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Garda whistleblower resigns from force three years after making allegations of serious misconduct

She is still currently waiting to hear back on a protected disclosure submitted over three years ago.

Image: RollingNews.ie

A GARDA WHISTLEBLOWER has resigned from the force over three years since she submitted a protected disclosure about malpractice which has yet to be addressed, TheJournal.ie has learned. 

The garda had been off on stress leave since making the disclosure to management about the behaviour of some officers within a garda district, as well as specific actions of one of her superiors. 

It is believed the garda handed in her papers earlier this week and is said to be devastated by the way in which she was treated by management.

The garda whistleblower alleges that prior to her leave:

  • She was disciplined after finding a weapon in her district;
  • Officers were instructed to purposely input inaccurate data into the Garda Pulse system to protect a criminal informant;
  • Senior gardaí failed to tell her that a criminal who threatened her was believed to be in possession of a handgun

Her protected disclosure was made at the start of 2016 and a chief superintendent was appointed to investigate it. Statements from officers based at the station were taken in May 2016. The senior officers against whom the allegations were made were also formally interviewed at this time. The final file was sent to the commissioner’s office in February 2017 and the whistleblower has not heard anything since – other than that the file is being processed.

The garda has a large amount of support from local units in the district, as well as politicians who have previously brought up her case in the Dáil following various news reports by TheJournal.ie about her case. 

According to sources familiar with the ongoing case, the garda felt she had been forced into a position where her physical and mental health were being put at risk if she were to continue being a police officer. 

Her original statement to gardaí read: “Morale has definitely plummeted in the district. I would say it has plummeted since 2015 and this drop in morale is directly linked to the [senior officer's] attitude and the way he deals with members.

“I also agree that members using their initiative are treated in a negative manner by the [senior garda]. I also agree that the goodwill of the members with regard to staying on Friday and Saturday nights, without extra pay, has gone. I am aware that there is a palpable fear of him among the members. This is led by the way he treats and communicates to members. He never acknowledges good work and is always critical. Commendations are rarely given.”

Garda management has repeatedly refused to comment on the case.

However, according to its own rules for dealing with a protected disclosure (which can be found here), “An Garda Síochána is committed to ensuring that a worker who makes a protected disclosure (the discloser) is kept fully informed of the progress of any investigation arising from the disclosure and ensuring that the result of any such investigation is communicated to the worker who made the disclosure.”

Responding for comment on the protocols in place to deal with disclosure, a spokesman for the Department of Justice said: “The Protected Disclosures Act 2014 does not specify a timeframe in which a protected disclosure must be dealt with.

The department deals with all protected disclosures in accordance with the provisions of the Act taking into account the individual nature of each such disclosure and the complexities which they present.

The Garda Press Office said it is not its policy to comment on protected disclosures. 

TheJournal.ie attempted to contact the whistleblower but was told to direct all queries to the press office as she did not wish to make any comment on the matter.

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