Maurice McCabe, issues a report which finds one in five motorists avoided penalty points because their cases are not pursued. For 2011 and 2012 – the C&AG found approximately 2,900 cases were terminated for around 700 vehicles, with three or more cases terminated each.

March 26, 2014: Justice Minister Alan Shatter apologises to Sgt Maurice McCabe and former garda John Wilson for telling the Dáil in October 1, 2013 that the two whistleblowers didn’t cooperate with Assistant Commissioner John O’Mahoney’s report into the quashing of penalty points.

April 11, 2014: Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar writes to the acting Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan about information that was sent anonymously to Gay Byrne, chair of the Road Safety Authority. The information, allegedly from a Garda reserve, contains allegations concerning the way in which MAT checkpoints are being carried out in the west of Ireland. The information also contains allegations that road traffic legislation is not being enforced.

April 24, 2014: An Garda Síochana are made aware of discrepancies in breath test figures. On the same day, Assistant Commissioner of the Western Region Dónal Ó Cualáin submitted a report in respect of road traffic enforcement in the western region. Mr Ó Cualáin advises that the issues raised will be placed on the agenda for the Garda’s next Regional Performance and Accountability Framework meeting.

May 2014: In a letter to the Department of Justice, An Garda Síochána states that it has looked into the claims regarding MAT checkpoints and is satisfied that correct procedures were in place for MAT checkpoints that did take place. Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald tells this to the Dáil on March 28, 2017.

May 8, 2014: Garda Nick Keogh, a member of the drugs squad in Athlone, makes a formal complaint to the confidential recipient Judge Pat McMahon about a garda in the drugs squad and their alleged involvement in the supply of heroin in Westmeath, Offaly and Longford. Garda Keogh also claims a State mobile phone was supplied by a senior garda to a suspended garda whom Garda Keogh alleges has links to drugs trade in Co Westmeath.

On the same day, Independent TD Luke Ming Flanagan speaks about Garda Nick Keogh in the Dail, saying:

“At this time, Garda Nicky Keogh – that is his name and he is proud of it – from Athlone Garda Station is presenting information to the confidential recipient, Mr. Justice Patrick McMahon. Given the gaping hole that there is in legislation in this country, which means the avenue of the Ombudsman commission is cut off, he has no option but to go to the confidential recipient. He has been left with no choice but to go public because since last week when the man voted by this Government to be Taoiseach laughed at what he brought to me the word at his local Garda station is that he is a whistleblower or, to use a word being used by many people, a snitch.

“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.”

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Screen Shot 2017-03-30 at 15.55.49From top: Deputy Commissioner Dónall O’Cualáin, Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan, Deputy Commissioner John Twomey, and Assistant Commissioner Michael Finn before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality; Independents 4 Change TD Mick Wallace; Noirin O’Sullivan

This morning.

In light of the latest Garda controversies.

Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan, along with Deputy Commissioners Dónall O’Cualáin and John Twomey, and Assistant Commissioner Michael Finn appeared before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality.

Readers may recall a post from yesterday in relation to Assistant Commissioner Michael Finn’s announcement last week that Superintendent Pat Murray from Athlone had been appointed  to carry out the “fact finding” internal investigation in relation to the near one million false breath test figures and 14,700 wrongful convictions.

The post drew attention to the fact that, previously in the Dáil on December 15, 2015, Independents 4 Change TDs Mick Wallace and Clare Daly spoke about Superintendent Pat Murray.

Mr Wallace said of Superintendent Murray: “This is an individual who has harassed and bullied a Garda whistleblower to an awful degree for a long time.”

He also said that he would give the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald proof of  Superintendent Pat Murray reclassifying crime figures.

During this morning’s meeting of the justice committee, Mr Wallace asked about Superintendent Pat Murray and the Garda’s internal investigation.

From the exchange…

Mick Wallace: “Senior garda indiscipline is not under the remit of the Policing Authority, right? But, Commissioner, it is within yours, right? And would you agree that there’s a problem around how Garda indiscipline is dealt with? Now, in line, in tune with the question, I wanted to ask if Superintendent Pat Murray had any involvement in the internal inquiry? You might answer that for me?

Noirin O’Sullivan: “Deputy, or chair again, I’ll take your direction on this. I don’t think it’s appropriate to speak about individual members and, you know, I’m not sure what the question specifically relates to but I’m happy to answer a question on a broader issue if you wish.”

Chairman Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: “Deputy Wallace, can you maybe rephrase? Maybe relook?”

Wallace: “I just read a press report that Superintendent Pat Murray was actually involved in a, but I don’t know if it’s true or not. And I just wanted the commissioner to confirm if yes or no…”

Ó Caoláin: “Is their a relevance to you raising it….

Wallace: “There is yeah, it’s connected to…”

Ó Caoláin: “…To be careful again, in the context of what I cautioned members about, at the outset of the meeting, I’m not privy to what is in your question…”

Wallace: “I’m referring to a new internal investigation that the Commissioner is setting up. And I’m just wondering in light of the problems in dealing with indiscipline in the force, I’m wondering if, whether Superintendent Pat Murray, who has, is under, is the subject of a protected disclosure. And I’m wondering if he got a job involved in the internal investigation or not. Yes or no.”

Ó Caoláin: “Commissioner I, again, I’ve no advance indication of the questions such as this presenting. I appreciate that there are subliminal issues involved. You’re free to answer as you deem appropriate and, if the matter is inappropriate, in your opinion, I would accept that that is the case and we’ll move on.”

O’Sullivan: Well, chair, thank you. Deputy, what I can tell the committee here today is that commissioner Michael O’Sullivan is appointed to conduct the investigation and to establish the facts.”

Wallace:So you’re saying that Pat Murray is not involved?

Ó Caoláin: ” That, I think, I think, with respect, the Commissioner does not believe that that is appropriate in the context that you’ve raised. And I’m respecting that, deputy Wallace. Is that, that is your position, Commissioner?”

O’Sullivan: “Yes. The assistant commissioner is in charge of the investigation. There is nobody else in charge of the investigation.”

Wallace:So is he not involved in it?

O’Sullivan: “Not…”

Ó Caoláin: “Deputy Wallace, I ask you…”

Wallace: “All right, ok..”

Ó Caoláin:Can we move on please?

Wallace: “Right, I’ll move on. I realise it’s hard to get answers.”

Yesterday: Gasp

Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 10.23.23

A Garda checkpoint

Further to the near one million false breath test figures and 14,700 wrongful convictions…

And Taoiseach Enda Kenny telling the Dáil yesterday that the Government has agreed to an external investigation into the matters – the details of which have yet to be decided.

This external investigation will be on top of an internal Garda investigation and one carried out by the Policing Authority.

Assistant Commissioner Michael Finn, who held a press conference on the matter last week, said Superintendent Pat Murray from Athlone had been appointed to carry out the “fact finding” internal investigation.

Further to this…

On December 15, 2015, during a Dáil debate, in the presence of the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald, on the Garda Síochána (Policing Authority and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2015…

Independents 4 Change TD Clare Daly said:

“…the current treatment of whistleblowers is absolutely dire. Subsequently, the position of Garda Keith Harrison has been vindicated by the State pulling out of a High Court action it had taken against him at enormous personal and emotional cost, not to mind the cost to the taxpayer of a ludicrous, vindictive action. It is worth saying that the judge in that case was the senior counsel during the Morris tribunal. It is quite clear that from his stance, nothing has really changed in the sense that he awarded full costs to Garda Harrison.

“This is important because why else are we here discussing a policing authority? It is to have independent scrutiny and accountability of the gardaí.”

“It would be entirely appropriate for the Minister to comment on the Garda Inspectorate’s report which has obviously shocked people. It has also vindicated everything we have said – that nothing has changed inside the ranks of the Garda Síochána, except the faces at the top. I am surprised that people have not called for the current Garda Commissioner to resign because she is standing over a situation that is at least as bad, if not worse, than what the former Commissioner Callanan stood over. It is worse because the scale of the knowledge that is in the public domain has not been addressed.”

“The previous Garda Inspectorate’s report gave a damning account of gardaí massaging the crime figures, for example. That resulted in the analysis of crime figures having to be withdrawn for a period. It is a very serious matter.

We know for a fact that the massaging of the figures is still continuing. In recent weeks, in Superintendent Pat Murray’s station in the midlands and in Athlone, we have seen direct evidence of at least eight cases where crimes were written down so that the original crime was reclassified as a more minor matter.

There is clear evidence of massaging the figures – for example, changing burglaries to criminal damage, which is reclassification.”

In addition, during the same debate, Independents 4 Change TD Mick Wallace said:

“First, the Minister asked for proof of what Deputy Daly actually said. Tomorrow morning, I will give the Minister proof of district officer, Superintendent Pat Murray, reclassifying crime figures. This is an individual who has harassed and bullied a Garda whistleblower to an awful degree for a long time.”

Good times.

Dail transcript via Kildarestreet.com

Rollingnews.ie

oadsafetyFrom left: Denis A Cusack, Director, Medical Bureau of Road Safety, Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid,, Ms Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority, Shane Ross, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Maggie Martin, Research Manager, Road Safety Authority, outside Store Street Garda Station in Dublin as they launched a Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochana drink drive safety campaign last Summer.

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 14.41.29

Top: Figures showing significant discrepancies between the number of breath tests recorded by PULSE and the number of tests recorded by the actual devices; Director of the Medical Bureau of Road Safety Professor Denis Cusack on Morning Ireland

This morning.

On Morning Ireland.

Professor Denis Cusack, director of the Medical Bureau of Road Safety (above), spoke to RTÉ’s Cathal Mac Coille about the near one million breath tests that gardaí recorded they took between November 1, 2011 and October 31, 2016, but conceded last week they didn’t take.

Professor Cusack explained the MBRS’s role in supplying breath tests to An Garda Síochána and outlined the timeline of events from when the MBRS first became aware of concerns about breath tests, in July 2014, up to An Garda Síochána requesting the MBRS’s database on March 8, 2017.

Readers will note how An Garda Siochana have already said that on April 11, 2014, the then Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar wrote to the Garda Commissioner [Noirin O’Sullivan] about information that was sent anonymously to chairman of the Road Safety Authority Gay Byrne.

The information contained allegations in relation to the manner in which Mandatory Alcohol Testing (MAT) checkpoints were being performed in the west of Ireland.

Mr Varadkar passed this information on to Ms O’Sullivan but, almost a year later, on January 8, 2015, a report issued by the gardaí to the Department of Justice and Equality found it was not possible to identify the author of the information sent to Mr Byrne and so it was not possible to progress the matter.

Further to this…

Denis Cusack: “We’re responsible for approving, in other words, checking out that the device is fit for purpose. We’re also responsible for testing it from time to time which we do every six months, every single device in the country. And we also supply the device, the breathalyser to the gardai. And we’ve about 1,200 that we supply to garda stations nationwide.”

Cathall Mac Coille: “Just to be clear about this, because you’ve got a breathalyser in front of you and I know you’re going to explain to us what you do with it: you check out and approve and issue every single one, not batches?”

Cusack: “Well, what happens is the board of the bureau is presented with a report, whenever there’s a new device so, for example, shortly we’ll again be going through a process for the roadside and Garda station drug testing device. So, a report is drawn up, this is called the Drager Alcotest 6510. So, after a competitive process, a number of manufacturers will have put in their devices, we’d look, which is the most suitable, all of that specification is then given to the board which says, ‘yes, we approve this device’ and that is what is meant by approval. And then each device is approved by that process, not individually but we test each and every single device every six months to make sure that it’s still doing what it’s meant to do. And indeed, if there’s ever a problem in between times, the garda will bring it to the bureau.”

Mac Coille: “And the device you have in front of you there, has it a specific number on it? Issued by you?”

Cusack: “Yes, each device is Garda station specific so we know that, when a device is brought in and…each device is Garda station specific so when it’s returned, every six months or so, and if it’s not returned we follow up and remind the gardai that they’re meant to return it because we need to test it to make sure that it’s still well within what it should be doing.”

Mac Coille: “And each device can be used how many times?”

Cusack: “Oh, limitless. And that’s how we know. I’m pressing a button now [holds it up to microphone] and, in a moment, it’s going to tell me how many tests have been carried out on this device, I tested it myself again last night at home, so it comes up with a number. So let’s say, for example, a garda has a device at a Garda station, he’s going out to one of the checkpoints, it’ll say test number, let’s say 200, and if the garda returns later that evening and it says 220, the guard knows that 20 tests have been carried out. And the protocol that we’ve recommended is that it be noted and the number of tests done. And then, every six months, when it comes back to us, if, for example, we have that device at 200 today and it comes back in six months time to us with 500, we know that 300 tests have been done and we confirm that with the Garda and that’s how we’re able to do that.”

Later

Mac Coille:When did you first raise the question of the number of tests being carried out? And the number of devices being used with the gardaí?”

Cusack: “There’s been a lot of discussion about this. We need to be very clear. In summer 2014, as part of our process, we have to buy the mouthpieces and I have one here with me that you see there, each one is individual in terms of its packing. It’s to make sure that it’s not contaminated with alcohol and, indeed, nobody wants to put in their mouth something that’s been used by two or three drivers beforehand. So, each breath test, has one mouth piece.”

Mac Coille: “Wrapped in plastic.”

Cusack: “Wrapped in plastic. It’s sealed there, I’ve opened one there and another is sealed. So we buy them every year, we’re buying between 400,000 and 600,000, it costs anywhere between €80,000 and €120,000. We became aware that there appeared to still be a large number…”

Mac Coille: “What do you mean? How did you become aware of it?”

Cusack: “A large number..well, we liaise very closely with the Garda stock keeping, central stock, in Santry. So they ask us, from time to time, and we became aware that there wasn’t a request in and, clearly, on the Garda website, we noted that there were more than, between 400,000 and 450,000.”

Mac Coille: “What?”

Cusack: “Breath tests on the website there.”

Mac Coille: “Carried out?”

Cusack: “Carried out.”

Mac Coille: “In that year? 2014?”

Cusack: “No, over the last year, two previously.”

Mac Coille: “Ok.

Cusack: “So it was very simple. We said, ‘look, you know, the numbers just don’t add up, we need clarification because if those numbers being done, clearly we wouldn’t have expected that there would have been that number of mouthpieces left. So for the purpose, first of all, of actually purchasing them, we had to look at it.”

Mac Coille: “So you wrote to them?”

Cusack: “We wrote to the gardai…”

Mac Coille: “Can you put a date on it?”

Cusack: “Yes, it was in July 2014. I must be very clear. We didn’t know what we were dealing with at the time except that the numbers didn’t add up.”

Mac Coille: “We should mention by the way, just to get the timeline straight, this is after Noirin O’Sullivan has taken over as provisional Garda Commissioner. Later that year she became, she was confirmed as the Commissioner. She was in charge. So in July 2014, you wrote to them and said, was it a question?”

Cusack: “No, it was simply, could you set out, and we, for the equipment. Now usually we didn’t write, we would be able to do this by just our meetings, we’ve very regular meetings with the gardai to make sure that we’re helping them and supplying them with these. So all it was was an alert that something wasn’t adding up. And, some months later, we got a reply to say they weren’t seeking any more but we didn’t order any more mouthpieces for 2015 or 2016. And we keep in close consultation with the gardai. So that’s where it lay until about 2015…”

Mac Coille: “But at that stage, just to be clear. In either 2014 or 2015, did you ask them the question: you appear to be carrying out or, at least according to your records, carrying out more breath tests than you’re using these mouthpieces. Did you ask that question?”

Cusack: “That would have come up in the discussions at the meeting but it…”

Mac Coille: “In 2014?”

Cusack: “In 2014/2015 but I must be very clear: the gardai wouldn’t have known themselves it appears because we didn’t learn of the figures until last Thursday and I’ll come to that in a moment…”

Mac Coille: “But you knew enough in 2014 to ask the question, correct?”

Cusack: “Well, simply, we said: the numbers don’t add up. And it was in the context of the number of mouthpieces we should be purchasing.”

Mac Coille: “Did you have a meeting with them?”

Cusack: “We have regular meetings with..”

Mac Coille: “So you would have met them subsequent to this letter in July 2014. Did you have a meeting with them that year to discuss this?”

Cusack: “Well simply they said we didn’t need any more mouthpieces. So we don’t in any way become involved in in Garda operation matters. We take that at face value.”

Mac Coille: “So you left that there in 2014. In 2015?”

Cusack: “2015, in fact it was on foot of a newspaper article where questions were raised about the numbers of tests. So at that point, I asked the staff, our senior staff, could they actually look at this because clearly the numbers were still not adding up. So, in August 2015 we actually carried out a survey of 200 of the 1,200 devices and what we found at that time was, on the estimation of the average use and so on, for those 200 devices that it appeared that there were not 400,000-plus tests being done on our devices but rather closer to 200,000.”

Mac Coille: “When did you tell the gardai about this?”

Cusack: “We told the gardai, and again it had to be in the sense that we were quite surprised, obviously that there was such a difference so we alerted the gardai…”

Mac Coille: “When?”

Cusack: “In the end of summer 2015.”

Mac Coille: “Can you put a month on it?”

Cusack: “It was August to September 2015.”

Mac Coille: “And, by the way, your communications with the Gardai are to whom, are they to the Commissioner or what level?”

Cusack:We meet with members of what was then the garda traffic bureau but again you must remember…”

Mac Coille: “That’s headed by or was it headed at the time by Garda, Assistant Commissioner John Twomey?

Cusack:Yes and…”

Mac Coille: “So it was to him?”

Cusack: “Well it was to his staff and my staff would have met his staff about that. So it was an alert and, again, nobody knew what they were dealing with at that stage except that there was a discrepancy.”

Mac Coille: “Of 400,000 reported tests but only 200,000, according to …”

Cusack: “And that was the first time we had firm, solid information. So we alerted the gardai and, in fairness to the gardai, they reacted and they said they were going to carry out an audit. They carried out the audit, as I understand it and it’s a matter for the gardai to give the details in 2015 and 2016. And then earlier this year, after the gardai had completed their audit, they then asked us in March if we could share our database information about the devices with them and we’re very happy to do so, to help them in any way and then when they compared their audit with our numbers, they come up with the answer which, again, we didn’t know about until last week and coincidentally, or perhaps it was both good and bad news, it corresponded quite closely to what we had found in 2015 – that there did appear to be twice the number recorded by the gardai as our devices indicated.”

Mac Coille: “And we find that out nearly three years after you first raised this.”

Listen back in full here

Pic: An Garda Siochana