Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan at the Policing Authority last November
You may recall the Disclosures Tribunal, led by Supreme Court judge Peter Charleton, which is investigating allegations of a smear campaign against Sgt Maurice McCabe and claims made by Garda Keith Harrison.
In yesterday’s The Sunday Times. John Mooney reported that a phone used by Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan – during 2013/2014, the time of the alleged smear campaign against Sgt Maurice McCabe – has gone missing.
Mr Mooney reported:
It was one of a number of smartphones sought by Peter Charleton, the Supreme Court judge who is investigating whether there was a conspiracy among senior gardai to smear McCabe after he exposed abuse of the penalty-points system and raised concerns about policing in Cavan/Monaghan.
A phone used at the time by Martin Callinan, the former commissioner, has also gone missing as have mobile handsets used by other garda witnesses.
Charleton sought possession of the phones in an order his tribunal served on Garda headquarters. The judge also sought possession of Sim cards, copies of call logs and data, text messages, emails and all documents concerning a number of garda whistleblower controversies.
The missing mobile phones and Sims are unlikely to be found, according to sources in Garda headquarters.
“No one knows what became of them,” one source said. “There is no record or log to clarify if they were destroyed, recycled or fitted with new Sim cards and given to other officers. There is no central log showing what becomes of official phones.”
Emails that O’Sullivan would have sent from her phone using a private Gmail account would have been automatically deleted every 30 days, and so no record of them is likely to be found either….
Garda chief’s phone missing in smear probe (John Mooney, The Sunday Times)
Readers may recall a report about Garda Keith Harrison by RTÉ’s This Week two weeks ago.
It reported that Garda Harrison only recently became aware that gardaí had created a Garda “profile” report on him – shortly after he raised concerns about Garda management.
This came to light after Garda Harrison’s legal team was sent a large volume of documents, following a data protection request by his team.
The tranche of documents that Garda Harrison’s team received did not include the actual profile but it included a heavily redacted email from September 1, 2014, which was sent to a series of gardaí, up to and including one at the rank of chief superintendent. Their names were all redacted.
The only unredacted line in the email stated: “I refer to meeting on 18 August … I now attach profile concerning Garda Keith Harrison” while at attachment was named ‘keith harrison profile.doc’.
Further to this.
Francesca Comyn, in yesterday’s Sunday Business Post, reported that the High Court has ordered Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan to release the suspected surveillance profile on Garda Harrison following further discovery sought by Garda Harrison’s solicitor Trevor Collins.
Ms Comyn reported:
The court order is in itself unusual in that it requires an affidavit of compliance to be personally sworn by Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan, rather than another member of the force. O’Sullivan has been given ten weeks to comply with the ruling, which seeks a number of further records.
Noirin O’Sullivan ordered to hand over whistleblower surveillance file
(Francesca Comyn, The Sunday Business Post)
Gardaí created ‘profile’ report into whistleblower, new documents reveal (RTE, May 14, 2017)
Commissioner O’Sullivan and Canadian ambassador to Ireland Kevin Vickers
In yesterday’s Irish Mail on Sunday.
Sam Smyth, in his column, hinted that Ms O’Sullivan might be headed for Canada…
The Mounties in the Rockies are calling Nóirín O’Sullivan to Canada, I’m told. Word is the embattled Garda Commissioner may be taking up a position there; both academia and security have been mentioned.
The Canadian ambassador to Ireland, Kevin Vickers, is understood to been helpful through her recent crisis – and other friends think Nóirín would be well advised to quit before a new taoiseach is in place.