Tag Archives: gardai

Garda passing out parade in Templemore in 2016

Sorcha Pollock, in The Irish Times, reports:

The Garda Representative Association (GRA) has called for a review of the “excessive” bleep tests used by An Garda Síochána as part of its fitness training for recruits.

The bleep test, which sees participants do a series of 20m shuttle runs between two points within a specified period of time, forms part of the force’s overall fitness test for trainees and probationers, which also includes press-ups, sit-ups and push/pull strength tests.

It is understood, according to a report first carried by The Star, that a garda was recently dismissed after failing the bleep test, while another 15 officers under probation were served with warnings after failing the test on two occasions.

Gulp.

Garda body criticises ‘excessive’ bleep tests for recruits (The Irish Times)

Related: The Physical Test – Requirements for An Garda Síochana

Rollingnews

This morning.

The Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, assisted by officials from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, are conducting searches at seven premises in counties Roscommon, Leitrim, Sligo, Westmeath and Kilkenny.

Via Garda Press Office:

‘The searches are part of an ongoing investigation being conducted by members of The Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation into offences of deception pursuant to Section 6 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud) Offences Act, 2001 surrounding fraudulent practices regarding tampering of identification passports and microchips of horses presented for slaughter in this jurisdiction.

Premises searched in horse meat for export investigation  (RTE)

Rollingnews

This afternoon.

On RTÉ’s News at One.

RTÉ’s Crime Correspondent Paul Reynolds reported that two senior members of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors are not attending the group’s annual conference which began in Cavan today.

Mr Reynolds said the decision of AGSI’s vice president Paul Wallace and its deputy general secretary Antoinette Cunningham not to attend followed the news that one of its members if being investigated by the National Bureau of Criminal Investigations.

He told Claire Byrne on RTÉ’s News At One:

“The allegation is that the member engaged in prohibitive spare time activities – specifically, engaged in outside security work, which is not permitted under the Garda code.

“Two protected disclosures have been put in, in relation to this. It’s being investigated by the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

“And the allegation also contains claims that false alarms were set off at a business and these were responded to by gardaí, in squad cars, patrol cars, in emergency fashion, with sirens blaring and lights flashing.

“And then these false alarms were then reported on the Garda PULSE system. So all this is being investigated by the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation.”

Later, the AGSI’s general secretary John Jacob told Ms Byrne:

“The association issued a press release last night in relation to this matter and they said that they haven’t been formally informed that an investigation of any sort is taking place and that the person involved has not been formally notified of an investigation taking place. But we have to believe the media reports when they say that one is taking place.”

“…The association does not know the details of the allegation.”

Mr Jacob also said the AGSI does not know who the allegation allegedly concerns.

Anyone?

Two senior AGSI members opt out of conference (RTE)

Masked gardai assist the removal of protestors from North Frederick Street

Following on from Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan telling Seán O’Rourke on RTÉ Radio One yesterday morning that he would support legislation to outlaw photographing on-duty gardai

Aidan O’Brien, who filmed a Reclaim The Streets protest in Dublin in 2002, recalls…

Related: Garda who hit man’s head with baton is now an expert adviser on ethics (The Irish Sun)

Previously: Never Mind The Balaclavas

Nothing To Hear Here

According to the source of the top pic, the Greater Manchester Police van was due to be auctioned in 2014.

Anyone?

Pics: Flickr and Jack Power

Earlier: ‘How Can You Justify These Actions?’

Yesterday: What’s Going On Here?

Related: Van used by masked men to secure Dublin property not taxed since 2014 (Jack Power, The Irish Times)

Rialto Youth Project in Rialto, Dublin 8

Cónall Thomas, in the Dublin Inquirer, writes:

Over four years, Fiona Whelan gathered stories from young people in Rialto in answer to the request: talk about a moment in your life when you felt powerful or powerless.

Many of the 60 anonymous accounts she collected had one thing in common: they touched on encounters with gardaí.

“I’d say I get stopped 20 times a month. 20 times a month just for walking around,” wrote one young man from Rialto. “I’d be walking, a Garda car would see me and stop and ask me where I’m going.”

As the project snowballed and interest grew, Whelan, an artist in residence at the Rialto Youth Project, and Jim Lawlor, the manager there, worked it into something practical: two modules that could be taught to gardaí during their training – to help them work better with children in the neighbourhood and further afield.

But while it looked for a while as if the modules might be taken up, almost a decade on they are still pushing for that to happen

Gardaí need better training on how to handle kids in the inner-city, some say (Cónal Thomas, Dublin Inquirer)

Rialto Youth Project

From top: Lorraine McCabe and Sgt Maurice McCabe; Ken Ruane, Head of Legal Affairs in An Garda Siochana.

This afternoon.

At the Disclosures Tribunal in Dublin Castle.

It has heard and seen notes provided to the tribunal by solicitor Annemarie Ryan, of the Chief State Solicitor’s office, of the very first consultation meeting involving gardai and counsel for the gardai at the Four Courts on the afternoon of May 11, 2015.

The legal team which represented the former Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan and other gardai – namely Colm Smyth SC,  Michael McNamee BL, and Garret Byrne BL – arrived about ten minutes after the meeting started.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the upcoming first module of the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation – namely one of the incidents which the commission was tasked with investigating, namely a public order incident and possible sexual assault on a bus in Kingscourt, County Cavan.

The notes were introduced by Patrick Marrinan, SC, for the tribunal, as the Head of Legal Affairs in An Garda Siochana Ken Ruane gave evidence.

The tribunal saw and heard that Ms Ryan’s notes provided a lot more detail of the meeting than Mr Ruane’s notes.

They showed how Chief Supt Fergus Healy, who was the liaison officer for Ms O’Sullivan at the commission, alerted the counsel to the Ms D case and criminal investigation that was carried out into Sgt McCabe in 2006.

Speaking about what is in the notes, Mr Marrinan SC, for the tribunal, put it to Mr Ruane that: “This has absoltuely nothing to do with the facutal matters to be investigated by the O’Higgins.”

Mr Ruane agreed.

Mr Marrinan also pointed out the derogatory comment made about Garda whistleblower John Wilson – without reading it out – and said there was as suggestion that there was some collusion between Garda Wilson and Sgt McCabe.

The notes also claim Sgt McCabe said: “I will bring this job to its knees”.

Mr Marrinan tried to get an understanding from Mr Ruane why these matters were being discussed at the meeting at all.

He also pointed out that the fact they were being discussed flew in the face of the public statements being made by Ms O’Sullivan in which she repeated her support for Sgt McCabe at that time.

Mr Ruane said it wasn’t clear from the minutes who was asking questions at the meeting but he said counsel had been asking questions to understand a “breakdown” in interpersonal relationships between Sgt McCabe and some of his colleagues.

Mr Marrinan again asked if it didn’t strike Mr Ruane as “peculiar” that these matters were being explored as he said the matters questioned Sgt McCabe’s motivation. He asked Mr Ruane if he felt that was correct?

Mr Ruane said he didn’t agree that all the matters mentioned were in relation to Sgt McCabe’s motivation.

Mr Marrinan suggested it was the thrust of the minutes.

Mr Ruane also told the tribunal of a phone call he received from Ms Ryan at 11pm on the night of Saturday, May 16, 2015 – the night after the legal row broke out at the commission – when the matter of Sgt McCabe’s motivation came into question.

The purpose of the call was for information, Mr Ruane said. He said Ms Ryan wasn’t looking for further instructions.

Mr Marrinan suggested Ms Ryan was concerned that matters had “blown up” on the afternoon of May 15, 2015 and that the items discussed at the May 11 meeting had “spilled over into the inquiry’s hearings”.

Mr Ruane told the tribunal that it was made clear to him that instructions had been taken from the then Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan to raise the issue on May 15, 2015.

Mr Marrinan asked him if it crossed his mind to call Ms O’Sullivan after his conversation with Ms Ryan.

Mr Ruane said, although the Garda Commissioner had received legal advice on the Friday, perhaps he should have called or communicated with the commissioner about the instructions given to counsel, given the public statements and official line of support towards Sgt McCabe.

Mr Ruane said: “There was no one more acutely aware of the corporate policy adopted towards Maurice McCabe than Noirin O’Sullivan.”

Earlier: ‘It Was Dragged Back In, In A Collateral Way To Demean Him’

Rollingnews

UPDATE:

Just before Mr Ruane finished giving evidence, Judge Charleton asked Mr Ruane about some of the specific entries in Ms Ryan’s minutes.

In respect of the entry about the meeting in the hotel in Monaghan, Judge Charleton put it to Mr Ruane that the only reason this would be introduced, “would be to say, ‘look, this is someone who tends to exaggerate…’.”

Mr Ruane agreed and said he couldn’t remember why it was brought up.

Judge Charleton said it was hard to imagine how it could have had “anything” to do with the events being considered by the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation.

Mr Ruane agreed and said it had “nothing to do with the facts” relative to the matters being investigated by the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation.

Similarly, Judge Charleton drew attention to the line: “McCabe had issues at why this allegation was investigated. McCabe sought access to his file and was refused the file.”

The judge said: “I can’t imagine where that came from? That never happened as far as I know.”

Mr Ruane suggested that perhaps Chief Supt Healy meant “access to the directions” instead of “access to the file”.

Judge Charleton said he had read a lot and heard a lot of evidence. He said the Independent Review Mechanism looked the file on the Ms D allegation and he said he looked at the file. He suggested the word ‘file’ was an obvious word to use.

He then asked Mr Ruane if anyone, in fact, said this.

Mr Ruane repeated that perhaps Chief Supt Healy meant “directions” instead of “file”.

Judge Charleton suggested that the line could have implied Sgt McCabe was a “bitter man”.

Mr Ruane said he understood Sgt McCabe had been vindicated fully.

In respect of the line “McCabe’s initial sexual assault incident re: colleague’s minor daughter. Noel Cunningham will give us full details of this”, Judge Charleton asked why this would be raised given the DPP ruled there was no assault.

Mr Ruane said perhaps it was a reference to the Sgt McCabe seeking the DPP’s directions.

As for the reference to Garda John Wilson, Judge Charleton said he couldn’t understand the note that Sgt McCabe and Garda Wilson may have been “working together”.

The judge said in relation to the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation and the IRM, the two men were never on the same case.

Mr Ruane agreed and said it was his understanding that they both raised concerns about penalty points.

Echoing Mr Marrinan from earlier, Judge Charleton said Ms Ryan’s notes indicated that the thrust of what was heard at the meeting was that Sgt McCabe was a bitter man, led by emotion which could have led to unconscious bias.

He added it was easy to be wise in hindsight but he suggested the matters being raised were “liable to muddy the waters” and that someone should have said that ‘this may be the background but it has certainly nothing to do with anything that is going to come up in front of Mr Justice O’Higgins’.

Mr Ruane said “I have to agree with you there.”

Asked if he thought someone should have shouted that, Mr Ruane said: “With hindsight, possibly, yes.”

This morning.

Members of senior Garda management are fielding questions in the Oireachtas justice and equality committee in light of the Crowe Horwath report for the Policing Authority on the fake breath tests and issuing of summonses.

Readers will recall how, on Sunday, November 27, 2017, Independents 4 Change TD Mick Wallace, while speaking about the gardai, told TV3’s The Sunday Show:

Myself and Clare Daly have some new stuff to break very soon that would make the hair stand on your head about stuff that’s happening at present.”

Further to this…

At the justice committee this morning, Mick Wallace said:

Only this week, we met a member of An Garda Siochana, he’s just put in a protected disclosure and he’s out sick for a while due to stress from work.

“And he’s given us incredibly detailed information about things that have been happening, right up unit recently.

“To be honest, we found it hard to believe that such things that he told us about could still be happening. And the way that, when he raised concerns about several issues, how they were dealt with by senior management.

“It was really disheartening for us because you know what, people might think that ‘oh, Daly and Wallace just want to be giving out about things’. But you know what, we won’t be vindicated until we have a police force that everyone will be proud of.

“And we’ve been tackling issues for over five years and if nothing has changed, well, that means, we’re wasting our time and we’ve failed. We want things to be done right.

“But it was really disappointing to look at the information he gave us around this, he’s put in a protected disclosure, we haven’t put it into the public domain yet.

“But, I suppose his basis to it was, not much has changed yet.”

“Now, I still believe, I’m an optimist by nature and I think things will change but sadly not enough has changed. And poor Maurice McCabe…is lucky to still be alive, that he didn’t do away with himself when the pressure was so great at times.

“But it would be very sad for him if nothing changes and very disappointing for him because nobody wanted change in the gardai, and having done his work, than of the people that came forward anyway, than Maurice McCabe.”

Watch the committee live here

Today’s Irish Daily Mail; Jobstown protest in 2014; Ken Purcell arriving at the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin last month

Further to a jury last Thursday returning a unanimous ‘not guilty’ verdict to the Jobstown protesters – who had been charged with the false imprisonment of former Tánaiste Joan Burton and her adviser Karen O’Connell…

It’s being reported that on Friday, two superintendents who recommended to the DPP that the protesters be charged with false imprisonment – an offence which carries a penalty of up to life imprisonment – were promoted.

In today’s Irish Daily Mail, Journalist Ali Bracken reports:

The two superintendents who recommended that the recently acquitted Jobstown protesters be charged with false imprisonment have been promoted to the rank of chief superintendent.

Superintendents Brian Sutton and Peter Duff, both based in Dublin Metropolitan Region South, led the investigation into the so-called Jobstown Seven.

…On Friday, 15 superintendents were informed that they have been promoted to the rank of chief superintendent following an interview selection process. Their appointments were made by the independent Policing Authority.

Further to this.

Readers will recall how the false imprisonment charges against one of the Jobstown protesters, Ken Purcell, were dropped on June 12 after Judge Melanie Greally ruled that an extension to Mr Purcell’s detention was unlawful.

Mr Purcell had been arrested at his home in Tallaght at 7.28am on February 13, 2015, by Garda Darren Rooney.

Mr Purcell’s initial detention was authorised by Sergeant Carlin Cullen – based on information Garda Rooney gave Sgt Cullen which he had obtained from viewing video footage, and information which Judge Melanie Greally later found to be “inaccurate and exaggerated”.

On February 13, 2015, Mr Purcell’s detention was extended by Supt Peter Duff, at 1.11pm, also based on information given to him by Garda Rooney. This extension was found to be unlawful.

Judge Greally ruled:

The information imparted by Garda Rooney was based on his viewing of video footage and for the purposes of this application can be divided into three limbs. The first limb is the description of the accused at two stages where he is said to have struggled with gardaí.

The second is an account of the accused behaving aggressively in front of the jeep when it was attempting to leave the grounds of Saint Thomas’s Church and the third is what is accepted to be accurate information concerning his participation in a sit down in front of the jeep on Fortunestown Road.

In Garda Rooney’s description of Kenneth Purcell’s conduct around the Avensis he stated he was start of the crowd and could be seen struggling with gardaí. Similarly, during the transfer from the Avensis to the garda jeep he was said to have struggled with gardaí.

A viewing of the footage by this Court showed no identifiable physical engagement between the accused and any member of An Garda Síochána, either at the Avensis or during the transfer.

A more accurate appraisal of his actions during the transfer from the Avensis to the jeep is that he can be seen in the footage moving from a somewhat peripheral position towards the advancing group of gardaí and protesters and he is subsequently visible in the thick of it.

Therefore the information imparted to Sergeant Cullen in this regard was inaccurate and exaggerated.

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