Friday 24 November 2017

Full inquiry into whistleblower allegations an "option" for Government

Whistleblower Garda Sgt Maurice McCabe
Whistleblower Garda Sgt Maurice McCabe

The Government is keeping the option open of extending the review of allegations by a Garda whistleblower into a fully fledged Commission of Investigation

The Coalition is to set up a new inquiry into allegations of Garda mismanagement of serious cases, some involving murder, abduction and assault.

The initial scoping exercise by a barrister is designed to assess the investigations into the cases raised by Sergeant Maurice McCabe.

If the assessment throws up further issues, an investigation under the Commission of Investigation Act, 2005, will be launched.

At today's Cabinet meeting, a number of ministers raised the point that a wider investigation may yet be required, if necessary.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan was among the ministers to forcefully make the point.

"The option is open to a Commission of Investigation," a source said.

A Senior Counsel is to be appointed to examine the dossier of allegations from garda whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe.

The allegations were handed to Taoiseach Enda Kenny by Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin.

The Cabinet has decided to set up the new inquiry on foot of public unease about the ongoing garda controversies.

Ministers discussed what course of action to undertake on foot of separate reports from Justice Minister Alan Shatter and Mr Kenny.

Mr Shatter set out the chronology of events around the whistleblower making the allegations to the Department of Justice - and the response in each case.

Mr Kenny reported on the individuals allegations after having them examined by senior officials and the Attorney General.

By Fionnan Sheahan

Online Editors

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