independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

They 'destroyed' you, whistleblower McCabe told

WHISTLEBLOWER Maurice McCabe was told by Alan Shatter's garda confidante that he had been "destroyed" because of the allegations he made about malpractice in the force.

Oliver Connolly, who was sacked by the Justice Minister last week, told the garda sergeant he "believes" his claims that "hundreds of cases" were not being investigated properly.

The pair met in a hotel in Killiney, south Dublin, on February 9, 2012, to discuss the outcome of an investigation into a complaint Sgt McCabe made about the appointment of a senior officer by Commissioner Martin Callinan.

The Sunday Independent has obtained a recording of the conversation and had the tape transcribed by official court reporters.

It is during this conversation that Mr Connolly is heard telling the garda he is "finished" if Mr Shatter thinks he is "screwing him".

Mr Connolly adds: "If he thinks you, if he thinks or he is told by the commissioner or the gardai 'here's this guy again trying another route, trying to put pressure', he'll go after you."

Mr Connolly can also be heard telling the officer that "Alan studied" all the documents relating to the alleged negligence by gardai.

Sgt McCabe previously provided the confidential recipient with a detailed file of examples in which the promoted officer had failed to properly investigate serious crimes.

Mr Connolly says: "Shatter will have read your report in detail, I know he did, he communicated with me."

Mr Shatter then passed the complaint to the Garda Commissioner who decided there was no evidence to back up Sgt McCabe's allegations.

Later in the conversation, Mr Connolly tells the whistleblower he "believes" his claims.

He says: "I believe you. I think you have the evidence, they destroyed you, a man has only got his reputation. You were just standing up for what is right if you ask me."

Mr McCabe responds: "I did nothing wrong. I was only doing my job".

With pressure mounting from opposition deputies, who read sections of the conversation into the Dail record, Mr Shatter sacked the confidential recipient last week.

He said he was forced to relieve Mr Connolly of his duties because he did not deny the alleged conversation took place.

Mr Connolly is currently abroad with his wife and son "gathering" his thoughts, he said in a statement to the Sunday Independent.

However, he said he intended to address the controversy on his return.

He said: "As much as I can sense from where I am, there appears to be a little too much drama at the moment for my tastes and I would prefer to hold my fire.

"However, of this you can be certain, and in as much as I able and at liberty to do, I will respond to events at the appropriate time."

Sunday Independent

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