Guerin report: Gardaí and Minister did not heed voice of whistleblower

By Mary Regan, Political Editor Irish Examiner

The former Justice Minister, Alan Shatter, failed in his duties to investigate complaints made by the garda whistle-blower Maurice McCabe, according to a damning report which recommends an independent examination into a range of allegations of garda malpractice.

The report by barrister, Sean Guerin, also recommends an examination of the experience of Mr McCabe since he first started raising concerns three years ago.

Mr Guerin says he has seen extensive documentation “which gives cause for concern about the personal and professional consequences for Sergeant McCabe of having made the complaints.”

Referring to how his treatment by the force which he serves, it says “no complex organisation” can succeed in its task “if it cannot find the means of heed the voices of its members.”

It concludes: “Ultimately, the Garda Síochána does not seem to have been able to do that. Nor does the Minister for Justice and Equality, despite having an independent supervisory and investigative function with specific statutory powers.”

It added: “The same appears to be true of GSOC, although this review is hampered in making an assessment in that regard by the fact that GSOC has not made documentation available.”

Mr Guerin recommends a Commission of Inquiry be established to look into a number of issues that remain “unresolved” arising from complaints made by Mr McCabe.

The report specifies 14 cases which should be examined by an inquiry - many of which have been detailed in the Irish Examiner in recent months - including:

* The garda investigation of a possible sexual assault on a bus at Kingscourt in February 2007.

* The garda investigation into an assault at the Lakeside Manor Hotel in April 2007.

* A garda investigation into the abduction of a child during a burglary of a house in Tipperary.

* An investigation into allegations of malpractice and corruption in relation to the garda PULSE records seized from Mr McCabe in October 2010 at Hillgrove Hotel in Monaghan.

Read the Guerin Report in full here.

By Dave Molloy
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