Tag Archives: John Wilson


Former Garda whistleblower John Wilson

This morning.

Former Garda John Wilson who – along with Sgt Maurice McCabe – made the public aware of how penalty points were being quashed for certain people in Ireland, was interviewed by Joe Finnegan on Shannonside radio station.

They discussed last night’s Prime Time show and what Sgt Maurice McCabe has been through.

During the interview, Mr Wilson was audibly tearful.

Joe Finnegan: “John, good morning to you.”

John Wilson: “Good morning, Joe.”

Finnegan: “Thank you for taking the call. Already today, I know, you have described this saga if I can call it that, as the worst scandal in the history of our republic.”

Wilson: “Yes, Joe, without doubt. I’ve been away a long time from these issues. But, watching Prime Time last night, I was truly shocked and I see myself as someone who’s not easily shocked. And we have to take into consideration here, that we’re dealing with a human being, a wonderful individual who has, you know, he is a very, very quiet, decent man. And, you know, putting petrol in a diesel car, Joe, is a mistake. But this appalling vista can not be classified as just a mistake. I believe that there are dirty Garda fingerprints all over this scandal and I think that the way Maurice McCabe has being treated, it’s criminal.”

“We’re very short, Joe, in this country, of accountability. We’ve lots of inquiries and commissions of investigations but nobody has ever, as far as I’m concerned, has ever been held accountable and that’s got to change now.”

“When Martin Callinan departed the scene, I called for an outsider to be brought in as commissioner, the day after he left and, of course, that didn’t happen. And we were left with the same tune being played by a different orchestra and I am absolutely, I am gutted, I thought I was beyond shockable but seeing that programme last night and knowing the distress that these false and malicious allegations have done to that man. He’s a very, very quiet, dignified, decent man..”

Finnegan: “All right…”

Talk over each other

Finnegan: “I just want to stop you there because I want to try and humanise this, if I can at all. We all know the details and the shocking, shocking details which were revealed last night. But, you know, every time I see Maurice McCabe on the television, it’s the same for all our listeners this morning, we see a guy with a rucksack, dashing into Leinster House, we see a guy in uniform, running away from a posse of cameras. John, tell me about the Maurice McCabe that you know.”

Wilson: “Well, Joe, I’m not Maurice McCabe’s spokesperson. As a human being, I first met him in 2002 when I was transferred to Clones. And, I won’t go into the full issues, I mean I arrived there under a cloud, again through malicious gossip from Garda management. And I found Maurice to be a decent, professional individual. He treated everybody with respect. If you were the richest man in the town or the poorest man in the town, he had the same time for you. And he treated you with the same respect. He treated everybody with dignity, as he still does.”

“He has two passions in his life, Joe. His family and cars and that’s it. He’s a very, very decent individual. I’m very, very upset, Joe, naturally, but the toll this has taken on the man – and he has remained dignified throughout… you’ve seen it before. He went before the PAC and, as you say, you’ve seen him, he’s the man with the satchel on his back…”

“But these individuals, many of them who should be in jail, have destroyed his life. And they have, I have no doubt, they have reduced his life expectancy. He’s a very, very decent. I cannot…I mean, the Irish public, Joe, and the Garda Commissioner should be proud that a person of his calibre, as a member of our national police force.”

Finnegan: “May I ask John have you been talking to him in the last number of hours?”

Wilson: “No, Joe, I was speaking to him yesterday. I haven’t been speaking to him today. But, as I said, even though I was aware of these serious allegations watching Prime Time last night, I thought I was beyond shockable but I think it’s the most shocking programme that has appeared on Prime Time television in this country, since RTE was established. And that’s saying something. And we’ve been through, and the public are aware of many scandals down through the years. I think, this is, you know what I mean, this is, as far as I’m concerned, I’m cognisant I’m on live radio but there’s been a criminal conspiracy to destroy this man, to destroy a life, his credibility, his reputation. If you haven’t got your reputation and your credibitility, Joe, you’ve got nothing.”

“And to label somebody a paedophile, there’s nothing lower, there’s nothing lower, Joe. And you know, Joe, that when someone is accused of being a paedophile or of child sex abuse, there’s always someone in the corner ‘ah, yeah, ah the report has vindicated him, ah yeah, ah yeah, they all say he’s innocent, but there’s no smoke without fire’.”

“They have destroyed the man. This is unforgivable and somebody has got to go to jail over this, Joe. It’s not good enough having a Commission of Investigation. Somebody has got to end up in prison over this. Or more than one individual. I can assure you. And it is, you know what I mean, criminals know who they are. But I can tell you, Joe, there are lots of criminals in this country wearing uniforms and pretending to be guardians of the peace. And I think it’s time the Irish people started shouting and screaming ‘no more, no more. We want a police service that we can be proud of’.”

Listen back in full here

Earlier: Pasted In Error

Previously: John Wilson on Broadsheet


Supporters of former Irish Independent journalist Gemma O’Doherty outside the newspaper’s office on Talbot Street, Dublin 1, on August 27, 2013 – including Limerick-based Catherine Costelloe, a former officer with the London Metropolitan Police, far left, and former Garda John Wilson, far right

Families for Justice write:

Tomorrow, a delegation of families seeking justice for their deceased relatives will visit Stormont Castle to meet senior politicians. The families, who live in the Republic of Ireland, have lost loved ones in violent circumstances – in two cases, their own children. They believe An Garda Síochána failed to investigate the deaths properly. They have also been unable to get a meeting with Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

The families will be accompanied by Garda whistleblower John Wilson and journalist Gemma O’Doherty. This is the first phase in a new international awareness-raising campaign about cases of alleged Garda wrongdoing which will be taken to the European Parliament and the United Nations, among other institutions, in 2015.

The families who will visit Stormont include Lucia O’Farrell, mother of Shane who was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Co Monaghan in 2011; Anne and Eamonn Tuohey, parents of Shane who died in Clara, Co Offaly in 2002; Cyril Goonan, brother of Jim who was killed in Birr, Co Offaly in 2002; and Ann Doherty, twin sister of Mary Boyle (6) who went missing in Donegal in 1977.

Also joining the delegation is Limerick-based Catherine Costelloe, a former officer with the London Metropolitan Police who, since returning to Ireland, has spent many years searching for people who have been murdered but whose remains are missing.

Brian Sheridan, a former Director of Elections for Fine Gael in Laois/Offaly, who has been at the forefront of the justice campaign for Fr Niall Molloy, will also attend. The delegation will meet senior politicians from each of the political parties in Northern Ireland including the DUP, Sinn Féin, the UUP, the SDLP and the Alliance Party. The delegation will arrive at Stormont on Thursday at 11am.

Previously: Going North

Receipt Of Indifference

Difficult To Quash


Former Irish Independent journalist, Gemma O’Doherty, and former garda John Wilson outside the Employment Appeals Tribunal last May

There you go now.

Previously: Going To Work

No Justice Yet

Not Going Away

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 09.52.33

Garda whistleblower John Wilson shakes hands with Acting Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan outside Leinster House in Dublin last May

You may recall a post last week about how Gemma O’Doherty reported in The Sunday Times that former Garda John Wilson still hadn’t received his ‘certificate of service’ even though he left An Garda Síochána 15 months previous – after 30 years of service.

It was also reported that, before Mr Wilson left the gardaí in May 2013, he was disciplined for attending a court hearing on a day in which he wasn’t on duty. When he was questioned by garda management to explain his whereabouts, he said he had done nothing wrong. After refusing to account for his presence at the hearing, he was subjected to a disciplinary process. In April, he lost a High Court case he took against the disciplinary action and he’s now appealing this to the Supreme Court.

During his case in the High Court, Mr Wilson was offered an exemplary certificate of service on the condition he withdrew his action, but he didn’t.

Yesterday, Gemma O’Doherty wrote in The Sunday Times:

The certificate [exemplary] was sent to him by registered post, three days after his story appeared in last week’s newspaper…Speaking yesterday Wilson said he was relieved the situation had been resolved. “It’s taken more than 16 months to get it, but at least I have it now and can try to get a new job,” he said. “It was a terrible worry hanging over me. I badly needed it.

Garda whistleblower is eventually given certificate (Gemma O’Doherty, Sunday Times)

Previously: How Petty?

Meanwhile, In The High Court

Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland


Garda whistleblower John Wilson

In yesterday’s Sunday Times, Gemma O’Doherty reports that former Garda John Wilson still hasn’t received his ‘certificate of service’ even though he left An Garda Síochána 15 months ago – after 30 years of service.

From the report (not online):

“For any garda, your certificate of service is your reference,” Wilson said. “The first thing an employer looks for is a reference but because I do not have one, I am unable to apply for work. I urgently need a job. I have a family to look after and am under serious financial pressure. I requested mine more than a year ago and still haven’t got it. I feel I am being penalised.”

That petty.

Previously: John Wilson on Broadsheet


Garda Whistleblower John Wilson (right) with Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan MEP this afternoon after Luke topped the poll in the first count of the Midlands North West European Election constituency.

Mr Wilson helped canvass for the Independent TD  (and ex-Broadsheet columnist) who sported his famous hemp suit for the occasion.

Fair play though, in fairness.

Via Orla Ryan


[Former Garda John Wilson outside the Dáil in January]

John Wilson was not in uniform and off-duty when he attended a case in the presence of Walter and Genevieve Smith, who were co-defendants in a case being heard, in 2012.

Arising from this, he was found to have breached Garda regulations, after he refused to explain why he attended the court hearing.

Mr Wilson went to the High Court challenging this finding and this morning he lost this challenge.

Breaking News reports:

“The High Court has ruled that the garda authorities were entitled to ask John Wilson for an explanation as to why he sat beside the defendants during a court case while off duty.

“Ms Justice Iseult O’Malley notes that the trial involved a long running dispute between neighbours in an estate in Virgina Co Cavan and his attendance could impinge ‘upon the public perception of the force as a whole’

“She has found that Gda Wilson should have at least explained that his private life was at issue but instead he suggested a ‘degree of bad faith’ by asking what was being insinuated about him.”

Following the decision, Mr Wilson said:

“I will be considering today’s judgment very carefully with my legal team.”

Whistleblower Wilson loses High Court action (Breaking News)

Related: Whistleblower fights disciplinary findings (Irish Examiner)

Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland


[Garda whistleblower John Wilson on TV3’s Tonight With Vincent Browne last week]

Mr Wilson is currently in Cavan General Hospital, after having emergency surgery for bowel cancer this week. He is currently awaiting results of a biopsy.

His wife, Anne Wilson, spoke to Pat Kenny this morning about her husband and about the stress he has been under for the last number of years in relation to his efforts to reveal what he believes has been wrongdoing by some members of the gardaí.

Pat Kenny: “You’re quoted in the papers as saying the stress of the whole thing brought on the bowel cancer, is that really your belief?”

Anne Wilson: “Well Pat, there’s no history in John’s family of it, or cancer. And the amount of stress is unbelievable, what that man has gone through over the last couple of years. There’s only one other person that can understand the amount of stress and that would be Maurice McCabe. It’s unbelievable what those two men had to go through. So I’m convinced it has contributed to because stress does cause..”

Kenny: “Stress indeed is one of the factors. If you have any kind of predisposition to it, the addition of stress on top of everything else can certainly bring it on and John undoubtedly went through an awful lot of stress. Has that stress been in anyway aliviated by Minister Varadkar and, overnight, Minister Joan Burton, offering their support?”

Wilson: “Well, actually, John was having a bad day yesterday in the hospital cause they lifted them out of the bed so he was in a bit of pain and when I heard about Minister Varadkar’s statement, I got in touch with John in the hospital and he was delighted so yes it has helped. I’m delighted that Mr Varadkar came out and spoke like that..it’s just it’s taken so long.”

Kenny: “Yes, and Joan Burton said that she was speaking really for all the Labour colleagues in cabinet – that they were of one view about all of this. So there’s no doubt that Sgt McCabe and your husband, John, have certainly have a good deal of support in Cabinet.”

Wilson: “Well I have to thank Clare Daly, Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, Mick Wallace, and Joan Collins – they were there from the beginning – and Padraig MacLochlainn and Mary Lou McDonald, they have been absolutely fantastic. From the very beginning, the Independents put their neck on the line and supported the Garda whistleblowers. And when the story came out first they could have sat back and just let it go, you know when we brought to their attention but they kept going and going and going. They were absolutely amazing, fighting for them.”

Kenny: “Yesterday, yet again, Commissioner Callinan refused to apologise for that ‘disgusting’ remark that he made back in January to the committee, what do you feel about that?”

Wilson: “I feel that Commissioner Callinan’s excuse now, or reason, for his ‘disgusting’ remark totally contradict the way he said it back in January. At the time in January, he didn’t mention it was the way the information was given to the public. He said it was disgusting and then he emphasised it by saying ‘personally, I think it’s disgusting’. So his comments now are totally contradicting, in my opinion, what he had said in the PAC.”

Listen back here



Previously: Gwan The Leo

Gilmore joins Varadkar’s call for Callinan to withdraw ‘disgusting’ comments (Irish Times)