PAC meeting to decide on whether whistleblower should give penalty points testimony

Committee chairman says further documentation received

 Chairman  of the Public Accounts Committee John McGuinness. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee John McGuinness. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Wed, Jan 22, 2014, 01:01


The chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has said it will make a decision tonight as to whether a Garda whistleblower at the centre of allegations surrounding penalty points will appear before it.

John McGuinness also told The Irish Times that further documentation was received from the garda in question yesterday, aimed at bolstering evidence of key failings in the system.


Separate appearance
However, he said that should this be the case, such an appearance would take place at a time separate to that of Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, who is due to field questions at a hearing tomorrow.

Mr Callinan’s appearance is in relation to a report on the issue by the Comptroller and Auditor General.

It also follows the submission of documentation from one of the two gardaí associated with the revelations and which has been analysed by both the clerk of the PAC and the parliamentary legal adviser and who will advise the committee on that content later today.


Supplementary material
Further supplementary material was received by the PAC yesterday, Mr McGuinness said.

“We know in general what’s in [the overall material] but we wanted someone to complete the analysis of what is in the box so that it can be used before the hearing on Thursday,” he said last night.

“There is no arrangement in place as of now to invite the whistleblower to attend on Thursday but there is a view that the whistleblower should appear before the PAC at some stage and that may well be next week, or, if the members decide, it could be earlier than that and that will be decided tomorrow evening.”

Mr McGuinness said his committee was not interested in individuals alleged to have benefited from the avoidance of penalty points but rather it was “interested in the system within the force, the Pulse system and how it failed, and if it failed, and what it cost the State”.