Tag Archives: Garda whistleblowers

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Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald and Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan

On yesterday’s RTÉ Radio One This Week show, journalist John Burke reported on allegations of wrongdoing made by two Garda whistleblowers.

Grab a tay.

John Burke: “This relates to serious allegations of wrongdoing within the force that have been made by two young gardai. Essentially their complaints are different though they relate to the same senior garda. Both have made allegations. On the one hand, by one Garda whisteblower that there was serious impropriety in relation to the pursuit of drugs investigations. The other whistleblower has made again, quite serious allegations, in relation to what happened him when he arrested a garda for drink driving. They both say their careers have essentially been ruined in effect by bringing their concerns forward and they did so around the time that there was a great deal of publicity in relation to the Maurice McCabe case and the John Wilson case, where they brought their concerns forward. So that, it seems, emboldened them to bring their cases forward. They went into the process and made their complaints known to senior officers. And they claim, after that, that they suffered as a consequence.

“In the case of the first whistleblower, he went to the interim garda confidential recipient as it was at the time last May, Judge Patrick McMahon and, arising from that, in the summer of last year, approximately one year ago, a senior garda officer was appointed to examine his allegations. They met and at that meeting, the garda whistleblower was represented by a junior solicitor, not his normal solicitor in fact, as far as I understand they wouldn’t have even been known to each other before that meeting. Very shortly, after that meeting, the junior solicitor noticed that their LinkedIn page had been checked out, their profile had been checked out, by the accused Garda. That raised a big red flag for them in terms of whether that meeting with the investigating senior garda, which was supposed to be entirely confidential, whether there was a leak of information and, if that leaked, perhaps what else had leaked? So, at that time, this is the summer of 2014, they wrote to the Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan and they wrote the the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald and they said they had serious concerns in relation to the potential that information had leaked from this confidential process, back to the accused garda and that they then felt they couldn’t rely on it any further. The Garda Commissioner’s office wrote back to the first whistleblower in this case and whilst, as I understand it, they didn’t deal directly with the allegations made, in terms of whether they accepted them or not, they said that if the Garda whistleblower waited, he could engage then with a new process which was coming in at the time which is in now, the Protected Disclosures Procedure whereby one goes to GSOC as opposed to the Confidential Recipient. So we’ll park that for one moment. That’s the first Garda whistleblower who raised those concerns about information leaking out from his investigation that was overseen by this senior investigating Garda.”

“Exactly one year later, there’s an internal Garda inquiry now which has been launched, in relation to this accused Garda, arising from the serious allegations made by the second whistleblower. This is in relation to the pursuit of drugs investigations. It’s a very high level internal inquiry but what we’ve learned is that the guard who has been appointed to oversee that internal investigation is in fact the senior garda who headed up the internal examination into the first whistleblower’s complaint about whom, or about that process which the first whistleblower’s solicitors wrote to say that they were concerned about information leaking out. So essentially, what you have is, two senior gardai, 12 months ago, the first senior garda was examining the claims by the first whistleblower into the accused and the first whistleblower was not happy with the way information seemed to leak out from that process. We know see, in relation to the second whistleblower that that same senior garda has been appointed to head up the internal inquiry in relation to that second senior garda and our understanding is that both whistleblowers have now written to both the Garda Commissioner and to the Minister for Justice, expressing their concern as to whether they can have any faith in this process, in light of the concerns that were raised one year ago. We put these questions to the Garda Press Office and they said that they cannot comment on either operational or internal disciplinary measures.”

During the show, Mr Burke spoke to United Left Alliance TD, Clare Daly about the situation.

Clare Daly: “What it’s saying is that the old boy network, even though there are two girls at the helm, is absolutely alive and well and the same hierarchy is there defending itself and all of the demands that were very alive a year ago – that we needed to transform An Garda Siochana into a modern police service – are even more valid now because I would actually say the situation internally now is probably worse than when it was under former Commissioner [Martin] Callinan and Minister [Alan] Shatter… For 15 months now [the two whistlelblowers] have been put through hell, and their families have been put through this hell, isolated from their peers. They’re very vulnerable, they’ve been seriously harassed and intimidated and it’s just not good enough.”

Separately, readers may wish to recall how, in December 2014, Independent TD Mick Wallace, at a Banter event in Twister Pepper, Dublin, claimed some senior gardaí were benefitting from the drugs trade in Ireland.

He said:

There’s a number of cases where guards take, they capture drugs. We know of a case where drugs were coming in, maybe five suitcases of cocaine might come in and it would be organised to let four through, the guards would catch one suitcase with some chaps that would be heading off in one direction with the suitcase. Their leader was never caught. And the suitcase they would catch, they would bring it and there’d be a big show and the media would be brought down to show, ‘oh, there was a big drugs find yesterday and here’s all the stuff’. The stuff goes back in a box and fellas have come to us and told us that they were dealing in drugs, they were caught by the cops, they weren’t turned in and the cop says, ‘we’ll be back to ya’. They come back two weeks later and say, ‘here, sell this for us and bring us back the money’.

Listen back to This Week in full here

Garda led inquiry into colleague despite warning (RTE)

Previously:  The Wrong Side Of The Thin Blue Line

Meanwhile In The Dáil

Meanwhile In The Dáil

The Thin Blue Timeline [Updated]

Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

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Arhtur Beesley, in The Irish Times, reports that Fine Gael MEP candidate Jim Higgins has delivered fresh allegations from two new Garda whistleblowers to the Department of Justice.

He reports:

While Mr Higgins made reference to the approach from the new whistleblowers in a Raidió na Gaeltachta interview a fortnight ago, he said the story “died a death”. Their claims had not previously been made public.

Asked whether he was raising the matter again now that polling day was approaching, Mr Higgins said the whistleblowers had approached him in recent days inquiring as to whether progress was being made. They felt thwarted by more senior members of the force when they sought to execute prosecutions.

“When I met the whistleblowers, they presented me with very real and shocking information,” Mr Higgins said, adding that he initially approached former minister for justice Alan Shatter with the information.

Higgins hands over Garda claim files (Irish Times)

Photocall Ireland

0008aec6-642Professor David Farrell, UCD School of Politics and International Relations

[Enda Kenny, top and David Farrell, professor of politics at University College Dublin,above]

Mr Farrell spoke to Mary Wilson on Drivetime earlier in relation to the ongoing refusal of Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan to withdraw his ‘disgusting’ remark concerning Garda whistleblowers Sgt Maurice McCabe and John Wilson.

It followed comments made earlier today by Taoiseach Enda Kenny that criticisms of Mr Callinan by senior ministers – namely Fine Gael’s Leo Varadkar and Labour’s Eamon Gilmore, Joan Burton and Pat Rabbitte – should be made within the Cabinet and not in public.

Mr Farrell spoke to Ms Wilson about the current legislation to protect whistleblowers that is going through the Dáil.

Mary Wilson: “You can put a piece of legislation on the statute books but changing a culture has to start at the top?”

David Farrell: “It does. It has to start from the top and it doesn’t require, however tired he may be, the Taoiseach of the day to reveal his irritation on a radio interview. I mean for the Taoiseach downwards we should have a clear understanding that this legislation has to be taken seriously. A whistleblower is doing something that’s going to annoy his or her colleagues because you’re upsetting the, you know, an organisation that’s up and running and operating for, the most part, properly. But, unfortunately, from time to time, the rules are broken, the procedures aren’t followed. And a whistleblower has to be allowed the space to be able to, as I said, blow their whistle. And it requires the senior management from line management and above to accept that, unfortunately, now and again, truths have to be told that may not be terribly convenient.”

Wilson: “You were writing in the Irish Times, at the weekend, you were writing about the Government’s much trumpeted democratic revolution. You said it requires change on three fronts. Outline them for us.”

Farrell: “The big agenda here is openness and transparency. A government that is in a 21st century mode and is trying to show itself as, you know, a government that is up there with the best international practice has to follow an agenda of openness and transparency. And that requires three pillars of which we’ve just discussed. One, the whistleblower legislation, the second of those is the register of lobbyists and the third of those is freedom of information. And, in fairness, this government is bringing forward legislation in all three of those areas, not always perfect but it’s taking a very, very long time for far too long. Until those pieces of legislation are up on the statute books and those implemented properly we will not have the sort of revolution that we were being promised three years ago.”

Wilson: “Do you feel let down?”

Farrell: “Yes.”

Wilson: “You feel that this goverment came to power promising that openness, that transparency and let down, why? Maybe because we’re waiting too long or because they’re not leading from the front on this?”

Farrell: “It’s all of that but they’re certainly not leading from the front. It’s hard to believe the scenario that this government was presented with. The Opposition decimated, the biggest majority in the history of the State, a manifesto that had the economic mess, number one priority, but the democratic revolution, number two priority. All the parties in the Opposition agreeing with the governing parties that we need to make dramatic changes to how politics is being run. You could not have had the better seed ground for serious change that this government has been presented with and this is an historic opportunity that they are seriously missing right now.”

Wilson: “Brendan Howlin, the minister for public expenditure, he said this new legislation will be world class. Do you accept that?”

Farrell: “I’m prepared to accept that.”

Wilson: “OK. But you know we’ve just been saying, you know, employers and society needs to be prepared then for whatever comes out in the wash, once you’ve got legislation like this in place and people have to stand by the legislation.”

Farrell: “That’s right and what we need is you know good practice from the top down, so we certainly need a Garda Commissioner..”

Wilson: “The top down of corporate Ireland or the top of Government Ireland.”

Farrell: “Top of Government Ireland, we need to start with the top of Government Ireland, so we need all the ministers of our Government to be speaking from the same page and they’re currently not.”

Wilson: “But just come back then, just before we finish, we’ve had Leo Varadkar, joined now by the Tánaiste and by Pat Rabbitte and by Joan Burton saying that ‘the Garda Commissioner should walk back and withdraw those comments on the whistleblowers’ and then we have the Taoiseach saying ‘we should keep this in the family, keep it in private around the cabinet table’. Is the Taoiseach wrong on this one?”

Farrell: “I can understand, I mean the Taoiseach is thinking, you know, about cabinet collectivity. A decision was taken in cabinet and that’s the end of it, and that’s the way cabinet government runs in our country, like in other countries but, as I said earlier on, we don’t need an irritated Taoiseach right now. We need a Taoiseach who’s going to actually say ‘Ok, folks, we weren’t at our best here, we need to reflect on errors that have been made in this situation’. The Garda Inspectorate report has shown this, that there have been serious errors and the Garda Commissioner should now be told: you need to withdraw your remark, that’s an inappropriate remark to have made.”

Listen back here

The Government’s lost opportunity (David Farrell, March 15, 2014, Irish Times)

Pic: UCD


Independent TD Mick Wallace addressing Justice Minister Alan Shatter earlier today.

Mick Wallace: “Fine Gael used to pride itself as the party of law and order. How, in god’s name, can they still stand over that. You avoid using strong legislation, in order not to seek out the truth, not to reveal it. You don’t ask, you wouldn’t ask the [Garda] Commissioner [Martin Callinan] if he actually engaged in lawful surveillance, in case you might be told something that you had to stand over, you didn’t want the answer. You wouldn’t ask G2 the same question. You wouldn’t even ask him what did it do to check to see if there’s any rogue elements in their organisations that may have engaged in unlawful surveillance. You didn’t want the answers, minister. GSOC begged for the PULSE system, after the Boylan report and annual report, you refused to give it to them, you refused to give it to them in September. You gave it to them a few weeks ago under political pressure. You wouldn’t allow GSOC look at penalty points, but you allowed [section of Garda Síochána Act] 102 but not [section] 106 [which would have allowed GSOC to investigate practices, policies and procedures] of course, under political pressure. Minister, your prime motives are political survival, your prime motives have very little to do with the administration of justice, I’m sad to say. Now, there’s so many things that have gone on in this State, for a long time, that leave so much to be desired. And minister, it was happening long before your time but I am disappointed they is still no appetite for the truth.

Gemma O’Doherty lost her job in the [Irish] Independent because she had the audacity to challenge the Commissioner, the audacity. We got an email this morning, from a nephew of Fr Molloy’s, someone that Gemma O’Doherty has done a lot of research on. Here’s what he said in it. You mightn’t want to hear it, minister. He said: ‘For almost 30 year, people have hidden behind a wall of silence, deceit, corruption and cover-up. Time for the light of justice to shine on them and reveal them to the people for what they are. Many, many people have gone to their graves overshadowed by this heartache. Minister, if you are going to stay in power and the Commissioner is going to stay in place than I think this parliament is a sham. The people are right to be cynical about politics, they’re right to be cynical about politicians. This place is a joke. We play games in here. Well, you know what? Sometimes these games lead to the unfair distribution of justice or no justice being distributed. Sometimes these games lead to people losing their lives, they lead to murders, they lead to the families not getting any justice. And what do we see so often? When bad things raise their head? We see our police force circle the wagons. We see our politicians circle the wagons. Do what it takes to cover up what we don’t want to see. Do what it takes to hide the truth. Is there any appetite for doing things any different in this house? Minister, you look up here at us and you say ‘how dare those people with their long hair and raggy jeans have the audacity’ to challenge you. Well I want to tell you something. The people of Wexford that elected me to come in here, didn’t elect me to come in here and approve of your behaviour. They put me in here to challenge it. It’s time for you to go, minister. And bring the Commissioner with you.

Previously: A Rebuttal

‘We Do Have Truth But We Don’t Have Accountability’



[Top: Albert Reynolds and Dick Spring; above: Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore]

Further to the cabinet decision to appoint a a senior counsel to review claims in Garda Whistlebower Maurice McCabe’s ‘dossier’ and Labour’s continuing confidence in  Justice minister Alan Shatter, Political commenter Johnny Fallon writes:

“The crux of matter is why do the cabinet feel that matters are worthy of an investigation now? What merits this? Clearly Alan Shatter did not feel the matters warranted such action at any stage up to now and clearly he never believed cabinet had to be informed.

So, if that’s the case how can government have confidence in him while at same time taking an axiom that suggests he should have done things differently? A second issue is that Enda still has not shared the dossier with cabinet so in effect none of them know what they are talking about.

You might remember the ‘passports for sale’ issue in the early ’90s?  Albert Reynolds’ business had availed of a government scheme at the time whereby if somebody invested over £1 million in an Irish firm resulting in jobs, etc. then that person could apply for a passport.
Reynolds maintained that his firm acted appropriately, followed the rules and there was no wrongdoing…In the midst of the media storm Albert Reynolds met with Dick Spring.

He assured Spring that everything was above board. Then, to underline his point Reynolds told Spring he could have full access to the files and see for himself that everything was handled as it should be. To Reynolds shock, Spring replied that he had already sought and got the file and he was satisfied that there was no impropriety.

Reynolds was pleased but he learned that Dick Spring was not a man to hang about.  When Spring and the Labour party were under pressure they did not wait for invitations or explanations.

Also remember Ruairi Quinn demanded Albert Reynold’s head over a delay by an official in the AG’s office. Here the minister [Shatter] himself is implicated for not taking an approach that the cabinet made today. yet it’s OK for him to stay on?”

Johnny Fallon

(Photocall Ireland)


“Enough is enough. After more than two weeks of drip fed allegations that continue to undermine public confidence in our systems of Garda accountability, nothing short of an independent statutory inquiry under the 2004 Commissions of Investigation Act will do. The Department of Justice and Equality have direct access to extensive legal expertise and have had ample opportunity to produce a convincing rebuttal of the disturbing allegations that have been levelled against An Garda Síochána. This has not occurred and to prolong the agony for the public, whistleblowers and alleged victims by appointing a barrister to spend more time looking at internal paperwork is simply not credible.”

Mark Kelly, Director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties

“Enough is Enough’ (ICCL)




[Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and Alan Shatter]

For the week that’s in it.

A comprehensive GSOC bugging/ Garda whistleblower timeline.

December 2, 2003: Kieran Boylan, from Ardee, Co. Louth is caught by members of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation in a ‘Garda stakeout’ receiving more than €700,000 worth of cocaine and heroin at Dublin Port. He’s charged and released on bail.

October 6, 2005: Boylan is caught with €1.7million of cocaine and heroin in Ardee, Co. Louth, by members of the Garda National Drugs Unit.

December 21, 2005: It’s reported Boylan was remanded on bail by Judge Desmond Hogan pending sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in relation to the Dublin Port charges. The court heard a detective garda agree  with Boylan’s defence lawyers that Boylan believed the heroin he collected  was cocaine and that this indicated that he was not ‘in the hierarchy of the operation’. The court also heard the detective accept that Boylan was in debt and under pressure from his associates in England – whom Boylan was involved with before when he was jailed for 7 and a 1/2 years in England over cannabis possession, in 1997.

February 16, 2006: It’s reported that Judge Desmond Hogan – again in relation to the Dublin Port charges – sentences Boylan for five years and suspends the final two years, on condition Boylan keeps the peace.

February 4, 2007: John Mooney reports in The Sunday Times that charges against Boylan, in relation to the €1.7million drugs haul, were struck out in June 2006 because the DPP failed to give detectives from the Garda National Drugs Unit any direction in the case. Mr Mooney also reports that Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny and Labour’s Brendan Howlin are demanding to know why the charges in relation to the €1.7million drug haul were not pursued against Boylan. It’s reported that Boylan is said to have boasted that he is ‘untouchable’ and will never stand trial in relation to the €1.7m drugs find, while an internal Garda inquiry into the case is under way by Garda Commssioner Noel Conroy and Chief Superintendent Kevin Ludlow. It’s reported that Mr Kenny said: ‘Drugs are the single greatest threat to Irish society. I want the government to give a full explanation on this case. I will be tabling questions on the nature of the inquiry into Boylan and why he isn’t before the courts when he was caught with such a large amount of heroin and cocaine’.

February 11, 2007: Mr Mooney reports that his sources informed him Boylan evaded prosecution because he knows of ‘rogue Garda operations’ with drug dealers. Mr Mooney reports a source saying: ‘Boylan cannot be charged because he will start talking. They (the gardai) can’t afford for him to air his allegations in a public forum because he could cause a tribunal.’

April 30, 2007: Taxi driver Mary Lynch is violently assaulted by Jerry McGrath in Virginia, Co. Cavan. McGrath had his zip undone as he bit her, viciously kicked her and pulled out lumps of her hair. He left her with a black eye, bruising down her side and  bruises on her neck, as he held his hands around her neck during the assault. McGrath was released on station bail of €300 the next day, before Mary Lynch gave a statement. McGrath was never questioned about details of her statement. He was charged with assault with no conditions attached to his bail.

October 2007: A file on Mary Lynch’s assault is finally sent to the DPP with a recommendation that the case be dealt with in the district court. Micheal Clifford, of the Irish Examiner, has reported that “the file came back within three weeks, upgrading the charge to Section 3, “assault causing harm” and a robbery charge. The DPP instructed that it should be dealt with by the district court only if a guilty plea was entered on both charges. Otherwise, it should go to trial in the Circuit Court.”

October 9, 2007: McGrath tried to abduct a five-year-old girl from a house which he had broken into, in Dundrum, Co. Tipperary. The girl’s father managed to overpower McGrath and hold him until the gardaí arrived. McGrath was charged with assault causing harm, burglary and false imprisonment. He was held in Limerick Prison.

October 18, 2007: McGrath’s Cavan assault case involving Mary Lynch was due for a routine review of bail in Virginia District Court. McGrath’s solicitor was told McGrath didn’t need to attend the two-minute routine hearing. No objection was made at Virginia District Court to renew McGrath’s bail on the Cavan assault charge – even though it was known that McGrath was in custody for assault causing harm, burglary and false imprisonment.

October 30, 2007: An application for bail by McGrath was made in Clonmel Circuit Court on the Tipperary false imprisonment charge. Detective Sergeant John Long objected but the court was not told about the Cavan assault and McGrath was granted bail. Michael Clifford, of the Irish Examiner, has reported: “In a subsequent investigation, Sgt Long said that prior to the bail application, he had checked McGrath’s background on the garda Pulse system. (This would be second nature to any garda investigating a violent incident). On seeing an entry about Cavan, he rang an “unidentified garda” in a “Cavan station” — also unidentified — and was told that the case involved a minor assault over a taxi fare.”

December 7, 2007: McGrath murdered separated mother-of-two Silvia Roche Kelly in the Clarion Hotel in Limerick.

January 5, 2008: Mary Lynch, who at this point was eventually told her case would be heard in Virginia District Court on January 7, received a phone call, telling her there was no need for her to show up at the case hearing as it would be held over.

January 7, 2008: Mary Lynch received a call from an inspector saying McGrath received a nine-month sentence for the assault on her. The Irish Examiner reported Ms Lynch saying: “I told him that I was told the case was not going ahead and he said he knew nothing about that. I told him I was informed I would be given the opportunity to make a victim impact statement to the court. He said he did not know anything about that and he was only handed the case file that morning and told to go into the court. He also told me that if I wanted to see Jerry McGrath he was still in Virginia garda station. I said I do not want to see Jerry McGrath in a garda station, I wanted to see him in court.”

January 15, 2008: It’s reported that the charges against Boylan in relation to the €1.7m drugs haul are to be reinstated.

June 2008: Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy sets up an internal inquiry to examine Boylan’s relationship with certain members of the Gardaí.

June 2008: Sgt Maurice McCabe transfers out of Bailieboro Garda Station in Co. Cavan to Mullingar [where he works now]. Sgt McCabe had details of cases he believed were not investigated properly at Bailieboro, including false imprisonment and physical and sexual assaults, which he relayed to the then Garda Confidential Recipient Brian McCarthy. Mr McCarthy notified then Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy of Sgt McCabe’s complaints. Commissioner Murphy ordered an internal inquiry to be led by Assistant Commissioner Derek Byrne.

July 31, 2008: On the day the courts recessed for the summer, the charges against Boylan are dropped in an unscheduled court hearing, with the State entered a nolle prosequi. The barrister for the DPP said the decision was made at a high level but didn’t give any further explanation.

August 3, 2008: John Mooney reports in The Sunday Times that the charges against Boylan were dropped because he had threatened to reveal details of  his involvement with certain members of the gardaí. Mr Mooney also reports that Boylan claimed that he was involved in several entrapment-style operations where gardai would deliver drugs which he supplied to petty criminals, who were then later arrested and charged with certain gardaí’s careers benefiting from such operations. Then Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy and his deputy Martin Callinan both refused to comment on the matter to The Sunday Times.

It’s also reported that the then chief superintendent of the GNDU wrote to Martin Callinan asking if Boylan was a Garda informer. Mr Mooney reported that Callinan had confirmed in writing, on December 2, 2005, that Boylan was ‘not a registered source’. [Since the Morris Tribunal, all Garda informers have to be officially registered in the Covert Human Intelligence Source (CHIS) system]

October 19, 2008: John Mooney reports in The Sunday Times that the Garda Síochana Ombudsman Commission is to hold a public interest inquiry into the relationship between Kieran Boylan and a number of gardaí.

March 5, 2009: In the Dáil, Labour TD Pat Rabbitte spoke in relation to the charges dropped against Boylan, saying: “The only reasonable inference is that Boylan was saved from prison by the intervention of corrupt gardai or he was protected because he is a garda informant.”

April 19, 2009: John Mooney reports that in September 2008, the Department of Transport contravened its own rules and issued Boylan a road-haulage operator’s licence, following discussions with gardaí. He registered the licence under the Irish version of his name, Ciaran O’Baoighallan and that, while officials at the haulage licensing department in Galway at first refused to make the name change, they were instructed to do so by the Department of Transport. As proof of his identity, when he was getting the licence, Boylan produced a new passport and driving licence. The licence allows him to travel freely across Europe until September 2013.

November 14, 2010: It’s reported how an internal garda investigation into allegations of malpractice in the Cavan/Monaghan division – following complaints made in 2008 by Sgt Maurice McCabe, moved from Cavan to Mullingar, Co. Westmeath after he made his complaints – upheld some of the complaints but found no evidence of corruption. The investigation is led by Assistant Garda Commissioner Derek Byrne. Among Sgt McCabe’s allegations are claims that gardaí in Cavan, where he previously worked, didn’t carry out proper investigations into incidents including physical assaults, sexual assaults and false imprisonment.

It’s also reported a second internal probe was launched a month previous (October 2010) after Sgt McCabe claimed Assistant Commissioner Byrne assaulted and falsely imprisoned Sgt McCabe in the Hillgrove Hotel in Co. Monaghan on October 11, 2010, after Sgt McCabe revealed that he had removed hundreds of files from Pulse which showed gardaí had falsely claimed that certain people were involved in criminality. Sgt McCabe produced the files in front of Assistant Commissioner Byrne at the hotel when they – and two other officers – met to tell Sgt McCabe the results of the first investigation. Sgt McCabe claimed Assistant Commissioner Byrne would not let Sgt McCabe leave the hotel with the files. Assistant Commissioner Byrne took the files from Sgt McCabe.

It’s reported Nacie Rice, the deputy Garda Commissioner was appointed to investigate these claims of false imprisonment and assault, while the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission had been notified of the allegations.

January [day unknown] 2012: Maurice McCabe went to the Garda Confidential Recipient, Oliver Connolly, with a dossier of 12 complaints alleging Garda malpractice and incompetence regarding serious cases of criminality. The dossier included allegations of malpractice and incompetence in relation to the case of Mary Lynch – the taxi driver who was assaulted by Jerry McGrath who went on to kill Sylvia Roche Kelly – cases of assault causing harm, charges that were allegedly not properly investigated, a case involving abduction and false imprisonment – a case which was not investigated and resulted in an attempt being made to offer the victim money on behalf of the suspects, and one involving falsification of records. Mr Connolly handed over details of these complaints to the Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, who then handed the dossier over to the Mr Callinan.

GSOC investigated a section of the Sylvia Roche Kelly case and it recommended that disciplinary action be taken against two officers. But Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan declined to discipline the two officers.

February [day unknown] 2012: It’s understood Mr Connolly spoke to Mr Shatter and told him about the whistleblowers and that Mr Connolly met with Mr Shatter again before Easter and discussed the allegations.

February 9, 2012: Mr Connolly met Sgt McCabe, who taped their conversation. They discussed Sgt McCabe’s 12 complaints, including a previous complaint Sgt McCabe made against the Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan in relation to his intentions to the promote a senior officer. Mr Connolly tells Sgt McCabe that no further action will be taken on his complaints. Mr Connolly also warns Sgt McCabe: ‘I’ll tell you something Maurice – and this is just personal advice to you – if Shatter thinks you’re screwing him, you’re finished.’ Mr Connolly advised Sgt McCabe to avoid going to the media and to go through the courts system. Mr Connolly assures Sgt McCabe that Minister Shatter looked into Sgt McCabe’s complaints in detail.

March [day unknown] 2012: Garda John Wilson and Sgt Maurice McCabe make a complaint to the Garda Confidential Recipient, Oliver Connolly, about the quashing of penalty points. Mr Connolly gave this complaint to the Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.

May [day unknown] 2012: Mr McCabe sends Mr Connolly more information, alleging the quashing of penalty points.

July [day unknown] 2012: Mr McCabe gave Enda Kenny information of alleged misconduct concerning penalty points and offered to meet Mr Shatter, with his legal team, including former Attorney General and former Minister for Justice Michael McDowell, and to provide him with files and information. Enda Kenny replied to McCabe and said Mr Shatter would deal with his request.

August [day unknown] 2012: Mr McCabe wrote to Mr Kenny again, in relation to the penalty points.

September [day unknown] 2012: Mr McCabe wrote to Mr Kenny again.

November 11, 2012: John Mooney reports in The Sunday Times that the conviction of Andrew Kearns is one of several being investigated by GSOC, as part of its public interest inquiry into Boylan’s relationship with certain gardaí. Mr Mooney reports that Kearns, a single father from Crumlin, had agreed to collect a shipment of cocaine in March 2005, in order for a gang to waive a debt of €3,000. His contact was Boylan. When Kearns collected the cocaine in Ardee, Co.Louth, Boylan was present at the handover of cocaine worth €280,000. Mr Mooney reported certain gardaí used Boylan as an agent provocateur in order for the gardaí to secure promotions and praise in the media.

November 13, 2012: In response to reports that Garda management had blocked and obstructed GSOC’s investigation into the Boylan affair, Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan rejected the claims and insisted he and members of the gardaí fully assisted the four-year investigation into Boylan.

November 13, 2012: Justice Minister Alan Shatter announces that he will extend Commissioner Martin Callinan’s retirement from August 2013 to August 2015.

December 4, 2012: After receiving no response from the Garda Commissioner, the two garda whistleblowers approach  United Left Alliance TD, Clare Daly to voice their concerns to her. United Left Alliance TDs Clare Daly and Joan Collins use parliamentary privilege in the Dáil to name Judge Mary Devins as someone who has had their penalty points quashed.

December 7, 2012: Commissioner Callinan issues a press statement in relation to the penalty points, saying he has appointed Assistant Commissioner John O’Mahoney to look into the allegations before adding: “There is no question of what has been described as a culture of non-enforcement of penalties being tolerated by An Garda Síochána.”

December 9, 2012: John Mooney reports in The Sunday Times that GSOC’s report into Boylan is due within a week and that Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, and his predecessor Fachtna Murphy, may be embarrassed by GSOC’s eventual findings, given that they oversaw three internal investigations into the links between Boylan and certain gardaí which didn’t find any evidence of wrongdoing.

December 11, 2012:  Under privilege in the Dáil, United Left Alliance TD, Joan Collins names several high-profile people who had penalty points quashed including rugby player Ronan O’Gara, Irish Independent crime reporter, Paul Williams and Judge Mary Devins, again.

December 16, 2012: John Mooney reports in The Sunday Times that GSOC’s investigation resulted in a 500-page report which was sent to the DPP, and recommends that charges be brought against Boylan and a garda. Mr Mooney reports that the inquiry found some operations were run ‘off the books’ and not in line with regulations brought in after the Morris Tribunal. It’s reported that GSOC were also critical of Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, who it’s reported, made representations to the DPP about Boylan’s €1.7m drugs case before the charges were dropped in July 2008. And it’s reported that GSOC questioned the reliability of information sent from gardaí to the DPP after Boylan’s €1.7m drugs arrest in Ardee.

December 17, 2012: A letter is sent to Sgt McCabe, from the assistant secretary at the Department of Justice, which is also forwarded to Enda Kenny and Leo Varadkar. The letter is, in the main, in response to an email Sgt McCabe sent on December 12, 2012 in relation to the quashing of penalty points. However, it also refers to the dossier of serious complaints that Sgt McCabe made to the confidential recipient in January. It states: “While your email mainly relates to the current allegations regarding the cancellation of fixed charge notices, you also refer back to a response by the Minister in February to the Garda confidential recipient in relation to an investigation by the Garda Commissioner of other allegations. As you know, of the 12 individual allegations made in the report to the confidential recipient, the Commissioner advised that 11 had already been thoroughly investigated by an Assistant Commissioner and a Chief Superintendent, that this investigation had been reviewed by a Deputy Commissioner (because of a related complaint made against the Assistant Commissioner), and that no evidence of corruption or malpractice had been discovered. You will also recall that the Commissioner, as regards the other case, was of the view that the investigation complained of was in fact efficiently and speedily carried out.”

January 28, 2013: Clare Daly is arrested on suspicion of drink driving. She’s brought in a patrol car to the Kilmainham Garda Station where she was placed in a cell on her own at one point. She provides a urine sample and when she’s released a female Garda tells her to ‘come back when you are sober’. Ms Daly is handcuffed during her arrest. Details of her arrest are leaked to the press. She says she had taken a hot whiskey for a cold during a meeting at a house prior to her arrest.

February 8, 2013: Clare Daly receives the official result of the urine sample. It was 45 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine – 33% below the allowable limit. Ms Daly tells RTÉ that she made a complaint to GSOC about the leaking of the arrest to sections of the media and that the body was investigating this.

April 19, 2013: Irish Independent published journalist Gemma O’Doherty’s story that Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan had penalty points quashed. More than a week previous, after she confirmed that the address she had was that of Martin Callinan – and essentially confirmed her story – she was given a dressing-down by her bosses at Independent News and Media, including Ian Mallon, Michael Denieffe and editor Stephen Rae – who told Ms O’Doherty that her behaviour was that of a ‘rogue reporter’. Some weeks later she lost her position as Travel Editor, which it’s reported Mr Rae ordered and then, another few weeks later, she’s informed by managing director Declan Carlisle that she is being made redundant. She is told that if she doesn’t take it voluntarily, she will receive notice of compulsory redundancy. She doesn’t accept it voluntarily and therefore immediately receives compulsory redundancy. Ms O’Doherty is now suing INM and Mr Rae.

April 21, 2013: Sgt McCabe writes to Enda Kenny to relay his concerns over not being interviewed for the internal Garda inquiry into the quashing of penalty points, saying he had “serious concerns regarding not being contacted or interviewed regarding my allegations. It would appear that the (O’Mahony) investigation is complete and if this is the case it’s a shocking development. One would imagine that I would be one of the first to be interviewed“. [This is reported by RTÉ on February 23, 2014].

May 5, 2013: Philip Ryan, in the Sunday Independent reports that the original allegations made by Sgt McCabe and John Wilson include details that some motorists, who were involved in fatal accidents, had penalty points quashed both before and after fatal accidents.

May 9, 2013: GSOC publishes a 12-page report in relation to its Boylan inquiry on its website but can’t publish its actual findings or report. The publication of the 12-page report follows the decision by the DPP – on April 23, 2013 – that no prosecutions were warranted after it received a 500-page report into the Kieran Boylan collusion allegations by GSOC in December 2012. GSOC reports ‘grave concern’ about ‘deficiencies’ in the Garda informant management system and criticises An Garda Síochána for delaying their investigation.

It states that: “Delays in access to documentation and intelligence held by the Garda Síochána were a consistent feature of this inquiry. The Ombudsman Commission, under the present protocols, is wholly reliant upon assurances from the Garda Síochána that the evidence and information they have supplied represents the totality of such information held. This leaves scope to question the completeness and independence of oversight.”

It also stated: “The Ombudsman Commission is reliant upon Garda members to access the PULSE System and other computerised intelligence systems on its behalf. The absence of any independent access to these systems again raises issues around the effectiveness of the Ombudsman Commission’s oversight investigative function.”

And it recommended that: “…the disclosure and transfer, to the Ombudsman Commission, of evidence and information belonging to, held by or in the possession of the Garda Síochána, in criminal investigations, be bolstered, either through legislation or other means, to ensure full, verifiable, timely and unredacted provision. This should include the supply of sensitive and/or informant-related intelligence to the Ombudsman Commission.”

The report also states that GSOC believes that many of the recommendations made by the Morris Tribunal remain relevant. Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan rejects the criticism and says gardaí did co-operate with GSOC.

May 15, 2013: An internal Garda report into the penalty point allegations led by Assistant Commissioner John O’Mahoney concludes there was no such widespread quashing of penalty points.

May 16, 2013: Justice Minister Alan Shatter and Mick Wallace appear on Prime Time to talk about the Assistant Commissioner John O’Mahoney’s penalty points report. During their discussion, Mr Shatter accuses Mr Wallace of having been stopped by the Gardaí in May 2012. Mr Shatter says Mr Wallace was on his phone while driving, saying: “Deputy Wallace himself was stopped with a mobile, on a mobile phone last May, by members of An Garda Síochána and he was advised by the guard who stopped him that a fixed ticket charge could issue and you would be, he could be given penalty points.”

May 20, 2013: Mick Wallace goes on RTÉ’s Pat Kenny Show and says he can recall an incident involving Gardaí a the Five Lamps on the North Circular Road but that he was neither stopped nor warned. Instead, he says: “I was parked at the lights and a Garda vehicle came up beside me. And I was on the phone…which I know, I was wrong, I shouldn’t have been on it. The guard..I rolled down the window, the guard rolled down his window. There was two guards there. And I said ‘oh’, I just had my hand up and they said ‘it’s OK’. And, left it at that. And we just, we made small talk after for maybe about 15/20 seconds and the lights went green and I drove on straight and they pulled out. The guards were friendly.”

Mr Wallace says he plans to make a complaint to the Standards In Public Office Commission (SIPO). He lodges a complaint with the Data Protection Commissioner Billy Hawkes about the disclosure of information by Minister Shatter.

May 21, 2013: Minister Shatter tells the Dáil, Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan told him about Mr Wallace and the incident at the Five Lamps.

May 27, 2013: Sgt McCabe emails Enda Kenny about the penalty points controversy, in which he refers to what Mr Connolly warned him, writing: “Mr Shatter is in the public spotlight at the moment, and unlike him, I do not intend to play the man and not the ball. It is suffice to say that my figures are correct, my allegations are correct, and despite receiving information that Mr Shatter would ‘go after me’ if I brought the matter further, I am standing firm.” [This is reported by Michael Clifford, in the Irish Examiner on February 20, 2014]

Summer [date unknown] 2013: It’s understood GSOC decided to take out a section of a report into Kieran Boylan out of the report, prior to publication but a couple of weeks later this section was mentioned to GSOC chairman Simon O’Brien. The person who mentioned the section was Martin Callinan. A few months previous a senior member of Garda management rang GSOC and threatened to use analysts to find out where The Sunday Times were getting their information from. [John Mooney, of the Sunday Times, reported this on Tonight With Vincent Browne on February 18, 2014]

September 2013: GSOC hires UK security experts Verrimus to carry out a secret surveillance sweep of its offices in Upper Abbey Street, Dublin 1. Two ‘technical anomalies’ or security threats were discovered by Verrimus.

September 16, 2013: Broadsheet reports that group editor of the Irish Independent, The Herald and the Sunday Independent, Stephen Rae had penalty points, which were incurred on November 5, 2009, quashed.

September 20, 2013: A Justice Department senior official wrote to Sgt MCabe telling him he should give any material he had to a member of the Oireachtas, or an Oireachtas Committee or to another legally-allowed recipient. [RTÉ reports this on February 23, 20140].

October 1, 2013: The Comptroller and Auditor General issues a report which finds one in five motorists avoided penalty points because their cases were 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. [On February 22, 2014, Fianna Fáil John McGuinness said on RTÉ Saturday With Claire Byrne that Sgt McCabe gave the C&AG information to help them with their report into the quashing of penalty points].

October 2, 2013: In light of the C&AG report, Minister Shatter referred to the two whistleblowers when he accuses them of not cooperating with the garda investigation that had taken place, saying: ‘In so far as individuals who raised issues, are alleging that the Garda reports published are untrue, let them bring forward the chapter and verse and proof of that. I’m open to being convinced, but they haven’t done so. Indeed, having engaged with members of this House, and published material, they didn’t cooperate with the Garda investigations that took place. Now I don’t know why that is.’

October 7, 2013: Verrimus identifies a third security threat and it’s understood the equipment used is only available to government-level agencies.

October 8, 2013: GSOC launches a public interest investigation under the Garda Síochána Act on suspicion surveillance may have originated from within the force.

Late October [day unknown], 2013: Sgt McCabe writes to Minister Shatter asking him to explain who told him that Sgt McCabe was “offered the opportunity… to submit any evidence or other relevant information…. but did not do so”, before adding that he was “never afforded a right of reply or a right of response” after he complained about alleged quashing of points by certain gardaí. Sgt McCabe asked the Justice Department to supply him with any documents that suppoted the claim that he had not co-operated. [RTÉ reports this on February 23, 2014]

November 20, 2013: Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan appears before the Public Service Oversight and Petitions Committee in relation to GSOC’s Boylan report. Responding to claims that certain informants were run ‘off the books’, Mr Callinan said neither he nor any of his senior team was aware of gardaí bypassing the Covert Human Intelligence Source (CHIS) system. He said: “I can assure you that, as far as I am aware, I am not aware of any such activity and if GSOC have any evidence that that is occurring I will deal with it very, very firmly. ” When asked how a person could have the oversight to catch gardaí who worked outside of CHIS, he said: “How do you cater for something you don’t know about?”.

He also said that if GSOC had any information that informants were being run ‘off the books’ then it should be passed on to him and he’d deal with it firmly.

November 21, 2013: It’s reported that Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has written to the Public Accounts Committee asking for the return of a ‘box of evidence’ that a whistleblower [Sgt Maurice McCabe] gave to the chair of the committee, John McGuinness. It’s believed to contain previously undisclosed information about the alleged quashing of points and subsequent loss of revenue to the State.

November 22, 2013: The Dáil hears a debate on the Road Traffic Bill 2013. During the debate Fianna Fáil TD Timothy Dooley proposed that the maximum jail sentence for fleeing the scene of an accident causing injury would be up to 10 years and/or a fine of up to €5,000 instead of the current six months. He also proposed that the length of time a garda can test a hit-and-run suspect for alcohol and drugs be extended from three hours to 24 hours after the incident. Mr Dooley was approached by hit-and-run victim Shane O’Farrell’s family about these legislation changes. During the debate Independent TD, Finian McGrath addressed Transport Minister Leo Varadkar about how the man who killed Mr O’Farrell, 23 – and who was later acquitted of his killing – was stopped by gardaí just an hour before the hit-and-run.

Mr McGrath said: “An hour before her [Lucia O’Farrell’s] son, Shane, was killed, the particular individuals were pulled up an hour earlier at a Garda checkpoint and there was no alcohol on the driver. The driver was asked to switch as he was also uninsured. This implied that an hour earlier he was alcohol free when he murdered her son, Shane. This was not a Garda checkpoint. This was an unmarked drug squad car, sitting in a ditch that had pulled up this car as the registration was flagged on their system. No breathalyser was used, no drink test at the side of the road. They were asked then to switch the drivers and they were searched. They were waved on.”

December 3, 2013: Sgt McCabe writes to Minister Shatter again to say he’s “very concerned that someone has told Minister Shatter information about me of a very serious nature and I am being refused the right to know the identity of the person or persons who advised him. I want to know now who advised Minister Shatter of this and when. If you refuse to give me this information I would like to know the reason why you are refusing me? I have the right to know who passed this information to Minister Shatter and when.’ [RTE reports this on February 23, 2014].

December 4, 2013: A Justice Department senior official emails Sgt McCabe saying Sgt McCabe was offered the chance to provide more evidence to the head of the internal penalty points inquiry, Assistant Commissioner John O’Mahony, saying “our understanding on this comes from the Garda Commissioner“. [RTÉ reports this on February 23, 2014].
December [day unknown] 2013: GSOC decides to improve the security at its offices on Abbey Street, in Dublin. GSOC chairman Simon O’Brien decides not to tell Justice Minister Alan Shatter of Verrimus’ findings.

January 23, 2014: Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan appears before the Public Accounts Committee to discuss the C&AG report in relation to the fixed charge notice system. Commissioner Callinan was accompanied by Assistant Commissioner John O’Mahoney, who carried out the internal Garda investigation into the penalty point allegations. During their discussions, Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald asked Mr O’Mahoney: “Am I right to state that at no stage in the course of Assistant Commissioner O’Mahoney’s investigation did he speak to or interview the whistleblowers?” Mr O’Mahoney replied: “That is correct.” The TD asked why and Mr O’Mahoney replied: “First and foremost the documentation provided to the Commissioner and subsequently to me was unsigned and unattributed. I proceeded with my examination on the basis I was dealing with anonymous allegations.” Also during his appearance, the Commissioner describes it as ‘quite disgusting’ that two members of a 13,000-strong Garda force would make ‘extraordinary allegations’ while there’s not a ‘whisper’ from other members of the Gardaí of ‘corruption or malpractice’.

January 24, 2014: It’s reported that Commissioner Callinan has consulted the Attorney General’s office about preventing Sgt McCabe from going before PAC.

January 28, 2014: Minister Shatter reveals that GSOC will hold a new penalty points inquiry.

January 29, 2014: GSOC’s chairman Kieran Fitzgerald says, in relation to its investigation into the quashing of penalty points, it would seek access to the Garda PULSE system. He also said he hopes the probe will get better and quicker co-operation from Garda management than in previous investigations.

January 30, 2014: Sgt Maurice McCabe gives nearly three hours of evidence to the Public Accounts Committee. He later requests a transcript of this meeting, the outcome of which is understood to be still pending.

February 5, 2014: Independent TD Mick Wallace reads into the Dáil record a section of a transcript of a conversation between Sgt McCabe and the Garda Confidential Recipient Oliver Connolly, from February 9, 2012. Mr Wallace says: ‘It includes the following: “I’ll tell you something, Maurice, and this is just personal advice to you. If Shatter thinks you’re screwing him, you’re finished”.’ This is the second time Mick Wallace reads this into Dáil record. He first read it out on December 4, 2012.

February 8, 2014: Michael Clifford, of the Irish Examiner, writes that a complaint was made to the Garda Confidential Recipient in January 2012 against Commissioner Martin Callinan – over his intentions to promote a senior officer who was under investigation. Mr Clifford writes that the complaint against the Commissioner was given to the Commissioner to deal with. The Commissioner ‘quickly responded that the complaint had no basis’.

February 9, 2014: John Mooney, of The Sunday Times, reports there were three attempts to either spy on or bug GSOC’s offices in Dublin.

February 10, 2014: Taoiseach Enda Kenny claims thatthe GSOC under Mr O’Brien should have reported the Verrimus investigation to Minister Shatter but this is not the case. The minister holds a two-hour meeting with Mr O’Brien, who later makes a statement to say the threats could not be comprehensively explained, that ‘there was no evidence of Garda misconduct’ and that he regretted not telling Minister Shatter about the Verrimus investigation. Fine Gael/Labour coalition reject calls for an independent inquiry.

February 11, 2014: Mr O’Brien and Mr Callinan meet for two hours and both agree to move on from the incident. The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors call on Mr O’Brien to resign. Minister Shatter tells Dáil the claims of bugging were ‘baseless innuendo’. He says GSOC ‘ concluded that no definitive evidence of unauthorised technical or electronic surveillance of their offices was found. Moreover, they have informed me that their databases have not been compromised. In other words, it has not been established that the offices of the Ombudsman Commission were subject to surveillance.’ He also said: ‘There was no specific concern which caused GSOC to organise the security sweep, which was carried out by a security firm based in Britain. It was a routine sweep.’ Also in the Dáil, Enda Kenny said: ‘If you’re asking me ‘was the office bugged, what I’m saying to you, in the words of GSOC that they found, following the investigation, no evidence of sophisticated evidence of unauthorised technical or electronic surveillance of their offices found, I think that’s pretty clear.”

GSOC’s Kieran Fitzgerald goes on RTÉ’s Prime Time and says that while GSOC cannot say definitively they were under surveillance, the chance that one of the anomalies being innocent was ‘remote to zero’.

February 11, 2014: Fianna Fáil leader Mícheal Martin, during Leader’s Questions, repeats some of what Mr Wallace read into the Dáil a week previous and some more – from the taped conversation between Sgt McCabe and Oliver Connolly on February 9, 2012.

February 12, 2014: Enda Kenny announces that he has asked the Department of Justice to furnish him with a report into the alleged comments about Shatter going after Sgt McCabe.

February 12, 2014: Minister Shatter says: “There’s a reference to some transcript. I’m not privy to the transcript, I don’t know anything about the meeting that took place, I don’t know how the transcript was created.”

February 12, 2014: Mr O’Brien tells the Public Service Oversight and Petitions Oireachtas Committee that he suspects GSOC was bugged and that it could have been gardaí. He tells the committee that GSOC held meetings in cafés on Capel Street in Dublin because they were afraid they were being bugged.

February 13, 2014: Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore tells the Dáil he believes no State agency was involved in any suspected GSOC bugging. On RTÉ’s Prime Time, Minister Shatter is asked why his account of events in the Dáil on February 11 was different to that given by the GSOC chairman Simon O’Brien to the Oireachtas committee on February 12, and to that of Kieran Fitzgerald on Prime Time on February 11. Mr Shatter put it down to general confusion while also insisting what he said in the Dáil was exactly what GSOC told him.

February 18, 2014: Broadsheet posts the full transcript of the conversation between Oliver Connolly and Sgt Maurice McCabe.

February 19, 2014: Garda Confidential Recipient Oliver Connolly is sacked.

February 19, 2014: Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin says he has documents, obtained from Sgt McCabe, suggesting that gardaí failed to act on allegations of abduction, assault, murder and other serious crimes. He says he’s passed them on to the Department of the Taoiseach for full investigation.

February 19, 2014: Government appoints retired High Court Judge John Cooke to conduct the Independent Inquiry into Reports of Unlawful Surveillance of GSOC.

February 20, 2014: Minister Shatter releases a statement into the sacking of Mr Connolly, saying: “I informed him that in the context of his failure to unequivocally repudiate the content of the alleged conversation or take the necessary action to restore public confidence in the office of Confidential Recipient, I believed his position was untenable and I had no alternative but to relieve him of the position.”

February 21, 2014: Broadsheet posts a letter dated December 17, 2012, which was sent from the assistant secretary at the Department of Justice, and which was forwarded to Enda Kenny and Leo Varadkar’s departments. As mentioned above, the letter is, in the main, in response to an email Sgt McCabe sent on December 12, 2012 in relation to the quashing of penalty points. But it also refers to the dossier of serious complaints that Sgt McCabe made to the confidential recipient in January and which has been passed on to the Taoiseach, via Fianna Fáil’s Mícheal Martin.

February 22, 2014: Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness, speaking on Saturday With Claire Byrne, reveals a third whistleblower, believed to be a female Garda, is set to come forward with fresh allegations against Garda practices within the next week. Mr McGuinness also recalls the case of 23-year-old Shane O’Farrell who was killed in a hit-and-run outside Carrickmacross, Co.Monaghan on August 2, 2011 by Zigimantas Gridzuiska, 39, from Lithuania. Gridzuiska had 42 previous convictions in three different jurisdictions and was out on bail at the time of the killing. Judge Pat McCartan acquitted him of dangerous driving causing death. He was then given the choice of eight months in prison or to leave the country within 21 days. He chose to leave.

February 23, 2014: Philip Ryan, in the Sunday Independent, reports that attempts were made by Garda colleagues to blame Sgt McCabe for releasing Jerry McGrath from custody before McGrath went on to kill Sylvia Roche Kelly.

Sources: Sunday Times, Irish Examiner, Phoenix magazine, RTÉ, Sunday Independent, Irish Times, Irish Independent, Irish Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, and RTÉ.

90217023[Alan Shatter and Pat Rabbitte]

“In so far as individuals who raised issues are alleging that the Garda reports published are untrue, let them bring forward chapter and verse and proof of this. I am open to being convinced, but they have not done so. Having engaged with Members of this House and published material, they did not co-operate with the Garda investigations that took place. I do not know why that was the case. There is no question of anyone being victimised”.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter in the dail, October 1, 2013

Meanwhile this morning [on Today with Sean O’Rourke]…

Sean O’Rourke: “The Minister for Communications Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte is on the line. Good morning to you Minister.”

Pat Rabbitte: “Hello Sean.”

Sean O’Rourke: “Now you are primarily on the programme to talk about these fears that post offices will be subject to wholesale closures round the country but before we come to that can I just get your sense as to what should happen now on the whole whistleblower controversy. Just on a point of clarification, and I heard you speak well of Sergeant Maurice McCabe the whistleblower at the centre of all this, is it your view that he did not co-operate with inquiries say particularly the inquiry into the penalty points controversy by the assistant Garda Commissioner?”

Pat Rabbitte: “Well, I mean I repeat Sean what I said about Maurice McCabe, I know him a little, I haven’t met him in recent years, he came to me a number of years ago about certain matters that Maurice McCabe wanted to put them into the public domain, he’s perfectly free to do so as regards you know what was the content of his exchanges in the present controversy I’m not party to that but it would appear from what has emerged now that the Minister for Justice may have been mistaken when he said he didn’t co-operate and I presume when the opportunity arises he will say whether that’s right or not but judging from media coverage it would appear that Maurice McCabe was available and so on and wasn’t exactly examined on the issue.

Sean O’Rourke:
“But surely if the Minister for Justice was mistaken he’d know that well and know it for a long time now and surely should have clarified it by this stage?”

Pat Rabbitte: “Well I don’t know, I don’t know whether he did know it. Quite clearly, if he said that in the Dail, he was under that impression. This is not a minister who would mislead the Dail, he’s a long-time parliamentarian, he’s a very scrupulous politician and if that wasn’t his genuine understanding of the situation at the time it’s simply unthinkable that he would have said otherwise there may, there may have been a simple mistake here and if there is it should be corrected.”

Sean O’Rourke:
“And isn’t it equally unthinkable that he wouldn’t have known long before now if there was such a mistake?”

Pat Rabbitte: “I don’t, you see, you’re inviting me into an area, Sean, that I haven’t personally been involved in, so, you know, there have been a lot of interactions here with the Official Receiver with the Confidential Recipient and so on and you know for example my memory of the legislation is that the Confidential Recipient is not required and does not report to the Minister for Justice the confidential recipient is an anonymised procedure put in place to take complaints from members of the, serving members of the Garda Siochana and pass them onto the Garda Commissioner*. so you know, you are inviting me into expressing personal knowledge of detail that I couldn’t have and I don’t have…”

Sean O’Rourke: “Well it was more an opinion as to whether the facts should have been known by this stage or not, but to come to the core point, the fact that the Taoiseach has now accepted that the matters brought to his attention by the Fianna Fail leader Mr Martin and subject to files that he’s given him are very serious and very grave matters and that they’re now being studied by both Taoiseach and his officials as well as internally the Department of Justice, is that the kind of scrutiny that in your view is going to satisfy the public?”

Pat Rabbitte: “Well I absolutely agree with you that they are very grave matters and couldn’t in fact be more serious in the manner that they have been presented in the public press in any event. I mean these are hugely serious issues and I presume what is underway is that the Minister is going back over all of the paper trail of this and all of the information in the Department of Justice before he meets with Taoiseach in respect of the file now in the possession of the Taoiseach. I mean like everyone else he didn’t know anything about this file until the day before yesterday, I still don’t know what’s in it but what I’ve seen in the public press can scarcely be more seriously and it’s being taken as such by the Taoiseach and I am sure by the Minister but the Minister has to be given an opportunity, he was out of the country yesterday on business, I don’t know if he’s, if he’s back yet, I haven’t spoken to him but the Minister has to be given an opportunity to explain what exactly happened in respect of the matters in this file that he had knowledge of. I know from personal experience that if a file was passed to the Minister this particular Minister for Justice would take time to find out what’s in it because he’s a diligent and scrupulous minister who works a very long day every day…”

Sean O’Rourke: “That suggests you have total confidence in Alan Shatter as a cabinet colleague?”

Pat Rabbitte: “I do have confidence in Alan Shatter, I do have confidence in him. He’s a reforming, hardworking, insightful minister and, you know, these are serious issues that have now arisen, the actual issues themselves of course far preceding Alan Shatter becoming Justice Minister, but we have to give him the opportunity to say what is in the possession of the Department of Justice and in his own possession and what happened and what we do now.”

Fairly awks, in fairness.

Listen here

* In this instance the complaint was against the Garda Commissioner

Previously: Garda Confidential

(Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland)


[Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Fianna Fail leader Michael Martin in the dail earlier]

Prior to the announcement of the removal of Garda recipient Oliver Connolly.

“What happened here Taoiseach is fundamentally wrong. What Garda whistleblower in their right mind would ever go near the system again given the treatment that has been meted out to this man [Maurice McCabe]?

“It is absoloutely scandalous Taoiseach what has occured here. And it’s not just about penalty points. It is about other serious issues that would make your hair stand on your back or whatever the phrase is.

“Shocking revelations of incompetence which ultimately lead to people being murdered as a result of a failure to act. Very serious stuff which [the Department of] justice has and had for quite long time but has not acted [on].”

Michael Martin, today.

Earlier: Wilson’s Picket

Something I Said?

Garda whistleblower ‘very disturbed’ by Government sacking of go-between (RTE)



Justice Minister Alan Shatter will appear before the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Public Service Oversight and Petitions today in relation to the GSOC bugging affair at 4pm.

Garda whistleblower John Wilson, who created the placards above, is organising a protest outside the Dáil at this time.

He says:

“It’s to support GSOC’s Simon O’Brien, Kieran Fitzgerald and to express a total lack of confidence and trust in Alan Shatter and Martin Callinan. It’s also to highlight the abuse of numerous people by certain gardaí.”

Earlier: Putting It On Rits



[From top: Alan Shatter and Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan; Garda Whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe and Garda confidential recipient Oliver Connolly]

Several TDs have read into the record certain sections of a transcript of a conversation between Garda Confidential Recipient, Oliver Connolly and Garda whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe.

We have been provided with a full transcript of that conversation [below].

The confidential recipient’s role is to receive information from whistleblowers in the force and present it to the Justice Minister.

Oliver Connolly was appointed as a confidential Garda liaison by Justice Minister Alan Shatter in 2011. Mr Connolly had donated €1,000 to Mr Shatter’s campaign for the 2011 General Election and Mr Shatter was trained as a mediator by Friary Law, the company owned by Mr Connolly.

Sgt McCabe had given Mr Connolly a report containing a number of allegations of Garda wrongdoing.

The follow-up meeting took place in a Dublin hotel on Thursday, February 9, 2012.

At the meeting Sgt McCabe was told that the Justice Minister had referred his complaints to Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and that no further action would be taken. We have redacted certain names.

Maurice McCabe:  “Sure it’s a joke really Oliver, when you see it. Like the minister should go to someone independent to look at it. Like what do I do with all the falsification of records and now even the Minister is now saying, now saying that everything was OK.”

Oliver Connolly: “What he’s saying basically is there is no actual evidence against the Commissioner.”

McCabe : “He is believing the Commissioner and not me. So, it’s a joke, isn’t it really Oliver?”

Connolly:  “Look…”

McCabe: “Like almost all the incidents involved were upheld in other words I was right.”

Connolly: “Yes but it’s your allegation of malpractice and corruption against the…”

McCabe:  “No but do you see what he says in the letter it’s he says it was an investigation by [REDACTED] and there is no evidence.”

Connolly: “Well I have to tell you there is nothing in the regulations preventing you, you can make as many confidential reports as you wish and you can actually point out, the only way I can go to the actual minister is if you actually directly implicate the Commissioner.”

McCabe: “But sure I did?”

Connolly: “Only in so far and he made a flawed appointment.”

McCabe: “No I said that he should have been aware.”

Connolly: “You probably exhausted, you probably exhausted the limits of the office.”

McCabe: “I have yeah. So in other words you can go nowhere else except to court.”

Connolly:  “Probably. I mean the minister has given me a three-page letter; it’s more than he gives to most people.”

McCabe : “But I’m sure if the minister read it, he did read it?”

Connolly:  “Shatter would have read your report in detail, I know he did, he communicated with me and he will have read all of your exhibits, which I actually labelled them numbered one to nine in the actual, in the order they were highlighted so he did know. And you know I redacted, the only thing I redacted was your name. Alan studied everything in fact I know he did.”

McCabe: “Yeah but do you see the flaw in the system Oliver he goes back to the commissioner, if anyone complains against the……”

Connolly: “You were guarded in the report I have to say in implicating the Commissioner directly you even gave him a way out, you actually said on page 3 he may not be…”

McCabe: “He may not be…”

Connolly: “Yes but the point is and I know what you are saying . I mean I have to say I am surprised.”

McCabe: “I showed you.”

Connolly: “There are other issues that…”

McCabe: “I showed you the records Oliver.”

Connolly: “There are other issues I am aware of that are not related to you at all, course they’ll go to the Commissioner. But I’m very surprised he pushed the man’s appointment, so he was appointed was he?”

McCabe:- “Yeah, he’s now a Chief Superintendant based on what the commissioner told him.”

[they discuss the appointment]

McCabe: “But Oliver what do you do then with all the falsification of records? What do I do with them? What do I do with the hundreds of cases that haven’t been investigated? What do I do with innocent people being set up.

Connolly: “I tell you Maurice, the only thing I’ll say to you is….”

McCabe: “What?”

Connolly: “Use the public forum of the courts.”

McCabe: “Yeah.”

Connolly: “What I would say to you is I still think you should go for mediation, I don’t think they want all this in the broadcast media. I think you should, you should have your submissions in. I give you some advice, your solicitor and [Michael] McDowell are now aware of it. If you can get them in  the court would be happy to accept mediation. And you go in there looking for the numbers and whatever else you want you’ll get it. If stuff was to get out into the public, the print media, it must only come from what happens in the courtroom. I’ll tell you something Maurice and this is just personal advice to you. If Shatter thinks your screwing him, you’re finished.

McCabe: “Right.”

Connolly: “Forget about it, I mean he is dealing with a lot of shit at the moment, and what I’m saying to you is if stuff is to get into print or broadcasting media, it comes public before the court not any other way. If Shatter thinks it’s you, if he thinks or is told by the Commissioner or the Gardaí here’s this guy again trying another route trying to put pressure on, he’ll go after you.

McCabe: “Alan Shatter?”

Connolly: “Yeah I mean he will.”

McCabe:-“Alan Shatter will go after me?”

Connolly: “Yes, if he thinks, if he thinks, if he thinks and this is a conclusive finding you don’t know it, you don’t know if it’s Gardaí, it’s none of my business,. What I’m saying to you, if you’re going to kill a king, if you’re going to strike, and I mean in the public forum of the courts with the former AG [McDowell], they’ll be all terribly interested. The broadcasting media will get a field day on your case, it’s actually the only forum to speak to them. Then what will happen with the minister, all’s fair in love and war, if he’s told you see I gave it personally on the day and I’d be very careful. No intermediaries.”

McCabe: “No, no and I’ll give you my word.”

Connolly: “…but what I’m saying to you, you have to that day what you will have to do if Shatter if this turns, he’ll turn with you , he’s scaremongering with the Commissioner, but he’s too close [to the Commissioner].”

McCabe: “But how is that?’

Connolly: “That’s a relationship they [Callinan and and Shatter] forged [during the] Obama [visit]. He [Shatter] was only in the job a month and he had the Queen of England and the President of the United States [visiting] and he’s Minister of Justice and Defence and he has to work very closely [With Callinan] because both their careers, everything is on the line, both of them, Shatter and the Commissioner. He’s his new best friend for about two or three months…”

McCabe:  “The Commissioner?”

Connolly: “Had to be had to be and I would say I’m only speculating.”

McCabe: “No problem.”

Connolly: “I would say he forged a reasonably good relationship with Martin [Callinan] now however I know Alan and what I can tell you that I’m lucky…Listen the Commissioner is taking a view to embarrass you.. What I’ll say to you is, [your report] went to the Department of Justice and that annoyed the Commissioner greatly. I’m sure it’s going to be an embarrassment for the Gardaí, a disaster for them and listen if your complaints are exposed to the print media it will make him an angry man.

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