Whistleblowers: Garda warned off pursuing claim of sexual harassment

Further dramatic claims have emerged about a second Garda whistleblower who was warned about the consequences of pursuing an allegation of sexual harassment within the force.

Lucinda Creighton said Government members were alarmed by claims surrounding justice.

The details emerged during several hours of debate as opposition deputies rounded on Justice Minister Alan Shatter and called on him and the Garda Commissioner to resign.

The latest row comes after almost three weeks of controversies surrounding the minister and gardaí. A barrister-led review this week was also announced into claims by whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe about Garda malpractice.

Sgt McCabe has said that his concerns were not pursued.

Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness revealed yesterday that he had been contacted by another member of the force who had been steered clear of pursuing an allegation of sexual harassment.

The female garda went to ask Garda confidential recipient Oliver Connolly to process the complaint but was told that “the last man who used the service was now washing cars in Navan”, the TD said.

Mr Connolly then allegedly told the female garda “not to forget his proximity to the minister and not to think that he had not had a word in his ear”.

“The confidential recipient suggested to this person that she should play the political game and then she might get preferential treatment elsewhere,” Mr McGuinness said.

Mr McGuinness said the female garda was standing over her words and it was a pity the Garda confidante could not be questioned about this alleged conversation as he had been sacked by Mr Shatter.

Mr Connolly was fired last week for having an inappropriate conversation with Sgt McCabe in which he allegedly said that “if Shatter thinks you’re screwing him, you’re finished”.

Elsewhere, Wexford TD Mick Wallace launched an emotional attack on the minister. He said people were “right to be cynical about politics and politicians”.

“This place is a joke. We play games in here, and sometimes these games lead to the unfair distribution of justice or no justice at all.”

The Independent TD called on Mr Shatter and Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan to resign. His calls for the Garda chief to go were echoed by Dublin South TD Shane Ross. Mr Ross also pointed out that the top 200 gardaí were politically appointed.

Former European Affairs Minister Lucinda Creighton said members of the Coalition parties were alarmed by claims surrounding matters of justice in recent weeks.

“I know very well that there are members of the current Cabinet and colleagues in the Fine Gael and Labour parliamentary parties who have been privately appalled by what has taken place over the last number of weeks. These members are not appalled because they believe it is damaging their support for the local and European elections, they are appalled because of the cavalier attitude shown to matters of profound importance to the free and fair administration of justice in this state.”

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