A meeting scheduled between Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe and an assistant commissioner to discuss allegations of continued harassment has been put back after disagreements emerged.
The Irish Times understands the meeting, due to take place yesterday, was put back to an unspecified date next week over a disagreement on whether legal representatives should attend.
Neither Sgt McCabe nor Garda Headquarters commented when contacted yesterday.
However, Garda sources said Sgt McCabe raised the possibility of attending with a legal representative, which interim Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan was reluctant to agree to.
Senior Garda management took the view that because the meeting was for Sgt McCabe to air his complaints, the attendance of a legal representative was not necessary.
“If a (Garda) member was called to a meeting because he was accused of wrongdoing, you could understand them wanting somebody with them, but obviously this case is different,” said one source familiar with the arrangements.
Sgt McCabe was due to meet Assistant Commissioner Kieran Kenny. Mr Kenny is in charge of policing in the Garda's eastern division, which includes Sgt McCabe's Mullingar base.
The meeting was arranged last week after Ms O'Sullivan was forced to clarify evidence she had given to the Oireachtas Committee on Justice. She had told the committee senior officers were in daily contact with Sgt McCabe to support him in the face of allegations that he was still being harassed by some colleagues.
However, Sgt McCabe contacted Ms O’Sullivan’s office to protest that he was not being supported in the manner she set out.
He has made 13 complaints in recent weeks relating to harassment. He alleges that it has continued even though his allegations on the termination of motorists’ penalty points and the State’s handling of the issues he raised led to the shock retirement in March of former Garda commissioner
and the resignation of former justice minister
Ms O’Sullivan contacted Sgt McCabe and the meeting with him was arranged. However, a disagreement arose on Tuesday when it became clear Sgt McCabe wanted to bring an adviser.
It appears agreement has now been reached, with both sides entitled to bring their own legal representatives.