What Nóirín O’Sullivan says she didn’t know about the whistleblower scandal

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan has repeatedly denied knowledge of issues at the heart of the whistleblower scandal.


Here’s what she said:

February 2017:

Brendan Howlin told the Dáil on Wednesday he had been informed by a journalist that other reporters had been contacted by the commissioner and told about sex crime allegations against Maurice McCabe.

The Garda press office said: “This is the first occasion on which the commissioner has been made aware of the allegations made by Deputy Howlin.”

January 2017:

The commissioner gave a wide-ranging radio interview to RTÉ’s Sean O’Rourke.

On the treatment of whistleblowers, she said: “I’m not aware nor was I aware of any campaign to discredit any individual.”

October 12, 2016:

The commissioner was questioned by the Oireachtas justice committee on the treatment of whistleblowers.

She stated: “I am not privy to, nor did I approve, nor would I condone, any campaign of harassment or any campaign to malign any individual employee.”

October 7, 2016

Judge Iarfhlaith O’Neil was appointed to examine claims by former Garda press officer Supt David Taylor that senior officers ran a smear campaign against Sgt McCabe.

The Garda press office said: “Commissioner O’Sullivan would like to make it clear that she was not privy to, nor approved of, any action designed to target any Garda employee who may have made a protected disclosure.”

May 30, 2016:

John McGuinness told the Dáil that former commissioner Martin Callinan arranged to meet him in a hotel car park days before McGuinness was to chair a Public Accounts Committee hearing on the whistleblower affair, and told him Sgt McCabe was not to be trusted.

The press office said: “Commissioner O’Sullivan was not aware of any private meeting between former Commissioner Callinan and Deputy McGuinness as outlined by Deputy McGuinness in the Dáil.”

May 2016:

Unpublished transcripts from the O’Higgins Commission revealed by the Irish Examiner show the commissioner’s legal representative briefed the judge that he had been instructed to attack Sgt McCabe’s credibility and motivation throughout the hearings.

The tactic was not subsequently employed.

O’Sullivan’s initial response on May 16 was: “I want to make it clear that I do not — and have never — regarded Sergeant McCabe as malicious.”

She further stated on May 25: “An Garda Síochána’s legal team was not at any stage instructed to impugn the integrity of Sergeant Maurice McCabe or to make a case that he was acting maliciously.”

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