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Garda whistleblower told detective superintendent he was going to 'take down' garda commissioner, tribunal told

The tribunal is in its second week hearing from Garda Nicholas Keogh.

Image: Leah Farrell

A GARDA WHISTLEBLOWER told a detective superintendent he was going to “take down” Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan and wage “all out attack” on management, a tribunal has heard.

Garda Nicholas Keogh is giving evidence at the Disclosures Tribunal where counsel for An Garda Síochána are cross-examining him.

The tribunal is in its second week hearing from Keogh who alleges that a senior member of the Athlone drugs unit, identified to the tribunal as Garda A, was in an improper relationship with a heroin dealer, identified as Ms B, who had a then-estimated €2,500 a week income.

The tribunal, chaired by Judge Sean Ryan, is investigating how Keogh was treated after he made his protected disclosure in 2014.

Counsel for the gardaí, Shane Murphy SC, went through Keogh’s diary entries.

In December 2014 and May 2015, Keogh met with then TDs Clare Daly and Mick Wallace about his case.

At the first meeting, Keogh wrote that the smell of the wine they were drinking was “unnatural”, described himself as “like a bloodhound” but told Judge Ryan that he was “in a bad way” at the time with his drinking.

At another meeting, Clare Daly told Keogh: “Don’t worry, we will get them in the end.”

Keogh told Judge Ryan that the “them” referred to was “Garda management” but that Deputy Daly was “only offering encouragement” to him.

Mr Murphy then asked if Keogh was out to “get” people and was told “no”.

“In May, 2015, the gardaí have already embarked on a cover up and I’m under pressure from Garda management,” said Keogh. “It’s a parallel thing”.

An entry on 1 January, 2018, reads: “Four years of this shit.” On 22 January, 2018, he wrote: “Nóirín in tribunal said she supported all whistleblowers”.

As part of the investigation into Keogh’s original collusion complaint, Detective Superintendent Declan Mulcahy met and regularly updated Keogh.

Mulcahy also kept in contact with Keogh’s superior, Superintendent Noreen McBrien about welfare issues regarding Keogh’s drinking and health.

In April, 2015, Mulcahy said that there was concern for Keogh and that welfare services were there for him.

The tribunal heard that Keogh texted while drinking: “I will accept welfare if you are still offering”.

In September, 2015, he met a welfare officer, Mick Quinn, who Keogh said was “brilliant, brilliant throughout the last couple of years”.

Mulcahy wrote that before meeting the welfare officer that conversations with Keogh were sometimes when he was drunk.

“He did not make a lot of sense and spoke of ‘bugs’ and talked about a gun in someone’s mouth,” wrote Mulcahy in October 2014, and that in November 2014 Keogh said: “make up your fucking mind, you are pussy-footing around”.

Mulcahy wrote after two incidents that he would talk to Keogh again when he was sober.

In April, 2015, Mulcahy wrote that Keogh spoke of “all-out attack and of taking Nóirín O’Sullivan down. He asked if Garda A was going to be arrested and also mentions Alan Shatter and that he was also going to take him down”.

Murphy asked if that in April 2015 was Keogh’s attitude to “take down” people from office.

“I had a firm view on Nóirín O’Sullivan,” said Keogh, adding that he did not want to take down everyone just a “cabal” and that he had no issue with Alan Shatter.

Judge Ryan asked “Did that represent your state of mind, or was it a drunken state of mind?”.

“A bit of both, to be honest,” Keogh told the judge.

Mulcahy also noted that Keogh, when contacted, told him that he was at home “playing around with his computer putting pictures of rats on Nóirín O’Sullivan. He mentions that Aidan Glacken was going to be promoted and that he couldn’t allow that. It was a circus of madness and that he was going to make a film about it”.

Keogh said that he “wouldn’t have that level of knowledge on a computer to do that. Email was still a new thing to me. I still work off old phones. I wouldn’t have the knowledge in relation to that particular thing”.

Murphy asked if Keogh told Clare Daly, Mick Wallace or Garda whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe that he “had ideas about taking down Nóirín O’Sullivan”.

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Paul Neilan

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