RETIRED Garda Sergeant Maurice McCabe says he is glad to have reported the garda penalty points scandal and things have changed as a result.
Garda whistleblower Mr McCabe was speaking as he accepted a special recognition award from the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and was commended for his work by Transport Minister Shane Ross.
Minister Ross said Mr McCabe’s work in exposing the penalty points scandal was “so courageous” and said that full confidence in the system has been restored.
“He rescued the real credibility of the penalty points system by what he did,” Mr Ross said.
“This is a really wonderful man and this is a wonderful man who had the courage to take on the system, he took on official Ireland and eventually he won.
“But when you think of the suffering he went through to get there, you just have to do nothing but admire his courage.
“That man hasn’t had a normal life, for I don’t know, 10 years,” Mr Ross added.
Reacting to the award, Mr McCabe said “it’s great, I’m very happy, I didn’t expect it”.
Despite what he went through Mr McCabe says he has no regrets about coming forward in the manner he did to highlight issues in the force.
“It has changed, it certainly has changed. I’m glad that I reported it and raised back in 2012, it has changed,” he added.
RSA chairperson, Liz O’Donnell said Mr McCabe was nominated by a member of the public.
“In terms of the penalty points issue, he has ensure that drivers who break the law and who deserve the imposition of penalty points on their licence actually receive them,” Ms O’Donnell said.
“What was happening in the past – which was an abuse of power – there was a discretionary cancellation of penalty points which was inappropriate and he was very brave in calling out this bad behaviour amongst his colleagues, brought it to the attention of the authorities and it was a very difficult course of travel for him and I think in the end he was vindicated by the Charleton commission,” she added.