independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Garda Commissioner – No legal action against Garda whistleblower

Commissioner will not attempt to stop evidence before PAC

Martin Callinan

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has “reservations” about the decision of the Dail public accounts committee to hear evidence about the quashing of penalty points from one of the two whistleblowers, serving sergeant Maurice McCabe.

Sgt McCabe is due to give his evidence to the committee in a private session tomorrow.

The commissioner said this afternoon that despite his reservations, he believed it would not be in the public interest, in all circumstances, to pursue the question of legal proceedings against the committee.

“Were that action to succeed, it could have consequences that extend well beyond the present case”, he added.

He said he had every respect for the role of the committee and had no doubt it would act strictly in accordance with the legal advice it had received in dealing with the issue.

While he continued to have reservations, he said he noted that the meeting was being held in private and that it appeared to be the intention to confine the questioning of the person concerned and, in particular, that person would not be able to make allegations against his colleagues or members of the public.

At a public meeting of the committee last week, Mr Callinan said it was disgusting that unsubstantiated allegations of corruption should be made against senior members of the force and against members of the public without anybody being given an opportunity to defend themselves against the claims.

Ultimately, he said the decision by Justice Minister Alan Shatter to ask the Ombudsman Commission to investigate the allegations was correct and the gardai would co-operate fully with it and learn any lessons that emerged from its findings.

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