Claims on Garda corruption first made in 2008

Allegations investigated at the time by GSOC and the Garda

A Garda sergeant at the centre of two whistleblowing controversies first approached the authorities with his concerns in 2008, years earlier than previously thought.

Sgt Maurice McCabe went to then confidential recipient Brian McCarthy to raise about 20 cases of alleged Garda neglect of duty, some very serious, in the Cavan-Monaghan Garda division.

The matters were investigated at the time by the Garda and separately by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC).

The Irish Times understands that some of the allegations first raised by Sgt McCabe in May 2008 are contained in a dossier compiled by Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and presented to the Government in recent weeks. The dossier also contains new cases.


Mr Martin was a minister in the Fianna Fail-led coalition in 2008, though sources indicated Sgt McCabe did not raise his concerns with the government at the time.

When the allegations were investigated in 2008 and 2009, neither the Garda investigation nor the parallel investigation by GSOC uncovered evidence warranting action against any gardaí.

In one of the cases it was alleged a woman taxi driver had made a complaint that two men had tried to rape her. While gardaí called to her the following day and made efforts to have an unpaid fare returned to her, Sgt McCabe alleged no substantive investigation was conducted into her claims of attempted rape.

When GSOC investigated the complaints, it believed an allegation of attempted rape had been made at the time but the woman declined to make a formal statement to it.

When the 2008 allegations were supplied to confidential recipient McCarthy, the then garda commissioner Fachtna Murphy instigated an investigation led by assistant commissioner Derek Byrne and Chief Supt Terry McGinn.

Formal investigation
Mr Murphy also notified GSOC of the complaints. The commission began an informal inquiry and then a formal investigation.

Aside from the allegation of attempted rape, Sgt McCabe made a series of other charges, from gardaí being drunk on duty to failing to investigate burglaries.

The Garda and GSOC inquiries found no evidence that warranted further action.

Sgt McCabe was subsequently transferred to Mullingar, Co Westmeath. It was when working with the traffic corps there that he became concerned about what he saw as Garda corruption in the cancellation of penalty points.

The Garda’s and Government’s handling of the penalty points issue has become a major political and policing controversy, though overtaken in recent days by the dossier compiled by Fianna Fáil.

The Government and Opposition clashed last night over the completeness of the dossier. Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said yesterday the dossierwas "incomplete" and that appendices referred to in the material had not been handed over.

Mr Kenny and his senior officials have been reviewing the material to see if further action is warranted.

The Taoiseach and Tánaiste discussed the dossier in a weekend telephone call. The matter will be discussed at tomorrow’s meeting of the Cabinet, although Mr Gilmore said it was too early to say if an independent inquiry was needed.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times