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Friday 29 August 2014

100 new allegations of garda misconduct, claims whistleblower

Philip Ryan

Published 12/06/2014 | 11:03

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Garda whistleblower John Wilson
Garda whistleblower John Wilson

A SUPPORT group chaired by garda whistleblower John Wilson claims it received 100 complaints from people alleging they are victims of garda malpractice.

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Voluntary group Justice4All last night met with Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald to discuss the increasing number of complaints it was receiving.

Speaking to the independent.ie, Mr Wilson said he hoped the allegations would be examined by a Commission of Investigation.

“We are just a voluntary organisation, we have no resources and we need assistance,” he added.

“A forum will have to be set-up to review these allegations. A Commission of Investigation would be the most appropriate way to deal with these allegations but scoping will have to be done first.”

He added: “Apart from ourselves other members of the Oireachtas have been approached by people making complaints. We are currently dealing with in the region of 100 files.

These range from malicious prosecutions, statements fabricated by gardai and murders not investigated.”

The group asked former Justice Minister Alan Shatter to examine their allegations last year but were not happy with his response and forwarded the complaints to the Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Mr Kenny has since given almost three dozen files to Ms Fitzgerald to examine.

Independent TDs Clare Daly and Mick Wallace, who were involved in setting up Justice4All, also attended the meeting.

Ms Fitzgerald refused to meet anyone who had an on-going case being investigated by either An Garda Siochana or the Garda Ombudsman.

At last night’s meeting, the group recommended that the new Garda Commissioner should be hired from outside the force.

They also suggested that the Garda Ombudsman should be given more powers but former members of the force should be prohibited from joining.

The meeting was the first time a Minister for Justice met with either of the garda whistleblowers whose claims of malpractice led to sweeping changes to the justice system.

Mr Wilson and his colleague Sgt Maurice McCabe’s concerns about the penalty points system led to three separate investigations and resulted in disciplinary procedures for three senior gardai.

Mr Wilson retired from the force last year claiming his position was no longer tenable due to bullying and harassment.

Sgt McCabe is currently serving in Mullingar Garda Station in Westmeath but has lodged a series of complaints about his treatment in the force.

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