Garda investigation into use of uniform on parade float

Castleisland sketch featured ‘Sgt Maurice McCabe’ wearing Garda cap and jacket

The float in the Castleisland parade, by local builder Dan Lynch, portrayed Sgt Maurice McCabe hanging from a clothes line held up by two giant sized “Special Branch Officers” made out of sticks.

The float in the Castleisland parade, by local builder Dan Lynch, portrayed Sgt Maurice McCabe hanging from a clothes line held up by two giant sized “Special Branch Officers” made out of sticks.

 

Gardai in Co Kerry are investigating the alleged use of a Garda uniform at a St Patrick’s Day parade in Castleisland in a sketch centring on Sgt Maurice McCabe.

The float, by local builder Dan Lynch, portrayed Sgt McCabe hanging from a clothes line held up by two giant sized “Special Branch Officers” made out of sticks.

The Sgt McCabe mannequin was wearing an actual Garda cap and hi-vis jacket, it is suspected, and gardaí are investigating.

The caption on the float spoke about Sgt McCabe being “hung out to dry” by the Special Branch.

Mr Lynch said 20 minutes after the parade finished four gardaí arrived at his home in Castleisland town. Two of the gardaí went to the shed where he had placed his float and confiscated the cap and jacket. He said the pants and blue shirt were ordinary clothes. The gardaí asked him the name of the person who provided him with the cap and jacket.

However he has refused to name his “friend”, Mr Lynch said.

The gardaí did not ask him about the content of the float or what it portrayed, simply where he got the uniform parts.

The father of four said he has been making satirical floats for the St Patrick’s Day parade in Castleisland with 25 years and has previously featured Garda issues.

Last year, Mr Lynch featured a wall and a plane with US President Donald Trump .

He feels his float and the alleged use of a real cap “was no big deal” and questions if it merited four gardaí calling to his home.

The Garda press office said local officers in Tralee were aware of the incident and it is being investigated.

A senior Garda in Tralee said a file is being prepared and it may result in an internal disciplinary inquiry also.

Under the Garda Síochána Act 2005, person is guilty of an offence if he or she is not a member of the Garda Síochána but possesses Garda uniform or equipment. The penalty ranges up to a fine of €50,000 and/or five years in jail.