Garda whistleblower tells tribunal he smuggled printed Pulse files out of garda station

Garda whistleblower tells tribunal he smuggled printed Pulse files out of garda station
Garda Nicholas Keogh. Pic: Collins

A Garda whistleblower says he smuggled printed Pulse files out of a Garda station in his baton pocket before giving them to politicians, a tribunal has heard.

Garda Nicholas Keogh is giving evidence at the Disclosures Tribunal, where counsel for An Garda Síochána are cross-examining him.

The tribunal is in its third week hearing from Gda Keogh, who alleges that a senior member of the Athlone drugs unit, identified to the tribunal as Garda A, was in an improper relationship with a heroin dealer, identified as Ms B, who had a then-estimated €2,500 a week income.

The tribunal, chaired by Judge Sean Ryan, is investigating if Gda Keogh was targeted, harassed or bullied after he made his protected disclosure on 8 May, 2014.

Senior Counsel for An Garda Síochána, Mr Shane Murphy, questioned Gda Keogh about an entry in his diary from 30 November, 2015.

“FF [Assistant Commissioner Fintan Fanning] came into station. Knew who I was, even though I didn't know him and approval of what I'm doing. Printed Pulse on reclassifications. Hid in station. Others smuggled in baton pocket,” he wrote.

Gda Keogh said that he printed off two copies of crimes that had been re-classified downwards that he believed amounted to “fiddling” crime figures.

“I had to act fast because all Pulse activity is monitored by Garda HQ,” said Gda Keogh.

So I would print off two copies of the files and hide one in the station and one in the baton pocket.

Detailed press reports regarding internal investigations and Garda management meetings were later printed in The Irish Independent and RTÉ in October and November 2017 and were shown to the tribunal.

Mr Murphy said: “You copy and print off documents copied from An Garda Síochána and go to the press and give them to politicians.”

“I make no apology, we have 2014, 2015, 2016 and now we're into 2017,” said Gda Keogh.

“All this is calculated to target Superintendent [Patrick] Murray. You were hoping they would be broadcast,” said Mr Murphy.

Gda Keogh alleges that after he made his protected disclosure of 2014, he was bullied and harassed by his superintendent, Patrick Murray, in Athlone Garda Station.

“No, I was showing what happened to me. It's not the case that I wanted to 'bring down' Supt Murray," said Gda Keogh.

Mr Murphy said: “No, it's much more. You were intending to bring down Supt Murray and this is a pattern of action by you to damage Supt Murray.

“While gardaí [management and HR] were addressing your complaints, you were copying documents and giving them to the media.

“This is a pattern of your efforts to also put pressure on the authorities to block the promotion of Supt Murray.

“You were trying to provoke critical conclusion points regarding Supt Murray.”

Gda Keogh denied the allegation of targeting Supt Murray, and said: “No, there were huge issues. I made my bullying report in 2016, I didn't get to make a statement until March 2017 and here we are in October 2017."

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