Whistleblowers: Dermot Ahern was warned about ‘Donegal all over again’

The Garda whistleblower, Sergeant Maurice McCabe, warned a former justice minister that the rubbishing of his claims of malpractice in the force was “Donegal all over again”.

Referring to the previous tribunal of inquiry into corrupt gardaí, Sgt McCabe made the comments in correspondence to DermotAhern in 2009.

The Government this week agreed to hold a lawyer-led review into how Sgt McCabe’s claims about the force were handled by the Department of Justice as well as by gardaí and other authorities.

However, Justice Minister Alan Shatter revealed yesterday he had not been the only recipient of Sgt McCabe’s concerns and that the garda and others had contacted Mr Ahern up to four years ago. Speaking in the Dáil, he outlined an email sent by Sgt McCabe to Mr Ahern on March 23, 2009.

The garda said he had made a complaint in relation to “malpractice and corruption” in Bailieborough Garda district, Cavan-Monaghan and these issues were being investigated.

Sgt McCabe went on to say the chief superintendent for Cavan-Monaghan had said in public that he had been briefed on a number of issues, there was “no criminality” involved, and the claims were rubbish.

Sgt McCabe criticised the senior garda’s comments: “Certain serious matters have been uncovered during the investigation. To call them absolute rubbish is Donegal all over again.”

He added: “My email to you is to ask for an independent person to oversee the investigation because the whole investigation has been tainted and undermined by his comments.”

“I am sorry for annoying you, but I am at a loss as to where to turn to. Certain spin can be offered by certain Garda management, but the facts and evidence that I have... will show that the public and victims of crime were treated very badly by certain gardaí.”

Mr Shatter said Mr Ahern, through his secretary, replied that the conduct of an investigation was a matter for the Garda commissioner and that the minister had “no role in directing him in such operational matters”.

Mr Shatter also revealed the husband of murder victim Syliva Roche-Kelly, Lorcan Roche-Kelly, had written to Mr Ahern in 2009. The minister’s office referred him to gardaí and GSOC. Mr Ahern did not return calls yesterday.

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