Guerin report: main findings
Conclusions and recommendations of the report into the handling of claims of Garda misconduct
The Guerin report has found that allegations made by serving Garda Sgt Maurice McCabe were not adequately investigated. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times
Below are some of the main conclusions and recommendations reached by senior counsel Sean Guerin, the barrister appointed to examine allegations of Garda misconduct made by whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe in his report published this afternoon:
- Although Mr Guerin noted that it was beyond the scope of the review to make any determination of the complaints made by Sgt McCabe, he said there was “cause for concern as to the adequacy of the investigations that have taken place in to those complaints and as to whether all appropriate steps have been taken”.
- The review recommends that a comprehensive Commission of Investigation be established to investigate the issues that remain unresolved relating to a number of complaints made by Sgt Maurice McCabe, something which Mr Guerin concludes is “desirable in the public interest to ensure continuing confidence in the institution of An Garda Síochána and the criminal justice system”.
- It says the terms of reference of such an investigation should include “definite matters of urgent public importance” with specific reference to a number of individual investigations including:
* two incidents involving Jerry McGrath, who was later convicted of murdering Sylvia Roche-Kelly in Limerick 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 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
* The general conduct of policing at Bailieboro Garda District in 2007/2008
* The management and operational structure and resource allocation to the Garda district
- The report calls for An Garda Síochána to review the effectiveness of the PULSE computer system as a means for recording and supervising compliance with conditions of bail and that the system should communicate automatically with the IT systems of the Courts Service in relation to bail conditions.
- It further concludes that the Department of Justice should review its procedures as regards the assessment of complaints made to the Minister in relation to any aspect of the administration, operation, practice or procedure of An Garda Síochána or the conduct of its members.
- As regards Sgt Maurice McCabe, the review states that, although it is beyond the scope of its terms of reference, that Mr Guerin saw “extensive documentation” which gives cause for concern about the personal and professional consequences for Sgt McCabe despite a previous report establishing “no malice” on Sgt McCabe’s behalf in making the complaints. The report also lists a number of positive endorsements of Sgt McCabe, quoting district officers who served in the Bailieboro district between 2003 and 2010.
- It recommends that An Garda Síochána review procedures for the taking of a statement amounting to the withdrawal of a complaint of criminal wrongdoing, specifically that “such a statement should not be recorded as the withdrawal of a complaint, merely because the complainant has been told that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute”.