Acting Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan has proposed regular meetings between senior gardaí and Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe in a bid to ensure he is not the subject of work-related intimidation.
The plan would see a senior garda liaise with Sgt McCabe on a regular basis, and was discussed during a meeting between the officer and the acting commissioner at Garda HQ this month.
It is the first time Sgt McCabe has met the acting commissioner since he made allegations of the widespread improper termination of penalty points and also claimed at least 10 cases were not properly investigated by gardaí.
The meeting, which was arranged by Ms O'Sullivan and took place at Garda HQ at Phoenix Park, Dublin, was also attended by Assistant Commissioner Kieran Kenny, other senior gardaí and Sgt McCabe's solicitor Seán Costello.
A source close to Sgt McCabe described the meeting as “constructive”. The two-hour meeting concentrated on his work-related issues and did not include a discussion of his allegations around penalty points or Garda investigations.
Sgt McCabe made a complaint of work-related bullying to Garda management in May.
His access to the Pulse computer system – it was restricted in April 2013 on the direction of the then commissioner Martin Callinan – was reinstated in May after the publication of the Guerin report.
Sgt McCabe’s allegations about malpractice in 10 cases prompted the establishment of an inquiry by barrister Seán Guerin. This concluded there was a basis for a commission of investigation inquiry for each of the allegations identified by Sgt McCabe.
This commission has not yet started work as its terms of reference have been delayed while a panel of barristers examines up to 220 outstanding allegations of Garda misconduct received from members of the public in light of the whistleblowers affair.
Today Sgt McCabe is due to hand over another final tranche of examples of terminated penalty points when he is interviewed by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission which is investigating the matter. It is expected that Sgt McCabe will spend a number of days being interviewed by GSOC.
Most of his records relate to drivers who had multiple penalty point notices cancelled.
Sgt McCabe obtained up to 5,000 individual records showing the improper termination of penalty points, approximately half of which he had already forwarded to the Comptroller and Auditor General and the Public Accounts Committee.
It is understood these bodies have sent their penalty point records to GSOC for use in its inquiry, and it is believed Sgt McCabe will give all his remaining records on penalty point cancellations to the commission.
GSOC was charged in January by former minister for justice Alan Shatter with investigating the termination of penalty points.
GSOC, which is still awaiting a response from the Department of Justice to a request for an additional €1 million to take on extra staff to help with its investigation into allegations around the penalty points, was tasked with undertaking a new inquiry into the penalty points allegations in February.