Allegations by Garda whistleblower found to be ‘not justified’

Inquiry into complaints involved 15 senior counsel, 16 junior counsel and nine law firms

Mr Justice Sean Ryan said complaints made by Garda Nicky Keogh (pictured) were ‘not substantiated’. Photograph: Tom Honan

Mr Justice Sean Ryan said complaints made by Garda Nicky Keogh (pictured) were ‘not substantiated’. Photograph: Tom Honan

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Allegations by a Garda whistleblower that he was targeted by senior officers after he made a protected disclosure have been found to be “not justified”.

In a 792-page report published yesterday following 53 days of public hearings in Dublin Castle during 2019 and 2020, Mr Justice Sean Ryan said complaints made by Garda Nicky Keogh were “not substantiated”.

Garda Keogh made complaints about 22 episodes which, he alleged, constituted his being targeted because he had made a protected disclosure, but upon investigation they were found to be “unfounded and essentially misconceived”.

Mr Justice Ryan said a reader of the report might wonder how Garda Keogh came to be wrong about all the allegations he made.

The inference, from all the evidence, was that “suspicion, disappointment, stress and misunderstanding”, against a background of long-term alcohol addiction, meant Garda Keogh became “irrational and even at times paranoid”.

Allegations

The tribunal investigated the complaints of targeting made by Garda Keogh, and not the content of his protected disclosure, which concerned allegations of Garda corruption in Athlone.

The corruption allegations led to a file being submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions, and a decision being made not to bring charges.

The complaints made to the tribunal included one against the former Garda commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan which was not pursued when the public sittings began, and in support of which no evidence was ever produced.

“The truth is that the officers accused by Garda Keogh did not target or discredit him following his protected disclosure,” Mr Justice Ryan said.

The complaints made by Garda Keogh involved matters such as “micro-supervision” at Athlone Garda station, an alleged delay in the payment of travel expenses, confinement to indoor duty, investigations into his protected disclosure allegations, bullying allegations, and the promotion of an officer working in Athlone.

Complaints

The inquiry into the complaints involved 15 senior counsel, 16 junior counsel and nine law firms, acting for 13 different individuals, entities or groups, and came under term of reference “P” of the tribunal, which instructed the tribunal to consider complaints from members of the force who made protected disclosures.

The tribunal may conduct two, and possible three, more modules into allegations under this term of reference, involving other whistleblowers.

Earlier reports from the tribunal, written by Mr Justice Peter Charleton, concerned Sgt Maurice McCabe, Garda Keith Harrison, and matters to do with the child and family agency, Tusla.

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