Guerin report: Commissioner's response 'accepted without question' by Minister

The Guerin report has found that the Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, went no further than "acting upon the advice of the person who was subject of the complaint" in relation to a complaint about the Garda Commissioner.

In January 2012, the Department of Justice received an allegation of misconduct by the Commissioner through the confidential reporting system, in relation to the promotion of a Superintendent despite allegations of the Superintendent's involvement in previous complaints.

The report finds that the response of the Commissioner "was almost entirely lacking in any detailed account of the substance of the allegations".

On foot of that response, Guerin wrote "there is no record of what decision the Minister made", apart from a letter to the confidential recipient on February 7.

That letter, Guerin wrote, was unclear on what course the Minister was taking, and "the only action taken on foot of the confidential report was to seek a response from the Commissioner".

"That response appears to have been accepted without question (at least until further correspondence from Sergeant McCabe)."

"In effect, the process of determining Sergeant McCabe's complaints went no further than the Minister receiving and acting upon the advice of the person who was the subject of the complaint."

Mr Guerin also said he had difficulty finding evidence that the Minister and the Department had understood the statutory role of the Minister.

"From the papers I have seen, I have had difficulty finding material which demonstrated that the Department identified and understood the significant independent statutory role which the Minister had to perform in respect of those matters."

Mr Guerin wrote that the matters brought to the Department's attention were referred to An Garda Síochána, and noted that while "opportunity will be given to the person the subject of a complaint to respond to it, it is a different matter altogether to be entirely satisfied by that response".

Read the Guerin Report in full here.

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