A second garda whistleblower was warned by the Garda confidential recipient of the consequences of pursuing claims against the force in relation to an alleged sexual assault, it was claimed in the Dáil yesterday.
According to Public Accounts Committee chairman John McGuinness, a female garda who claimed she had been a victim of sexual harassment within the force was told by the confidential recipient: “The last man who used this service is now washing cars in Navan.” Mr McGuinness said: “That is what he said. The person stands over the claim.”
The Fianna Fáil TD questioned why Oliver Connolly, the confidential recipient, was sacked before he could be asked questions including why he told the female garda: “It has gone too high now to cover it up. It has to be investigated.”
Mr McGuinness claimed Mr Connolly then suggested to her: “Don’t forget my proximity to the minister, and don’t think I didn’t have a word in his ear.”
He said Mr Connolly told her to “play the political game and she might get preferential treatment elsewhere”.
Addressing Alan Shatter, the justice minister, in the Dáil, Mr McGuinness said: “I would ask you, minister, to ask the confidential recipient is that true or false?”
Mr Connolly was sacked by Mr Shatter last week after refusing to deny he told whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe that “if Shatter thinks you’re screwing him, you’re finished”.
The Coalition has refused to establish a full statutory inquiry into Sgt McCabe’s allegations of garda malpractice, even though one minister yesterday said it was likely to happen.
Asked if he thought a full inquiry will follow barrister Sean Guerin’s assessment of Sgt McCabe’s dossier, Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney told Newstalk: “I think there is likely to be.”
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has already conceded that if Mr Guerin recommends a statutory inquiry, he will establish one.
Mr Shatter yesterday rejected allegations that he misled the Dáil when he claimed last October that Sgt McCabe had refused to co-operate with a Garda probe into the wiping of penalty points.
Contradicting recent remarks attributed to Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, that Sgt McCabe was “directed” to co-operate with an inquiry by John O’Mahony, the assistant commissioner, Mr Shatter said Sgt McCabe “clearly wasn’t directed to engage but he was invited to engage with O’Mahony”.
Sgt McCabe yesterday indicated he wanted the Dáil record corrected after saying he would “take all the steps possible to clear [my] name” should Mr Shatter repeat the “malice allegation”.
Mr Shatter defended his handling of the controversy, claiming his Fianna Fáil predecessor Dermot Ahern had been contacted by Sgt McCabe about his claims four years ago.
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