Tuesday 25 October 2016

High-ranking garda to make protected disclosure next week

Published 15/10/2016 | 02:30

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan: under fire Photo: Damien Eagers
Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan: under fire Photo: Damien Eagers

One of the most senior officers in An Garda Síochána will next week present a dossier to the Government detailing a set of serious allegations about the culture within the force.

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The high-ranking officer has been in consultation with a well-known Dublin law firm in relation to making a protected disclosure.

According to sources, the man will attack senior Garda management and highlight what he believes is the "dysfunctional" environment within Garda headquarters.

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan, who is under fire over the force's treatment of whistleblowers, has been made aware of her officer's intentions to submit a dossier under Section 42 of the Garda Síochána Act.

By using this section of the legislation, the report will go directly to Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald.

The decision by the officer to make a protected disclosure is significant given his seniority and good standing within the force.

The force is already reeling from the allegations made by Superintendent David Taylor. Supt Taylor has claimed he was ordered by senior management to attack the character of Sgt Maurice McCabe.

He also claimed that senior management ran a smear campaign against Sgt McCabe, which involved allegations being made about him to politicians, gardaí and members of the media.

Supt Taylor said Commissioner O'Sullivan was made personally aware of the campaign; however, she has denied that this was the case.

It's likely that the latest Garda dossier will be examined by retired High Court Judge Iarfhlaith O'Neill, who is also examining other protected disclosures.

Mr Justice O'Neill is due to report back to the Tánaiste in five weeks. It's expected a State inquiry will follow.

However, sources have expressed concern about the review given that Supt Taylor's mobile phones have been confiscated and are in the hands of senior gardaí.

Part of Supt Taylor's disclosure relates to the sending of text messages that detail the alleged smear campaign against Sgt MCabe.

Irish Independent

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