Tuesday 16 January 2018

Whistleblower garda says he'll stay in the force

Sergeant who compiled penalty points dossier refuses to quit and stands by his allegations

PHILIP RYAN

THE garda whistleblower who compiled the controversial penalty points dossier will not quit the force and is standing behind all the allegations in his report.

The Midlands-based sergeant has been highlighting malpractice in his profession for five years, but is currently on stress-related sick leave following the national exposure surrounding the cancellation of penalty points.

A rank and file garda who lent his support to the senior officer in recent years said last weekend that he would be taking early retirement when he turns 50 in May. However, a source close to the sergeant said "he's not going to budge".

"He's done nothing wrong," said the source. "He'll fight them tooth and nail. All the evidence is there. He's not going to take early retirement – he loves the job, he just doesn't love all the malpractice."

The 51-year-old married father and his colleague have been restricted from accessing garda Pulse records since December following an order from Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.

Both men currently need supervision from a senior officer when accessing the computer system, which has caused tension in the stations where they are based.

Independent TD Clare Daly, who has led a campaign to expose alleged misuse of the Pulse system, said in December that the whistleblowers had faced intimidation since their claims became public.

"They were basically warned in the very strongest terms," said Ms Daly.

"They directed the gardai to desist from accessing Pulse and disclosing to third parties, even though they are lawfully entitled to speak to members of the Oireachtas. To us, this is an attempt at gagging. Those whistleblowers have been outed in their stations."

The sergeant first raised concerns about garda malpractice in 2008 when he contacted the commissioner's office. Last April, deciding he had failed to get an adequate response from within the force, the sergeant sent his report on quashed penalty points to Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Justice Minister Alan Shatter.

The report was also sent to the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission, the Data Protection Commissioner, the Road Safety Authority and several opposition TDs.

It has since formed the basis of an internal review of the Pulse system headed by Assistant Commissioner John O'Mahoney, who is due to report to Mr Shatter this week.

Irish Independent

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