Whistleblower Wilson joins non-party political grouping

Garda whistleblower John Wilson has joined the ranks of a new, non-party political grouping to contest the local elections next May.

Whistleblower Wilson joins non-party political grouping

It also emerged yesterday Mr Wilson was diagnosed with bowel cancer on Tuesday and had an operation the following day.

The retired garda is to join Independents Together — a political umbrella group which aims to provide a voice for people who feel abandoned and disillusioned by traditional party politics.

Mr Wilson’s addition is regarded as a major coup for the group, which now has 17 candidates spread over nine counties.

Mr Wilson, from Cavan, who is a nephew of late tánaiste John Wilson and a brother of the current Fianna Fáil whip in the Seanad, Diarmuid Wilson, was forced to retire after revealing details of penalty point terminations.

Frustrated by his inability to have his complaints dealt with as he wished within the Garda complaints system, Mr Wilson took his information to some Dáil deputies under the Garda Síochána Act 2005 last year.

He was supported by Sergeant Maurice McCabe, based in Mullingar Garda Station, who went public with allegations of endemic preferential treatment running throughout the force on penalty points quashing.

Speaking out made his career untenable and pitched him against Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and Justice Minister Alan Shatter, as well as former colleagues and friends.

In fact, one night he woke up to find a rat tied to the front door of his Co Cavan home.

The whistleblowers were vindicated when the recent Garda Inspectorate report revealed that, in more than half of the penalty points cases between August 2012 and January 2013, there was no evidence to support why the offences were wiped out.

Mr Wilson made his pledge to join Independents Together at a meeting in Athlone on Saturday, organised by Independent TD Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan.

The group’s founder, Jim Connolly, said he was delighted with Mr Wilson’s decision.

“This is a major boost for IT,” said Mr Connolly. “I have put huge time and energy into this new group because I believe it will work. I am not running for election myself and am happy to work as acting secretary.”

While members must adhere to a number of core principles, no party whip applies once candidates are elected, and accountability and transparency will be mandatory.

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