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Thursday 21 August 2014

Minister to meet with ex-officer 'who blew the whistle'

Philip Ryan

Published 10/06/2014 | 02:30

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Frances Fitzgerald
Frances Fitzgerald
John Wilson

JUSTICE Minister Frances Fitzgerald will tomorrow meet garda whistleblower John Wilson.

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This is the first time a Justice Minister will speak with either of the whistleblowers whose allegations of garda misconduct led to a complete overhaul of the justice system.

Mr Wilson's garda colleague Sergeant Maurice McCabe will not attend the meeting as he is a serving member of the force.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Mr Wilson said he was looking forward to speaking with Ms Fitzgerald and hoped there would a positive outcome.

"I'm glad the minister arranged to meet me and I look forward to engaging with her in the future," he said.

Mr Wilson is meeting the Justice Minister to discuss allegations made to her office by the group Justice4All.

The Irish Independent first reported in March that the department received 24 signed affidavits from the victim support group.

The allegations include claims of garda harassment and intimidation, along with claims that serious crimes were not being properly investigated.

One of the most shocking claims came from retired doctor Richard O'Flaherty who claimed a disabled boy was stripped naked and whipped while in garda custody.

Former Justice Minister Alan Shatter responded to the group before he resigned earlier this year but those who got a response felt it was not adequate.

Serious

Fearing their grievances were not properly examined by Mr Shatter, the group sent the affidavits to Taoiseach Enda Kenny who described the allegations as "very serious".

Mr Kenny passed the allegations back to Ms Fitzgerald who will now investigate the claims.

Mr Wilson, chairman of Justice4All, hopes the group will receive state funding and become a recognised a support group. The group was set-up by MEP Luke 'Ming' Flanagan and TDs Clare Daly, Mick Wallace and Joan Collins.

Mr Wilson retired from the force two years ago after he and Sgt McCabe raised concerns about the penalty points system.

Irish Independent

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