Commission of inquiry ‘desirable’ to ensure confidence

Guerin says 14 issues should be comprehensively examined in the public interest

The Guerin report published today recommends terms of reference for a Commission of Investigation into unresolved issues raised by Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe, to include ‘definite matters of urgent public importance’. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

The Guerin report published today recommends terms of reference for a Commission of Investigation into unresolved issues raised by Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe, to include ‘definite matters of urgent public importance’. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

A comprehensive commission of investigation should be established into unresolved issues raised by Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe, barrister Seán Guerin says in his report published today.

He says a commission of investigation is “desirable in the public interest” to ensure “continuing confidence in the institution of An Garda Síochána and the criminal justice system”.

The report says the terms of reference for such a commission, which he recommends be established under the Commissions of Investigation Act 2004, should include “definite matters of urgent public importance”.

Mr Guerin states that 14 issues should come under the scope of such a commission, including:

- Two incidents involving Jerry McGrath, who was later convicted of murdering Sylvia Roche-Kelly in Limerick in 2007.

- The investigation of sexual offences and child pornography offences by a priest with particular regard to the loss of a computer seized during the course of that investigation.

- The investigation of the allegations made by Sgt Maurice McCabe of malpractice and corruption in relation to the PULSE records seized from him in October 2010.

- The investigation by An Garda Síochána and the Minister for Justice of the complaints made by Sgt Maurice McCabe in relation to these and other matters “and such other like matters as may seem appropriate”.

- The Garda investigation into a public order incident and possible sex assault on a bus at Kingscourt, Co Cavan in February 2007

- The investigation of an assault at the Lakeside Manor Hotel on April 14th, 2007.

- The general conduct of policing at Bailieboro Garda District in the period between 2007 and 2008.

- The management and operational structure and resource allocation to the Garda district of Bailieboro.

On the operation of the Bailieboro district, Mr Guerin says the number of probationary gardaí assigned to the district should be examined as well as the number and level of experienceof sergeants available to supervise them.

He also says the commission should look into the significance, if any, of the absence of a permanently assigned inspector in Bailieboro. It should also consider the standard of accommodation at Bailieboro Garda station and the possible impact of it on the policing performance in the district.