Saturday 24 March 2018

Garda whistleblower is being 'ground down'

Sergeant claims he has been sanctioned in letter to Taoiseach

Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

The penalty-point whistleblower has written a letter to Taoiseach Enda Kenny claiming he is being "ground down to exhaustion" through "isolation and exclusion".

The garda sergeant sent the email last week after an invitation to discuss his allegations of malpractice in the force was ignored by Mr Kenny's office.

The correspondence follows the revelation that Transport Minister Leo Varadkar met the whistleblower and found his claims "very credible".

Mr Varadkar, along with the Road Safety Authority, have called for an independent investigation into the termination of penalty points following the findings of an internal garda review.

Mr Varadkar said: "I got the sense, in a lot of cases they (the gardai) were explaining away penalty point terminations that to the reasonable person seemed a little bit unusual."

He added: "The meeting with the garda whistleblower was a very useful meeting and interesting.

"I thought he was very credible, and I have to say a lot of what was in his original dossier and a lot of what he said to me turned out to be accurate."

Assistant Commissioner John O'Mahoney's report found no evidence of corruption in the force, however, three senior gardai face disciplinary action following a review of the whistleblower's allegations. It also found a number of gardai breached rules by cancelling points which were incurred outside their jurisdiction.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter was critical of the whistleblower on the day the report was published, saying many of his claims were "seriously inaccurate and without any foundation in fact, or else involved an incomplete understanding of the facts."

However, in a letter dated June 18, the garda stands by his claims and again asks to meet the Taoiseach to discuss his allegations.

"I again forcefully stress to you that our allegations are true, accurate and honest but for some reason you seem reluctant to see and/or hear our side of the story."

The midlands-based garda also said his position in the force had become untenable following what he called "sanction" by Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.

He said: "I cannot brief my unit members re stolen vehicles, burglaries, criminality or intelligence. I'm unaware of what criminals are floating in my area. I cannot check suspect persons or vehicles I come in contact with. I am slowly being ground down to exhaustion."

Irish Independent

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