The Garda whistleblower incident does not close in turn it assumes outrageous proportions. An end is not in sight and Irish politics is on the brick at a crossway. The population in Ireland is disordered and the question of whose fault it is could not be clarified yet.
The sad truth about Ireland’s institutions
The story of Maurice McCabe is a disgrace for several Irish institutions including the Garda, the Tusla and lastly the government itself. It all began when former Sgt Maurice McCabe made several allegations of Garda malpractices. After Mr. McCabe leaked documents to support his thesis which was denied by the Garda itself, he did not just lose his job he was also accused by the Tusla, the state’s child protection agency, which claimed allegations of sexual assault against Mr. McCabe. Not only was the claim a “clerical error”, it was also passed on to the Garda. After judge O’Neill investigated, he stated that the accusations made by Mr. McCabe are well- grounded and show significant failures of the Garda. Today, Mr. McCabe believes he was the subject of an organised campaign to discredit him by senior Garda as a result of the whistleblowing claims that he made.
Accusations and the role of the Government
Exceptional in the McCabe incident is that several involved people accuse each other of lying. The superintendent Mr. Taylor, former senior officer and the head of the Garda Press Office, made a protected disclosure last year alleging he took part in black propaganda after being ordered to discredit McCabe. He stated that he was directed and encouraged by his superiors, including the Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan and former Commissioner Martin Callinan, to blacken McCabe’s name. Ms O’Sullivan firmly rejects his allegation.
After the Minister of Children (Tusla) Katherine Zappone admitted that the claim for sexual assault against Mr McCabe contained false allegations she stated that she met Mr and Mrs McCabe for discussing the Tusla allegations and that she directly informed afterwards the responsible Government colleagues. Yet, The Taoiseach Enda Kenny as well as the Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald reject her statement. They replied that they did not know anything about the Tusla file until RTE launched it. Ms Zappone later contradicted her statement but insisted she told the Taoiseach about the Tusla file before the Cabinet meeting last week and stated that he knew it. In turn, Mr Kenny rejected his earlier statement partially by saying that he and Ms Zappone have briefly discussed the topic but not in detail.
What is the procedure right now?
Based on Mr. O’Neill’s findings and recommendations, the Taoiseach Enda Kenny approved a commission of investigation which is led by Supreme Court Justice Peter Charleton. The investigation will have the powers to compel witnesses as well as taking documents. Mainly, judge Charleton will investigate two specific allegations to find out what former Commissioner Martin Callinan and Noirín O’Sullivan knew.
The first one deals with the protected disclosure made by Superintendent David Taylor. In this disclosure he alleged he was instructed or directed by Mr. Callinan and Mrs. O’Sullivan (who was Deputy Commissioner at the time) to maliciously brief the media about Sergeant Maurice McCabe and encourage them to write negative stories about him. The second investigation will focus on Mr Taylor’s allegation which stated that he was directed to draw the attention of journalists to an allegation of criminal misconduct made against Mr. McCabe.
In detail, the commission will investigate in several areas. It will demand all mobile phone records between Mrs. O’Sullivan, Mr. Callinan and Mr. Taylor to search for any records which could proof the allegations. As well the commission will examine whether Mrs O’Sullivan leaked a specific negative story about Mr. McCabe on RTE and it will inspect all paper and electronic files of the An Garda Síochána that are related to Mr McCabe. The latest statement of the government made by Francis Fitzgerald (Minister of justice) states that the government supports the complete reconditioning and he insured that the recommendations of judge O’Neill will be implemented.
“Allegations of wrongdoing have to be investigated fairly and fully. That is what is now going to happen.” (Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald)
The whole Irish population stays curious and yearns for the truth.
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