A Garda chief superintendent has denied targeting and humiliating a whistleblower who worked in his station.
The Disclosures tribunal, chaired by Judge Sean Ryan, is investigating whether Garda Nicholas Keogh was targeted, harassed, undermined, or bullied after he made a protected disclosure on May 8, 2014.
In his disclosure the whistleblower alleged that a senior member of the Athlone drugs unit, identified to the tribunal as Garda A, was in an improper relationship with a heroin dealer, identified as Ms B.
Gda Keogh has made a complaint of targeting and harassment against Chief Supt Patrick Murray. He claims his work was micro-managed by three sergeants under the direction of Chief Supt Murray. The allegations are denied.
Matthias Kelly SC, for Gda Keogh, asked Chief Supt Murray what his first impressions of Gda Keogh were when the garda chief moved to Athlone Garda Station in March 2015.
The witness said he had “no issue with Gda Keogh” but said that, through time, Gda Keogh developed an “unhealthy obsession with me which impacted on my character, reputation and career”.
Mr Kelly put it to the witness that he thought Gda Keogh was “just a drunk”. Chief Supt Murray denied this but said he was aware of Gda Keogh's “problem with alcohol”.
He added that there was “no impact on his performance” due to alcohol problems. He denied a suggestion that he thought Gda Keogh was a “useless guard”.
“By April 2015, after had your meeting in March with Gda Keogh, you've questioned his sick leave over work-related stress, put three sergeants over him, raised the issue of a transfer and disciplined him for car tax. Does that not amount to targeting him?” asked Mr Kelly.
“No, I utterly reject that,” said Chief Supt Murray.
“Was it your view that he was just a troublesome drunk and was under no stress,” asked Mr Kelly. The witness said this was untrue.
“His alcohol problem was a fact, he had a long-standing clinical condition, according to the CMO. I tried to help him with medical experts, welfare supports, I tried my best”.