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Wednesday 17 September 2014

Callinan issued directive telling two garda 'whistleblowers' to co-operate fully with investigation

Published 24/02/2014 | 17:31

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Martin Callinan

Verbal instructions were given on behalf of Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan to two garda “whistleblowers” to co-operate fully with an investigation into the quashing of penalty points.

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The directive was issued by Mr Callinan on December 14, 2012, after the authorities had become aware of the identities of the two men, making the allegations.

Their identities became known when a sergeant in the Cavan-Monaghan division spotted John Wilson downloading information from the confidential Pulse computer system.

This information, which was confirmed last year by Mr Callinan to the Dail public accounts committee, contradicts claims in the Dail by Opposition TDs, who disputed a statement by Justice Minister Alan Shatter that the other whistleblower, Sgt Maurice McCabe had failed to co-operate with the investigation.

Mr Callinan told the Dail committee that after he was informed of the incident in the Cavan-Monaghan division, he sought advice and then issued a directive to his force that anybody, who had information about wrongdoing or malpractice in the force in relation to penalty points, should inform the investigation team, led by Assistant Commissioner John O’Mahony and anybody, who had illegal possession of confidential records, should return them.

That directive was circulated by senior officers in each division to all members of the force serving there and was read out by officers to each of the whistleblowers.

Sgt McCabe became ill later that month and was on sick leave for several months.

During that time members of the investigation team attempted to make contact with him but were unable to talk him about their inquiries.

In the meantime, the penalty point complaints, which had been made anonymously, were investigated by Mr O’Mahony and a report completed on them for Mr Callinan.

Subsequently, Sgt McCabe contacted the investigation team, who agreed to meet him. But that meeting was never held.

Separate allegations made by Sgt McCabe in relation to garda misconduct and incompetence, were subjected to another investigation, led by a separate assistant commissioner.

The gardai took 11 statements from Sgt McCabe and the investigation ended with a file, comprising 10 volumes and covering eight modules, being sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The DPP subsequently determined there was no evidence to warrant a criminal prosecution.

A separate investigation was carried out by the Garda internal audit and professional standards unit on the direction of Mr Callinan, and it found there had been breaches of process and procedures when they examined the complaints lodged by Sgt McCabe.

These resulted in disciplinary action being taken against several members of the force and some of them were transferred to other stations.

Tom Brady, Security Editor

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