Kenny shakes hands with whistleblower Garda McCabe
TAOISEACH Enda Kenny yesterday shook hands for the first time with garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe.
The brief encounter on a traffic island in Mullingar, Co Westmeath, stunned onlookers as Mr Kenny met the sergeant, pictured above, whose allegations of garda misconduct led to a planned reform of the justice system.
The Taoiseach was canvassing with by-election candidate Gabrielle McFadden when he noticed Sgt McCabe directing traffic in the Market Square.
Mr Kenny walked over to the serving garda, shook his hand and wished him well.
A shocked Sgt McCabe responded cordially and resumed his work.
Mr Kenny told the Dail last week he would have no problem apologising to Sgt McCabe – but he did not use yesterday's meeting as an opportunity to follow through on that commitment.
A Fine Gael spokeswoman said the meeting was completely coincidental and Mr Kenny did little more than say hello. "Plain and simple they had a handshake, and the Taoiseach wished him well," she said.
The chance meeting comes less than three weeks after former Justice Minister Alan Shatter resigned, the day before the publication of the Guerin Report.
The report outlined how successive justice ministers and senior gardai failed to listen to Sgt McCabe's claims that serious crimes were not investigated properly in Cavan and Monaghan.