Garda whistleblower report: Appalling vista of our making

AN appalling vista of our own making looms. 

Retired judge Iarlaigh O’Neill has given to the Department of Justice his report on how garda whistleblowers were treated. That report concentrates on protected disclosures, one from Supt Dave Taylor and another Sgt Maurice McCabe. These point to a campaign allegedly driven by senior Garda management “to bury” McCabe. If the existence of such a campaign is confirmed then our police force, especially its senior officers, face seismic consequences.

If that appalling vista is confirmed then other doubts arise. If such a campaign was formalised then what credibility can be given to briefings offered to ministers by those very officers? If such a campaign was activated is it realistic to imagine that sympathetic reporters might have, knowingly or unknowingly, not been used to paint a particular picture to support one narrative over the other?

These are unnerving questions on the probity of one of the essential cornerstones of our society. It may be tempting to look away, to engineer minimum disclosure and consequently minimum damage but it’s far too late for that.

We must look this monster in the eye. If wrongdoing is uncovered it must be dealt with. We cannot pretend the questions are not valid. The credibility of our police force and its place in our society are in question. That is not healthy and it cannot continue no matter what the consequences are.

More on this topic

Whistleblower smear Garda avoids most of legal billWhistleblower smear Garda avoids most of legal bill

Father of garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe passes awayFather of garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe passes away

A man shattered by his political demiseA man shattered by his political demise

Seán Guerin 'needs to explain himself' over McCabe report, says ShatterSeán Guerin 'needs to explain himself' over McCabe report, says Shatter


REVIEW: This superb adaptation of A Christmas Carol puts a contemporary twist on Dickens' classic tale, writes Alan O'RiordanReview: A Christmas Carol, Gate Theatre, Dublin

Move over quinoa.Everything you need to know about fonio, the ancient grain we’ll all be eating in 2020

The former heptathlete and all-round super woman chats to Lauren Taylor about how to stay fit in pregnancy and body confidence after a baby.Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill: ‘There’s still a lot of stigma attached to exercising pregnant’

Behaving aggressively is a stage many toddlers go through. The author of The Wonder Weeks explains how parents should deal with kids who kick & bite.Ask an expert: How can I stop my toddler kicking and biting?

More From The Irish Examiner