Wednesday 18 July 2018

Garda sorry for sending circular on probe

Ex-Chief Supt Colm Rooney. Picture: Collins
Ex-Chief Supt Colm Rooney. Picture: Collins

Gerard Cunningham

A former superintendent has apologised for sending a 2011 circular which stated an internal Garda inquiry into allegations of criminality and systemic failures in a local district had vindicated the professionalism of gardaí.

Retired Chief Supt Colm Rooney told the Charleton tribunal he wrote the letter after a meeting in June 2011 with then assistant commissioner Derek Byrne, who had just completed an investigation into complaints made by whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe.

The allegations focused around policing in the Baileboro Garda district in Co Cavan and were investigated by Mr Byrne and Chief Superintendent Terry McGinn.

Mr Rooney said that in June 2011, Mr Byrne told him the allegations made against him by Sgt McCabe were not upheld by his investigation and that he had identified no criminal conduct by any gardaí.

As a result of what Mr Byrne further told him, Mr Rooney sent out a circular to Garda stations in the Cavan-Monaghan division. The circular stated the investigation found no systemic failures identified in the management and administration of Baileboro Garda district and no evidence was found to substantiate alleged breaches of procedure.

Mr Rooney went on to say: "I would like to congratulate all members who served in Baileboro. The findings of the assistant commissioner vindicate the high standards and professionalism of the district force in Baileboro."

Yesterday, Mr Rooney told the tribunal these views were not a criticism of Sgt McCabe.

Mr Rooney said that in light of the findings of the O'Higgins Commission and of the investigation conducted by Sean Guerin SC, he now believed the views expressed in the July 2011 letter were "not appropriate".

"My vindication of the high standards was not warranted," he said.

Irish Independent

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