Mick Wallace cites claim gardaí doctored assault case statement

Why are so many whistleblowers out sick if everything is so ‘wonderful’, TD asks Kenny

Another Garda whistleblowing incident has been reported to Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald, this one related to the alleged doctoring of a witness statement in an assault case, the Dáil has been told.

Independents4Change TD Mick Wallace claimed that "only last week the Minister received a letter from a whistleblower regarding a witness statement in an assault case being doctored by gardaí".

The Wexford TD said “the background to the assault case related to the planting of drugs by gardaí”.

He made the allegation as he asked Taoiseach Enda Kenny when he would publish the report by retired High Court judge Iarfhlaith O’Neill into allegations that senior gardaí engaged in an orchestrated campaign to discredit a Garda whistleblower.


Mr Wallace had also asked if the Taoiseach would leave Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan in place while a commission of investigation is established by the Government.

Mr Kenny responded: “Obviously, I have confidence in the Garda commissioner.”

Findings in December

Mr Wallace had asked when the O’Neill report would be published. The judge, who investigated the allegations of discrediting whistleblowers, issued his findings to Ms Fitzgerald in December.

He is understood to have recommended that further investigation was warranted regarding claims by Supt David Taylor, who made a protected disclosure to the Tánaiste that he was instructed by senior management to discredit whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe by spreading untruths.

Asked when the report would be published, the Taoiseach said “specific proposals will come to Government shortly”, including putting the conclusions and recommendations of the report into the public domain.

He said that because third parties were mentioned in the report, “the Tánaiste referred the report to the Attorney General for advice on how to proceed, including the question of what material can properly be put in the public domain, having the regard to the rights of all concerned”.

He said the Attorney General had given some response but had further matters to conclude on.

Mr Wallace referred to comments by the Garda commissioner in a radio interview, “telling us how wonderful everything is and how wonderful she is herself, bombing us with double-speak. Meanwhile, the harassment of whistleblowers continues.”

He asked why, if everything was so wonderful, “are so many whistleblowers out sick? Why aren’t they at work?”

No DPP decision

The TD said Supt Taylor was interviewed for 21 hours and a file sent to the DPP in September 2015, but as yet there was no decision.

Ms O’Sullivan has said she had absolutely no knowledge and was not privy to any campaign to undermine any individual in An Garda Síochána.

Mr Wallace cited the case of Garda Keith Harrison, who he said had written 14 times to the commissioner detailing harassment he had allegedly been subjected to. He told her he had been out of work since May 2014.*

The Taoiseach told Mr Wallace there were significant changes for gardaí who wished to disclose wrongdoing.

He said they would be entitled to all the protections of whistleblowers, including not having their identity revealed and protection from being dismissed or penalised by their employer.

*This story was amended on January 26th, 2017 at 3.35pm

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran is Parliamentary Correspondent of The Irish Times