Sunday 18 February 2018

Whistleblower given high praise in Guerin report

Whistleblower Garda Sgt. Maurice McCabe
Whistleblower Garda Sgt. Maurice McCabe

Shane Phelan Public Affairs Editor

GARDA whistleblower Maurice McCabe received ringing endorsements from superior officers at a time when he was allegedly being victimised by some members of the force.

The Guerin Report contains a number of commendations Sgt McCabe received from supervisory officers.

Yet the report finds that the former Justice Minister Alan Shatter, the garda hierarchy and the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission should have done more to heed his complaints.

While the substance of the allegations made by Sgt McCabe were not investigated as part of the Guerin Report, what shines through from the document is that his motivation in making them cannot be called into question.

Its author, barrister Sean Guerin, stated that the time he spent with Sgt McCabe examining his complaints led him to conclude that the officer had "no malice" in making his complaints.

He also noted positive comments made by senior gardai about Sgt McCabe.

Among these were comments made by Chief Supt Gabriel McIntyre, who had responsibility for Bailieboro garda district between 2003 and 2010.

"I found Sgt McCabe to be very positive and energetic in his position. He displayed a strong work ethic with a strong emphasis in community policing and (on) providing a high standard of policing to the community," Chief Supt McIntyre said.

The report also records Det Supt Eugene Corcoran as saying: "I found Sgt McCabe to be capable and enthusiastic in his approach to his duties.

HARD-WORKING

"At all times I found him to be efficient . . . I would assess his performance very positively. In my experience he was hard-working and efficient," Det Supt Corcoran said.

"He understood the need to keep the District Officer advised of all matters requiring attention at superintendent level . . . I found him to be very interested in his work and in ensuring that matters were attended to promptly."

Other senior officers made similar remarks.

Despite these endorsements, the report outlines quite clearly how Sgt McCabe's career suffered as a result of his complaints against colleagues.

He was accused at one point of losing a computer which had been seized as part of a child-sex investigation. Disciplinary action was initiated, but he was later exonerated.

Irish Independent

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