Whistleblower concerned over judge-led inquiry

One of the whistleblowers at the centre of the latest Garda scandal has said he has strong reservations about any judge-led inquiry, the Irish Examiner can reveal.

Whistleblower concerned over judge-led inquiry

This is because he no longer has access to his mobile phone and other records central to his claims.

The senior garda said he felt he would be at a “disadvantage” because garda bosses have all the relevant material from the period in question and those records were not available to him.

The Irish Examiner has seen correspondence from whistleblowers Keith Harrison and Nick Keogh to Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, the commissioner and GSOC, which show they repeatedly sought to highlight campaigns against them from within the force.

In the case of officer Harrison, he outlined in detail the extent of the campaign of harassment against him in five letters to the Tánaiste asking for her help.

On the five occasions, he received the same standard response that the letters were “receiving attention”. However, Mr Harrison claims nothing was done.

Prime Time reported last night that Ms Fitzgerald received an interim report on these matters last month but that a spokesman for the minister would not be drawn on the contents of the report.

The revelations come as Independents4Change TD Mick Wallace said Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan is doing “so much damage” to the force which he said is in “turmoil”.

“The Garda is in turmoil. There is a split in it with two camps. The Garda Commissioner has promoted a ring around her. It is corrosive. She is doing so much damage to An Garda Síochána that there are many good gardaí shocked at how she is operating,” he said.

“The Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality cannot leave her in position,” Mr Wallace said.

In response, the Tánaiste said that while details of the disclosures are in the public domain, she is precluded by law from commenting. She also said that those involved are entitled to due process and that she would not be rushing to judgement.

Speaking last night, one of the whistleblowers also said the conduct of Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan during the O’Higgins inquiry, when her legal team indicated it had been instructed to question the credibility and motivation of whistleblower Maurice McCabe, was of concern and raises serious reservations about how his claims would be handled.

A spokesman for the commissioner said she had no fresh response to the comments made in the Dáil.

It is understood the Tánaiste will announce as early as today the name of the sitting judge to examine the details of the allegations made.

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