Tag Archives: Oliver Connolly




From top: Former Justice Minister Alan Shatter and former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan; former Garda Confidential Recipient Oliver Connolly; Sgt Maurice McCabe;

You may recall a post from February 18, 2014 containing a transcript of a conversation between former Garda Confidential Recipient, Oliver Connolly and Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe on February 9, 2012.

A day after the transcript was published, Mr Connolly was sacked.

The conversation between the two men came after Sgt McCabe had given Mr Connolly a report containing a number of allegations of Garda wrongdoing.

During the meeting Sgt McCabe was told that the then Justice Minister Alan Shatter had referred his complaints to Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and that no further action would be taken.

Mr Connolly told Sgt McCabe:

“I’ll tell you something Maurice and this is just personal advice to you. If Shatter thinks your screwing him, you’re finished… 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.”

He also told Sgt McCabe:

“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.”

Broadsheet posted the full transcript after excerpts were read into the Dáil by both Independents 4 Change TD Mick Wallace and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin.

Readers may wish to note that this is what former High Court judge Kevin O’Higgins concluded in relation to that transcript, in his Commission of Investigation which was published yesterday:

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 10.10.03

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 10.10.42

Seems legit.

Read the full O’Higgins report here

Previously: ‘The Truth Has Been Established’

Garda Confidential

[Former Garda Confidential Recipient Oliver Connolly]

Further to comments by Oliver Connolly yesterday that he will neither comment nor ‘not validate, either by way of confirmation or repudiation, the contents of an alleged transcript unlawfully procured’.

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties writes:

“The ICCL is somewhat bemused by the suggestion from the former Confidential Recipient Oliver Connolly that the law “prevents” his commentary on “any confidential report or discussions” held while he occupied his former role.

The An Garda Síochána (Confidential Reporting of Corruption or Malpractice) Regulations 2007 (SI 168 of 2007) to which Mr Connolly refers contain protections for the identity of a whistleblower. However, the regulations do not address the situation of a whistleblower such as Sergeant Maurice McCabe who has voluntarily disclosed his identity and chosen to waive the confidentiality of an alleged conversation with Oliver Connolly.

Moreover, it is hard to understand how the law could “prevent” Mr Connolly from repudiating statements attributed to him in Sergeant McCabe’s transcript if those statements were not made. Legally and logically, a statement that was not made could not possibly be covered either by the 2007 Regulations or the Official Secrets Act 1963 (as amended).”

ICCL comment on recent statement by Mr Oliver J. Connolly, former Garda Confidential Recipient (ICCL)

ollie[Oliver Connolly]

A statement released this afternoon by former Garda recipient Oliver J Connolly in “Respect of Recent Events Concerning the Office of An Garda Síochána Confidential Recipient”.

Grab a tay.

1. Political Advantage?

During the past number of weeks, I have been subject to a concentrated attack by certain members of Dáil Éireann. These individuals, in a naked political attempt to embarrass a Minister for Justice whom they oppose, have selectively extracted lines from an unverified transcript of a confidential conversation between a serving member of An Garda Síochána and myself, acting in my former role of Confidential Recipient.

Last week the attack shifted from selectively extracting lines of an alleged transcript to carelessly flouting hearsay regarding another confidential conversation between a female member of An Garda Síochána and myself as former Confidential Recipient. Again, all in an effort to discredit the Minister and to imply a conspiracy to frustrate efforts to report alleged acts of wrongdoing and/or misconduct in An Garda Síochána. I find the posturing by some senior opposition political figures to be particularly disturbing.

They, of all people, would be aware of the implications of [Geradine] Kennedy V Ireland, where under a previous Fianna Fáil administration, a journalist was found to have been illegally taped and her constitutional rights infringed. That case, for the first time in Irish law, enshrined the individual’s right of privacy within the un-enumerated rights of our constitution.

Even if they have no regard for Irish statutory protections afforded to the confidentiality of discussions by confidential reporters or informants with the Confidential Recipient, they might at least respect my personal expectation of a constitutional right of privacy attaching to any such discussions.

I find myself allegedly taped by a serving member of An Garda Síochána without my consent and these opposition politicians, in a very misguided attempt to secure some perceived political advantage, are only too happy to provide the greatest exposure to an unlawful recording and, by their so doing, trample over my rights and, by extension, those of my family.
The publication of selective excerpts from alleged transcripts of statutorily confidential meetings, twisting excerpts for political gain, and hurling accusations without context are not characteristic of a functioning parliamentary democracy that respects the rule of law.

How can our politicians expect to retain the respect of the people if, using the cloak of parliamentary privilege, they openly and intentionally violate or infringe the constitutional rights of individuals for political advantage?

2. The Irish Print and Broadcast Media

Some in the Irish media, in their quest for salacious and attention grabbing headlines, have failed to provide ‘fair and balanced’ and ‘objective’ reporting on the matter and I have witnessed in many articles an incomplete and questionable account of the matters, indicative of the hunger of some in journalism for headlines not truth. Others within the Irish media have, indeed, provided such balance and objectivity and, to you, my family and I are deeply grateful; we thank you sincerely.

3. The Law Prevents my Commentary on Any Confidential Report or

For those who truly know me, you will be aware that my silence thus far runs counter to every fibre of my being. I would like nothing more than to present the objective facts surrounding these recent events. My honour, my good name, my professional competence and integrity, my privacy as an ordinary citizen have been impugned. Who among us would not wish to respond fully?
People have speculated about silence. It is a common belief that I have a choice and that I have chosen not to respond. That is not the case. Despite everything that has occurred, I have a duty not to disclose, acknowledge, or otherwise comment about any confidential reporter, confidential report, or any meeting arising out of a confidential report or, indeed, any meeting with a confidential informant where that informant may decide not to submit a report.
The statutory instrument under which I was appointed precludes me. My activities while holding that office are subject to the An Garda Síochána (Confidential Reporting of Corruption or Malpractice) Regulations 2007 (SI 168 of 2007) made pursuant to the An Garda Síochána Act 2005.
The Confidential Recipient is also subject, inter alia, to the provisions of the Official Secrets Act, 1963, as amended. It was and shall remain my understanding that all discussions held with a confidential reporter (or with a confidential informant) and myself, in my former role as confidential recipient, were held in confidence.
But, in a larger sense, the trust placed in me demands that I respect that confidentiality-though others have not and currently do not. What was said or not said during a confidential meeting must, from my perspective, remain confidential. I remain steadfast in respecting the obligations of the office I held.

These obligations, I should note, survive my tenure in office. However, without infringing the law or my conscience, I believe that I can say that I am satisfied that I discharged my former statutory duties both to ‘the principal whistleblower’and also to the female member of An Garda Síochána who is the subject of last week’s speculation.

I believe that they each reported to me in good faith and, crucially it was also my belief that they had reported to me in confidence and that our discussions were subject to the strictest confidentiality. In respect of each of those Garda, I submitted their confidential reports pursuant to the An Garda Síochána (Confidential Reporting of Corruption or Malpractice) Regulations to the correct person required for receipt of that particular confidential report. I am satisfied that I did as much as my former office enabled me to do to pursue properly their concerns.

3. The End Does Not Justify ‘Any’ Means to Accomplish It

I believe that I reached an understanding of many of the concerns of the principal whistleblower and I also believe that I possess some understanding of the principal whistleblower’s frustrations.
However, for the principal whistleblower to come to what was a statutorily confidential meeting for both parties and proceed to allegedly record our meeting without my notice and then actively seek to publish, in and/or outside Dáil Éireann, an alleged transcription of that recording of our discussion I consider as a very serious breach of confidence.
There is also a personal sense of betrayal in that the principal whistleblower felt it necessary to vindicate his rights by infringing my rights and, by extension, the privacy of my family. The ends do not always justify any means. One must not become so focused on a goal that it is pursued at all costs. We might accomplish our goal, but in doing so cause unnecessary and regrettable damage to the constitutional rights of others and to the rule of law itself; ironically, the very thing the principal whistleblower seeks to uphold.

4. Being Relieved of My Office

I have been asked to comment on the Minister for Justice’s decision to relieve me of my duties in office. The Minister and An Taoiseach have acted as they have in relieving me of my position. So be it.

As I explained repeatedly to the Secretary-General of the Department of Justice when invited to repudiate the alleged transcript, I should not have been required to validate and I shall not validate, either by way of confirmation or repudiation, the contents of an alleged transcript unlawfully procured.

Also, for the same reasons as I have outlined above, I am precluded from commenting on the contents of the alleged transcript because to so comment would require me to violate the confidentiality of the reporting process and of the office itself. I have a particular understanding of the reforming zeal of which the Minister is possessed, indeed, much of it I share, and I also acutely understand the particular challenges he faces.

The Minister is often misunderstood and strange as it may seem to some, despite recent events, I remain an enthusiastic supporter of the Minister in his programme of reform. However, I would remind the Minister and, indeed, An Taoiseach, as I am bound to do, I shall continue to preserve the confidentiality of the outgoing Office of Confidential Recipient even if, as it now appears, I am the only one to do so.

5. Seeking Justice and Truth

The recent events have brought to the forefront of Irish public discourse the potential need to reform the structure and good functioning of An Garda Síochána within the wider frame of good governance in this State. That assuredly is a good thing, which I welcome. Indeed, the only solace I find in the recent distress inflicted on myself and my family is the fact that we, as a people, have begun a frank and open discussion about improving
the administration of justice in the State.
Further, any hurt and damage that my family or I may have felt by recent events is of little consequence if this episode can actually contribute to a greater transparency and accountability in Irish policing, so enhancing the confidence of the Irish public in An Garda Síochána. Perhaps too it may contribute to a greater clarity for the victims of crime and their families where it is found that there has been related Garda wrongdoing and/or
misconduct in the policing of such crime.
I wish this particular Minister every success in the continuing ‘Reformation’ of the model and administration of Irish justice, and now that the ‘Troika’ has left our shores this might be the time to include Irish policing as a new priority within that Reformation.

Thank you.

Oliver J Connolly

Previously: Garda Confidential


[From top: Mullingar Garda Station and Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe]

A rally of support for Garda whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe will be held outside Mullingar Garda Station, College Street, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, next Thursday at 6.30pm. organised  by the group Justice 4 All.

Previously: Over To You, Oliver

Pics: RTÉ and Photocall Ireland

oliver[Oliver Connolly and Alan Shatter]

The issue had been raised in the Dáil yesterday by Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness who said a female member of An Garda had contacted him about the issue. The Carlow-Kilkenny TD said the confidential recipient Oliver Connolly told her “the last man who used the service was now washing cars in Navan”.Mr Shatter said however the only knowledge he had of the issue was what Mr McGuinness said yesterday and on RTÉ radio this morning. “I don’t have knowledge of the conversations the confidential recipient has with members of An Garda Síochána, ” he told Fianna Fáil justice spokesman Niall Collins.

Shatter had ‘no knowledge’ of Garda claims of sex harassment (irish Times)

“I find the whole thing a complete mystery, I have absolutely no idea what Mr. Connolly was thinking.
“To be quite frank with you, I’m utterly astonished at some of the commentary that has now come into the public arena. I don’t understand why he conducted himself in that way.”

Shatter ‘astonished’ at comments by Oliver Connolly to whistleblower (Highland Radio)

(Photocall Ireland)


[Alan Shatter and Mick Wallace on Prime Time in May 2013 where Mr Shatter disclosed details from Gardai sources of an apparent traffic violation by Mr Wallace]

Independent TD Mick Wallace spoke to Pat Kenny on Newstalk this morning about the Garda whistleblowers Sgt Maurice McCabe and John Wilson and the sacking of Confidential Recipient, Oliver Connolly – in light of Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin telling the Dáil yesterday that he has documents which show cases of abduction, assault, rape and murder have not been properly investigated by members of the Gardaí.

They also spoke about a group he has formed with fellow TDs Joan Collins, Clare Daly and Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, called Justice 4 All – which has held a series of public meetings over the last year to allow members of the public, who had concerns about Garda behaviour, to raise their concerns.

It followed an interview that Mr Kenny held with taxi driver Mary Lynch who was violently assaulted by Jerry McGrath in Virginia, Co. Cavan in April 2007. McGrath got bail and went on to try an abduct a five-year-old child in Tipperary in October 2007. When McGrath went before a court in Clonmel, the court was never told about the Cavan assault charge and he got bail again. In December 2007, he killed mother-of-two Silvia Roche Kelly.

Ms Lynch told Pat Kenny she felt ‘guilty’ over Ms Kelly’s death as she feels Ms Kelly would be alive if Ms Lynch had been investigated correctly.

At the end of Mr Kenny’s interview with Mr Wallace, Mr Kenny asked why he didn’t go public with allegations of Garda misconduct sooner – to Mr Wallace’s shock, given he first told the Dáil how Mr Connolly warned Sgt Maurice McCabe “If Shatter thinks you’re screwing him, you’re finished” on December 4, 2012.

Mick Wallace: “John Wilson is a young man. He’s been forced out of the place. Maurice McCabe works under a terrible stress – it’s mad stuff and the minister, you would think, given that we say that we want to bring Ireland to a place where there’s more accountability and transparency, we have seen 18 months, it’s an unbelievable list of…”

Talk over each other

Wallace: “Diminishing, dismissing have been the order of the day for 18 months.”

Pat Kenny: “You mentioned the [inaudible] meeting in the Red Cow, you’ve had subsequent meetings in the Red Cow or elsewhere..”

Wallace: “In the Red Cow aswell…”

Kenny: “In the Red Cow aswell.”

Wallace: “There’s actually been five meetings at this stage and there’s a committee being formed with no politicians on it and they are pursuing episodes, they’re getting some legal people to work for free and they are trying to help people to actually achieve justice. We have a massive problem in how our police force operates and there isn’t oversight and the notion that the Commissioner and the Force are answerable to the Dáil – you and I know is rubbish.”

Kenny: “Do you see any of this stuff as being deliberately maligned or is it simply incompetence?”

Wallace: “It’s funny but I actually thought, I really believed that…Minister Shatter is a very able individual, he’s very strong and very intelligent – I actually thought that he would have an appetite for putting things right, I really did and I have been shocked when I look back..only lately, we’ve actually done a litany, we’ve looked at the last 18 months have thrown up and the manner in which everything that challenges his political position has been minimised and dismissed at the expense of innocent people, the expense of people who feel that they haven’t got justice is…”

Kenny: “A quote for Mr Justice [Peter] Smithwick: ‘loyalty above truth’, and I mean, is that really the infection that is right throughout the Force and maybe through the body politic and, you know, you look at the scandal that would be given if the Garda force was seeing to be either so malign or incompetent or indeed corrupt in some places – that that’s the appalling vista to which no minister wants to go. So it is better to try and shut everything down and maybe quietly reform, rather than have all this dirty linen washed out in public? I mean that might be a kind way to view this?”

Wallace: “When GSOC published the Kieran Boylan report in the summer, they were very damning of how the police force was operating, they were very damning about the fact that they broke all the rules in terms of accessing information and denying them cooperation and they did say that it looks like the situation that the Morris Tribunal addressed, that nothing had changed. And the blue wall of silence was still very strong.”

Kenny: “What do you want to happen and what do you expect to happen, vis-a-vis the Minister and the Commissioner?

Wallace: “Well, we designed a police bill last summer and we argued that unless there’s a buffer between the minister and the Garda Commissioner, you cannot have proper oversight – there is no buffer there, there’s no, we do need an independent police board, we do need an oversight body, with real power that can look at the policies, patterns and procedures and if we had a police board they would be involved with GSOC with the Garda Commissioner, with the Force and with the Minister. It’s international best practice. We didn’t invent this. Vicky Conway and Dr Dermot Walsh have written all this. We’ve learned from them, we’ve read their books and we saw what was best practice. We looked at what’s happening in other parts of the developed world…”

Kenny: “Would you be happy if the current minister stayed in his job, would you be happy if the current commissioner stayed in his?”

Wallace: “To be dead honest, Pat, after the last 18 months, I do not find either of them fit for office.”

Kenny: “Finally, you’re own and Clare Daly’s regrets maybe. And about maybe not going public with the case of the taxi driver (Mary Lynch), the abduction, the murder even in Limerick: going public with it sooner.”

Wallace: “Eh, I can tell you…”

Kenny: “Cause it’s mystifying that you didn’t go…”

Wallace: “Clare Daly raised a number of the stories that Maurice and John brought to us and nobody took any notice. The whistleblower, the confidential recipient, a man’s head has fallen – and a bit unfairly in lots of ways. Oliver Connolly, Maurice was the one who met him and Maurice would argue for his integrity and his honesty but ultimately…”

Kenny: “Do you think his remark about Shatter therefore, Minister Shatter, was just Oliver Connolly being honest his own personal assessment of Mr Shatter, rather than saying this is chapter and verse, this is what he believed about Minister Shatter.”

Wallace: “The confidential recipient was working for the Minister and the Garda Commissioner really and I mean he was only doing what he could. But I quoted that in the Dáil on the 4th of December, 2012 and, just like the stories that..Ming Flanagan has brought some stories in there,  Joan Collins did, Clare Daly did and there was no interest shown in them. And if you think this is not an isolated case that you just heard this morning, there are hundreds of these unfortunately.”


“I’ll tell you something Maurice and this is just personal advice to you. If Shatter thinks your screwing him, you’re finished.”

Oliver Connolly (top) to Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe, February 12, 2012.

Point of contact for garda whistleblowers sacked (RTE)

Previously: Garda Confidential

The Role Of The Garda Recipient

How The New Politics Works


In the Dáil yesterday, during the second stage of the Protected Disclosures Bill 2012, Independent TD Mick Wallace read into record sections from a transcript between Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe and the Garda Confidential Recipient, Oliver Connolly.

The conversation between Sgt McCabe and Mr Connolly took place two years ago.

Mick Wallace: “It is frightening. Just to read two lines from it: ‘I tell you something, Maurice, and this is just personal advice to you, if [Justice Minister Alan] Shatter thinks you’re screwing him, you’re finished.’ Another line: ‘If Shatter thinks – ‘here’s this guy again, trying another route, trying to put pressure’ – he’ll go after you’. He’ll go after you? Our Minister for Justice? What is going on?”

Meanwhile, Sgt McCabe’s request to obtain a transcript of his private meeting with the Public Accounts Committee last week was discussed at a meeting of the PAC this morning.

And Daniel McConnell tweetz (read from bottom up):


Garda whistleblower wants copy of private penalty points testimony, but PAC unlikely to give it to him (Independent.ie)