Thursday 23 May 2019

Tribunal to examine more garda complaints

Garda Keith Harrison. Picture: Collins
Garda Keith Harrison. Picture: Collins
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

The Disclosures Tribunal may embark on further investigations into the treatment of Garda whistleblowers now that it has concluded hearings in relation to an alleged smear campaign against Sgt Maurice McCabe.

In a statement on its website, the tribunal said it was now gathering papers on a preliminary basis in relation to other whistleblower complaints.

The tribunal has already produced a report on claims made by Garda Keith Harrison and is currently preparing a report on several matters relating to Sgt McCabe.

The move to examine other whistleblower complaints is in line with the tribunal's final terms of reference.

This obliges it to consider any other complaints by a member of An Garda Síochána who made a protected disclosure prior to February 16, 2017, alleging wrongdoing in the force and who was targeted or discredited, with the knowledge or acquiescence of senior officers, as a result of highlighting their concerns.

It is understood a complaint made by Garda Nicky Keogh will be examined as part of this exercise.

The garda was named in the Dáil as having raised concerns with senior Garda management about alleged Garda collusion with a drugs gang.

Gda Keogh has alleged that after raising concerns he was subject to bullying and harassment.

However, should public hearings be required on this term of reference, they will not be chaired by current chairman Mr Justice Peter Charleton.

The statement said the hearing of such matters would be outside the current chairman's responsibility and a further announcement may be made.

Last November, the tribunal published a report rejecting allegations of serious misconduct against gardaí and Tusla staff made by Gda Harrison and his partner Marisa Simms.

Its report in relation to Sgt McCabe is expected to be delivered in October.

Irish Independent

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