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Claims that garda whistleblower didn't cooperate "misleading and false"

Prime Time this evening revealed a transcript of a conversation Maurice McCabe had with a superior, which also instructed him to stop downloading material from PULSE.

Maurice McCabe
Maurice McCabe
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

CORRESPONDENCE FROM THE Garda Commissioner to whisteblower Maurice McCabe released this evening shows that he was informed that he ‘could’ bring further concerns regarding the cancellation penalty points to the attention of an investigation.

This follows comments by both the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter and Commissioner Callinan that McCabe did not cooperate with the investigation after being instructed to do.

However, in a statement this evening to RTÉ’s Prime Time programme, McCabe said that allegations that he was told to co-operate, but did not do so, were “gravely misleading and false”.

“Never directed”

“I was never directed by the Commissioner to cooperate with the O’Mahony investigation as alleged,” the statement reads.

The following he claims is a transcript of a conversation he had with the Chief Superintendent of Mullingar Garda Station Mark Curran on the 14 December 2012.

McCabe was read out a letter from the Commissioner, but not permitted to keep a copy.

“The fact that I was denied a copy of the direction may have encouraged the author of the statement issued today about me to grossly misrepresent the terms of the Commissioner’s direction as read out to me and as recorded by me,” the statement continues.

Never contacted

“I was never contacted by anyone conducting the O’Mahony investigation which completed its report without making any attempt to speak with me or to seek my input or cooperation into its inquiries. I never withheld any information or cooperation from the O’Mahony investigation as is now suggested.

The following is said to be a transcript of the letter from the Commissioner that was read out to McCabe:

If you have any further concerns and without prejudice of your rights under the Confidential Reporting Mechanism such matters can be brought to the attention of Assistant Commissioner John O Mahony, Crime and Security, who will fully investigate those matters.

He  was also instructed to stop downloading sensitive personal data from the PULSE computer system relating to the cancellation of penalty points:

The Commissioner understands that you have been searching and printing out from pulse documents that contain sensitive personal data regarding the cancellation of the fixed charge notices.

The Commissioner further understands that it is your intention to provide a third party with that documentation.

It is noted that sensitive personal data in relation to fixed charge cancelation have already appeared in the public domain.

The Commissioner has sought the advices of the Attorney General and has consulted with the Data Protection Commissioner in respect of this matter.

You are aware that there is power as set out in the Garda policy procedure and guidelines for cancelling these fixed charge notices in certain instances in such circumstances.

Having consulted with the above mentioned authority the Commissioner is satisfied that you’re continued access pulse data and disclosure of such it and personal data to a third party is likely to be in breach of the Data Protection Act and other legislation, as well as being prejudicial to the current investigation being undertaken by Assistant Commissioner John O Mahony.

The following is the rest of the conversation with the Chief Superintendent.

Maurice: But I didn’t do any of that?

Chief: Well I’m only telling you that that is the directions from the Commissioner.

Maurice : And what happens under the Garda Siochana Act, where you are allowed hand over stuff, under Section 62 and the Whistleblower Charter, what about that?

Chief: I think you need to raise that with Assistant Commissioner Mahony, honestly that might be the way you pursue it.

Maurice : That’s a serious accusation.

Chief: The directions on it and just to make sure we are both clear I’ll read it out to you again.

Maurice : No, I’m very clear. He is accusing me of handing stuff over, (Chief then reads out the first paragraph in the report again to explain what the Commissioner is accusing me of. And then reads out the whole lot again. ). So he saying I did that.

Chief: The Commissioner has facts on which he is basing these comments on. So I’ll read it out one more time so you understand. He reads it all out again.

Maurice : He is basically saying that I gave the information to somebody else, so the Whistleblower Charter is gone, finished, cause he is saying there. If the Data Protection Commissioner asks me for stuff what do I do, do I say no to him? He has asked for stuff.

Chief: No no don’t. It you want authority to do anything or if you have as issue there in relation to those matters you can talk to Assistant Commissioner John O Mahony. Or you can send your concerns here in relation to that.

Maurice : So I can’t go near the Whistleblower Charter anymore? Obviously!

Chief: You cannot.

Maurice : I can. (he reads out the report to me again) He’s after accusing me of stuff there what I didn’t do and that is shocking. The only person I forwarded stuff to was An Taoiseach, so I’ll have to take it up with him. Cause he must be the third party? Shocking stuff.

Chief: I know but that’s his legal advice.

Maurice : But even the Data Protection Commissioner, he asked me for stuff so what do I say to him, no?

Chief: Well that’s the instruction and you’ll be in breach of discipline and any other possible Acts if you ignore it.

Maurice : So am I allowed email Edna Kenny about that.

Chief: I can give you an answer, my own personal answer but I think you should address it with John O Mahony. The direction is down here that he will deal with your concerns.

Maurice : Shocking stuff. So basically I can do nothing.

Chief: What you need to do is do what you’re meant to do, your day to day duty. .
Maurice : Oh, and not report anything which is wrong which….

Chief: This is a direction from the Commissioner, you are searching pulse for a particular reason.
Maurice : I got a complaint in relation to that from a Garda , I carried out my duty.

Chief: Did you report that?

Maurice : I carried out my duty.

Chief: Did you report it here?

Maurice : I carried out my duty, I carried out my duties in relation to that.

Chief: Did you report it thought the channels?

Maurice : I carried out all my duties in relation to it.

Chief: Ok

Maurice : I used the Whistle Blowing Charter. Let’s not argue, as regards the last paragraph, you’ll have no issue with me here anymore,

Chief: That all I want to know

Maurice : You wont chief, you wont no. but its just amazing. I did not think it was that, I thought it was something.

Chief: No you should follow that, it is a direction.

Maurice : Yes, it is and I will follow that , I wont disobey any direction and you can make note of that Paddy , I wont disobey any directions in relation to that . You have my full compliance. But, ‘m just amazed, but sure… Small talk.

Maurice : Do I get a copy of that?

Chief: No.

Maurice : Ok, well it won’t happen anyway. I give you my word on that. It’s not your problem anyway, you were sent to read it out to me.

Attempts have been made by this website to contact An Garda Síochána for comment.

No comment was available from the Department of Justice.

Read: Minister Alex White wants Shatter to correct Dáil comments on whistleblower >

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Nicky Ryan

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