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Mary Lou: 'There's no reason why whistleblower transcript shouldn't be in public domain'

Sinn Féin TD Mary Lou McDonald said she is “very, very troubled” by the opposition among PAC members to releasing a transcript of testimony given by a garda sergeant to the committee last week.

Mary Lou McDonald in Wexford this evening.
Mary Lou McDonald in Wexford this evening.
Image: Hugh O'Connell via TheJournal.ie

SINN FÉIN TD Mary Lou McDonald has said there is no reason why a transcript of evidence given by a garda whistleblower about alleged malpractice in the penalty points system should not be in the public domain.

McDonald is a member of the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee which heard evidence from Garda sergeant Maurice McCabe in private session last week.

A dispute has emerged between members over releasing a transcript of that evidence to the whistleblower with the majority believing it should not be released.

But McDonald and independent deputy Shane Ross wrote to the clerk of the PAC last night, calling for the matter to be on the committee’s agenda next week with a view to forcing a rare vote among members on the issue.

Speaking at the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis in Wexford this evening, McDonald went further and said the transcript should not only be given to the whistleblower if he requests it, but it should also be made public.

“When this matter was discussed last week, after sergeant McCabe appeared before us, it was made clear to him and I thought made clear to all of us that should the sergeant require a transcript of his evidence that the committee would facilitate that.

“I am very, very troubled by the manner in which all of this has been treated. I see absolutely no good reason or rational basis for not giving a transcript of his evidence to the sergeant.”

She added: “In fact, I would go further and I believe that in fact that transcript ought to be made public.

“We heard testimony from the other people on this matter, all of that was held in public, and now I believe that what the garda sergeant had to say is also in the public interest and there is no reason why it shouldn’t be in the public domain.”

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Hugh O'Connell

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