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High Court judge to investigate allegations of wrongdoing related to whistleblower disclosures

The inquiry will look into allegations of “wrongdoing” concerning recent disclosures.

shutterstock_335527118 Source: Shutterstock/Billion Photos

JUSTICE MINISTER FRANCES Fitzgerald has announced a new inquiry into the protected disclosures of Garda whistleblowers.

The subject of such whistleblowers has raised its head repeatedly in recent days with independent TDs Clare Daly and Mick Wallace calling for Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan’s  head repeatedly in the Dáil, saying her position has become “untenable”.

Former High Court judge Iarfhlaith O’Neill will helm the review into allegations that certain such disclosures were interfered with.

O’Neill’s specific remit will be to:

  • review allegations of wrongdoing contained in the disclosures
  • make any inquiries with persons or bodies that he considers appropriate in relation to the review
  • report back to the Minister within six weeks with any recommendations he may have regarding further action

“I am very grateful that a person of such eminent standing has agreed to undertake the review,” Fitzgerald said this evening.

4/10/2016. Cabinet Meetings Frances Fitzgerald Source: Sam Boal

I am determined that An Garda Síochána operate to the very highest standards and this involves ensuring that allegations of wrongdoing are dealt with properly and the persons making those allegations are fully protected and respected.

The Minister also reiterated that, per the Protected Disclosures Act 2014, she herself can “say nothing publicly which might identify the persons making the disclosures”.

This means that I cannot comment on the accuracy or otherwise of reports which have appeared about the nature of these disclosures.

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Fianna Fáil’s Justice spokesperson Jim O’Callaghan this evening welcomed the coming review.

“I welcome the establishment of a formal inquiry to examine these serious allegations,” he said.

Fianna Fáil has been clear in saying that such an investigation is needed. We now look forward to the judge working towards a speedy conclusion to his inquiry so that we can get to the truth of these matters.

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