Friday 24 October 2014

Whistleblower McCabe makes new allegations against gardai

Published 21/04/2014 | 02:30

Whistleblower Garda Sgt Maurice McCabe. Picture: Tom Burke
Whistleblower Garda Sgt Maurice McCabe. Picture: Tom Burke

GARDA whistleblower Maurice McCabe has handed over hundreds of new allegations of garda misconduct to the independent investigation examining his complaints, the Irish Independent can reveal.

More than 200 alleged examples of falsification and deletion of garda records of incidents ranging from drug offences to dangerous driving are now being examined by senior counsel Sean Guerin.

In a dossier given to the inquiry, Sgt McCabe, claims gardai deliberately altered official records to hide dereliction of duty. The new information also alleges dozens of innocent people were wrongly added to garda records for crimes they did not commit.

Sgt McCabe claims disqualified motorists caught driving dangerously escaped conviction because gardai changed or in some cases deleted files from the Garda Pulse System.

People found in possession of drugs also avoided punishment because gardai did not follow up incidents and later altered records, according to Sgt McCabe. The dossier given to Mr Guerin is understood to include files relating to driving offences, public order offences and breaches of liquor licensing laws. The falsification of official garda records was one of the 10 points highlighted in the original dossier given to Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Mr Kenny appointed Mr Guerin after he received Sgt McCabe's allegations from Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin.

Mr Guerin was given scope to widen his investigation but it was primarily based on the original set of allegations.

The initial allegations include questions over the release of Jerry McGrath on bail twice before he murdered Sylvia Roche-Kelly.

Sgt McCabe alleges colleagues tried to scapegoat him for releasing McGrath on bail after he seriously assaulted taxi driver Mary Lynch Sgt McCabe said he was not working the day McGrath was released.

The allegations also include the mishandling of serious assault cases and kidnapping investigations.

In recent weeks, Sgt McCabe met with Mr Guerin three times and handed over evidence to back up his allegations of misconduct and negligence of duty.

The review of his allegations is likely to be completed on time and Mr Guerin will report back to the Taoiseach next week.

Mr Guerin can recommend a Commission of Investigation if he feels gardai did not adequately probe the crimes highlighted by Sgt McCabe.

Sgt McCabe raised some of the issues currently being investigated with former confidential recipient Oliver Connolly two years ago. The allegations were given to Justice Minister Alan Shatter, who in turn gave them to former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan to examine.

TAPING

Mr Callinan ruled that there was no case to answer, as the majority of the allegations were investigated by senior gardai when Sgt McCabe previously raised the matters six years ago.

Mr Callinan retired as commissioner last month, hours before the Government announced a Commission of Investigation into the widespread taping of non-emergency phone calls in garda stations.

A government spokesman said the Taoiseach was waiting for Mr Guerin's report before he comments on the matter.

Mr Guerin said he did not wish to comment.

Irish Independent

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