Former Garda whistleblower John Wilson
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