Garda commissioner vetoed complaint against his own office

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan

The flaws in the system of gardaí complaining about malpractice have been further highlighted by revelations that the Garda commissioner effectively vetoed a complaint against his own office.

A complaint against Commissioner Martin Callinan’s intentions to promote a senior officer who was under investigation was made in January 2012 through the confidential recipient system in place. The complaint was handed to the commissioner to deal with and he quickly responded that the complaint had no basis.

There is no mechanism within the system for an outside agent to adjudicate on a complaint against the commissioner.

The case was the basis for a conversation between the confidential recipient and a garda whistleblower which was referenced in the Dáil by Independent TD Mick Wallace on Wednesday.

Mr Wallace said he was quoting from a transcript of a conversation between the confidential recipient Oliver Connolly and whistleblower, Sergeant Maurice McCabe.

Mr Wallace told the Dáil the transcript “is frightening”.

He quoted from the confidential recipient: “I’ll tell you something, Maurice, and this is just personal advice to you. If Shatter thinks you’re screwing him, you’re finished.”

He quoted another line: “If Shatter thinks, here’s this guy again, trying another route, trying to put on pressure, he’ll go after you.”

Mr Wallace then added his own words: “He’ll go after you? Our minister for justice? What is going on?”

Although Mr Wallace did not reference the case at issue, the Irish Examiner understands it concerned a complaint about the commissioner’s intention to recommend the promotion of a senior officer who had been the focus of a series of complaints, two of which were still under investigation.

One of the cases under investigation at the time involved a series of mistakes that led to a violent offender being freed twice on bail and ultimately murdering a woman in Limerick.


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