FG TD calls on Kenny to explain inaction on whistleblower complaints

Fine Gael TD John Deasy calls for statement from Taoiseach on why he didn’t question Shatter’s handling of affair

 John Deasy of Fine Gael: wrote email to Enda Kenny in February expressing concern over treatment of Sgt McCabe. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

John Deasy of Fine Gael: wrote email to Enda Kenny in February expressing concern over treatment of Sgt McCabe. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Wed, Jul 30, 2014, 08:42

Taoiseach Enda Kenny needs to explain why he didn’t deal with problems in the Department of Justice when he became aware of them last February, Fine Gael TD John Deasy has said.

The Waterford TD said yesterday he had spoken directly to the Taoiseach in February about the Department’s failure to deal properly with the complaints made by Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe.

Mr Deasy, a member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), said that after Sgt McCabe appeared before the committee he had concluded that his evidence was credible.

The TD said he sought a meeting with the Taoiseach at which he told Mr Kenny the Department of Justice and the Government had got it wrong in their response to Sgt McCabe’s complaints. On March 21st, following comments by then minister for transport and communications Leo Varadkar defending Sgt McCabe, Mr Deasy emailed Mr Kenny.

Deficiencies in report

The email read: “Dear Taoiseach, With regard to Leo’s comments yesterday I’d like to make a couple of points that I think are pertinent. As you may remember about five weeks ago I expressed my view to you that Maurice McCabe would be vindicated with regard to many of the issues he raised in relation to the penalty points matter.

“I also expressed a view that there were deficiencies in the report compiled by assistant commissioner [John] O’Mahony and that Alan [Shatter] needed to deal with this in a different manner.

“What I and many of my colleagues don’t understand is why Alan would treat these whistleblowers in the manner he has in the last couple of months, particularly since it seems he has had the Garda Inspectorate report in his possession since January.

“I believe we should deal with this once and for all. I don’t condone the taking of information from Pulse by any serving member of the Gardaí or the taping of private conversations, but I do think some consideration needs to be given to the fact that the whistleblowers attempted to deal within official channels, but that those official channels did not operate correctly. The basic point is that they were ultimately correct in their assertions and that Government needs to recognise that.

“I believe you should support Leo’s position on this and question Alan’s handling of the entire affair.”

Mr Deasy said everybody involved in the events that had proved so damaging to the justice system had been held accountable for actions or inaction, so it was time for Mr Kenny to explain his response.