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Maurice McCabe will meet senior Gardaí today over new penalty points claims

GSOC has opened an investigation into the claims.

Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Updated: 1.25 pm

GARDA HQ IS to be the site of a meeting later today between high-ranking Gardaí and whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe.

The Garda whistleblower was invited to the talks following new claims he made over the weekend that Gardaí are still cancelling penalty points for friends and family.

Acting Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan had already ordered a full audit of all penalty points cancelled since June, when a raft of new regulations came into force.

Notably, those regulations include the centralisation of the authority to cancel points at the Fixed Charge Processing Office in Thurles.

A Garda statement yesterday said O’Sullivan had forwarded McCabe’s most recent claims to Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald and requested an investigation.

The Minister agreed to the request and referred the allegations to the Garda Ombudsman Commission, who will now independently examine them.

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice told TheJournal.ie that the new allegations had been sent to Fitzgerald “last week.”

The Minister, conscious of the need for continued public confidence in the integrity of the fixed charge notice system, and of the desirability of an independent investigation of the allegations in the public interest, referred the allegations to GSOC, also last week.
The Minister is not aware of the identity of the person who made the allegations, and the Garda Commissioner will liaise directly with GSOC on the matter.

RTE reports that McCabe’s new allegations relate to off-duty members cancelling points after falsely claiming they were driving Garda cars at the time of the offences.

John Devitt of Transparency International Ireland told RTE’s Morning Ireland that some of the penalty point cancellation claims had been forwarded to McCabe by a number of other Gardaí.

He added that the allegations related to a “significant number” of points being cancelled on spurious grounds, including “no known address” being listed, despite the points pertaining to serving Garda members.

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Speaking to RTÉ’s News at One this afternoon, Fitzgerald said a “careful and comprehensive” investigation into the claims would took place.

What we have at present is a number of suggestions that the whole question of penalty points should be looked at again even though those new guidelines are in place.
Now what we have to do is investigate precisely what is being said, investigate it comprehensively and carefully and see what exactly will emerge.

The Fine Gael TD was at Templemore Garda College this afternoon to welcome 100 new recruits to the force – the first new batch since 2009.

There, O’Sullivan pleaded with reporters to avoid rushing to judgment:

To be fair, we are working with the information that has been made available to us.

We are examining that information and we will establish exactly what the veracity or otherwise of that information is.

Read: Gardaí STILL cancelling penalty points, says whistleblower>

Garda whistleblower to meet with Commissioner over harassment>

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Dan MacGuill

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