Wednesday 13 December 2017

'We were also bullied, reported to Tusla' - Second whistleblower demands inclusion in public inquiry

Garda Keith Harrison Photo: North West Newspix
Garda Keith Harrison Photo: North West Newspix
Stock picture
Garda whistleblower Keith Harrison issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon saying he shares Mr McCabe's "heartache"
Garda whistleblower Keith Harrison issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon saying he shares Mr McCabe's "heartache".
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

A second Garda whistleblower has demanded inclusion into the public inquiry investigating claims against Sgt Maurice McCabe, alleging a similar pattern of intimidation and reports to the child protection agency Tusla

Garda whistleblower Keith Harrison issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon saying he shares Mr McCabe's "heartache".

Garda whistleblower Keith Harrison issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon saying he shares Mr McCabe's
Garda whistleblower Keith Harrison issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon saying he shares Mr McCabe's "heartache"

"We have similarly suffered at the hands of An Garda Siochana, have been reported to TUSLA and have been ignored when we raised the issues with Government," he said.

"We hope that the McCabe family will get the truth and justice they deserve."

The Donegal-based Garda claimed that he and his partner have been subjected to harassment and surveillance, and alleges the surveillance is part of an ongoing campaign of harassment and unwarranted disciplinary procedures by members of the force after he arrested a colleague for suspected drink driving in 2009.

He said he has been writing to the Tánaiste since 2014 to bring his concerns to her attention, but never received a response "that gave us any hope".

"We believe our experience should have been considered by Mr Justice O'Neill in his scoping review. Mr Justice O'Neill came to the conclusion that the circumstances of the treatment of Sergeant McCabe were entirely unique, however we do not know what information, if any, Mr Justice O'Neill had regarding our treatment."

Mr Harrison said he will no longer "be ignored" as he has received "similar treatment to that suffered by the McCabes at the hands of An Garda Siochana and TUSLA".

"I demand that my case be included in any inquiry/Commission of Investigation by the Government and political establishment."

Mr Harrison was nominated for a Scott Medal for bravery in 2005, and said he was ambitious for his career as a member of the force - "but given what has happened to me these ambitions have long passed".

The statement was issued on behalf of himself and his partner Marisa Simms.

"It is our belief Senior Management within An Garda Siochana set out to attack and destroy our family because I sought to speak out about malpractice within the force," the statement adds.

"In doing so they tried to discredit me, and also reported 'concerns' regarding the wellbeing of my partner's children, leading to a TUSLA investigation, which investigation revealed no risk whatsover."

In a statement to Independent.ie Tusla said: "Tusla – Child and Family Agency does not comment on individual cases. This is to protect the privacy and wellbeing of the children and families with whom we work. Tusla screens and assesses all child protection concerns received in line with ‘Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children'."

Online Editors

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Also in this section