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Whistleblower to seek rewrite of Dail record

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Whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe. Photo: Tom Burke

Whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe. Photo: Tom Burke

Whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe. Photo: Tom Burke

GARDA whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe intends to write to Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett over controversial remarks made about him by Justice Minister Alan Shatter in the Dail.

Mr Shatter has faced calls to apologise to Sgt McCabe after he accused the serving officer of refusing to cooperate with the penalty points inquiry.

The Herald understands that Sgt McCabe will write to Mr Barrett's office and request that he corrects the Dail record.

Precarious

The move by Sgt McCabe will place Mr Barrett in a precarious position and may force him to scrutinise the minister's remarks, which were made in the Dail last year.

It is understood that Sgt McCabe has taken legal advice over the claim that he failed to cooperate with the garda inquiry into the alleged quashing of penalty points.

He is also taking advice over remarks made at the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) by Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.

Mr Callinan accused Sgt McCabe of "quite disgusting" behaviour after he made allegations of widespread abuse of the penalty points system.

The handling of Sgt McCabe's allegations continues to dominate political discussion and has led to calls for both Mr Shatter and Mr Callinan to resign.

However, Transport Minister Leo Varadkar yesterday claimed some of Sgt McCabe's allegations on penalty points were "false" and "exaggerated".

"Every allegation isn't true and just because somebody made an allegation that was true once doesn't mean that every allegation they make is true," he told Marian Finucane on RTE radio.

"A lot of what he has said has turned out to be true, and as a result of that a number of gardai have been disciplined and the rules have changed around the way gardai administer the penalty points system, so he's done us some service.

"He also made allegations that weren't true – there were cases of mistaken identity."

He said Sgt McCabe accepted not all his allegations were true.

"Sgt McCabe made an allegation against an innocent person that they had their penalty points terminated and they didn't. It was somebody with the same name in the town," said the minister.

Babies

"And he also made other allegations around people who were killed in the road who had penalty points previously, which turned out to be exaggerated."

Meanwhile, Fianna Fail TD John McGuinness, chairman of the PAC, claimed records of 16-day-old babies are placed on the garda PULSE system.

But sources last night insisted age does not play a factor in records going on the system.

NOCONNOR@HERALD.IE


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