Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe is set to have his first meeting next week with senior Garda management about his allegations of continued harassment by some colleagues.
Having spoken to interim Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan by telephone on Thursday, a plan is in place for Sgt McCabe to meet Assistant Commissioner Kieran Kenny on Wednesday.
He is in charge of policing in the Garda's eastern region, encompassing Mullingar, Co Westmeath, where Sgt McCabe is based.
The Irish Times understands Assistant Commissioner Kenny has already spoken to other officers about how the urgent need to end the alleged harassment would be communicated to Sgt McCabe's colleagues.
Harassment In the past two weeks Sgt McCabe has gone to a superintendent three times to outline 13 allegations of harassment. He has been on stress-related sick leave for the past week.
When Commissioner O'Sullivan appeared before the Oireachtas Committee on Justice on Wednesday she denied suggestions by Finian McGrath TD (Ind) that Sgt McCabe was getting no help in the face of alleged continuing harassment.
She said he was being supported and was in contact with senior officers “on a daily basis” in that regard.
Sgt McCabe took issue with this and telephoned her office at Garda Headquarters in Dublin saying it was not true.
On Thursday she returned his call. She appears to have accepted his insistence that he is not being supported. A statement from Garda Headquarters said she had also provided clarity to the committee.
Sources close to Sgt McCabe said he was “extremely happy” with the response of Commissioner O’Sullivan. They confirmed he had also since spoken to Assistant Commissioner Kenny after he made contact by phone. “The fact a meeting is now organised – they seem to be taking it seriously and Kenny has already got the ball rolling by contacting other [Garda] members about this issue – is all positive,” the source said.
It is unlikely Sgt McCabe will return to work until after Wednesday’s meeting.
The alleged continued harassment has taken the form of verbal abuse. It has carried on despite the State's mishandling of his original allegations, mostly around termination of penalty points. This cost a number of high profile figures their jobs; these include former justice minister Alan Shatter, former Garda commissioner Martin Callinan and former confidential recipient Oliver Connolly.