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September 7, 2015

Dear Machholz
Martin Callinan and the kieran Boylan case must be opened
up again and investigated
Garda Hq leaked this in the last day:
Some of the important documents that sacked Martin Callinan
got shredded was the kieran Boylan file which was huge and
which he, Comm. Derek Byrne and John O Mahony hid from
It would have opened up a the biggest can of worms should
the whole file which it was said to be 3 black sacks in
size, had been revealed.
NBCI was running Drug dealer Kieran Boyle headed by
Superintendent Dominic Hayes.
A file was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions, who
directed that nobody should face prosecution
Liz Howlin, head of prosecution at the time colluded with
corrupt senior gardai above in
not prosecuting Kieran Boylan or the senior gardai involved in
his case.
Boylan has so much on Martin Callinan and the other senior
gardai named above
that they would all be sacked should this information get out
and Labour/FG and the DPP s/AG s office all know this.
the GSOC report again describes the toxic and unacceptable
attitude towards
accountability and transparency at the very heart of our public

DPP, Senior gardai and government cover up
Liz Howlin colluded in the corruption and collusion with
senior gardai and kieran Boylan.

It is well known by senior ranks in Garda HQ that Martin
Callinan would
not retire until the Kieran Boylan investigation was finished by
This is why he hid documents,reports and information which
he had in
his possession from them as he knew he would be found out
how corrupt
they all really are.
It was all covered up by Liz Howlin in the DPP s office
Gardai concluded their own inquiries into the case and
decided that
no prosecutions or disciplinary action should take place.
GNDU found the drugs, but NBCI ran boylan as an informer
and got him off on the drug charges.
Martin Callinan ran NBCI, known as the Tango squad then
Crime and security at the time the Kieran Boylan case was
happening and
signed off on all money etc received by Kieran Boylan.

Martin Callinan ordered the bugging of GSOC and Derek

Byrne went along with it.
Martin Callinan secretary who covered up all Martin Callinan
collusion, corruption and intimidation was promoted
Inspector Louise Sinnot.
This case and sacked Martin Callinan must be investigate,
Martin Callinan destroyed many files and statements
in his career he was well known for telling other gardai to get
rid of statements.
Just like he wanted to get rid of the documents the whistle
blowers had and the documents/reports on Ian Bailey
and many more case.
Martin Callinan must be exposed and so does other senior
corrupt gardai for their part in corruption, fraud, and collusion
in the Gardai.
A retired member
A copy of this letter will be sent to the Minister of Justice and
we will be looking for a commitment to investigate these

allegations : We will keep the rest of Ireland and the world

posted as to the response we get !

18 November 2015
Dear Mr Clarke,
I am directed by the Minister for Justice and Equality, Ms
Fitzgerald, T.D., to refer to your correspondence dated 7
September 2015.
The delay in replying is regretted.
In May 2013, the Garda Sochna Ombudsman Commission
(GSOC) made a report
to the then Minister for Justice and Equality under Section
80(5) of the
Garda Sochna Act 2005 following its investigation into
allegations of
collusion between an individual and members of An Garda
In its letter accompanying the report GSOC stated that a file
relating to
its public interest investigation was sent to the Director of
Prosecutions (DPP) pursuant to Section 102(2) of the 2005
Act. The section
provides that GSOC shall send a copy of a designated
officers report to
the DPP where the report contains matters that may constitute
an offence by
a member of An Garda Sochna.
Having considered the file the DPP advised that the file did
not warrant

prosecution of any individual. Thereafter GSOC

considered and decided
against launching any investigation of matters which may
The Minister has no role in the initiation of
prosecutions and,
accordingly, you will appreciate that it would not be
appropriate for the
Minister to comment further or to intervene in the DPPs
Neither has the Minister a role in the investigation of
complaints against
members of An Garda Sochna.
It is the responsibility of GSOC to receive complaints from
the public
concerning members of An Garda Sochna. GSOC is
entirely independent in
the performance of its functions.
It is open to anybody who has a complaint about the manner
in which they
have been dealt with by An Garda Sochna to bring that
complaint to GSOC.
I trust that this clarifies the matter.
Yours sincerely,
Chris Quattrociocchi
Private Secretary to the
Minister for Justice and Equality

Former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan

and PULSE records showing his penalty points for
speeding terminated
Readers may recall how Justice Nial Fennelly

noted in his report how former Garda

Commissioner Martin Callinan had asked a
superintendent to dispose of 8 to 10 black bags
of papers hours after he had stepped down, on
March 25, 2014.
The papers were later shredded on April 14,
2014, according to evidence given to Fennelly.
As Callinan couldnt locate his diary for 2013,
the Fennelly Commission concluded it must also
have been shredded.
Readers will also recall how Fennelly found that
when they asked Callinan about his official
phone, he said he didnt know where it was. The
Fennelly Commission made further enquiries
and Fennelly was told by Assistant
Commissioner Jack Nolan that the phone had
been given to the garda, that the SIM had been
removed and the phone had been returned to
Callinan. Nolan told Fennelly it was his
understanding the SIM had been destroyed.
Later Fennelly asked Callinan to look for the
phone. In turn, Callinan looked for the phone,
found it and gave it to the Commission. It had
no SIM card. Subsequent to this, Nolan told the
Commission that the SIM card actually hadnt
been returned by Callinan and that it had been
cancelled remotely on May 30, 2014 as it hadnt
been used since April 16, 2014.
Further to this, John Mooney, in yesterdays
Sunday Times, made reference to Callinan and
the shredding of his papers and diary.
He wrote:
Fennelly made no adverse finding against Callinan,
and did not accuse him or Garda Headquarters of
destroying evidence, but it did make references to the

various controversies which had beset the

commissioner between late 2012 and early 2014.
Callinan is likely to have sent texts and made entries
into his 2013 diary about these events.
In 2013, for example, the Garda Siochana
Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc) sent a file to
the Department of Justice on Operation
Castle, an investigation into collusion
between the international drugs trafficker
Kieran Boylan and gardai. It outlined how
young criminals were set up for arrest in
legally dubious circumstances while Boylan
was permitted to import huge quantities of
drugs. Callinan was among the senior officers
implicated in the scandal, and was accused of
blocking the Gsoc investigation for years.
In 2013 also, Callinan told Simon OBrien, the Gsoc
chairman, he was concerned about the information
that The Sunday Times was publishing about sensitive
investigations. This remark and other issues
prompted the garda watchdog to hire Verrimus, a
British firm, to advise on internal security in late
2013. The company advised Gsoc of technical and
electronic anomalies that could not be explained, and
raised concerns about the integrity of its
communications system. The cancellation of
penalty points also became a big issue during
It was on April 19, 2013, that the Irish
Independent published Gemma ODohertys
story that Callinan himself had penalty points
In addition, Gavin Sheridan, in yesterday
Sunday Business Post, wrote:

Eleven years ago, in 2004, when the first report of

the Morris Tribunal was published a specific criticism
was made. The destruction by a member of
any official files after retirementcan never
be toleratedIt should be made clear to all
garda that such documentation is the
property of An Garda Sochna. It does not
belong to the member concerned, Judge Morris


Saoirse McGarrigle
Garda Press Office won't comment on reports Garda
Commissioner is in hospital, describing her health as
completely private matter
2:36 PM - 5 Oct 2016

20 20 Retweets7 7 likes

There is something going around, in fairness.



Earlier: Protecting Disclosures


Saoirse McGarrigle
Garda have appealed for privacy surrounding Noirin
O'Sullivan's health. They won't comment on her hospital
admission in recent days.

4:22 PM - 5 Oct 2016

12 12 Retweets5 5 likes

Regarding recent media reports, Commissioner
OSullivan would like to make it clear that she was not
privy to nor approved of any action designed to
target any Garda employee who may have made a
protected disclosure and would condemn any such
action. It would be inappropriate for An Garda
Sochna to comment on the specifics of any protected

Garda Commissioner Noirin OSullivan has denied any

knowledge of any actions to smear Garda whistleblowers,
saying she "would condemn any such action".
An Garda Sochna have released a statement saying:
"Regarding recent media reports, Commissioner OSullivan
would like to make it clear that she was not privy to nor
approved of any action designed to target any Garda
employee who may have made a protected disclosure and

would condemn any such action.

"It would be inappropriate for An Garda Sochna to comment
on the specifics of any protected disclosure.
"In order to maintain public confidence in An Garda Sochna,
we are anxious that the full content of the disclosures giving
rise to the commentary be comprehensively examined at the
earliest opportunity. The Commissioner wishes to re-iterate
that any employees in An Garda Sochna who bring forward
any concerns or issues they might have will be taken seriously
and the matters examined.


"For the record, the Executive Director, Human Resources and

People Development, An Garda Sochna is responsible
amongst other matters for managing the welfare of all
employees. The Executive Director reports any such issues
and concerns in this regard to his line manager. As necessary,
such matters are then brought to the attention of the
"At no stage did the Executive Director, Human Resources
and People Development, report to the Minister for Justice. To
state or infer otherwise is incorrect. The preparation of reports
for the Minister for Justice under section 41 of the Garda
Sochna Act is a matter for the Garda Commissioner only."
Earlier: The Taoiseach Enda Kenny says a judge could be
asked to examine new claims brought forward by Garda
It comes after two members of the force made claims to the
Irish Examiner they had been told to smear the character of a
previous whistleblower.
In the Dil today the Taoiseach said Frances Fitzgerald would
probably not be able to discover for herself if the claims were
But Mr Kenny said the final decision on how to investigate the
claims would be left to the Justice Minister herself.
He said: "That may well be. The appointment of a sitting judge
to look at the documentation to verify the contents of that and
whatever action follows from that."

Independent TD Clare Daly has told the Dil that it is beyond

time for the Garda Commissioner, Noirin O'Sullivan to go.
She said: "If the commissioner herself is not directly involved
in that harrassment, do you not have a problem that her
authority is so discredited that instructions that she has
allegedly given for whistleblowers to be protected are being
wholescale ignored across the ranks of the Garda Sochna?
"Because that is the evidence that is being presented."
Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan is doing "so much
damage" to the Force which is in "turmoil", the Dil has heard
today, writes Daniel McConnell of the Irish Examiner.
Revelations in this week's Irish Examiner once again
dominated Leaders' Questions today in the Dil, where
Tnaiste Frances Fitzgerald came under serious fire over the
Independents4Change TD Mick Wallace, in a very heated
exchange, pleaded with the Tnaiste to remove the
Commissioner from her position.
Mr Wallace said he and his colleague Clare Daly have met
with the two whistleblowers who made the latest Protected
Disclosures and said the Commissioner has failed to end the

persecution of whistleblowers in the force.

"The force is in turmoil... she is doing so much damage," Mr
Wallace said.

In response, the Tnaiste said that while details of the

disclosures are in the public domain, she is precluded by law
from commenting.
She also said that those involved are entitled to due process
and she would not be rushing to judgement.
In response to Sinn Fein's Mary Lou McDonald, the Tnaiste
said the Commissioner is entitled to her full confidence.

Ms Fitzgerald said that she would not be slow to establish a

full inquiry into the allegations should it be merited.
Fianna Fil's Charlie McConalogue began by asking the
Tnaiste to state whether it was true that the two people
behind the disclosures are likely to refuse to cooperate with
any pending inquiry.
In response, the Tnaiste said she could not comment.
Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Pashcal Donohoe
has expressed his "full confidence" in Garda Commissioner
Noirin O'Sullivan, writes Elaine Loughlin of the Irish Examiner.
The Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the Dil that a judicial-led
inquiry may now be established by the Government into the
allegations, following the reports.
Speaking in Dublin this morning, Mr Donohoe said Tnaiste
and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald is now looking into the
latest allegations.
He added: "I have full support and confidence in the
commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan, she has made cleaar her
clear desire to tackle all of the cultural issues in relation to
whistle-blowing and all of the issues that has generated in
recent years. I fully accept that.
"We are making progress in that area but I know we have
more progress to make and the Tnaiste and Minister for
Justice is now fully considering the issue that she became
aware of under legislation that we brought in and will be
making a determination on the right course of action on that

Image: Sam Boal

/Photo Text content

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has confirmed the Tnaiste
Frances Fitzgerald has recently received correspondence
from a member of the garda under whistleblower
The confirmation comes after a report in The Irish
Examiner today by Mick Clifford which stated a report was
made under the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 alleging
that garda management orchestrated a campaign to
undermine and attack the character of a whistleblower.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the Dil today that he was
aware of todays newspaper report about attempts to
undermine the whistleblowers through encouraging
officers to attack his character, creating an intelligence file
on him, monitoring his activities on the PULSE system,
making false allegations about his character and briefing
elements of the media and selected politicians in a similar
Protected disclosure
He confirmed Fitzgerald had received the report and is
examining the contents.

Let me confirm for the House that the Tnaiste has

recently received correspondence from members of the
Garda Sochna under the Protected Disclosures Act 2014,
which is now being considered.
The Tnaiste will consider now how best to proceed in
relation to these protected disclosures and take whatever
action may be deemed appropriate.
Kenny said that Minister Fitzgerald also referred the
matter to the independent Policing Authority.
It will make its views known, said the Taoiseach.
He added that he has not seen the correspondence or the
report, but said:
it may well be there are matters here beyond what
would be a normal GSOC analysis or investigation.
Undermining the whistleblower
Fianna Fil leader Michel Martin said he was very
concerned about reports that whistleblowers were being
strategically undermined and under attack, both their
personal and professional reputations at the instigation of
senior garda management.
Disclosures have now been made to that effect by a senior
officer of the force, that essentially, this campaign involved
dissemination of texts across a range of garda; the
opening of an intelligence file on the whistleblowers;
undermining the whistleblowers in relation to their
In essence, it was a character assassination attack this
was organised and that people who engaged in it were
engaging in it under instruction.
Martin said the matter demands a fairly dramatic
response from government.
Kenny was also keen to highlight the importance of
confidentiality in relation to protected disclosures.
While Martin agreed with the Taoiseach he said
the activity goes beyond that and cuts to the very heart of
how a police force should be operating.

Whistleblower controversy:
Tnaiste says Nirn
O'Sullivan is 'entitled' to full
Garda chief has denied any knowledge on an alleged smear
campaign against a whistleblower

Tnaiste Frances Fitzgerald has expressed her full

confidence in Garda Commissioner Nirn O'Sullivan
following the latest whistleblower allegations.
But the justice minister again refused to comment on the
content of claims made by whistleblowers from within the
"Do not ask me as minister charged with defending the
principles of justice that are fundamental to society to set
aside those principles, in this or any case," she told TDs in the
Dil this afternoon.
"No findings of any wrongdoing of any kind have been made
against the garda commissioner and under
those circumstance she is entitled to our full confidence."
Minister Fitzgerald said the allegations are of the utmost
seriousness, adding that Attorney General Mire Whelan
is being consulted on how to proceed with a quick
Ms O'Sullivan yesterday denied being aware or involved in
any whistleblower smear campaign.
It followed an Irish Examiner report that statements made by
two senior garda alleged that senior garda management set
out to destroy the character of a whistleblower within the force.

The paper said the disclosures detailed attempts to undermine

the whistleblower by encouraging officers to attack his
character, creating an intelligence file on him and monitoring
his activities on the garda Pulse system.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny indicated yesterday that a judge could
be appointed to examine the claims.
He also insisted he had "absolute confidence" in Nirn
O'Sullivan, following calls for her resignation by TD Clare Daly.
'Honourable man'
Earlier today, one of the whistleblowers at the centre of the
scandal was described as a "decent, honourable man".
Retired detective sergeant Alan Bailey said the senior officer,
who claims he was involved in alleged efforts to discredit a
previous whistleblower, felt it was his duty to contact Minister
for Justice Frances Fitzgerald.
"I would imagine he has come forward because he feels it is
his duty as a serving member to highlight certain aspects of
distasteful practice, if they are true," he told Newstalk
Mr Bailey added: "What saddens me about this is that if [the
claims] are true, it means nothing has changed."
He told the programme that questions about the treatment of
whistleblowers threatened to undermine the forces credibility.
"Its tearing the heart out of policing. Its casting doubt on
everything we ever did or will do," he said.
"Its casting huge doubt on our credibility as a police force."
If the Commissioner was unaware of the smear campaign
against the whistleblower by those under her command
then surely that demonstrates her incompetence for the
How could you not come to that conclusion?

aoiseach confirms senior

garda have made 'protected
disclosures' to Justice

The latest whistleblowing is believed to relate to the treatment
of a previous Garda whistleblower

The Taoiseach has confirmed that a number of senior

garda have made so-called 'protected disclosures' to the
Justice Minister.
It is understood that the whistleblowing relates to the
treatment of a previous whistleblower, whom they allege was
subjected to a major campaign of false and damaging
The Irish Examiner newspaper has also reported that one of
the officers making the disclosure now admits his role in the
campaign to discredit the whistleblower.
The paper suggests a "wide circle" of officers is understood to
have been involved in the campaign.
The campaign itself is said to have involved measures such
as the creation of an intelligence file, monitoring of the
whistleblower's use of the Garda Pulse computer system, and
the briefing of "elements of the media" about the
Enda Kenny confirmed to the Dil that Minister Frances
Fitzgerald now has to assess the claims made.
"In these circumstances, and in line with statutory obligations
[...] the House would not expect me to go into detail about who
has made these disclosures, or the nature of the allegations
contained within them at this particular time," he explained.

"The Tnaiste will consider now how best to proceed in

relation to these protected disclosures, and take whatever
action may be deemed appropriate."

What is NAMAleaks?

Namaleaks is a project that seeks to uncover

possible injustice and poor practice related to
NAMA (National Asset Management Agency)
and financial institutions in Ireland.
It is directed by Mick Wallace TD and the Namaleaks team
includes Cormac Butler (financial consultant), Clare Daly
TD, Frank McDonald (Irish Times journalist) and Julien
Mercille (University College Dublin academic). It has been
developed in collaboration with experts who work
extensively with whistleblower Edward Snowden. They are
world leaders in creating secure and anonymous systems
for whistleblowers.
Please contact us if you have relevant information.
Whether you are an insider with confidential information,
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Below, we outline several methods for you to get in touch
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How to leak:

Go to a public WiFi network. Take your personal computer

and go to a network that isnt associated with you or your
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Download and install the Tor browser on your laptop (go to
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Browser maximises your anonymity online because it
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Configure: click Connect.
Create your anonymous email address and account. Use
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The general principle is this: you must create an
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the example above but if you use another service its fine,
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Encrypt your new anonymous email. This will ensure that
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The fish rots from the head. Enda Kenny is a traitor to this country. I
say this with more conviction than anything I have ever said before
in my life.

When you see the State protecting itself right in front of

your nose, oct 5th 2016

Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill

2015: Second Stage

Call for repeal of ban on people with intellectual

disabilities having sexual relationships
Posted on 05, Oct 2016
At present it is a criminal offence for a person to conduct such a
relationship with someone with an intellectual disability.
An Irish charity is calling for the repeal of a law which bans people with
intellectual disabilities from having sexual relationships.
A new Bill dealing with the subject, the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences)
Bill 2015, is set for second stage discussion in Dil ireann tomorrow.
Section 20 of the new bill, if passed, will repeal a ban which prevents a
person from engaging in a sexual relationship with someone with an
intellectual disability.

That rule has been enshrined in Irish law since 1993. It specifically
criminalises such relationships, with the ban based on the existence of
a disability and no other criteria, according to disability charity Rehab
which is calling for the Bill to be approved without unnecessary delay.
The charity has described the existence of the law as an example of
glaring inequality.
The existing law in Ireland creates a situation where people with
intellectual disabilities are often neither supported nor encouraged to
look for a romantic life partner, which is a normal part of life for
everyone else, the charity said in a statement ahead of the Dil debate.
The current Criminal Justice bill designates someone with intellectual
disabilities as a protected person, as an acknowledgement of the
difference of ability such a person has in making decisions about their
Greater equality
Rehab says that significant strides have been made since the passing
of the 1993 bill to establish people with disabilities as citizens with
equal rights, and that it is now time for similar equality to be given to
people in relation to sexual relationships.
The proposed new laws will create greater equality for people with
disabilities in their sexual and romantic lives, says Kathleen OMeara of
Often the existing legislation has prevented people engaging in any
type of romantic relationship.
This legislation is now urgent. It will provide greater opportunities to
people with intellectual disabilities to assert their human right to marry
and to found a family.
The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015 will be discussed in Dil
ireann from 6.30pm tomorrow evening.
(Published by on the 4th October 2016)
Independent TD, Clare Daly has called for the resignation of the
Garda Commissioner in light of the whistleblower claims.
The Taoiseach told TDs in the Dil that he had "absolute confidence"
in Garda Commissioner Nirn O'Sullivan.
It beggars belief that this government and the previous one have

ignored the evidence that Garda whistle blowers are being harassed
and discredited by some members of senior management in an
Garda Force. Claire Daly and Mick Wallace have raised this matter in
the Dail for the past two and a half years. If the Garda force has to
trusted these matters have to be resolved. Otherwise it will appear
to be a secret society. Enda Kenny and the Minister for Justice get
this matter sorted or the whole Garda force will fall into disrepute.

Garda Commissioner Nirn O'Sullivan has denied any

knowledge or involvement in an alleged campaign against
a whistleblower in the force.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny earlier indicated that a judge could be
appointed to examine the new claims by garda whistleblowers.
Mr Kenny confirmed yesterday that Tnaiste Frances
Fitzgerald recently received correspondence from a number of
garda under whistleblowing legislation.
It followed an Irish Examiner report that statements made by
two senior garda alleged that senior garda management set
out to destroy the character of a whistleblower.
The paper said the disclosures detailed attempts to undermine
the whistleblower by encouraging officers to attack his
character, creating an intelligence file on him and monitoring
his activities on the garda Pulse system.
The Fine Gael leader told TDs he had "absolute confidence" in
Garda Commissioner Nirn O'Sullivan, following calls for her
resignation by TD Clare Daly.
Enda Kenny told the Dil this afternoon that it will be up to
Minister Fitzgerald to decide on the best course of action to
take once the documentation has been fully considered.
"That may well be the appointment of a sitting judge to look at
the documentation to verify the contents of that and whatever
action follows from that," he said.
A statement from the garda this afternoon said:
"Commissioner OSullivan would like to make it clear that she
was not privy to nor approved of any action designed to target
any garda employee who may have made a protected
disclosure and would condemn any such action.
"The Commissioner wishes to [reiterate] that any employees
in An Garda Sochna who bring forward any concerns or

issues they might have will be taken seriously and the matters
The statement added that garda were "anxious that the full
content of the disclosures giving rise to the commentary be
comprehensively examined" to maintain public confidence in
the force.
Minister Fitzgerald told an Oireachtas committee this morning
that she will ensure the claims are fully investigated.
"I will consider in great detail how to respond to them, and
what is the best possible way to take this further, to analyse
and make sure there is a process in place," she said.
"I will certainly do it in a way that protects the whistleblowers
and that is fair, and is seen to deliver justice to all."
Garda culture
Speaking to Newstalk Drive, Mary Lou McDonald said it is
"scandalous that we now have another - and very serious - set
of allegations in respect of whistleblowers and the smearing
and targeting of them."
She suggested there seems to be a lot of "book-passing" over
the issue.
"Let's hear from the [Justice] Minister. I know the
Commissioner has made a public statement - we need much
more than that.
"As I speak to you today, I would suggest that the position of
both those women in the senior positions concerned is very,
very tenuous to say the least of it," Deputy McDonald added.
Earlier today, Brendan Howlin sharply criticised what he
described as a culture of "circling the wagons" within An
Garda Sochna.
In an interview with Newstalk Breakfast, Deputy Howlin said
the development was "very demoralising" for those who
believed the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 would improve
the culture within the force.
"I said during the passage of that bill that the law is not
enough. You have to change culture and this is much more
difficult," he said.
"It was clear to me then and it seems still to be the position
that, for some guards, there seems to be a culture where
when someone points to a wrongdoing, you circle the wagons.
"You dont address it. That needs to be eradicated and we

need to do it now."
The Labour leader described Minister Fitzgerald as eager,
determined and "honourable in what she wants to do".
He added, however: "I know that anyone - and this is every
minister I am aware of in my 30 years in the Dil - that goes
into Department of Justice is sucked into a system.
"One of things I tried to do in the Department of Public
Expenditure is move people around so you didn't build up silos
of people who become securocrats in a way that protects their
own enclave above the generality of the public good." bIt beggars belief that this government and the previous one have
ignored the evidence that Garda whistle blowers are being harassed
and discredited by some members of senior management in an
Garda Force. Claire Daly and Mick Wallace have raised this matter in
the Dail for the past two and a half years. If the Garda force has to
trusted these matters have to be resolved. Otherwise it will appear
to be a secret society. Enda Kenny and the Minister for Justice get
this matter sorted or the whole Garda force will fall into
disrepute.eggars belief that this government and the previous one
have ignored the evidence that Garda whistle blowers are being
harassed and discredited by some members of senior management
in an Garda Force. Claire Daly and Mick Wallace have raised this
matter in the Dail for the past two and a half years. If the Garda
force has to trusted these matters have to be resolved. Otherwise it
will appear to be a secret society. Enda Kenny and the Minister for
Justice get this matter sorted or the whole Garda force will fall into

The man who very recently took his own life having been mentally
tortured by one of our own bailed out banks was buried on the very
same day that he was due to appear at the EVICTION Court in his
own home town. He left behind a wife and a number of young
children. Not only are our weak and uncaring Government
responsible for this mans death, they are also responsible for
destroying forever the lives of his distraught family.
Unfortunately he is just the latest in a long list of lives that have
been lost because of Government inaction. Our cowardly TDs know
only too well how very hidden this awful crisis is. They are also
aware that this crisis continues to be extremely traumatising for
hundreds of thousands of people in Ireland, many of whom carry this
unbearable burden alone... and yet the cowards do nothing for fear
of upsetting their friends in the financial world.
No matter what we do, the unfortunate truth is that this poor man
will not be the last victim of the bailed out banks and vulture funds.
Many innocent victims will die and the reason will never be spoken

about. Even in death the shame and embarrassment continues for

those left behind to grieve alone.
Right now we must not look for revenge. We must however continue
our fight for fairness, and I have no doubt that it will be achieved
Then it will be time to have proper justice served on those found
guilty of human rights violations and thats one hell of a long list
that includes bank employees who partake in terrorising families. It
also includes the paid process servers who begin the dirty work on
behalf of the legal eagles for the gangster bankers and thats only
for starters! (I was only doing my job is not an acceptable excuse).

Brid tackles Shane Ross - public

transport is a service, not a 'product'
Oct 5, 2016
Brd Smith TD accuses Minister of 'privatisation by stealth' of
public transport services and urges services that are
environmentally friendly

Brid Smith TD queries selection process

for 'People's Assembly'
Oct 4, 2016
LGBT Rights in Ireland ... Homosexuality was decriminalized in
Ireland with the the passing of the Criminal Law (Sexual
Offences ... Bill 2015, now they want to pass the same
law on disability people
This is an incredibly complicated issue. The most loving people you will
ever meet are most likely the ones with the most severe intellectual
If the average iQ in Ireland was 140+ would we have the right to
criminalise sexual relations between those with iQs of 100 to 110.??
- of course not, because those people would capable of looking after
themselves and their offspring.
However if a couple is incapable of caring for their offspring, is it
morally right or wrong to allow them to have kids??
I dont know, I dont think I have the right to restrict the normal wants
and desires of anyone.
Personally, I would say sex yes, kids no.

Ireland's Only..
Gay Pakistani TD and minister for social protection refuses
to return social welfare rates to normal for under 26 year

olds.. Ignoring the abject poverty most unemployed 26

year olds live under on a 100 euros weekly payment.
The Millionaire Medical Doctor (glibly) announced in the
Dail today..
.. "I'm more interested in getting these people to work
rather than increasing social welfare payments to where
we once had them" ...

The Taoiseach Enda Kenny has suggested that Kim

Kardashian would not have been robbed if she was using an
Irish tech security firm.
Mr Kenny made the comments as Carlow company Netwatch
announced 85 new jobs.
He told people to send a message to the Kardashians, saying
"we will mind you".
The Taoiseach said: "I was going to say that there was a good
lady robbed in Paris of jewellery there.
"Maybe if they had Netwatch, they mightn't have been.
"Send them a message and say 'over here, we will mind you'."

O'Yes Tick Tock Tick Tock. The whole Fucking Crew is Gone

Not for the first time, its full marks for parliamentary
persistence to Clare Daly and Mick Wallace.
The two Independents 4 Change TDs must be used to
the drill by now: they bang their heads against a brick
wall until a politician the Government finds difficult to
ignore takes up the case.
Michel Martin did that on Wednesday.
For more than two years Clare and Mick have been
telling the Dil about the plight of two Garda

whistleblowers and how the force they pledged to serve

rewarded their courage in speaking out by treating
them as pariahs.
Sporadic media reporting didnt get much traction.
Nineteen times, Daly reminded the House during
Leaders Questions.
Thats how often either she or Wallace stood up in the
national parliament to highlight the alleged treatment
of these whistleblowers by erstwhile colleagues. To
them, what made this story all the more shocking was
that the officers were subjected to this behaviour in
what was supposed to be a new era of openness for An
Garda Sochna, when whistleblowers would not only
be protected, but positively encouraged.
In the bright dawn of post-Callinan contrition, Garda
management vowed to sweep away the cobwebs and
throw out its inward and secretive approach to policing
and accountability. Yet still the stories persisted.
Which brings us back to the start. For all the promises
of a root and branch reform of the force after the
whistleblowing controversies that rocked the justice
system during the last government, it was a case of
here we are, back to square one, said Sinn Fins
Mary Lou McDonald.

Absolute confidence
There was certainly a dispiriting sense of deja vu about
the Dil exchanges.
When Fine Gael scraped back into power earlier this
year and Enda Kenny plotted his final lap as Taoiseach,
the last thing he will have wanted was another
punishing stint in the chamber defending a Minister
for Justice and Garda Commissioner against fresh
allegations of sweeping serious problems under the
Tanaiste confident in Garda Commissioner

amid whistleblower claims

The Garda whisteblowers: who are they and what

High-ranking garda to demand inquiry into force

Yet here he was, expressing his absolute confidence

in the new set of incumbents.
I have no reason not to, he said.
Daly was withering in her response.
Its a bit like when you gave 100 per cent confidence to
the last two [Alan Shatter and Martin Callinan] before
it went to zero overnight.
Rest assured, neither the Taoiseach nor his Minister
for Justice have forgotten those turbulent months for
the then majority government.
They will not want a repeat.
Apart from Mick and Clare, most of the members of
Dil ireann havent appeared concerned by the very
troubling claims of the whistleblowers, even though
theyve been in the public domain for long enough. The
detail of what has happened to these two men and how
their circumstances have changed terribly has been
supplied in the House again and again.
Heres Wallace speaking during Leaders Questions to
the Minister for Justice in May of last year, attempting
to draw attention once again to the problems these two
men were enduring because they reported alleged
wrongdoing within the force to the relevant authorities.
The only communication they are getting is bullying
and intimidation. I am not saying it is the Ministers
fault. I am saying the system is not working. I am sorry
but it appears to me that the Minister is not being kept
accurately informed by An Garda Sochna. These
people are in a bad place, and they need help and
protection, he said.
Both garda can make their points within the force in
regard to their current experience. I am informed that
all of the actions that need to be taken to investigate
their complaints are being taken, replied Fitzgerald.

And that was that. Apparently, Nick Keogh and Keith

Harrison have heard nothing back in relation to their
complaints about being hounded and undermined by
people within the force.

Growing ranks
So why all the sudden interest in the two
whistleblowers from the midlands?
Because two more whistleblowers have emerged to join
the growing ranks. But heres the twist: this is an inside
The men, described as senior officers, are blowing the
whistle on wrongdoing against whistleblowers.
According to Daly, they know of systematic,
organised, orchestrated campaigns, not just to
discredit a whistleblower, but to annihilate him and
they say it was done with the full involvement of top
Garda management.
One of them says he engaged in some of the
undermining, but he was acting on orders and regrets
it now.
They have made protected disclosures. Daly claims
the Garda Commissioner has been aware of them for
some time, while the Taoiseach confirmed in the Dil
on Wednesday that information had recently been
received by the Minister. She would need time to
review it, he said, repeating it was a very serious matter
which needs careful examination.

Somebody must do that and I expect it will be or
certainly could be a member of the judiciary who
would examine the contents of the received documents
and see if they stand up or not, she said.
At this rate, well have to start importing judges from
abroad to sit on our burgeoning number of inquiries
and assemblies. Shane Ross putting the kibosh on

further judicial appointments until well into next year

wont help.
Given that Daly and Wallace have been alleging and
highlighting various instances of harassment of
whistleblowers, the rush to look into it now is puzzling.
The Garda Commissioner issued a statement saying
she wanted these most recent allegations examined
as quickly as possible.
While, in the distance, Nick Keogh and Keith Harrison
are still jumping up and down and waving in Nirn
OSullivans direction shouting: Were over here!
Were over here!
CLARE DALY was on form yesterday. During Leaders
Questions, she pressed the issue of alleged malpractice in
the Dil with Taoiseach Enda Kenny, as she has done for
more than four years now.

The Independents4Change TD was speaking in the context

of the Irish Examiner story on Tuesday which highlighted
allegations that senior management in the garda led a
campaign to destroy a whistleblower.
Daly was clear who is accountable.
Did it not seem odd to the Taoiseach when the Garda
Commissioner said this morning that she wants to

encourage whistleblowers within An Garda Sochna to

come forward, despite all of the evidence that these
people have been mistreated?

READ NEXT Commissioner talks the talk but status quo

If the Garda Commissioner herself is not directly involved
in the harassment, does the Taoiseach not have a problem
with the fact that her authority is so discredited that
instructions she has allegedly given for whistleblowers to
be protected are being ignored, wholesale, across the
ranks of An Garda Sochna? she said.

Clare Daly
Since taking office in 2014 following the
retirement/sacking of Martin Callinan as Commissioner,
Commissioner OSullivan publicly has expressed the need
for whistleblowers in the force and said that speaking out
was not dissent or disloyalty to the force.
But the bottom line is that those expressions, laudable and
welcome as they are, ring hollow in the face of a litany of
testimony from whistleblowers like Maurice McCabe, Keith
Harrison and Nick Keogh, who speak of a much troubled
police force.
Dalys point rang clear. OSullivan must be either directly
involved in the actions alleged in the two protected
disclosures, revealed in Michael Cliffords story, or her

authority about treating whistleblowers compassionately is

so undermined as to be ignored.
If that is the case, is she fit to remain in office?
Daly and Wallace have long since made their views known
that she, as a close associate of the former Commissioner
Martin Callinan, is not the fresh new broom promised, but
merely more of the same.
Questions too arise for Tnaiste Frances Fitzgerald whose
own reputation has come into focus as to her handling of
whistleblower testimony.
It was claimed by Daly that she has had evidence of such
bad behaviour for a long time and done nothing.
The Minister for Justice and Equality has been presented
with evidence over a period of two and half years... Four
times one of the Garda whistleblowers wrote directly to
the Minister for Justice and Equality and told her of the
treatment he was experiencing.
He made the point that as his colleague in a different
region was getting exactly the same treatment, it could
not be a coincidence and it was inconceivable that senior
management and the Garda Commissioner would not be
aware of it, Daly added.
For her part, Commissioner OSullivan said she wanted to
make it clear that she was not privy to, nor approved of,
any action designed to target any Garda employee who
may have made a protected disclosure and would
condemn any such action.
She also reiterated that any employees in An Garda
Sochna who bring forward any concerns or issues they
might have will be taken seriously and the matters
In order to maintain public confidence in An Garda
Sochna, we are anxious that the full content of the
disclosures giving rise to the commentary be
comprehensively examined at the earliest opportunity,
she said. But what happens now?
Well the Taoiseach in the Dil said it is likely that a sitting
judge will be asked to independently investigate the basis
of the allegations contained in the dossiers presented to
Ms Fitzgerald on Monday.
Yet another Commission of Inquiry. How many is that now?

But the political acceptance that the Garda Sochana

Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) is not up to the task is in
one respect shocking.
The whole purpose of GSOC was to investigate matters
such as these, but like many of the organs of regulation in
this country, it is under-resourced, toothless and impotent.
But yet its mere presence has allowed our political class to
abdicate their responsibility, which in turn leaves a
massive vacuum which leaves victims in the lurch.
GSOC is not up to scratch and it itself is seeking greater
powers in order for it to be effective in the exercising of its
Meanwhile, Fianna Fils justice spokesman Jim
OCallaghan added his voice to the calls for a thorough
Speaking on RTs News at One Mr OCallaghan said:
What we need to do is set up a proper mechanism for
them to be investigated immediately.
A campaign by senior garda to destroy a whistleblower
has grave and extremely serious consequences for the
force, the Dil has heard.

The allegations, revealed in the Irish Examiner, about

the treatment of garda whistleblowers, requires a
dramatic response from Government. Fianna Fil leader
Michel Martin said the allegations go above and beyond
an investigation into wrongdoing and must be dealt with
in that light.
It was revealed that two protected disclosures by senior
garda referenced a campaign that included spreading
false, scandalous and damaging allegations against the
Last night, Tnaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald
confirmed that the protected disclosures had been
received by her in her department, but said she could not
comment any further on the matter.
In the Dil, Mr Martin said: I do not know if the Taoiseach
has read the report in todays Irish Examiner in relation
to whistleblowers being strategically undermined and
under attack, both their personal and professional
reputations, at the instigation of senior Garda
He added that the disclosures revealed that senior garda
were involved in a character assassination attack which
included dissemination of texts to garda in a bid to tarnish
the reputation of whistleblowers and the opening of an
intelligence file on the whistleblowers.
It demands a fairly dramatic response from the
Government. It cannot just be allowed drift into a

process, Mr Martin added.

The Fianna Fil leader, who has led on the issue of Garda
malpractice, said the Garda Sochna Ombudsman
Commission (GSOC) needs greater powers and legislative
change and asked Taoiseach Enda Kenny if this would be
It is at a very high level of wrongdoing, if I can put it that
way to the Taoiseach, without pre-empting any inquiry,
said Mr Martin. It seems to be something that is of the
most gravest import, if it is true. Disclosures have been
made and I believe it is extremely serious. I would ask if
legislation in this area will be brought forward?
Mr Kenny said he had not seen the correspondence but
admitted it may well be there are matters here beyond
what would be a normal GSOC analysis or investigation.
He said Ms Fitzgerald is considering the report and will
decide what the best thing to do is following examination
of the information.
Mr Kenny said he was aware of the report in this paper but
said the House would not expect me to go into detail
about who has made these disclosures or the nature of the
allegations contained in them at this particular time.
In a statement
a spokesman for the Tnaiste said: The Tnaiste has
recently received protected disclosures from members of
An Garda Sochna under the Protected Disclosures Act,

Any such disclosures will of course be fully considered to

determine what further action may be appropriate. The
maintenance of confidentiality in relation to protected
disclosures is fundamental and, in line with the statutory
obligations under the Protected Disclosures Act 2014, it is
not possible to make any further comment.

Frances Fitzgerald
It is believed the disclosures claim that the purpose of the
campaign was to discredit the whistleblower to the extent
of destroying his character. One of the two officers making
the disclosure is admitting his role in the campaign to
discredit the whistleblower, but claims he was following
The seniority of the officers making the claims and the fact
that one of them is admitting his own culpability will give
rise to fresh concerns as to how those who come forward
are dealt with.
The disclosures detail a number of different strands to the
campaign, conducted over a number of years.
The disclosures came about after a meeting between the
two officers concerned in the last month.
The officer who admits his role in the campaign against
the whistleblower told the second officer about it and
expressed remorse for what he had been involved in.
A spokesman for Garda Commissioner Nirn OSullivan

said: We will not be commenting on any particular

protected disclosure reports. Any protective disclosures
made within An Garda Sochna are welcomed, and dealt
with according to agreed protocols and the individual
making the disclosure is protected within an An Garda
Sochna. I have on numerous occasions expressed my
support for any employees who have issues and concerns.
As commissioner I have actively asked employees to bring
forward issues and concerns. We learn by listening.
Meanwhile, last nights Prime Time revealed a further
disclosure under whistleblower legislation has been made
to the justice minister.
yesterday and that has to be fully and adequately
investigated, he added.
And there are a number of methods going down that
route we can either appoint a senior barrister or a judge
for the purpose of investigating the allegations,
alternatively, they are so serious that they may merit
asking Mr Justice OHiggins to continue in his
investigations and to examine the specific allegations, but
they must be investigated, thoroughly.
Mr OCallaghan said he does not have sufficient
information at present to make a suggestion that anyone
should resign. He said he wasnt calling for Ms OSullivans
head but Daly and others are. The Commissioner appears
to have a case to answer.

Nirns notes on a scandal in blue

April 4, 2014:
Dissent will not be seen as disloyalty, she said while
acting commissioner.
If somebody has something to say, if somebody wants to
bring something to our attention, they may not always be
right but what they see and what they say can act as a
catalyst for change and continuous improvement.
Asked if she agreed with her ex-boss, Martin Callinans
assessment that the actions of
whistleblowers was disgusting, Ms OSullivan said the
use of the word was unfortunate.
May 8, 2014:
She said that any member of An Garda Sochna who
wants to raise an issue of concern will be supported in

doing so.
She also said that the use by any member of An Garda
Sochna of the confidential recipient mechanism is a
confidential process and as such the garda are not in a
position to comment on the particular case at this stage.
May 28, 2014:
Ms OSullivan said senior managers within the force are
fully supportive of the whistleblower Maurice McCabe. Ms
OSullivan also said garda want all members of the force
to feel free to bring forward any issues they want to raise.
May 30, 2014:
Ms OSullivan phoned Maurice McCabe promising to deal
with claims of bullying made by the whistleblower.
She called the sergeant after appearing before a Dil
committee. Ms OSullivan is also believed to have vowed
to sort out the 13 harassment claims made by Mr McCabe.
November 26, 2014:
The commissioner has always said that any member with
information or issues will be supported in bringing them
Bullying of anyone in An Garda Sochna will not be
tolerated, Ms OSullivans spokesman said in response to
fresh harassment allegations raised in the Dil by Mick
Wallace about officer Nick Keogh.
May 16, 2016:
Reports in the Irish Examiner revealed that Nirn
OSullivans legal representative questioned the character
and motivation of whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe at
the OHiggins commission of investigation.
Like every member of An Garda Sochna, Sergeant
Maurice McCabes contribution is valued and the service
has changed for the better in response to the issues about
which he complained, she said. I want to make it clear
that I do not and have never regarded Sergeant
McCabe as malicious.
The commissioner issued the statement after demands for
her to respond the claims in a report on unpublished
documents from the inquiry by the Irish Examiner.
October 4, 2016:
I have on numerous occasions expressed my support for
any employees who have issues and concerns.
As commissioner I have actively asked employees to bring

forward issues and concerns. We learn by listening.

The latest allegations contain an extra layer of credibility
by dint of the fact that one of those coming forward has
admitted his role in such an alleged campaign.
Today in the Dail, Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin brought
up the matter with the Taosieach, saying: Its above and
beyond a GSOC investigationits at a very high level of
wrongdoing. He added that he was not prejudging any
potential inquiry.
Mr Kenny agreed with him, deploying a caution that was in
contrast to the stonewalling that is often the first weapon
of defence on government benches.
So everybody agrees. This is serious stuff. Something
must be done. The first port of call is the staple of Irish
public life the inquiry. It was confirmed today by the
Taoiseach that an inquiry, possibly led by a judicial figure,
would most likely be established.

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny said a judge may conduct a

whistleblower probe, if Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald
decides in the coming days, amid mounting pressure on
the Commissioner. Picture: Sam Boal/
The inquiry will either decide that its all a ball of smoke,
or that the allegations have substance. In the event of the
former conclusion, there will be understandable cries of

cover up.
If there is a determination that senior management did
target a whistleblower, a bout of breast beating will ensue
or a further inquiry. Any of the three outcomes will be
entirely unsatisfactory, but we should be getting
accustomed to dissatisfaction by now.
This is all entirely predictable because we have been here
before as recently as 2014. Then, when a new
commissioner came into office initially on an interim
basis she assured everybody that she was armed with a
new broom.
Change, Noirin OSullivan inferred, had arrived strapped to
her back. She would ensure that the old culture would be
swept away, to be replaced with one of openness in which
our critical friends as she termed internal complainants,
would receive a sympathetic hearing.
She certainly talked the talk. She also made some
structural changes, including the recent appointment of an
officer to manage those who make protected disclosures.
Between the procedures brought in by the force and the
changes to legislation under the Protected Disclosures Act,
the new regime has plenty of law when it comes to
whistleblowers. Law is one thing, order another. In
particular, there is little evidence that those making
disclosures can feel that they will be protected. A new
inquiry will not change that.
Two statements made in the last few days sum up the
glaring problems that still persist. On Tuesday,
commissioner OSullivan said she was all ears when it
came to whistleblowers.
I have on numerous occasions expressed my support for
any employees who have issues and concerns, she said.
As commissioner I have actively asked employees to
bring forward issues and concerns. We learn by listening.
Contrast that with the words today of Independent TD
Clare Daly, to whom a series of whistleblowers have
approached seeking protection.
I know for a fact that people who have come forward on
the watch of Commissioner OSullivan and made protected
disclosures have had no contact from her at all in relation
to their claims and that people in their stations who bullied
and intimidated them have been included on the

promotions list while they (the whistleblowers) are out sick

from work isolated, harassed, on very low pay.
The reality for those people is the complete and utter
polar opposite of what the commissioner has said, Daly
told RTs Morning Ireland.
In the case of Maurice McCabe, Dalys contention stands
tall. Last May, it was revealed in this newspaper that there
appeared to have been an attempt to portray Sergeant
McCabe as a man with an agenda to do wrong to the

Maurice McCabe
The attempt was killed off only because Sergeant McCabe
had a recording of a contentious meeting. Without that, he
would have been buried.
Commissioner OSullivan, who had instructed her counsel
to challenge Sergeant McCabes motivation, referred the
matter to GSOC. Yet, despite what had emerged she has
not once contacted Maurice McCabe to apologise for what
may have been a misunderstanding, or to enquire how he
was holding up, or even to check out his welfare.
Judge OHiggins reported that Sergeant McCabe had done
the State a service, yet his own commissioner has not
even bothered to contact him over the further wrong that
could have been perpetrated on him while he was
engaged in doing that service.

The reality is nothing has changed. And until this matter is

dealt with, little will change. The glaring shortcomings
highlighted by successive Inspectorate reports, the
misclassification of crimes as reported by the CSO, the
failure to promptly co-operate with GSOC - none of these
issues will be properly addressed while the culture of
circling wagons and picking off those who break ranks
It may well be time to finally address what this
government and its immediate predecessor regarded as
the nuclear option. Personnel from beyond the circled
wagons are required to effect change at all levels.
Systems within An Garda Sochna are not providing
members with the security needed to make protected
disclosures, said president of the Association of Garda
Sergeants and Inspectors, Antoinette Cunningham.

I think, once again, its regrettable that whatever

systems are in place within the organisation they do not
seem to be standing up.
They do not seem to be providing the security and the
reassurance to people within the organisation that they
can make protected disclosures in a safe secure
environment, she said.
Every time you find out that an internal system is being
debated down in Dil ireann, then you have to say well
whats wrong with the internal system that it got to that

point in the first place? I think its really concerning for us

as an association, Ms Cunningham told Morning
Ireland when asked about the allegations highlighted in
Tuesdays Irish Examiner and later debated in the Dil.
AGSI have long expressed our concerns about the internal
policies within the garda, particularly when we are told
that one of the confidential recipients we can make
confidential disclosures to is GSOC.
GSOC investigate garda for other matters relating to
discipline etc and then on the other hand, theyre
supposed to be a confidential recipient. Now, to us, there
is a very clear conflict of interest there, she said.
When asked what can be done to improve confidence in
the protection of whistle-blowers, she said: If you dont
consult with the people within the organisation about how
the system works, how can you know whether it works
effectively in the first place?
Garda Sochna

whistleblowers report pdf


Whistleblower garda had

'no choice' but to quit
Colum Kenny Exclusive
05/05/2013 | 05:00



John Wilson has resigned from An Garda Siochana

A Garda who last year revealed details of

penalty-point terminations that are now the
subject of an official inquiry quit the force
last week. He says that he felt he had "no
Garda John Wilson, of Cavan, is a nephew of the late
Tanaiste John Wilson TD and a brother of the current
Fianna Fail whip in the Seanad, Senator Diarmuid Wilson.
Now aged 50, Mr Wilson retired last week. Married with
children, he has no job to go to but says that he felt under
so much pressure within An Garda Siochana that "my
position was untenable".
Mr Wilson dismissed a recent internal garda enquiry into
the setting aside of some penalty points by gardai as

Justice Minister Alan Shatter has promised to bring a

report on that inquiry to Cabinet.
Mr Wilson called yesterday for a public inquiry, saying:
"There are tens of thousands of fixed-fine penalty notices
that I believe have been terminated."
ANALYSIS page 18
Referring to a recent English prosecution in which a
former British government minister and his spouse were
jailed because she took his penalty points, Mr Wilson said:
"Chris Huhne and his wife would not be in jail today if he
was living in Ireland.
"He would have known a garda and it would have been
sorted. He would not have one penalty point."
Frustrated by his inability to have his complaints dealt
with as he wished within the garda complaints system, Mr
Wilson last year took his information to some members of
Dail Eireann under the Garda Siochana Act 2005.
Section 62 of that act permits a person who is or was a
member of An Garda Siochana to disclose information
obtained in the course of carrying out duties to a limited
range of specified persons, including members of the
Oireachtas "where relevant to the proper discharge of the
member's functions".
Mr Wilson said: "I can never be accused of running
outside the organisation first. I went through the proper
channels first."
He said he could ill afford to depend on his garda pension
and that he "loved the interaction with the community"
that his work involved.
He is calling for an independent public inquiry, but not a
tribunal. "Maybe an independent High Court judge; I
would settle for that."

The Garda watchdog has welcomed improved levels of cooperation from members of the force in the past year but

claims there is room for further improvement.

The Garda Sochna Ombudsman Commission said garda

had responded to almost 94% of requests made for
documentation within the statutory time limit of 30 days in
2015, which GSOC said represented a significant
improvement in compliance compared to the previous
two years.
Despite such progress, GSOC also said it remained a
concern that most responses came back quite close to the
30-day limit.
The average time taken to receive a response for mostly
routine and mandatory documentation last year was 22
It is quite a long time, considering that the majority of
information requested through this system is of a standard
nature, said GSOC in its latest annual report.
GSOC also expressed concern that staffing levels still
needed to be improved, especially as amendments to the
Garda Sochna Act 2005, which extended the time limit
for making complaints as well as extending GSOCs
powers of investigation, are likely to lead to an increased
The commission welcomed what it described as the
increasingly positive reception by garda to observations
it had made on the conduct of the force during last year.
However, it also expressed concern that in a survey of
public opinion, only half of respondents expressed

confidence in GSOCs ability to resolve problems.

It also revealed that it had received complaints from four
Garda whistleblowers last year under protected disclosure
legislation. Three of the cases were deemed to warrant
further investigation.
Overall, the number of formal complaints made against
garda last year decreased by 11%, according to the
annual report.
A total of 1,996 complaints against members of the force
were reported to GSOC in 2015 246 fewer than the
previous year which contained 4,269 allegations.
GSOC said the types of allegations were similar to other
years with about one third relating to abuse of authority
and one third to neglect of duty.
Some 1,102 cases contained at least one admissible
allegation with 385 relating to possible criminal offences,
such as assault, by garda.
The highest number of allegations were made about
garda in the Dublin Metropolitan Region and the Garda
divisions of Kilkenny-Carlow, Galway, Donegal, and
Limerick. The smallest number were in Cork West and
Cork North.
GSOC stressed that it was important to note that there is
likely to be a higher number of complaints from larger and
busier divisions.
There was also a reduction in the number of cases referred
to GSOC by An Garda Sochna arising out of situations
where it appeared that the conduct of a garda may have
resulted in the death or serious injury to a person.
A total of 52 such incidents were reported last year
down eight on 2014 figures. The cases included 15
incidents linked to fatalities.
The Garda watchdog body also launched 12 investigations
in the public interest during 2015 up from four in the
previous year.
Two of the latest cases were initiated by GSOC while the
remainder were at the request of the minister for justice.

Keith Harrison at his Letterkenny home. Picture: North

West Newspix
Garda Keith Harrison traces many of his woes back to the
night in 2009 when he stopped a garda colleague for
drink-driving in Athlone. The charge against his colleague
was dismissed in court, but Gda Harrison has no regrets
about how he handled the matter.
There were other incidents which may have contributed to
him becoming unpopular with fellow officers. He had
concerns about the conduct of some investigations of
drug-dealing which he raised, but then let lie. He
impounded a jeep in 2008 after the owner drove through a
A colleague asked him to cut the offender some slack. He
refused to play ball.

READ NEXT The taxing problem of pay restoration

Gda Harrison has baggage. He has been disciplined. He
has been prosecuted for failure to have his car insured,
but the judge in the case did remark that it was down to a
misunderstanding and fined him with no disqualification
from driving.
Where he finds himself today is isolated, on reduced pay,
and of the belief that his road back to full employment is
blocked. He also believes that he has been harassed for
pointing out wrongs and having the temerity to fall in love
with a woman of whose family his colleagues disapproved.

Gda Harrison first felt that he was being scrutinised when

on September 4, 2009, a superintendent told him he had
been appointed to examine his work and discipline. This
was just three months after he arrested a colleague for
The investigation produced nine separate disciplinary
charges. One of these concerned a complaint from a
publican who claimed that, on an occasion nine months
earlier Gda Harrison, had been discourteous towards him.
Another was from a woman whom Gda Harrison had
prosecuted for having no tax or insurance on her vehicle.
Despite the list of charges, the ultimate outcome was that
Gda Harrison was fined 200, which is pretty paltry for a
process that required a superintendent to investigate for a
couple of months.
Then there was the claim for expenses. While attending a
five-day public order training course in September 2009,
Gda Harrison used his brothers car to travel as his own
was off the road for the month and untaxed. To avoid
complications, he claimed the expenses for his own

There was no monetary difference in the claim, but he was

pulled up on it. (Ultimately, he didnt even pursue the
expenses.) Not just that, but a superintendent signed a
statement that he had seen Gda Harrison driving his
untaxed car when he had said it was out of action.
He was fined 5,200 for the offence. Prior to arresting his

colleague, he had had a good disciplinary record for 10

years in the job. Following the disciplinary process, he was
relocated to another office. While at the second office, he
requested a transfer.
He had met an old flame whom he had known in college.
Marisa McDermott was the mother of two young children
whose marriage had broken down. She and Gda Harrison
ran into each other and began a relationship.
Ms McDermott is from Donegal, where she was working as
a secondary school teacher. Gda Harrison saw it as an
opportunity for a fresh start and asked for a move north.
He was transferred to Buncrana in 2011 and things got off
to a good start. He was living with Ms McDermott outside
Letterkenny, half an hour from Buncrana. Then his
partners identity became known to colleagues.
Ms McDermotts brother Martin had been convicted of
manslaughter after he rammed a squad car in 2009, killing
24-year-old Gda Gary McLoughlin. He had up to 100
previous convictions and was sentenced to eight years in
Ms McDermott had been using her married name. She is
not her brothers keeper, but communities in north
Donegal are tightly knit. For some in the force in
Buncrana, the mans crime was such as to render anybody
closely related to him toxic.
Things changed for Gda Harrison after that. There was
disgust in some quarters that he would have anything to
do with a sibling of Martin McDermotts. His past had not
been an issue up until then, but now it was viewed in a
different light.
He agreed to a transfer, even though it would take him
further from the home he was making with Ms McDermott.
He ended up in Donegal town, an hour south of
His reputation preceded him. Things didnt get much
better, he says. Then he made the cock-up with his
insurance, which had lapsed by a day or two, over a
misunderstanding on paperwork.
The offence was not detected at a checkpoint but by a
colleague of Gda Harrisons, who noticed the disc in his
car outside the garda station. The judge accepted this was
an unusual case.

Driving without insurance is a very serious matter but

there are mitigating circumstances, said the judge in
imposing a fine. It wasnt just a blatant case of driving
without insurance.
By then, the middle of 2014, Gda Harrison was persona
non grata.
He decided to document all he had been subjected to.
He compiled an affidavit and handed it to his local TD,
Sinn Fins Pearse Doherty, who read it into the record of
the Dil on May 15, 2014.
He claims that a managerial review of his high work
returns and practices was instigated and persons who had
past interactions with Gda Harrison in the execution of his
duties were invited by the garda to make complaints
against him, said Mr Doherty.
He went on to say that Gda Harrison claimed that, from
September 2009 until March 2011, he was office-bound
while the garda arrested for drink-driving was still driving
official vehicles and carrying an official firearm.
Following that, Gda Harrison met the then Confidential
Recipient (the office set up to receive whistleblower
complaints) and detailed what had occurred. Some of the
complaints he made about malpractice in the midlands
would later overlap with complaints made by another
whistleblower, Nick Keogh.
An investigation was set up within the force to examine
Gda Harrisons complaints. He met the investigating

officer in a hotel accompanied by a solicitor, Trevor Collins,

who was on this case for the first time.
The following day, Mr Collins Linkedin profile was viewed
by an account associated with an officer from the Midlands
of whom Gda Harrison had complained.
Gda Harrison and his solicitor believed that details of the
case had been leaked and that this represented a conflict
of interest.
A letter was dispatched from the solicitor to Garda
Commissioner Nirn OSullivan in June 2014 outlining the
The failure of the investigating team to disclose this
conflict prior to or during the course of the meeting is
deeply concerning, the letter read.
This failure to disclose the conflict undermines the
credibility and bona fides of the Garda investigation. The
non-disclosure of the conflict of interest caused shock,
distress and upset to our client. Garda Harrison believes
that the investigation team you appointed is prejudiced
and biased as a consequence of this conflict.
The commissioner said she would consider referring the
investigation to GSOC, which she did in August 2014.

The GSOC probe has had its own issues. Two years on from
Gda Harrisons complaint, there has been little progress.
On September 2, a letter was dispatched to the chair of
GSOC, Judge Mary Ellen Ring.
Two years have now elapsed since the matter was

referred to GSOC and yet there has been no progress with

investigation despite the fact that our client has cooperated in full with the investigators appointed by the
commission, read the letter. Our client is deeply
concerned at the delay and its probable effect on the
eventual outcome. We understand that no witnesses have
been interviewed, save for our clients partner being
interviewed in the past number of weeks and despite the
fact that she had made herself available for interview at
the time of our clients first interview.
A response from a GSOC investigator was apologetic.
As you are aware GSOC has experienced a delay in
receiving information from AGS to assist in my
investigation, it read. There is still one request
outstanding and I was informed that a reminder was
issued to AGS for the information.
Over the last two years, Gda Harrisons legal team claims
he has had to endure stress on multiple fronts. He is
classified as on sick leave and wants to be allowed to
return to work. He no longer has an income and has been
forced to apply for disability benefit.
Then there are the allegations of harassment. On three
occasions, he has been informed of death threats against
The third of these involved a man who rang a station from
Perth in Australia in August last year, saying he had a
bullet for Gda Harrison.
This man was beyond the reach of the garda, but in
November last year, his name appeared in the local paper
after he appeared in court in Buncrana.
Gda Harrison told GSOC he believes the death threats
were fabricated in order to give elements of the force an
excuse to patrol outside his house. He claims to have
observed an inordinate number of patrols passing his
home over the last 18 months.
Spokespeople for An Garda Sochna have repeatedly
stated that it would be inappropriate to comment on any
ongoing GSOC investigation.
Some of these claims may be exaggerated, some may
result from coincidences, or accidents or
misinterpretations. After seven years of being regarded in
somewhat suspicious terms by some of his colleagues,

Gda Harrison may have a heightened sense of

Two years on from his complaint, he still has no answers.
Seven years down the road from the night he arrested a
fellow officer, his life has been irrevocably changed

The Fennelly Commission's report contains scrutiny of the

evidence offered by some witnesses to see if there are any


The key issue for Mr Justice Niall Fennelly is whether

Taoiseach Enda Kenny had a role in forcing out former
Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan in March 2014.
The handling of aspects of the phone call taping crisis is
The tone of the report is described as critical of the way
the controversy was dealt with by the Coalition.
One of the most significant elements of Mr Fennelly's
findings relate to the role of the Attorney General Maire
She said she believed there had taping of phone calls in
and out of garda stations for years and found the tapes

But Ms Whelan, the commission found, did not contact

former Justice Minister Alan Shatter after becoming aware
of the garda tapes controversy.
This is partly because Ms Whelan , according to Fennelly,
believed Shatter was "part of the narrative...there were

issues, allegations touching the Minister himself".

Ms Whelan was referring to the controversy surrounding
previous remarks made by Mr Shatter about garda
Taoiseach Enda Kenny told RTE Six One News this
evening that he has 'absolute confidence in Maire Whelan'.
"She is a superb Attorney General," he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Kenny has denied Mr Callinan was sacked
by the Government and insisted he merely departed of his
own accord.
In a statement issued this afternoon, Taoiseach Enda
Kenny said:
I have consistently rejected claims by some in Opposition
that I either sacked or sought to sack the former
He said the report confirms Callinan decided to retire, and
that he could have decided otherwise. Furthermore, it
finds that I had no intention of putting pressure on the
former Commissioner to retire.
He also said: "The Commission of Investigation also
concludes that serious information deficits and multiple
failures of communication" and that criticism of
government communications presents significant lessons
for institutions and officers of state about governance and
On the crucial night of March 20, Taoiseach says he
'strongly' and 'consistently' defended the Commissioner as
he was criticised for his controversial 'disgusting' remark
about whistle-blowers.
Taoiseach said he called a meeting on evening of March 24
to 'gather as much information as possible about the garda
tapes in advance of next mornings cabinet meeting'.
Kenny says it is 'deeply regrettable' that those at meeting
on March 24 were not aware of existence of a formal letter
from the then commissioner to the Department of Justice
on the taping issue.
It has since been revealed in the report that there is no
notes from a four hour meeting on March 24 in

Taoiseach's office which Fennelly described as the "central

Taoiseach said he was in a position where a cabinet
meeting was imminent, a commission of investigation was
about to take place and that the garda tapes controversy
was about to become public.
"I made a decision that it was only fair and right to ensure
that the then Garda Commissioner was made aware of the
situation and my grave concerns, he said.
The Taoiseach also said that Martin Callinan told Fennelly
that the decision by Department of Justice General
Secretary Brian Purcell to call to his house was an
'immediate catalyst' to retire.
But the Taoiseach reiterated, the conclusion by the
Commission is that Callinan decided to retire.
The report found that the crucial meeting at
Commissioners house between Callinan and Brian Purcell
took place after 10:15pm.
According to the report, Callinan was 'shocked' at late call
by Purcell.
The Commission also makes significant findings relation
to the night Mr Purcell was dispatched to the home of Mr
Callinan. The visit took place close to 11pm and went on
into the early hours.
Mr Callinan told the Commission that he felt he had had
'no option' but to retire after the visit.
Although accepting the assurances given by the Taoiseach
that he did not try to apply pressure on Mr Callinan by
dispatching Mr Purcell, the Commission states that 'Mr
Purcell's mission was likely to be interpreted as doing just
The Commission also gives a strong finding that the
Commissioner was not dismissed or removed from office as has been claimed by the Opposition.
Fennelly found that to remove the Commissioner of An
Garda Siochana, the Government must invoke section 11
and 12 of the An Garda Siochana Act 2005.
The report found at that the very most, Mr Kenny was

prepared to express no confidence in him. It indicates that

does not amount to dismissal.
"The Act was not engaged...That stage was never reached,"
the report found.
A searchable PDF of the report is available here

Fennelly Commission Report findings:

As a matter of probability, Martin Callinan did not report
the recording of garda tapes to the Secretary General of
the dept Brian Purcell prior to 22 Nov 2013, as required
As a matter of probability, Callinan DID inform Brian
Purcell of taped calls on a date after Nov 22
On garda tapes, Fennelly Commission was 'not' convinced
Callinan conveyed the garda tapes to Purcell with any
"sense of the importance of the matter"
It was an error of judgement of Callinan to postpone a
written report on the garda tapes
Callinan sent a letter to Purcell on March 14 2014 which
showed him 'unquestionably' complied with his
Brian Purcell should have shown the March 14 letter to the
minister - but he delayed it for 2 weeks for 'personal
Then Minister Shatter remained unaware of letter
detailing garda tapes until evening of March 24
No proper communication between gardai and
Department of Justice because Garda Commissioner was
not properly informed by his management of garda tapes
Crucial meeting at Commissioners house between Callinan
and Brian Purcell took place after 10:15pm, Fennelly finds

Callinan was "shocked" at late call by Purcell. "He could

not understand why Mr Purcell was attending at his house
at all" as he had already reported tapes to AG's office
"The immediate and direct cause of his decision to retire
was the visit from Mr Purcell, and the message conveyed
from the Taoiseach during that visit."
Commission also gives a strong finding that the
Commissioner was not dismissed or removed from office as has been claimed by the Opposition


Written by Greg McInerney

Its clear to anyone of sound mind that the Irish police force has become
corrupt and unaccountable. What may have started as a fairly trivial
investigation into the systemic erosion of penalty points has underpinned what
many have believed for some time now, the Garda are above the laws they
purport to uphold. Here is a brief summary of the important, inter-linked issues
to date.
Penalty Points The Garda have been wiping peoples penalty points from
their licenses as personal favours on an enormous scale. At first glance, a
typically Irish brand of parochial corruption but the story goes much deeper.
War on Whistleblowers The mechanisms by which Garda can report
wrongdoing within the force have proven to be a sham. Garda can
supposedly approach the office of the Confidential Recipient, a subset of the
Department of Justice, anonymously and blow the whistle on internal

corruption. However the case is then referred to the Garda Commissioner to

investigate so it can be a case of senior Garda investing senior Garda. The
internal report into the penalty points found no evidence of corruption
surprisingly enough, a report which didnt even interview the very
whistleblowers who raised the issue in the first place. The Garda have a long
record of harassing and frustrating the work of whistleblowers in the past
including the two officers who revealed the penalty points scandal. Garda
Commissioner Martin Callinan described the actions of the whistleblowers as
The Media Irish Independent journalist Gemma ODoherty who was
investigating the penalty points corruption, was internally disciplined for calling
to Garda Commisioner Martin Callinans house for comment, a fairly typical
journalistic tactic. A few weeks later, she was offered a voluntary redundancy
despite having been one of the papers top investigative reporters for over a
decade. It subsequently emerged, though absolutely nowhere in the Irish
media, that the Irish Independents editor in chief Stephen Rae, a former
editor of the Garda Review magazine, had his penalty points wiped clean.
Cold Case Father Niall Molloy was murdered in 1985 in an inheritance
quarrel seemingly lifted from John B. Keanes The Field. Evidence was
contaminated, key witnesses were not interviewed and the Judge was a family
friend of the accused. Where the Garda come in is intriguing. Martin Cahill,
The General and one of Irelands most infamous crimes bosses, stole files
from the Director of Public Prosecutions office, files that contained details of
the case previously unknown to the public. Journalist Veronica Guerin then
revealed some of Cahills information which exposed the pathetic Gardai
investigation into the murder and the willingness of the DPP to cover it up.
So concerned were the Gardai with retrieving Cahills stolen files that,
according to crime reporter Paul Williams, they cut a deal with him to drop
charges against his associate John Traynor, one of the most notorious
gangsters in Ireland. The Molloy case was reopened but despite the
overwhelming amounts of evidence for a cover-up and at least mass
negligence, nothing ever came of it. The journalist who took up the case and
forced the State to reopen it? Gemma ODoherty of the Irish Independent.
GSOC and Minister Alan Shatter One of the whistleblowing Gardai involved
in the penalty points case was told by the office of the Confidential Recipient
that Minister Alan Shatter will go after you if he were to proceed with his
complaints. In addition, GSOC, the Garda Ombudsman, discovered that its
office had been bugged last year but did not approach Minister Shatter over
the issue, clearly in fear or knowledge that he would not do anything about it.
The Garda have denied bugging the office but the question of who else would

bug the office of a body charged with supervising the states police force
springs to mind.
Rather than address this essential question of who bugged GSOC, Minister
Shatter has sought to downplay the event and even focus his criticism on the
comparably insignificant matter of GSOC failing to inform him of this security
breach at an earlier date.

In full: Statement from Garda

Commissioner Nirn
She denies ever trying to impugn the integrity of Maurice McCabe.
May 25th 2016,

The full statement of Nirn OSullivan on allegations

since the publication of the OHiggins report.
The OHiggins Commission Report presents inescapable
lessons for An Garda Sochna, based on our shortcomings
in a number of critical areas including our dealings with
We must radically and permanently change that pattern
and we will apply the insights and learnings from our
recent experiences in developing a Garda Whistleblowers

As will be detailed below, actions to address this have
already been undertaken and others are in progress.
There are clear constraints around the question of making
public comment about this matter. I cannot offend against
the basic principles of the rule of law; and that regard
must be had to the statutory confidentiality of Commission
proceedings, the relationship between lawyers and their
clients and questions of basic fairness.
With reference to my previous statement of 16 May 2016,
there have been calls for further clarification regarding the
instructions given to the legal team representing An Garda
Sochna and the approach adopted by it, in relation to the
proceedings of the Commission.
What is at the heart of the present controversy is that,
despite legal prohibitions and the clear view expressed by
Mr Justice OHiggins about the confidentiality of the
Commissions proceedings, certain selective information
purporting to relate to those proceedings has been put into
the public domain.
By selective I mean transcripts of no more than three
minutes of what happened at a Commission which ran for
34 ten-hour days, generating thousands of pages of
transcripts. This has been accompanied by an unsourced
and unverified account of an alleged part of the
Whatever the sources of information or misinformation
that has been put into the public domain the inevitable
effect is the risk to public confidence in An Garda Sochna
being damaged in a very unfair way.
Mr Justice OHiggins, as the Sole Member, having had the
opportunity to hear and examine 97 witnesses and weigh
the submissions made by the legal representatives of all
parties subject of the proceedings, decided what should
and should not be included in his Report.
In this context, it is worth noting that the Commission
points out that it conducted its proceedings with particular
regard to its duty of compliance with the requirements of

constitutional and natural justice.

As Garda Commissioner having fully accepted the findings
of the Report, it falls to me to move swiftly to implement
its recommendations.
This I have done.
While it is important to dispel any public concern in
relation to this issue, I have to be mindful of section 11 of
the Commissions of Investigation Act 2004 which
provides that a commission shall conduct its investigation
in private.
I am advised that everyone involved in the proceedings of
the OHiggins Commission is bound to respect the privacy
of those proceedings. Furthermore, in relation to
communications with the legal team representing An
Garda Sochna, it is important in terms of receiving
advice and giving instructions that privilege in such
communications is protected so as not to adversely impact
on the workings of An Garda Sochna and its entitlement
to seek and obtain legal advice on a confidential basis in
this instance and in the future.
These constraints, which reflect important principles of
law, restrict my capacity to address the issues which have
been raised in relation to the approach taken by An Garda
Sochna before the OHiggins Commission.
However, I can confirm that An Garda Sochnas
legal team was not at any stage instructed to
impugn the integrity of Sergeant Maurice McCabe
or to make a case that he was acting maliciously.
I would emphasise that the overriding objective of An
Garda Sochna, and its legal team, was at all times to
assist the Commission in carrying out its statutory
functions and to establish all relevant facts in relation to
the matters referred to it for investigation as set out in its
terms of reference.
This brings me to the charge which is in the public domain
that is the most difficult to deal with sensitively and which
is one of the reasons I have been reluctant to enter into
public comment about this matter.

Whatever its source, the net charge that is now being made
is that the credibility and motivation of Sergeant McCabe
was challenged. I can only deal with this on the basis of
what is set out in the Commission Report and I am
conscious that this involves dealing with certain findings
in relation to allegations of corruption and malpractice.
I have no wish to rehearse this matter again but it is
simply impossible not to do so in addressing it.
As Commissioner of An Garda Sochna I have a duty to all
its members and former members.
Having regard to the nature and seriousness of
the allegations, and the duty to assist the
Commission in its task of establishing the facts
and truth, I cannot see how it would be in any way
unreasonable, improper or avoidable to
appropriately test and cross examine the evidence
of all persons giving evidence to the Commission
including Sergeant McCabe.
The Commission found, in relation to certain allegations;
these hurtful allegations to be unfounded and in at least
one case based on a belief, but unsupported by evidence,
and that those against whom such complaints were made
lived for many years under the strain of those allegations.
An Garda Sochna is fully accountable for its actions or
indeed inaction. We operate fully within the framework of
accountability and oversight which the Oireachtas sets. I
will be appearing before the Policing Authority tomorrow
where I will deal with these matters to the fullest extent
In addition to the above, I have taken the following steps
to address other matters arising:
There has been a suggestion in recent reportage that two
senior officers had sought to misrepresent before the
Commission the contents of a meeting they held with a
Sergeant in Mullingar in 2008. In those circumstances,
and in order to resolve any public disquiet, misplaced or
otherwise which may arise, and in the interest of fairness
to all involved, I have requested the Minister for Justice,

pursuant to her powers within the Garda Sochna Act, to

refer that aspect to the Garda Sochna Ombudsman
Commission for the purpose of investigating it in the
public interest.
On receipt of the Report, I directed Deputy Commissioner
John Twomey to fully examine the content, findings and
recommendations of the Report and to address any issues
arising from that examination, including lessons learned
that may further inform An Garda Sochnas
Modernisation and Renewal Programme. The programme
which addresses, among other things, the fundamental
issues arising in the OHiggins report in relation to
renewal of our culture, training, supervision, victims
support and investigative practices, will be formally
published in early course.
In relation to whistleblowers, I have been consistent at all
times: dissent is not disloyalty and as a service we are
determined to learn from our experiences. An Garda
Sochna agrees that whistleblowers are part of the
solution to the problems facing the service. In this regard,
yesterday we met with representatives from Transparency
Ireland who have agreed to work with us to create an
environment to ensure protected disclosures and people
making them are welcomed and protected in An Garda
A Protected Disclosures Manager has now been appointed
and we have begun establishing a dedicated team who will
be appropriately trained to oversee all matters related to
In conclusion and as stated at the outset, An Garda
Sochna fully accept the findings of the OHiggins
Commission and we are committed to learning all lessons
and fully implementing the recommendations.

THE POLICING AUTHORITY has this evening expressed

deep unease at the organisation and management
culture of An Garda Sochna.
The comments were made after the authority met with
commissioner Nirn OSullivan today to discuss the
findings of the OHiggins report, which examined
allegations made by garda whistleblower Sergeant Maurice
It said it has concerns about the impact of systematic and
management failures on the victims of crimes in the
Cavan/Monaghan division and expressed dismay at
failures in various inquiries and reports into allegations.
The authority said it also expressed serious concern at the
reoccurrence of performance failures that had been
identified by previous inquiries.
The recurring deficiencies in policing performance
evidenced in the OHiggins final report are deeply
troubling, Chairperson Josephine Feehily said after the
We wish to express our particular concern for the impact
on the victims of crime who were entitled to expect a
professional and competent service from the Garda

Sochna and who didnt get it.

A controversial meeting in Mullingar between McCabe and
two senior officers was raised today, the authority said,
though it did not give any further detail. An accusation
emerged, after a meeting between the whistleblower and
the two officers, that he was motivated by a grudge against
another senior garda.
McCabe had recorded the conversation and the transcript
showed there were no mention of this during their
conversation. The garda commissioners legal team
changed their tack after it emerged. Today in the Dil,
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald confirmed she will be
referring these matters to the Garda Ombudsman.
The commissioner was told at the meeting today that the
organisations policy on protected disclosure for
whistleblowers should be published at the earliest possible
The commissioner was questioned on the steps which
senior garda take on an ongoing basis to encourage and
facilitate speaking up about wrongdoing in the Garda
An independent culture audit should also be carried out,
the authority said, as it expressed deep unease at the
organisation and management culture, including the
environment for speaking out as evident in the report.
The authority has said there is a need for an urgent
response by An Garda Sochna to the findings of the
report. It said there is concern that good work being done
by garda every day can be set to nought while doubts
In the interest of transparency, two further meetings with
OSullivan on these issues will be held in public next
month, on 13 and 30 June, with a focus on service to
victims, garda culture and whistleblower disclosures.
These meetings will keep the spotlight on the
commissioner, at a time when there are calls for her to
resign from her position over revelations from the

OHiggins inquiry.
Yesterday she said she could not see how it would be
unreasonable to test and cross-examine the evidence of
any person speaking to the commission, including the
However, she again stressed that, in relation to
whistleblowers, she believed dissent is not disloyalty.

SOME DRIVERS HAVE been fined multiple times for

having no NCT certificate.
In a statement released tonight, gardai say they have
discovered that second prosecutions were taken against
people for not having NCT Certificates in cases where an
original fine had already been paid.
Garda say they are taking steps to deal with the situation
and a review of prosecutions in relation to all fixed charge
offences has commenced.
The statement added that where this issue arises, District
Officers have been directed that cases before the courts
should withdraw the prosecution.
It added that, Any inconvenience caused by this issue is
regretted and any person affected will be notified by An
Garda Sochna in writing.

An Garda Sochna wishes to reassure people affected

that all appropriate action is being taken to remedy

IT WONT BE an easy afternoon for Frances

Fitzgerald as she takes questions in the Dil.
She enters the chamber following days of
controversy surrounding the treatment of garda
Expect fireworks.

Fianna Fils Charlie McConalogue, obviously, starts

off with the garda story.

He says that reforms have hit stumbling block after

stumbling block and confidence in the garda is
allowed to drift and drift.
He brings up the imminent strike action, as well as the
allegations made by a whistleblower that he
participated in a campaign against another member
who made a protected disclosure.

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark, he adds.

Addressing the story that protected disclosures were

made to herself last week, Fitzgerald noted that a
fundamental part of the Protected Disclosures Act
2014 was to protect the identity of the whistleblower.
I must protect the identity of those making the
disclosures. I simply cannot comment on their
accuracy or otherwise, she continued.
It limits what I can say in this house but I intend to
scrupulously [follow it up].
We do have to do it in a way that is fair, proper and
within the rule of the law.
She said it would be an irony if this legislation led us
to do wrongdoing.
What is important that a procedure is put in place that
such claims are properly addressed.
Fitzgerald says she has been consulting with the

Attorney General and she will deal with the protected

However, she added it was not OK to jump to
conclusions before allegations are properly tested: I
do not believe it is right for anyone to rush to
judgement on these matters.

Its Mary Lou McDonald up now for Sinn Fin

unsurprisingly on the same topic of allegations against
garda of orchestrating campaigns of intimidation and
harassment against whistleblowers.
She likens her questions today to what would happen
on Groundhog Day.
You are her boss. She reports to you, the deputy
leader says of the Garda Commissioner Nirn
Do you have absolute confidence in the Garda
Commissioner? is her most important question here.

Is an accusation now enough to secure a conviction?

asks Fitzgerald, who is getting a little testy now about
the questions she is facing.
I cannot comment on the detail of the protected
disclosures made to me but they are of the utmost
That is how they should be treated But do not ask

me as the minster charged to set aside those

principles in this case or any other case.
In relation to the Garda Commissioner, she said no
findings of wrongdoing have been made against her.
She is entitled to our full confidence, she concludes.


No, I dont have any other protected disclosures,

Fitzgerald says, adding that the figures are publicly
A little argey-bargey now after she said that. McDonald
says that Fitzgerald cannot mislead the public by
saying that, noting that Primetime reported about
another whistleblower making a disclosure this week.
Fitzgerald clarifies that she received the protected
disclosures noted in the media on Tuesday and they
are on the only ones on her desk.

Mick Wallace has the four letters to the Justice Minister

from whistleblower Nick Keogh with him in the Dil

He also has a reply from her from May 2016 he says
it is the only one.
Its over two years, Minister, that myself and Deputy
Daly have been telling you that huge problems have
not been addressed.
Two years, he adds, waving his arms in disbelief.
Oh god, if any of it is true, how bad is it? Ive lived my
life in the real world and I know how bad it is out there.
It is horrific, it is mind-numbing.
We have met the two men who made the protected
disclosures Sitting down, listening to it face to face.
Oh god. Im not going to talk about it any more, he
adds with emotion.

Wallace says there are many good garda who are

shocked at how Nirn OSullivan is operating the

He calls her regime corrosive.


Fitzgerald again repeating herself, saying that due

process is important.
What we have is a body of allegations being brought
forward they are serious and ought to be
investigated. I will make sure there is follow-up
depending on the outcome and output
She says for the first time there will be oversight and
public meetings because of the Policing Authority.
She calls its board competent and notes that GSOC
has more powers now.

I am extremely concerned about policing in Athlone,

Fitzgerald adds, and tells Wallace that she has indeed
written to him but is waiting on a reply.

Mick Wallace up again and hes angry again.

He asks specific questions of the Justice Minister
about certain personnel on the garda promotions list.
What she says in public and what she does privately
is 100% different, he says of OSullivan.
Was the OHiggins Report not enough for you?
The dog on the street can tell that there was an effort
on her part to undermine the credibility of Maurice

As long as you leave her in position, there will be more

allegations its only going to get worse.

And weve finished up with the current garda

controversy as Catherine Murphy from the SocDems
brings up the other current scandal the housing

There are virtually no affordable properties available,

she says.
One couple due a baby within weeks were frantic
looking came to her last week, she says. They had
a reasonable income but were not living together yet.
They are telling me that they are finding themselves in
a bidding war, she adds.

One couple told her that a property advertised for

1,300 was up to 1,800 per month in the bidding war
by the time they left the house.
THE FINAL REPORT of the OHiggins Commission of
Investigation into Certain Matters relative to the
Cavan/Monaghan Division of An Garda Siochana runs to
362 pages including appendices.
In relative terms it is a short report consisting of 14
In absolute terms, it is a shocking indictment of the
management and leadership and oversight of An Garda
The report has been leaked and selectively reported upon
for the last number of days in our national media.

Many journalists and commentators have focused on the

implications of the report for former Minister Alan Shatter
and former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.
This is understandable given the high news value
attaching to the ongoing political drama associated with
their respective resignations and retirements.
The OHiggins report however is a far more significant
document in terms of what it tells us about the

administration of justice and the culture of policing in one

division within the Irish Republic.
Justice OHiggins conducted his investigation over 34 days
hearing the evidence of 97 witnesses. The narrow scope
of the enquiry was set out by Taoiseach Enda Kenny in
Statutory Instrument, No. 38 of 2015.
Confined by SI No. 38 in terms of the range and scope of
his enquiry, Justice OHiggins, to coin a phrase, did
exactly what it says on the tin and conducted a forensic
scrutiny of 10 samples of the investigative conduct of
members of An Garda Sochna within the
Cavan/Monaghan Division and at more senior levels
within the force.
The cases ranged from public order offences to assault,
allegations of child pornography to attempts at child
abduction and murder.
Consistent with the explicit recommendations of the
Guerin Report compiled by Senior Counsel, Sean Guerin
OHiggins also reviewed the allegations of serious
misconduct and incompetence among investigating Gardai
raised by whistleblower, Sergeant Maurice McCabe.

The report makes for sobering reading.

Its findings are bleak and highlight a chaotic culture of

astonishing misconduct and incompetence at many levels
within the force.
In my view, it speaks of a demoralised and underresourced organisation.
Within the 14 chapters of the report, there are 11
significant sets of conclusions.
The conclusions drawn are stark and repetitive.
Phrases such as the investigation was characterised by
delay and error are interspersed with observations such as
investigations marred by delay and lack of effective
Time and time again, the commission finds that victims of
serious crime and ordinary members of the public were
simply not served by An Garda Sochna.
Examples of OHiggins frank, disturbing and wearyingly
repetitive findings include the following.
Ms Browne underwent a harrowing experience and was
entitled to have the matter dealt with competently and
professionally by the garda. Unfortunately, as is evident
from the finding of the commission set out above, her
legitimate expectations in this regard were not met.
In another case, at conclusion 7.93, the commission
observes: Ms Cafolla was not served well by an Garda
Other comments include: The victim was not well served
in this investigation.
With regard to the specific recommendations for
investigation raised by Senior Counsel Sean Guerin
around the concerns raised by Sergeant Maurice McCabe,
the report states at one point that the commission is left
with the impression that there was a reluctance to deal
with the complaint of Sergeant McCabe on its merits.
Indeed, in the preface to the report, Justice OHiggins
makes specific reference to the level of cooperation given
by garda.
At paragraph IX he states, The commission is pleased to
acknowledge the cooperation it received from all persons.

However, the compliance with the obligation of making

discovery by the garda was unsatisfactory.
The commission accepted the apology of the
Commissioner for this However, the manner in which
such cooperation manifested itself was, on occasion, quite
inadequate the Commission expected better from An
Garda Sochna.
On a positive note, the OHiggins report certainly
vindicates two particular individuals.

First and foremost, it thoroughly and unambiguously

endorses garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe. In a
summative assessment of Sergeant McCabe, the report
states the following:
Some people, wrongly and unfairly, cast aspersions on
Sergeant McCabes motives; others were ambivalent about
them. Sergeant McCabe acted out of genuine and
legitimate concerns, and the commission unreservedly
accepts his bona fides.
Sergeant McCabe has shown courage, and performed a
genuine public service at considerable personal cost. For

this he is due the gratitude, not only of the general public,

but also of An Garda Sochna.
While some of his complaints have not been upheld by this
commission, Sergeant McCabe is a man of integrity, whom
the public can trust in the exercise of his duties.
Oddly, and disappointingly, this executive summary of
Sergeant McCabes service to the state has gone
unreported and unremarked by many journalists.
The findings of the report also clearly vindicate Senior
Counsel Sean Guerins recommendation of a commission
of enquiry into the serious allegations of garda misconduct
and incompetence raised by Sergeant McCabe.
OHiggins observes in his final conclusion that the
examination of the commission of the issues of
management and resources showed that there were
problems at many levels.
The findings of the OHiggins report do not speak of a
culture of corruption within an Garda Sochna but they
do speak of endemic, systemic and systematic failures of
supervision, leadership and oversight within.
This is not the fault of individual garda and officers within
the organisation. The issues raised in the OHiggins report
have been raised repeatedly by all of the garda
representative organisations in the last number of years.
What we need now is a root and branch audit similar to
the OHiggins report of all garda divisions within the
By prompting this commission of investigation, both
Maurice McCabe and Sean Guerin have both done the
state some considerable service.
In the meantime, some apologies are in order. And they
arent the ones youve heard about.
Many victims of serious crime are owed an apology from
the Minister for Justice arising from the reports findings.
In turn, all Irish citizens and An Garda Sochna itself
are owed the type of investment in policing and the
independent oversight of the administration of justice that
is enjoyed in other member states of the European Union.

The Garda Commissioner, the

transcripts, the tape and the
unanswered questions
Garda Nirn OSullivan and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald had a
difficult night.
May 18th 2016,

SEVEN DAYS SINCE a judge found that many victims of

crime in Cavan were failed by garda because of
deficiencies, resources and problems with management,
the fallout for one senior figure has reached crisis point.
Nirn OSullivan is now under pressure to comment
further on her treatment of the garda whistleblower who
brought these failings into the public spotlight.
The OHiggins report, in fact, is starting to raise more
questions than it answers.
None more so than whether the Commissioner planned to
attack the integrity, motivation and credibility of
Sergeant Maurice McCabe as the inquiry began.

Mick Wallace

9:54 AM - 17 May 2016

Source: Mick Wallace/Twitter

After issuing a statement on Monday evening to confirm

she had never regarded Maurice McCabe as malicious,
OSullivan is being called upon to reveal what instructions
she gave her legal counsel ahead of the OHiggins
In public, she has continually praised McCabes
contribution to the force and confirmed her support for
However, it has now emerged that at one stage there was
an intention to argue to Justice OHiggins that the
sergeant made his concerns about work in the CavanMonaghan district because of a grudge he held against a
senior officer.
RTs Prime Time last night revealed further details of
transcripts from legal submissions to the inquiry by the
Commissioners legal team.
They show that a change in tack was employed by senior
counsel following an admission that an error was made
when stating there were instructions to challenge
McCabes integrity.


According to the programme and transcripts published

today in the Irish Examiner during a May 2015
exchange with Justice OHiggins, senior counsel Colm
Smyth said he had instructions from his client to
challenge the integrity certainly of Sergeant McCabe and
his motivation.
The judge questioned the use of the word integrity,
In other words that he made these allegations not in good

faith but because he was motivated by malice, by some

such motive and that impinges on his integrity. If these are
your instructions from the Commissioner, so be it.
Smyth replied: So be it. That is the position judge.
Later during that hearing, he added: This isnt something
I am pulling out of the sky, Judge. I can only act on
To which the judge replied: But you are attacking his
motivation and you are attacking his integrity.
Smyth, then: Right the way through.
Prime Times political correspondent Katie Hannon also
reported on how Smyth took a recess and came back to say
his instructions were confirmed.
The following exchange then took place, she said.
Judge: Very good. Your instructions as I understand
them are that Sgt McCabe acted as he did for improper
Smyth: Yeah.
Judge: Okay and that his integrity is being challenged in
that respect?
Smyth: In that respect.
Judge: Okay. Fine. So be it.
What happened next?

As was revealed in the Irish Examiner last week, McCabe

produced a tape recording of a 2008 meeting he had with
two garda officers in Mullingar following his initial
It was from this meeting that the accusation he was acting
through malice emerged. It was alleged that his
complaints about practices in the Cavan-Monaghan
division came about because of a grudge against one
senior officer.
The recording, however, shows that no motivation was
discussed in what has now been described as a cordial
This was then introduced as evidence to the inquiry.
As a result, during a hearing in November, OHiggins
asked for clarification on the Commissioners intentions
with regard to the whistleblower. Prime Time reported
that Smyth claimed he had made an error in terms of
mentioning integrity.
As far as the Commissioner was concerned at all stages I
had instructions to challenge Sgt McCabe in relation to

motivation and credibility.

Well that is the clarification I sought, replied OHiggins,
according to the transcripts read out last night.
So the position now is that his motive is under attack, his
credibility is under attack from the Commissioner. But not
his integrity.
Full confidence?

Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Following the fresh revelations about the legal teams

approach towards Maurice McCabe, the Justice Minister
was asked multiple times last night to express full
confidence in Commissioner OSullivan.
In response, she claimed that it was illegal to publish
these transcripts.
For me to comment on them, I dont know whether they

are partial. I dont know whether they are full. I think it is

undermining of the full report when we select out certain
transcripts. I do have to make that point.
She refused to comment on whether the approach taken by
the legal team, saying she didnt think it was appropriate
for her to do so.
What I have to say to you is that you are asking me to
second guess the Commission by your question. What we
have is OHiggins who was in the unique position to hear
everything and in his final report, he does not include
the particular points you have made.
In relation to the Commissioner, can I say what I have to
go by is what she has said in her statement last night
where she says that Sergeant Maurice McCabes
contribution is valued and the service has changed for the
better in response to the issues about which he

Gerry Adams

If Justice Minister asked Garda Commissioner 4

explanation why can't she say so? If she didn't why didn't
10:33 PM - 17 May 2016

29 29 Retweets48 48 likes

Source: Gerry Adams/Twitter

She was asked again and again by Miriam OCallaghan

whether she had full confidence in OSullivan:
Well all of the evidence that I have in relation to the job

that the Commissioner is doing in terms of the

modernisation and reform, in terms of the changes of the
issues that were identified in this report and indeed the
many other reports is that she is taking those
recommendations forward and dealing with them.
OCallaghan: Is that a yes?
That is a yes in terms of her leadership of An Garda
Sochna. Obviously cultural change is necessary to be
protected. You dont change a culture overnight.
If these transcripts are all fully accurate Do you
still have full confidence in the Commissioner?
I might have to go back to the point
Thats a yes or a no.
These are transcripts that are taken out of context
when the full was written they did not feature.
If they prove to be correct?
I couldnt possibly answer a question put like that. It
would be completely wrong of me to comment on selective
pieces of evidence that did not feature in the final version
of the report.

Dil questions

Fitzgerald was also grilled during a Dil sitting yesterday

as a number of TDs called for the resignation of
Commissioner OSullivan.
In an impassioned speech, Clare Daly told the
minister that if the Commissioner didnt resign shes
going to take you with her.
TD Mick Wallace added to Dalys remarks saying youre
not going to change how you do policing until you change
the hierarchy.



Mick Wallace

Crisis in Policing hasn't gone away you know - Time for

the Garda Commissioner to go..

10:08 AM - 18 May 2016

79 79 Retweets82 82 likes

Source: Mick Wallace/Twitter

Again, the Justice Minister claimed that there were legal

constraints in what she could say about the new details.
However, this morning , Fitzgerald shifted her position
stating in the Dil that she would welcome further
comment from OSullivan if it is legal for her to do so.

Responding to Michel Martins claim that last nights

programme had escalated the situation, she said, If the
commissioner sees fit to make further comment that
would be helpful.
The Fine Gael deputy also told Martin he was quoting
illegal transcripts. She said the publication of the
transcripts robs the Commissioner of defending her good
name and undermines the integrity of the commission of
Of course the Garda Commissioner will want to clarify as
much as she can, as will I, she added, with the now oftrepeated caveat that these are only partial transcripts that
did not appear in the final report.
She also tried to turn the tables again.
Fitzgerald said OSullivan, like any other citizen, is entitled

to legal privacy.
What if we were to ask Sergeant McCabes instructions to
be put in the public arena how would feel about that?
she asked her predecessor Joan Burton.
It is imprudent for such discussions to be thrown into the
public domain.
However, with the wide dissemination of the transcripts
from the OHiggins commission hearing, it is unlikely the
Commissioner or Minister can continue to shirk these
He was vindicated on the publication of the OHiggins
Report which found him to be a truthful and credible
witness, if prone to exaggeration at times.
The judge described the sergeant as a dedicated and
committed member of the force who showed courage and
has performed a genuine public service at considerable
OHiggins also noted that McCabe took actions out of
legitimate and genuine concerns. He also upheld some of
his claims. That report concluded that victims of crime in
Cavan were failed by garda because of deficiencies,
resources and problems with management.

A shocking, sobering report leaked

and then selectively reported upon by our
national media

And is this latest story more or less significant?

It is more important for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, the latest whistleblowers are senior garda. One of
them has also admitted to being a party in a campaign
against another member who had made a protected
The Taoiseach has even admitted that the details in the
reports from them could very well lead to the
appointment of a sitting judge to look at the
More than likely, any investigation will fall outside GSOCs
remit. This might be a good thing as its new chairperson

Mary Ellen Ring has already told Oireachtas members that

her organisation lacks the teeth and resources to deal
with issues arising from complaints from whistleblowers.

The Garda Commissioner, the

transcripts, the tape and the unanswered

Secondly, the similarities of the known whistleblowers

stories can not be easily ignored.
Sick leave, unpaid leave and dealing with media reports
and local rumours have been part of the postwhistleblowing routine as mentioned by Daly yesterday.
One of the allegations made this week was that politicians
and media were given briefings about those who made
Last May, Fianna Fils John McGuinness told the Dil
that he met with the former commissioner, Martin
Callinan in a hotel car park two years ago to talk about
At the time, OSullivan said she was not aware of that
Wasnt this all meant to be reformed already?
We have heard a lot about garda reform since OSullivan
took over the reins from Martin Callinan.
GSOC has been given more powers but not enough, as
referenced above and the Policing Authority has been
established to provide oversight of the force.
But many within An Garda Sochna have pointed to a
culture that has not changed. Some have said that
OSullivans oft-repeated remark that dissent is not
disloyalty is mere lipservice and not the reality on the
Following the publication of the OHiggins Report earlier
this year, it emerged that at one stage there was an
intention to argue to the inquiry that the sergeant made
his concerns about work in the Cavan-Monaghan district
because of a grudge he held against a senior officer.
There were many questions which remain mostly

unanswered whether the Commissioner had planned to

attack the integrity, motivation and credibility of
Sergeant McCabe as the probe began.
She has always denied this is the case, saying that
whistleblowers including McCabe were friends of the
What next?

Fitzgerald wasnt giving much away today, telling Mary

Lou McDonald and Mick Wallace that due process would
have to be followed.
She also said that there is no reason for her to not have full
confidence in the Commissioner given that no findings of
wrongdoing have been made against her.
Although she said she was extremely concerned about
policing in Athlone, the Tnaiste noted that the protected
disclosures were merely allegations and not findings of
For her part, OSullivan has said that she was not privy to
nor approved of any action designed to target any garda
employee who may have made a protected disclosure and

would condemn any such action.

However, the calls for her to resign are mounting. If these
latest allegations stick and Daly is correct that there is a
huge gulf between OSullivans public statements and
what is actually happening under her watch, then she may
need to be wary of any late-night knocks on her door. It
could be a public servant waiting to do Enda Kennys
bidding. Martin Callinan can tell her all about it.
From Martin Callinan and his black bags of papers that
were shredded
and his abrupt "resignation" from a late night knock on the
door to the destruction of whistleblower's lives by senior
Gardai, this corruption seems to be endemic in the force
and above...
Like Ming said... The fish rots from the head...
"However, the calls for her to resign are mounting. If these
latest allegations stick and Daly is correct that there is a
huge gulf between OSullivans public statements and
what is actually happening under her watch, then she may
need to be wary of any late-night knocks on her door. It
could be a public servant waiting to do Enda Kennys
bidding. Martin Callinan can tell her all about it.

Martin Callinan had up to 10

black bags of his personal
papers shredded
On the day he retired, the Garda Commissioner filled 8- 10 bags with
personal papers and asked that they be disposed of.
Sep 1st 2015,


8 to 10 bags of his personal papers shredded after
announcing his retirement, according to the Fennelly
The report of the commission chaired by retired Supreme
Court justice Niall Fennelly details the circumstances
surrounding Callinans departure on 25 March last year.
The commission says it was also unable to locate all of the
data from the official garda mobile phone used by
Callinan told the commission of investigation that he had
cleared out all his personal papers after he announced his
retirement and that he did not have any written notes to
support his evidence to the commission.
In its efforts to locate the former commissioners personal

papers, the commission was told by Callinans personal

liaison, assistant commissioner Jack Nolan, that 8 to 10
bags of papers were shredded.
Nolan told the committee that in the late afternoon of 25
March, having announced his resignation, Callinan went
to a filing unit where he kept personal papers in the
conference room at Garda headquarters.
He asked a superintendent to get some black sacks as he
wished to sort through his files. Later he asked the same
superintendent to dispose of several bags of personal
Nolan continued:
There were possibly 8 10 bags, filled to a few inches if
(sic) paper in each bag and knotted at the top.
The superintendent advised that he was not aware of what
was in the bags other than Callinan informing him that
they were personal papers gathered over the years.
Nolan said these black sacks were brought to the
shredding bins and remained locked until the papers were
shredded on 4 April 2014.

Mobile phone

In relation to his phone, Callinan told the commission he

used an official phone and did not know where it was.
Nolan said the phone had been returned to Callinan after
the SIM card was removed and subsequently destroyed.
After the commission asked him to, Callinan found the
phone and furnished it to the inquiry but it had no SIM
card and no information stored on it. The commission
then asked Nolan for details on how the SIM had been
destroyed and for garda policy on mobile phones of former
Nolan subsequently stated that the SIM had not been
destroyed but returned to the commissioner and then
cancelled remotely on 30 May 2014 having not been used
since 16 April 2014.

The curious case of Martin

Callinan's mobile phone

View image on Twitter


Hugh O'Connell

The curious case of Martin Callinan's mobile phone


6:54 PM - 1 Sep 2015

20 20 Retweets11 11 likes

Source: Hugh O'Connell/Twitter

The commission was able to secure meta data from the

mobile phone service provider but contents of text

messages were not retrievable. It was subsequently able to
get copies of all texts sent by Callinan to Department of
Justice secretary general Brian Purcell.
In his report, Fennelly said the commission could only
speculate as to whether any information of value was lost
because of these actions.
However, the report also said it was striking how little
documentary evidence is available regarding some of the
actions under taken by Callinan.
He said: Important decisions were not formally recorded
and were communicated orally. Such work practices make
it very difficult to identify what decisions were made, by
whom and for what reasons.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

/Photo Text content

IN A SURPRISE move this morning, Garda Commissioner
Martin Callinan resigned, with immediate effect.
In a statement this afternoon, the 60-year-old said he had
decided to retire (not resign). He also made no reference
to the ongoing whistleblower controversy and failed to
withdraw or apologise for remarks made about former

garda John Wilson and Sergeant Maurice McCabe.

Callinan was due to retire last August, on turning 60, but
Minister for Justice Alan Shatter extended his term in
office by two years, which should have seen him lead the
forced until August 2015. However, there had been
indications that he would call it a day later this year.
Here is todays statement, in full:
In the best interests of An Garda Sochna and my family,
I have decided to retire. I felt that recent developments
were proving to be a distraction from the important work
that is carried out by An Garda Sochna on a daily basis
for the citizens of the State in an independent and
impartial manner.
Having joined An Garda Sochna in May of 1973, it has
been a great honour and privilege to have spent nearly 41
years as a member of this tremendous organisation,
serving the people of Ireland.
Those nearly 41 years, though at times challenging, have
been enjoyable and fulfilling. This is due to the standard of
people I have worked for, worked with, and led during this
period of time.
The work I carried out throughout my career could not
have been done without the support of numerous men and
women, and for this I would like to thank all who I have
worked with during my service.
It also could not have been achieved without the support
of the many thousands of members of public who I have
come in contact with and who I hope I have helped in
some small way during my career.
Since becoming Commissioner in 2010 I have never failed
to be impressed by the dedication of all serving members
and civilian staff even when they faced significant
professional and personal challenges.
The last four years have seen major changes in An Garda
Sochna, which were always done in the best interest of
the community for whom we do our job. Although some of
these changes have not always been easy, statistics from
the CSO have shown that they have resulted in a reduction

in crime throughout the country. This change in delivery

of a policing service has, I hope, provided communities
and individuals with a sense of safety and security in their
daily lives.
I would like to thank the members of An Garda Sochna
who I worked with during my time as Commissioner for
their support and willingness to adapt for the benefit of
the citizens of the State.
I have great confidence that the delivery of an excellent
policing service by excellent people will continue as it has
done since An Garda Sochnas foundation.
I wish my successor, current members of An Garda
Sochna, and those due to join later this year my
continuing best wishes and wholehearted support.

GARDA COMMISSIONER Martin Callinan has resigned. learned of the resignation this morning and
an official statement dropped before lunchtime.
There was no immediate response from a government
spokesperson or the Department of Justice and it is
understood the surprise development is being discussed at

Deputy Commissioner Noirn OSullivan will take over the

role in the interim.
The embattled chief has been under fire over the ongoing
whistleblower controversy, which is being discussed at
Cabinet level today.
Callinan had been criticised for comments made at a
Public Accounts Committee hearing in January, where he
described the actions of Sergeant Maurice McCabe and
retired garda John Wilson as disgusting.
Both men had come forward with allegations about the
mishandling of cases and inappropriate cancellation of
penalty points.
Transport Minister Leo Varadkar reignited the row last
week, calling the actions of the whistleblowers
distinguished and urging Callinan to withdraw his
earlier remarks.
He was backed up by Education Minister Ruair Quinn,
Social Protection Minister Joan Burton and Tnaiste
Eamon Gilmore.
The dispute has also increased the focus on Justice
Minister Alan Shatter, who has been silent on the matter
this week.
Fianna Fils Niall Collins told Pat Kenny this morning
that the Minister still has to owe up to the gross injustice
he carried out.
He said that his party had lost confidence in the Taoiseach,
as well as Shatter. According to the justice spokesperson,
the pair had shown no leadership and the country is at a
complete loss.
In a similar vein, Deputy Shane Ross who sits on the
PAC warned that the row is far from over.

And fellow Independent TD, Luke Ming Flanagan,

suggested his replacement.

Fine Gael Senator Deirdre Clune has called for the next
chief to be hired externally.

The right thing

Speaking on Today with Sen ORourke, Deputy Mick
Wallace who has been consistently vocal on the
whistleblower issue said he was not shocked by this
mornings announcement.
It was getting more difficult for him to stand over how he
has run the police force, he said.
The question now hangs over Alan Shatter. He has not
dealt well with the policing side of his ministry at all.
He has overseen a totally dysfunctional police force.
Sinn Fins Pdraig MacLochlainn said his partys focus
will be on the necessary changes required in Irelands
He cited the need for an Independent Policing Authority,
accountable to an Independent Policing Board, similar to
what is in place in the North of Ireland and increased
powers for the Garda Sochna Ombudsman Commission
PAC Chairman John McGuinness also pointed to other
cracks within An Garda Sochna.
He told Newstalk that the resignation comes as the
administration within the force was not up to scratch.
The Fianna Fil chair also expressed concern over last
weekends revelations in the Sunday Times that Traveller

children have been put on the Garda PULSE system. He

said that the issue had not been properly discussed.

Varadkar says Callinan should

withdraw disgusting remarks
but garda say he wont
Leo Varadkar has said that Martin Callinan should withdraw remarks
that the actions of two garda whistleblowers were disgusting.
Mar 20th 2014,

TRANSPORT MINISTER LEO Varadkar has said that the

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan should withdraw
comments made in January that the actions of two garda
whisteblowers were disgusting.
However, a garda spokesperson has confirmed this
afternoon that Callinan will not be withdrawing the
remarks and has drawn attention to a statement issued
last week in which the commissioner clarified what he
Speaking at a Road Safety Authority conference in Dublin
today, Varadkar said that ex-garda John Wilson and

serving sergeant Maurice McCabe had used the correct

procedures in attempting to highlight malpractice in the
penalty points system, but said those procedures failed
He said that when information about penalty points being
inappropriately and incorrectly cancelled was released it
was done through members of the Oireachtas which garda
are entitled to do. He described the two whistleblowers
actions as distinguished.
Pointing out that he was speaking on my own behalf, he
added: I want to thank Sergeant McCabe and Mr Wilson
for their service.
They may not have got everything right, but they did
shine a light into a dark place and force those whod rather
turn a blind eye to face up to the truth.
He told reporters that Callinans remark about the actions
of McCabe and Wilson being disgusting should be
withdrawn and added that the commissioner should
make any other corrections he needs to make to the
testimony he made to the Public Accounts Committee.
In January, Callinan told the Public Accounts Committee
that it was quite disgusting that two people out of a force
of 13,000 are making extraordinary serious allegations
and there is not a whisper from elsewhere in the force of
corruption or malpractice.
On a personal level, I think its quite disgusting, he said.

Callinan response

Last week, Callinan attempted to clarify those remarks

following the publication of a Garda Inspectorate report
which found inconsistent and widespread breaches of
the policy on penalty points.
He said last week: I want to clarify that my use of that
term was not in reference to the character of either Sgt
McCabe or former Garda Wilson, but the manner in which
personal and sensitive data was inappropriately appearing
in the public domain without regard to due process and
fair procedures.
Contacted this afternoon, a garda spokesperson said that

Callinan reiterates what he said in the statement last week

which clarified the context in which the words were said.
When asked if that meant the disgusting remark would
not be withdrawn, the spokesperson confirmed this was
the case.
In a follow-up statement from the garda press office this
afternoon, a spokesperson said: The Garda Commissioner
Martin Callinan clarified his use of the word disgusting
last week.
In that statement, he said that his use of the term at the
Public Accounts Committee was not in reference to the
character of either Sgt McCabe or former Garda Wilson,
but the manner in which personal and sensitive data was
inappropriately appearing in the public domain without
regard to due process and fair procedures.
The Commissioner used the term at the PAC in the
context of outlining how he would support any member of
An Garda Siochana who reports wrongdoing of any kind,
but it should be done through the mechanisms and
procedures for doing so.

PAC comments

The spokesperson also cited remarks at the PAC meeting

in January, quoting Callinan as saying: Anyone who
makes any report of wrongdoing to me, I will deal with it
very seriouslyI will not allow anyone reporting
wrongdoing to be bullied, harassed, intimidatedthat will
not happen on my watch.
There is a mechanism and procedure for reporting
wrongdoing which should not be going off to a third party
with a whole raft of serious allegations, criminal and
otherwise, and producing them elsewhere.
The spokesperson added that several recommendations
contained in the Garda Inspectorates report on the system
are already being implemented.
Varadkar was also asked today whether the whistleblowers
were owed an apology, but he said that was not a matter
for him, but those who may or may not have something to
apologise about.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter has faced repeated calls to

apologise to the whistleblowers for claiming on the Dil
record that they did not cooperate with an internal garda
inquiry into the penalty points controversy.

Nirn OSullivan is the new

Garda Commissioner
The interim commissioner has now been made permanent following a
government decision today.
Nov 25th 2014,

NIRN OSULLIVAN HAS been appointed as the new

Garda Commissioner on a permanent basis.
OSullivan was appointed by the government this
afternoon after she was the only candidate recommended
by a special selection committee set up by the Public
Appointments Service (PAS). It follows interviews with a
number of Irish and international candidates.
OSullivan has served as commissioner on an interim basis
since her predecessor Martin Callinan retired in March
amid controversy over revelations of calls in and out of
garda stations being secretly recorded for decades.
The government said that the PAS special high-level

selection committee conducted a global search and two

rounds of interviews which involved both Irish and
international candidates.
The final round of interviews was held in recent days and
involved the chair designate of the new Policing Authority,
Josephine Feehily.
In a statement issued this afternoon, Justice Minister
Frances Fitzgerald said that OSullivans experience and
proven leadership capacity leaves her well-placed to
deliver on the governments planned reforms of An Garda
Sochna in the wake of a string of controversies.
The appointment has been welcomed by the Garda

Congrats to new Gda Commissioner O'Sullivan. We look

fwd to working w/ her to continue to improve oversight &
public perception of policing.

2:47 PM - 25 Nov 2014

6 6 Retweets2 2 likes

Source: Garda Ombudsman/Twitter

Though others have not been so welcoming:


TheJournal Politics

Ind TD Mick Wallace says appointment of Nirn

OSulllivan almost unbelievable and shows government
has "zero interest in reform.

3:08 PM - 25 Nov 2014

4 4 Retweets5 5 likes

Source: TheJournal Politics/Twitter

Earlier this month, a highly-critical report by the Garda

Inspectorate identified the absence of up-to-date dispatch
technology as well as deficiencies in practices, supervision
and governance relating to the recording, classification
and investigation of crime.
Concerns were also raised about the lack of finger-printing
by garda and the way in which officers handle allegations
of domestic abuse.
Fitzgerald said: The focus must now be to ensure public
confidence in policing in Ireland and to support the men
and women An Garda Sochna in their day-to-day work of
keeping our communities and country safe.
This means delivering on a programme of reform,
modernisation and investment with respect to
organisation, processes and systems. The aim must be to
craft a police service fit to meet the realities of 21st century
crime and security.
The Minister wished OSullivan all the very best in her
new role.
OSullivan is a native of Dublin who joined the Garda
Sochna in 1981. She was made a sergeant in 1992 before
becoming an inspector in 1997.
She served as superintendent, chief superintendent before
being made assistant commissioner in 2007 and deputy
commissioner in March 2011.

FOR THE FIRST time in the history of the Irish State, An

Garda Sochna is being led by a woman.
The former Deputy and Acting Commissioner Nirn
OSullivan will formally take over the role of
Commissioner on a permanent basis following her
appointment by the Minister for Justice today.
OSullivan was launched into the top spot after the
resignation with immediate effect of Martin Callinan
on 25 March this year.
But who is she?
OSullivan joined the force in 1981 and has worked across
operations and administration, making a name for herself
initially by tackling the capitals drug problem.
She was among the first members of a plain-clothes unit
which targeted Dublins dealers and their gangs. The unit
brought a number of convictions against high-profile
Her reward came in the form of promotions thick and
In 2000, she was promoted to Superintendent and served
in the Garda College with responsibility for specialist
training and as a Detective Superintendent in the Garda

National Drugs Unit. There, she was responsible for

tracking the supply of controlled substances into the
Three years later, another promotion saw her take a role at
the Garda Technical Bureau as Detective Chief
Superintendent. She also spent some time in Human
Resource management.
By 2007, she had been named Assistant Commissioner for
the west of the country, while continuing in a HR role.
Continuing her fast progression up the ranks, in June
2009, she was appointed Assistant Commissioner, Crime
and Security.
She took the Deputy Commissioner Operations post in
2011 the first woman to reach the high rank.
OSullivans qualifications also make for impressive
reading. She has completed an FBI executive leadership
programme designed for chiefs of police worldwide and
holds a First Class Honours Advance Management
Diploma from the Michael Smurfit School of Business in
She also boasts qualifications from Harvard University,
CIPD, the IMI, University of Limerick and Trinity College.
Her 19 garda predecessors were all male but she joins a
host of females in Irish justice roles. Currently, the posts of
Attorney General, Chief Justice and the Director of Public
Prosecutions are all held by women.

Last year, her son Ciaran McGowan graduated as a

Reserve at the Garda College, Templemore along with 92
other recruits. (Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland)
First published on 25 March when OSullivan became the
Acting Commissioner after the resignation of Martin
Garda can no longer afford to let the past dictate the future

Restructure could free up 1,500 garda, head of

inspectorate tells MacGill Summer School

Speakers Conor Brady, Josephine Feehily, Jim OCallaghan and

Robert Olsen at Glenties. Photograph: North West Newspix

The current operational culture is inhibiting change

and preventing the Garda from reaching its potential,
the head of the Garda Inspectorate has told the MacGill
Summer School.
Without major change, the current Garda culture and
structure will continue to challenge any modernisation
or reform efforts, Robert Olsen said on Friday during a
debate on transforming the Garda into an efficient and
effective force.
Many staff view their organisation as insular,
defensive and operating with a blame culture that
results in leaders that are risk-averse in making
decisions, said Mr Olsen, a former senior US police
officer who is chief inspector of the Garda Inspectorate.
The Garda can no longer afford to let the past dictate
the future.
Mr Olsen said that had recommendations made in a
number of previous reports on reforming the Garda
been implemented, many of the previous policing
issues that resulted in inquiries, tribunals and
government reports could have been minimised or

He said the Garda now operated with six regions, 28

divisions and 96 districts. Within them were 124
individual duplicative administrative units.

State withholds pay rise from trainee garda in

industrial row
4,000 in allowances may be offered to new garda
Rank-and-file garda withdraw from modernisation

All 96 districts had the same type of units operating

for example 96 administrative units, 96 community
policing units and 96 detective units.

Lack of consistency
This is not an efficient structure, he said. The
inspectorate has found a lack of consistency in the
management of criminal investigations across the 96
districts, and poor and inconsistent supervisory
practices of those investigations.
Mr Olsen said several inspectorate reports had pointed
to how potentially hundreds of thousands of valuable
member and Garda staff hours are being wasted all
across the country on inefficient administrative and
investigative processes.
He said the inspectorate believed there were at least
1,500 garda in non-operational posts who could be
released for frontline duties.
By creating 28 unified divisional administration units
from the current 124 in existence, significant
economies of scale will allow, as a first step, for the
release of the 250 sworn administrative positions for
frontline duties, he said.
If the performance capacity of the Garda workforce
could be raised by just 10 per cent, it would have the
equivalent effect of increasing the level of police service
provided to the country by 1,000 employees without
hiring anyone.

Josephine Feehily, chairwoman of the Policing

Authority, said that while her organisation, politicians
and society could help transform the Garda, ultimately
it was up to the leadership to achieve change.
Referring to the challenge facing the Garda
Commissioner, Nirn OSullivan, Ms Feehily said: It
is not easy to transform any large, long-established
organisation. It is particularly not easy when you have
to keep the lights on while rewiring the house, to coin a

Measurable progress
She again welcomed the commissioners recent fiveyear plan for Garda modernisation and renewal,
adding: The authority will expect to see measurable
progress in relation to its implementation.
Conor Brady, former editor of The Irish Times and a
member of the Garda Sochna Ombudsman
Commission from 2005- 2011, said one measure that
would benefit the Garda and society would be to recruit
experienced people from careers outside the force and
place them in middle to senior ranks.
Such an initiative would, of course, be resisted tooth
and nail by the garda themselves, he said. But the
new policing authority has the powers, if it wishes, to
make appointments at middle and senior grade, from
outside the force.
Fianna Fil TD and justice spokesman Jim OCallaghan
proposed that more garda should be encouraged to
engage in specialised third-level training and
qualifications. He also proposed graduate recruitment
into the force and recruitment from outside forces.
Membership of the Authority consists of a chairperson and 8
ordinary members.
Under the legislation, Authority members are appointed for a

term of either 3 or 4 years, and may be reappointed for a

further term subject to a maximum of 8 years.
Members of the Oireachtas or Local Authorities, serving
members of the Garda Sochna, GSOC or the Garda
Inspectorate are not eligible to be members of the Authority.
The Authority is supported by a team of core staff headed up
by Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Helen Hall.
The Chairperson and members of the Authority were selected
for appointment by the Government following selection
processes run by the Public Appointments Service. Details of
the Authority Members are as follows:

Authority Members

Josephine Feehily, Chairperson

Josephine Feehily retired at the end of January 2015 from the
position of Chairman of the Office of the Revenue
Commissioners the Irish Tax and Customs Authority. She
was one of the three Commissioners who form the Board of
Revenue since 1998, the first woman to hold that position in
Ireland. In that time, her Board level executive responsibilities
have included policy and legislation, tax collection, strategy
and organisation development and the Customs Service.
Josephine was elected Chairperson of the World Customs
Organisation for three years from June 2011. From November

2012, she chaired the OECD Forum for Tax Administration a

Commissioner level Forum of advanced Tax Authorities at a
time of significant international debate about global tax
Josephine is a graduate of the National College of Ireland and
Trinity College Dublin.

Noel Brett
Noel Brett is a native of Castlebar, Co. Mayo. He is a graduate
of UCD, Christ Church University Canterbury and the University
of Kent at Canterbury. He has worked in child protection,
mental health and Local Authority senior management roles in
the UK for over 10 years. He returned to Ireland in 1999 and
has worked as a hospital manager and as Assistant CEO of the
Western Health Board. He was appointed CEO of the Road
Safety Authority in 2005 and moved to his current position as
CEO of the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland in 2013.

Bob Collins
Bob Collins is Chair of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and
a member of the board of the National Library of Ireland. He is
a former Director-General of RT and served as Chief
Commissioner of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland
from 2005 to 2012. He was the first Chair of the Broadcasting
Authority of Ireland and has also served on a number of other
boards including the National Concert Hall and the Ulster

Dr. Vicky Conway

Dr Vicky Conway is a Lecturer in Law at DCU and has
previously worked at the University of Kent, Queen's University
Belfast and the University of Limerick. She has published
widely on policing, criminal justice and miscarriages of justice
and is a leading expert on An Garda Sochna. Her third book,
Policing Twentieth Century Ireland A History of An Garda
Sochna was published in 2013 and provides a socio-historical
analysis of the service, with an emphasis on police culture and
accountability. She has previously been a board member of the
Committee on the Administration of Justice in Belfast and has
been a visiting scholar at Monash University, the University of
Victoria and North Eastern University.

Pat Costello
Pat Costello is CEO of Chartered Accountants Ireland and
Accounting Technicians Ireland. He is Chairman of Chartered
Accountants Worldwide which represents over 500,000
Chartered Accountants around the world. He is also a former
CEO of the Irish Taxation Institute. Pat has a keen interest in
policing matters having experienced its importance to
democracies while serving with the United Nations as an Irish
Army Officer in the Middle East and the former Yugoslavia.

Judith Gillespie
Judith Gillespie was a serving police officer for 32 years,
retiring from the Police Service of Northern Ireland as Deputy
Chief Constable in 2014. In addition to running her own
consultancy business, being a Visiting Professor at Ulster
University, and her voluntary work in a number of areas, she is
a member of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland and
the Probation Board for Northern Ireland.

Valerie Judge
Valerie Judge is an independent management consultant. She
specialises in supporting senior executives to improve personal
performance and organisational policies, processes, systems
and governance. Previously Valerie worked in a number of
senior HR, Operational and Change Management roles in the
health and telecommunications sectors. Her qualifications
include MBA, BSocSc, and Diplomas in ICT, Health Economics,
Governance and Executive Coaching. Valerie is a board
member at the Dublin Dental University Hospital, the Social
Work Registration Board and Ruhama. Previously she was
board member and chair at the Coombe Women's University

Maureen Lynott
Maureen Lynott is a widely experienced in management and
leadership with particular expertise in board governance,
strategic change and organisation performance. She has held
varied roles as a board chairperson/non-executive director,
senior executive and management consultant to Government
departments, voluntary organisations and private companies.
Her portfolio includes experience in the USA, Ireland, Europe
and Asia.
Her leadership appointments include: first external chairperson
of the Top Level Appointments Committee; chairperson of the
task force to establish a new Child and Family Agency and of
the national Children First working group; senior advisor to the
first CEO of the Health Service Executive; first CEO and nonexecutive chairperson of the National Treatment Purchase
Fund; non-executive director of Beacon Hospital, the VHI,
Housing Finance Agency and St James Hospital. She has
served as chairperson of Rialto Policing Forum, Ballymun
Regeneration and the Homeless Agency, and as a Board
member of An Cosan and Focus Point. She is a member of the
International Womens Forum.
Ms. Lynott is from County Mayo. She was educated to Masters

Degree and worked in New York until 1987. She is also a

graduate of the Executive Management Programmes at
Columbia University School of Business and the Kennedy
School of Government at Harvard University. Following an
invitation by Trinity College, Dublin in 1987 to attend as a
Visiting Academic, she relocated to Ireland.

Dr. Moling Ryan

Dr. Moling Ryan served as Chief Executive of the Legal Aid
Board from 2004 to 2014. He previously served in a number of
offices and Departments including Finance, Arts, Heritage and
the Gaeltacht, Land Registry and the Courts Service. He was
called to the Bar in 1979 and also has degrees from the
National University of Ireland, Trinity College and Queens
University, Belfast.

Former Commissioner of the Garda Sochna Martin

Callinan - The Fennelly Commission - Garda Sochna
Converts to a Private Corporate Militia - Vancouver,
Canada to Cork, Ireland - University College Cork and
Bord Iascaigh Mhara Collusion - 6 Million Out of EU
Horizon 2020 Project Into UCC Coffers (Vitamin D Group)
- Harvesting Food or "Harvesting" an Entrepreneur's Idea "Pissing Down a Man's Back and Calling it Sweat" - Breach
of Confidentiality - Insiders Cutting Deals Among
Themselves - B.C. Canada's CA$6 Billion Marijuana
Industry and Vancouver's 4/20 Day

Martin Callinan was Ireland's Commissioner of the Garda

Something foul in its stench is blowing with the wind from the
core of the Irish Criminal Justice System. This foul smelling
wind has blown from the Taoiseach onto the Minister of Justice,
past the president of the High Court, into the Chief Justice of
the Supreme Court, and into the offices of the Fennelly
Commission of Inquiry. These types of commissions are
British-style coverups, and most everyone by now is fairly
savvy to the commission game being played, knowing full well
these commissions are never transparent. These commissions
are also very selective and prejudiced on what is used as
evidence in their investigations, as we will see. For the
Fennelly Commission, there is a file of documents that is being
ignored, a very important file that contains photos taken of the

complainant sitting inside the offices of GSOC, the Irish

equivalent to the Independent Police Ombudsman to Ireland.
One of the photos shows the complainant on March 24, 2014
at 14:10pm ready to submit a file that could possibly result in
no confidence in Fine Gael.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Martin Callinan (not friendly to whistleblowers) is the former
Commissioner of the Garda Sochna, which is Ireland's
national police force. Martin Callinan retired in March 2014,
although controversy remains about whether Callinan actually
retired of his own accord or if he was forced to resign. Garda
Sochna is more commonly referred to as the Garda, or "the
guards"; in American lingo, the cops. The service is headed by
the Commissioner of An Garda Sochna who is appointed by
the Irish government. Its headquarters are in Dublin's Phoenix
Park. Martin Callinan is a two-time graduate of the US's
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Academy in
Quantico, Virginia, qualifying in law enforcement management.
It is alleged that Taoiseach Enda Kenny personally contacted
Martin Callinan and suggested that Callinan retire. Americans
would say: "Take a hike, you're fired." In Ireland, there is a

complete and continuing breakdown in the confidence the Irish

people have in their government and Garda Sochna. One has
wonder whether the roughly 39.6 million Americans who claim
Irish heritage don't have the exact same sentiments about
their government and police, including the FBI that the Irish
have? A notable Irish American who felt that way was John
O'Neill, and he ended up dead in the rubble of the WTC towers.
As it stands right now, the people of Ireland do not have a
police force that is there to protect them. Garda Sochna has
become more of a private commercial militia for private
financial interests, very similar to what the FBI in the US has
become. Sort of makes one wonder what kind of tips Callinan
picked up while at the FBI? They probably have a course at the
FBI titled: "How to Handle Whistleblowers." All protections to
safeguard openness, transparency and protection of the Irish
people within Garda Sochna (the "Guards") have been
eviscerated. Part of the reason for the Fennelly Commission
being set up by the government of Ireland, was to investigate
Martin Callinan's alleged forced "resignation."
"Civil servant" Brian Percell was sent to Martin Callinan's home
and the message seemed clear: "Was he given a whiskey and
a revolver and told to make a choice"? Sinn Fein leader Gerry
Adams said, "the power to remove a Garda commissioner
could only be taken by Cabinet, and if the Taoiseach acted
alone it would be unlawful." One of the reasons given for
Callinan's resignation, was a claim that Callinan was too close"
to Alan Shatter. Too close? Alan Shatter is a Jewish (Irish) Fine
Gael politician. Shatter was once the Minister of Justice and
Equity from March 2011 until May 2014. Justice for who?
Equity is selective with these people. Try blowing the whistle in
Ireland to see just how much "justice" and "equity" there
really is.
The controversy hanging over Ireland's Garda Sochna has to
do with the "Garda phone recordings controversy."
Unauthorised recordings made since the 1980s of
conversations between some 28 Garda stations around Ireland
of targeted individuals. These allegations could have a very
serious impact on the outcome of prosecutions since the
1980s. This is criminal behavior on the part of Ireland's Garda
Sochna since the 1980s. Garda Sochna since the 1980s,
had been illegally tapping into private telephone conversations

to obtain evidence. Law and justice in Ireland have become

worse and has it stands now, there is no transparency or
accountability. According to a recent discussion with a
journalist in Ireland, the laws have become "unacceptable and
only becoming worse." The telephone recordings controversy
came about during the investigation into the death of Sophie
Toscan du Plantier. (Edited: The French police are in Cork,
Ireland interviewing people on the murder of Sophie du
Plantier as of September 30, 2015.)
The Fennelly Report was released on September 1, 2015, with
most people's eyes simply glazed over when they saw this
investigative 300 page boiler plate report. On September 2,
2015, Fianna Fil and Sinn Fin, announced plans to table
motions of no confidence in Taoiseach Enda Kenny, following
the publication of the interim report of the Fennelly
Commission. And that has been the way it is the past ten
years in Ireland investigating crime and corruption: One
investigation after another with a continuing ineffectual litany
of superfluous "official reports" offered solely to appease the
To "investigate" serious allegations of fraud and continuing
police corruption, the Fennelly Commission was established
April 2014, by the government of Ireland. The Fennelly
Commission is headed by its sole member, Nial Fennelly, a
retired justice of Ireland's Supreme Court. Nial Fennelly
identified three separate areas within the Fennelly
Commission's investigations:
1. Garda phone recordings controversy: unauthorised
recordings made since the 1980s of conversations to and from
some Garda stations (other than 999 emergency telephone
number calls, recorded as a matter of course).
2. Death of Sophie Toscan du Plantier: evidence from phone
recordings at Bandon Garda station of misconduct in the
3. Martin Callinan: circumstances of his retirement as Garda
Commissioner in March 2014.
Earlier this year on March 23, 2015, Jack Healy-O'Connor
provided a detailed and well documented packet of information
given to the offices of An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, with the
request that his packet of documents related to the case the

Fennelly Commission was investigating (the Fennelly

Commission report was released on September 1, 2015)
concerning Martin Callinan, be forwarded to the Fennelly
Commission. The assistant private secretary to the Taoiseach,
acknowledged receipt of Jack's documents on March 23, 2015,
and then the file was thought to have been forwarded to the
Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald as the point of contact.
As Jack later informed GRECO (Group of States Against
Corruption) in his contacting GRECO seeking help, which will
be explained later, none of the documents were ever
forwarded to the Fennelly Commission. In these two videos
immediately below, Jack Healy-O'Connor explains his

Chief Inspector Robert Olson

will speak on at 1.00 pm
today about the Inspectorate
report Changing Policing in
law society gazette December 2014 PROFILE
33 the more recent Garda Inspectorate report into garda
failures in the investigation of serious
Garda Sochna (Confidential Reporting of Corruption Or
Malpractice) Regulations 2007

Read the Garda Inspectorates damning


The Garda Inspectorate found ... the Garda Sochna

Inspectorate has issued its report on the matter. The


(CERTAIN MATTERS. O Higgins Report
garda-report Letter Correspondence received from the
Department of Justice & Equality on the 19th October
2012 concerning Allegations of Irregularities in the
Operation of the Fixed Charge Processing System (FCPS)

Investigations into the policing of water


Investigations into the policing of ... This document, which

set out a planned Garda ... Sochna Discipline Regulations
2007, was submitted to the Garda

Garda Sochna Act 2005
Commission of Investigation (Certain Matters relative to
the Cavan/Monaghan Division of the Garda Sochna)
Order 2014 To be made by the Government

United Nations International Convention Office...

(police force). Criminal Justice Act 2007 ... a comprehensive

Garda Action Plan arising ... the Convention. All military
police personnel attend

An Garda Siochana. (2007). Policing Plan 2007
An Garda Siochana. (2007). Corporate Strategy A Time for Change,
Commissioner of the Garda Sochna Policing Plan (REAL)
18/12/2006 Priorities for the Garda Sochna for 2007 ...
Policing Plan 2007

Daily Book Unrevised Chapter 7 - Management of

Fixed Charge Notice System (Continued) Thursday,
23 January 2014
Garda:Statement from Garda Commissioner Noirin
O Sullivan 25th May 2016 Statement from Garda
Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan
Report of the Garda Sochna Inspectorate Changing
Policing in Ireland Delivering a Visible, Accessible and
Responsive Service
The Fixed Charge ProCessing sysTeM a 21st CenTury sTraTegy
Garda Inspectorate Statement on the
CSO Review of the Quality of Crime Statistics 2016
Oireachtas 2016
Government Statement on Matters Relating to An Garda
Sochna ... detailed report on all ... legislation to protect
whistleblowers and to extend freedom of speech


What is the position in relation to the protection of
whistleblowers in ... of An Garda Sochna ... UP REPORT
Instructions This document seeks to obtain
The O'Higgins Commission Report presents inescapable
lessons for An Garda Sochna, based on our ... An Garda
Sochna agrees that whistleblowers
Management of the Fixed Charge Notice System
The Protected Disclosures Bill 2013: a
whistleblowers charter?
Recommended draft principles for whistleblowing
Whistleblowers can play an essential role in detecting fraud, mismanagement and
Guerin report


Report by the Commission (in accordance with Section 103, Garda
Sochna Act, 2005) following the death of Mr. Derek OToole on
March 4th 2007 and subsequent complaints and investigation under
Section 98, Garda Sochna Act, 2005
Transparency International Ireland Submission on Garda Sochna ...
Garda whistleblowers, ... the confidential recipient shall transmit the
report to the Garda

AN GARDA SOCHNA . ... The purpose of this policy

document is to set out the ... All employees share a
responsibility to report instances

Report on Allegations of Irregularities

in the Operation of the Fixed Charge
Processing System (FCPS)
An Garda Sochna Garda ... An Garda Siochana ... National
Accreditation Board criteria should insist on receiving an accredited
calibration certificate or test report. Forensic Testing Lab certificate

Responsibility to report child abuse or ... 3.8 Cases not

reported to the HSE or An Garda Sochna 16 ... as the
comprehensive reference document,

ANNUAL REPORT 2011 . 2 CONTENTS Foreword by the

Chairperson Introduction by the Chief Executive Officer


position in relation to the protection of whistleblowers in ...
the Commissioner of An Garda Sochna

Fennelly Commission
Eire not independent
Jurisdiction 1931 Westminster Act
42% EUBankBailOut
Vancouver Satanic Cult calling the shots
Ryanair Bribe


to Cover Up Child Sex Fennelly Commission
To anyone in Ireland who is
struggling to believe how could
Canadian Police be in Ireland
from 2011-2015 to kill me.

Ireland has been overfed and undernourished by

Free tied-Aid EU money

Gemma this is the Martin

Callinan sacking uncovered &
They've tried killing me 3times
Enda Kenny Sacked Martin
Callinan to Protect this:
UNREPENTANT: Canada's Residential
Schools Documentary
Dec 7, 2013
This award winning documentary reveals Canada's darkest
secret - the deliberate extermination of indigenous (Native
American) peoples and the theft of their land under the guise
of religion. This never before told history as seen through the
eyes of this former minister (Kevin Annett) who blew the
whistle on his own church, after he learned of thousands of

murders in its Indian Residential Schools.

First-hand testimonies from residential school survivors are
interwoven with Kevin Annett's own story of how he faced
firing, de-frocking, and the loss of his family, reputation and
livelihood as a result of his efforts to help survivors and bring
out the truth of the residential schools.
Best Director Award at the 2006 New York Independent Film
and Video Festival, and Best International Documentary at the
2006 Los Angeles Independent Film Festival

100,000+ Children missing:Canada since 1950's

Vancouver Police in Ireland 7 times 2011-2015 to

kill me

Fine Gael Out NOW!

Fennelly Cover Up

Vancouver Capital British Empire

2010 July Protests about the Vancouver Police


1st Foor St Stephens
House,Earlsfort Terrace,D2
No Public Phone
Secret Location

ALL WHORES to Suck you dry

Everyone a Traitor
All WHORES to preserve the
GPO-CONAN-2002-10 Acts of Congress Held Unconstitutional in
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES ... court by virtue of any
previous admission, held invalid

Important Judgments - Supreme Court

members of the Court, judgments, the Irish legal system

and ... a list of important judgments of the Supreme Court
effect of law found unconstitutional
power of Oireachtas to amend 1922 Constitution
tort - State has no sovereign
immunity from suit
The Governor of Arbour Hill
Prison validity of actions taken
under law subsequently found
Fianna Fail Collusion to CoverUP Since March 2015

Total Police
Pleas for Peace IGNORED

VPD Chief call Ireland;report; 7,000 miles

away,endorsed Toronto Mayor Rob Ford; BONKERS
June 4th 2015- Proof Enda Kenny,hiding
files,Fennelly Commission

June 4th 2015- Proof Enda

Kenny,hiding files,Fennelly


Sophie Toscan DuPlantier 1996
Jack Healy-O'Connor 2015

GRECOs annual report: progress needed in preventing corruption in

respect of MPs, judges and prosecutors
Council of Europe calls on San Marino to ratify the Criminal Law
Convention on Corruption and to upgrade political financing law
Court declares by election delay unconstitutional PEARSE DOHERTY

Doherty -v- Government of Ireland & anor

Neutral Citation:
[2010] IEHC 369
High Court Record Number:
2010 959 JR
Date of Delivery:
High Court
Judgment by:
Kearns P.
Neutral Citation Number: [2010] IEHC 369


2010 959 JR

JUDGMENT of Kearns P. delivered the 3rd day of
November, 2010
By Order of the High Court (Peart J.) made on the 12th
July, 2010 the applicant was given leave to apply by way
of an application for judicial review for the following
reliefs:(i) A declaration that in view of the duration of the
vacancy for membership of the Dil in the Donegal South
West constituency and the extent to which its electors and
population are presently under-represented, the
Government is under a duty not to oppose motions put
down by others to have the writ moved for a by-election
(ii) An order directing the Government not to oppose any
such motion that may be moved.
(iii) Further and other relief.
By consent of the parties, an additional relief was sought
further to notice of motion dated the 18th October, 2010

as follows:(2) A declaration that there has been excessive delay in

filling the said vacancy since it occurred on 6th June, 2009.
The grounds set out in the Statement to ground the
application for judicial review are elaborated in the
following simple terms:"In the light of the Constitution's affirmation of a
"democratic State" (Art. 5) and the requirement that, in
any constituency, there shall be "not less than one
member for 30,000 of the population" (Art. 16.2.2), there
has been excessive delay in filling the said vacancy since
it occurred on 6th June, 2009. On account of existing Dil
arithmetic, the only realistic prospect of getting this
vacancy filled is for the Government (which effectively
controls the Dil) at least not to oppose a motion to that
effect, in accordance with s. 39(2) of the Electoral Act,
1992. In somewhat different circumstances, leave for this
type of relief was granted in Dudley v. An Taoiseach et al
[1994] 1 I.L.R.M. 321."
Leave having been granted by the High Court, it is to say
the least surprising that no application was brought by or
on behalf of the respondents to set aside the leave
granted given that the main ground relied upon by the
respondents herein is that the matters in issue are nonjusticiable by reason of the doctrine of separation of
However, a lengthy Statement of Opposition was filed on
behalf of the respondents, contending, inter alia:(1) The pleas and contentions of the applicant in relation
to provisions of the Constitution, section 39(2) of the
Electoral Act 1992 and the judgment of the High Court in
Dudley v. An Taoiseach [1994] 1 I.L.R.M. 321 concern
matters of law and the respondents make no admissions
in respect thereof.
(2) Without prejudice to the foregoing:(i) It is denied that Article 16.2.2 of the Constitution
imposes a requirement that, in any constituency, there
shall be not less than one member for 30,000 of the
population as alleged. Article 16.2.2 of the Constitution

provides that "the number of members shall from time to

time be fixed by law, but the total number of members of
Dil ireann shall not be fixed at less than one member for
each thirty thousand of the population, or at more than
one member for each twenty thousand of the population".
(ii) It is denied that the provisions of the Constitution upon
which the applicant relies and/or section 39(2) of the
Electoral Act 1992 and/or the judgment of the High Court
in Dudley v. An Taoiseach [1994] 1 I.L.R.M. 321 provide
any basis for the reliefs sought or any relief.
(iii) . . .
(iv) At the hearing of these proceedings, the respondents
will rely upon inter alia, the provisions of the Constitution,
(including Articles 5, 6, 15, 16, 28, 29, 34, 37, 46 and 47
thereof and section 39(2) of the Electoral Act 1992. In
particular but without prejudice to the generality of the
foregoing:(a) the respondents will rely upon Article 16.7 of the
Constitution which provides that "subject to the foregoing
provisions of this Article, elections for membership of Dil
ireann, including the filling of casual vacancies, shall be
regulated in accordance with law";
(b) the respondents will rely upon section 39(2) of the
Electoral Act 1992 which was enacted pursuant to and in
accordance with, inter alia, Article 16.7 of the Constitution
and provides as follows: "where a vacancy occurs in the
membership of the Dil by a person ceasing to be a
member otherwise than in consequence of a dissolution,
the Chairman of the Dil (or, where he is unable through
illness absence or other cause to fulfil his duties or where
there is a vacancy in the Office of Chairman, the Deputy
Chairman of the Dil) shall, as soon as he is directed by
the Dil so to do, direct the Clerk of the Dil to issue a writ
to the returning officer for the constituency in the
representation of which the vacancy has occurred
directing the returning officer to cause an election to be
held of a member of the Dil to fill the vacancy mentioned

in the writ.
(v) The Constitution expressly recognises that there may
be casual vacancies in the membership of Dil ireann but
does not impose any timeframe within which such
vacancies must be filled; rather, the Constitution provides
that it is a matter for the Oireachtas to regulate the filling
of casual vacancies by way of legislation. The power to
regulate the filling of casual vacancies which the
Constitution confers upon the Oireachtas encompasses,
inter alia, the power to regulate the holding of elections to
fill such vacancies and the timing of the holding of such
(vi) In accordance with the provisions of the Constitution
(including, in particular, Article 16.7 thereof), the
Oireachtas enacted section 39 (2) of the Electoral Act
1992 to regulate the filling of casual vacancies in the
membership of Dil ireann by persons ceasing to be
members otherwise than in consequence of a dissolution
of Dil ireann. By virtue of that legislative provision, it is
a matter exclusively for Dil ireann to determine when to
direct the Chairman of the Dil to direct the Clerk of the
Dil to issue a writ to the returning officer for the
constituency in the representation of which the vacancy
has occurred directing the returning officer to cause an
election to be held of a member of the Dil to fill the
vacancy mentioned in the writ.
(vii) The respondents have not failed to fulfil any
obligation under the Constitution or otherwise acted in
breach of the Constitution; further the respondents have
not failed to fulfil any statutory obligations or otherwise
acted in breach of such obligations.
(viii) The Court should not grant the reliefs claimed or any
relief having regard to, inter alia, the provisions of the
Constitution (including Articles 15 and 16 of the
Constitution and the provisions of the Constitution
concerning the separation of powers between the organs
of Government established by the Constitution and the
mutual respect as between those organs of government)

and section 39 (2) of the Electoral Act 1992. Further, the

Court should not grant relief the effect of which would be
to constrain the Government in the exercise of its
functions under the Constitution and/or constrain
members of the Government in relation to voting in the
Dil and/or imposing on such members a requirement to
exercise their votes in a particular manner.
(ix) The claim of the applicant herein entails a
fundamentally misconceived application to the Court to
ignore and/or amend legislation enacted by the Oireachtas
in accordance with the Constitution, to impose
impermissible constraints and/or requirements on the
Executive organ of government established by the
Constitution, to breach the separation of powers which is
mandated by the Constitution and to ignore and/or amend
the provisions of the Constitution, including, in particular,
Articles 15 and 16 thereof."
The remainder of the Statement of Opposition includes a
denial that there has been excessive delay in filling the
vacancy for membership of Dil ireann in the Donegal
South West constituency since the vacancy occurred on
the 6th June, 2009. The Statement of Opposition further
relates that on the 29th September, 2010, the Minister of
State at the Department of An Taoiseach, Mr. John Curran
T.D., informed Dil ireann on behalf of the Government
that it is the intention of the Government to move the writ
for the by-election to fill the vacancy for membership of
Dil ireann in the Donegal South West constituency in the
first quarter of 2011. In those circumstances, and without
prejudice to the other pleas contained in the statement of
opposition, it is contended that the proceedings are now
moot and unnecessary and that there is no basis for
granting the reliefs sought against the respondents.
At the commencement of the hearing, counsel on behalf of
the applicant advised the Court that no mandatory order
was sought directing the Government either to put down
or not to oppose a motion put down by others to have the
writ moved for the by-election. Put another way, the
applicant confined the relief sought to one of seeking a
declaration, by reference to his constitutional rights, that

there has been excessive delay in filling the said vacancy

since it occurred on the 6th June, 2009. There was no
suggestion on behalf of the respondents that the
Government was not capable of being enjoined in the
proceedings as the relevant organ of the State with power
and responsibility to either move or not resist a motion in
the Dil to convene a by-election, although of course, the
respondents strongly argued that no justiciable issue
arose because of the doctrine of separation of powers.
Senator Pearse Doherty, the applicant in this matter, is a
civil engineering technician from Letterkenny in Co.
Donegal and is registered as an elector for the Dil
constituency of Donegal South West. The constituency in
question is a three seat constituency but since the 6th
June, 2009 one of the three seats there has been vacant
as a result of its occupant having been elected to the
European Parliament. From time to time efforts had been
made in Dil ireann to move a writ for the by-election, all
of which had been resisted by the Government, such
initiatives being voted down on the 2nd July, 2009, the 5th
May, 2010 and the 29th September, 2010. When making
his affidavit on the 12th July, 2010 (some two months
before the Minister of State at the Department of An
Taoiseach indicated to Dil ireann that the by-election
would be moved in the first quarter of 2011), the applicant
asserted that there was no realistic prospect of the
Government ceasing to resist such motions for the
foreseeable future. He believed that, on account of the
Government whipping control of many Dil members,
there was little or no prospect of the writ being moved for
so long as it continued to be opposed.
In the last general election, the following had been elected
to fill the three seats in that constituency: Mary Coughlan
(now the Tnaiste) Dinny McGinley T.D. and Pat "The Cope"
Gallagher, now an M.E.P. On his election to
Brussels/Strasbourg on the 6th June, 2009 Mr. Gallagher's
seat became vacant. With a population of just over
71,000, the 30,000 ceiling provided for in Article 16.2.2
and Article 16.2.3 of the Constitution has, according to the
applicant, been exceeded to a very considerable extent.

Endeavours had been made by Sinn Fin members of the

Dil to move the writ with the outcomes already referred
to. Under Dil standing orders, a motion to move the writ
could not be tabled again for another six months from the
previous occasion except when the Ceann Comhairle
otherwise agreed. The applicant asserted that, as a result
of discussions he had had with many individuals in the
constituency, there was a great level of dissatisfaction
with the current exceptional under-representation of the
constituency in Dil ireann, a dissatisfaction which was
exacerbated by the fact that one of its two T.D.'s has
extremely onerous responsibilities as Tnaiste and Minister
for Education, factors which inevitably must encroach on
her time and availability to engage in the normal
constituency work of a T.D. He deposed to his belief that in
other comparable countries there is no equivalent
resistance by Governments to holding by-elections when
vacancies occur in their parliaments. In his affidavit sworn
on the 12th July, 2010 the applicant avers that:"For instance, the general practice in relation to vacancies
at the House of Commons is to move a writ within three
months of the vacancy arising. There have been
exceptional instances of seats remaining vacant longer
than six months before a by-election, and seats are
sometimes left vacant towards the end of a Parliament, to
be filled by the subsequent general election. In other
jurisdictions governments are obliged to hold by-elections
within a prescribed time period. By way of example, byelections in France are held for the Lower House of
Parliament and in the Upper House (in the case of
resignation) within three months of a vacancy occurring. In
the Czech Republic, by-elections are held within 90 days of
a vacancy occurring for the Upper House of Parliament.
Canada requires by-elections to be called for the Federal
Parliament within six months of a seat becoming vacant;
however, there is no limit on how far in the future the
actual date of the by-election may be set. It would appear
that the majority of other European electoral systems use
the list system to replace parliamentary vacancies when
they arise. In comparison with other countries that use byelections to fill vacancies, Ireland would seem to be the

only country whereby inordinate delays arise in holding

In a further affidavit, Sinn Fein member Mr. Caoimhghin
Caolain T.D., confirmed the unsuccessful attempts made
by his and other parties in bringing motions for the issue
of the writ for the by-election in Dil ireann. In relation to
Mr. Curran's statement that it was the intention of the
government to hold the by-election in the first quarter of
2011, Mr. Caolain pointed out that a by-election held on
that basis might not take place until April 2011, almost
two years from the occurrence of the vacancy in Donegal
South West, that being on the assumption that the
government did not decide on a further delay once the
first quarter of 2011 was reached. Mr. Caolain referred
to research he had undertaken in Dil and political records
as a result of which he ascertained that during the period
1922 to 1937 there were approximately 33 by-elections in
which all the vacancies were filled within six months.
There have been 88 by-elections since the enactment of
the Constitution. In almost all instances the vacancies
were filled within six months. One of the longest delays
was the delay in holding the by-election in Dublin South
which was held in June 2009, some eleven months from
the vacancy. He deposed to his belief that the delay in
Donegal South West was therefore considerably longer
even than the very lengthy delay in a previous by-election
within the present Dil ireann under the present
Government, thereby compounding the unequal treatment
of Donegal South West electors. The delay in moving the
writ for the current vacancy is the longest in the history of
the State. As the present Dil first met on the 14th June,
2007, it must be dissolved by the 13th June, 2012. The
vacancy occurred in June 2009, at a point where the Dil
had potentially three further years to run. Almost half of
that period has now expired without the vacancy being
filled and, if the government's announced plans are
carried out, well over half that period will have expired
without the vacancy being filled. He stated his belief that
such a failure results in a denial of democratic rights. He
referred to the example of Zimbabwe where some election
petitions from the 2000 parliamentary elections were
pending in the courts for the full term of office of

parliamentarians, thus nullifying the right to a legitimate

determination of a contested or vacant seat. While not
suggesting that the situation in Ireland had reached the
same level, he believed the principle remained the same,
namely that a failure to address the vacancy within a
reasonable time results in a denial of democratic rights.
In an affidavit sworn by Mr. John Curran, Minister of State
at the Department of An Taoiseach, he confirmed that on
the 29th September, 2010 he informed Dil ireann on
behalf of the government that it is the intention of the
government to move the writ for the by-election to fill the
vacancy for membership of Dil ireann in the Donegal
South West constituency (and the writs for two other byelections) in the first quarter of 2011. He stated:"I referred to the severe and economical fiscal challenges
facing the country and the Government and explained that
until Christmas the Government would be working to
ensure that a budget is brought forward which is fair to
the citizens of the State and helps to further its economic
recovery and also would be working to address the
problems in the banking system. I explained the view of
the Government that to divert attention and energy to
holding by-elections while those problems are being
addressed could be damaging to the economy."
In her affidavit sworn on the 14th October, 2010 Ms. Riona
Ni Fhlanghaile, Principal Officer of the Department of
Environment, Heritage and Local Government, stated that
the total number of members of Dil ireann presently
fixed by law is 166 and when that figure is divided into the
total population number as recorded in the 2002 census
(3,917,203) the result is 23,598, a situation that complies
with the requirement of the Constitution as to ratios..
In his affidavit sworn on the 10th October, 2010, Sinn Fein
member Mr. Aengus O' Snodaig, TD replied to the affidavit
sworn by Mr. John Curran and emphasised that the
statement made by Mr. Curran to Dil ireann in no way
equated to proffering information to the Court as to the
reasons for the delay. He believed that had Mr. Curran
made the same statement to the Court it would have
exposed him to cross examination which would have
allowed the entirely manufactured nature of the excuses

for the non- holding of the by-election to be exposed. He

stated when the first Dil debate on the writ for the
Donegal South West by-election took place in July 2009,
Tnaiste Mary Coughlan made no attempt to suggest that
a by-election would distract the Government from its
important work of dealing with the economic crisis. When
the second attempt to move the writ took place in May
2010, Mr. Curran on behalf of the Government did invoke
current economic and financial difficulties as a reason for
not moving the writ. Mr. O' Snodaig went on to state that
the excuses offered for not holding the by-election were
wholly devoid of merit and flew in the face of the
electoral history of the previous two years. Since the
economic crisis occurred in September 2008, there had
been nationwide local elections to 34 City and County
Councils in June 2009 as well as 5 Borough Councils and
74 Town Councils. There had been a by-election in June
2009 in Dublin South and a nationwide constitutional
referendum in October 2009. Mr. O' Snodaig stated that,
by applying the same reasoning offered to Dil ireann,
the Government could well have chosen to postpone the
Dublin South by-election on the basis of the economic
crisis, but did not do so. He stated that there was
therefore no evidence whatsoever that two nationwide
electoral processes in June and October 2009 had any
measurable effects in terms of taking the eyes of the
Government and [political] parties off the recovery of the
economy. Mr. OSnodaig further contended that, even
accepting Mr. Currans logic, it had to be borne in mind
that the budget will take place on the 7th December, 2010
and, that being so, there was no identified reason why the
by-election could not be called after that date or why it
was necessary to wait until the end of the first quarter of
2011. In Mr. O'Snodaigs view, there was clearly no
guarantee that the banking crisis and economic crisis
would be any better by then and indeed they might well
be worse. Finally, he highlighted that Mr. Currans
statements were at variance with repeated statements
from Government that the economic crisis was under
control and being managed competently and that the
worst is over . . . we have turned a corner as stated by
Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan TD in December 2009.


Article 5 of the Constitution states:"Ireland is a sovereign, independent, democratic state"
Article 16.1 of the Constitution states:"2 (i) All citizens, and
(ii) such other persons in the State as may be
determined by law,
without distinction of sex who have reached the age of
eighteen years who are not disqualified by law and comply
with the provisions of the law relating to the election of
members of Dil ireann, shall have the right to vote at an
election for members of Dil ireann.
4 No voter may exercise more than one vote at an
election for Dil ireann, and the voting shall be by secret
Article 16.2 of the Constitution states:"1 Dil ireann shall be composed of members who
represent constituencies determined by law.
2 The number of members shall from time to time be
fixed by law, but the total number of members of Dil
ireann shall not be fixed at less than one member for
each thirty thousand of the population, or at more than
one member for each twenty thousand of the population.
3 The ratio between the number of members to be
elected at any time for each constituency and the
population of each constituency, as ascertained at the last
preceding census, shall, so far as it is practicable, be the
same throughout the country.
4 The Oireachtas shall revise the constituencies at
least once in every twelve years, with due regard to
changes in distribution of the population, but any
alterations in the constituencies shall not take effect
during the life of Dil ireann sitting when such revision is

5 The members shall be elected on the system of
proportional representation by means of the single
transferable vote.
6 No law shall be enacted whereby the number of
members to be returned for any constituency shall be less
than three."
Article 16.3 to 16.7 of the Constitution states: 3. 1 Dil ireann shall be summoned and dissolved as
provided by section 2 of Article 13 of this Constitution.
2 A general election for members of Dil ireann shall
take place not later than thirty days after a dissolution of
Dil ireann.
4. 1 Polling at every general election for Dil ireann shall
as far as practicable take place on the same day
throughout the country.
2 Dil ireann shall meet within thirty days from that
polling day.
5. The same Dil ireann shall not continue for a longer
period than seven years from the date of its first meeting
a shorter period may be fixed by law.
6. Provision shall be made by law to enable the member of
Dil ireann who is the Chairman immediately before a
dissolution of Dil ireann to be deemed without any
actual election to be elected a member of Dil ireann at
the ensuing general election.
7. Subject to the foregoing provisions of this Article,
elections for membership of Dil ireann, including the
filling of casual vacancies, shall be regulated in
accordancewith law."
Section 39(2) of the Electoral Act, 1992 provides:"Where a vacancy occurs in the membership of the Dil by

a person ceasing to be a member otherwise than in

consequence of a dissolution, the Chairman of the Dil (or,
where he is unable through illness, absence or other cause
to fulfil his duties or where there is a vacancy in the office
of Chairman, the Deputy Chairman of the Dil) shall, as
soon as he is directed by the Dil so to do, direct the Clerk
of the Dil to issue a writ to the returning officer for the
constituency in the representation of which the vacancy
has occurred directing the returning officer to cause an
election to be held of a member of the Dil to fill the
vacancy mentioned in the writ."
It is common case between the parties that section 39 of
the Electoral Act 1992 is the legislation designed to
exercise the discretion relating to the filling of casual
vacancies conferred by Article 16.7 of the Constitution.
Reference might also usefully be made at this point to the
statutory provisions relating to casual vacancies which
arise in Seanad ireann. Section 56(1) of the Seanad
Electoral (Panel Members) Act 1947 provides:"Where the Minister receives from the Clerk of Seanad
ireann a notice of a casual vacancy, the Minister shall, as
soon as conveniently may be and in any case not more
than one hundred and eighty days after receiving the
notice, make an order (in this Act referred to as a Seanad
bye-election order) directing an election to be held in
accordance with this Part of this Act to fill the vacancy and
stating the panel and sub-panel in respect of which the
vacancy occurred and appointing for the purposes of the
election the times and places mentioned in whichever of
the two next following subsections of this section is
Given that the applicant also placed reliance on s. 2 of the
European Convention on Human Rights Act 2003, it is
important to set out the terms of that section which
provide:"2(1)In interpreting and applying any statutory provision
or rule of law, a court shall, insofar as is possible, subject
to the rules of law relating to such interpretation and
application, do so in a manner compatible with the States
obligations under the Convention provisions.
(2) This section applies to any statutory provision or rule

of law in force immediately before the passing of this Act

or any such provision coming into force thereafter."
The obligation which the applicant contends the State
owes under the Convention provision is set out in Protocol
No. 1 of the European Convention of Human Rights which
provides:"Article 3
Right to free elections
The High Contracting Parties undertake to hold free
elections at reasonable intervals by secret ballot, under
conditions which will ensure the free expression of the
opinion of the people in the choice of the legislature.
(Emphasis added)
Counsel on behalf of the applicant submitted that the
issues in the case could be summarised under the
following five headings:1.
Are the proceedings moot or unnecessary by reason
of Minister John Currans statement to the Dil on the 29th
September, 2010?
Is the matter non-justiciable by reason of seeking to
constrain members of the Government in terms of how
they vote in Dil ireann?
Is there an obligation to fill the vacancy within a
reasonable time?
If there is such an obligation, is it entirely a matter
for Dil ireann and/or the Government, and therefore
non-justiciable by reason of the doctrine of separation of
Is there an obligation to fill the vacancy within a
reasonable time, and if that question is justiciable, has
there been an excessive delay in filling the vacancy in
Donegal South West having regard to constitutional and
statutory principles?
It seems to me, however, that the matter which the court

must first address is whether the issues raised in this case

are justiciable. In doing so I appreciate that, as pointed out
by counsel for the respondents, this application is not a
challenge to the constitutionality of the Electoral Act 1992,
or any provision of that Act.
When the hyperbole associated with many of the
submissions advanced on behalf of both the applicant and
the respondents is dispensed with in this case, particularly
those on behalf of the respondent which suggested that it
would tear asunder the tripartite division of powers
under the Constitution for the Court to express any view
on the matters raised, it seems to me that a fairly basic
and simple question requires to be addressed. As the
provisions of Article 16.7 of the Constitution delegate to
the Oireachtas the power to legislate for elections to
membership of Dil ireann, including the filling of casual
vacancies, and as the Oireachtas has purportedly
executed that power by enacting s. 32 of the Electoral Act
1992, does the court have a function in determining
whether the provisions of section 39(2) require to be
interpreted as meaning that a by-election is to be held
within a reasonable time, or, as the respondents submit in
the alternative, the terms of the subsection leave the Dil
at large as to whether and when it shall direct the Clerk of
the Dil to issue a writ directing the returning officer to
cause an election to be held of a member of the Dil to fill
the vacancy mentioned in the writ.
A useful starting point is to consider the approach taken to
this issue in the High Court by Geoghegan J. in Dudley v.
An Taoiseach [1994] 2 I.L.R.M. 321.
In that case the applicant was a student residing in the
Dublin South Central constituency. Some fourteen months
after the sitting Dil Deputy, John OConnell resigned his
Dil ireann seat, the vacancy had not been filled by a byelection. Numerous attempts in the Dil to have the writ
moved for a by-election had been successfully resisted by
the Government and its supporters. The applicant argued

that, as a registered elector in the constituency, his rights

to vote at common law, by statute and under the
constitution were being infringed.
At p. 323, Geoghegan J. stated:Having regard to Article 16 of the Constitution and in
particular s. 7 of that Article which envisages that casual
vacancies will be filled and that the filling of them shall be
regulated in accordance with law, there must, I think, be
at least an arguable case that there is a constitutional
obligation to hold a by-election within a reasonable time of
a vacancy occurring.
Geoghegan J. then went on to consider the very grounds
of objection which had been raised by the respondents in
the instant case. In a later passage on p. 323 he stated:"But even if I am right in both of those propositions the
question arises, should leave be given for judicial review
having regard to the separation of powers and having
regard also to the particular proposed respondents. (In
that case Dil ireann had also been joined as a party by
the applicant). In order to address that question it is
necessary to review the procedure prescribed by law for
the holding of a by-election. That is governed now by s.
39(2) of the Electoral Act 1992."
Having recited the subsection in full, Geoghegan J.
continued:"It follows from this that a by-election cannot be held until
a writ has been issued to the returning officer for the
constituency. As no such writ has yet issued the returning
officer is not at fault in failing to hold a by-election. The
writ to the returning officer is issued by the clerk of the
Dil. But the clerk of the Dil is not at fault either in not
issuing the writ to the returning officer since under the
subsection he can only do so if directed by the Dil itself.
The Dil has not given such direction. The only machinery
by which the Dil can give such direction is by a motion
laid before the Dil by a member of the Dil and then
carried by a majority of the Dil. In my view, declaratory
relief as sought by way of judicial review is not obtainable

as against Dil ireann because such relief should only be

granted where it could be followed up either in the same
proceedings or in some other proceedings by an
enforceable order. No enforceable order can be made by
the courts as against Dil ireann as such. Dil ireann
can only give the direction if the majority of the members
vote for the motion, but the courts cannot mandamus the
body of members of the Dil as such to vote in a particular
way on a particular motion.
Having expressed those views, Geoghegan J. refused leave
for judicial review as against Dil ireann, and further
refused leave to institute review proceedings against the
Taoiseach as he did not see that the Taoiseach was under
a personal responsibility in relation to any of the matters
complained of. However, Geoghegan J applied quite
different considerations to the proposed judicial review
proceedings insofar as they were brought against the
Government of Ireland. In this regard he stated at p. 324:"As Dil ireann cannot move of its own motion, I think
that there must be an arguable case at least that the
Government of Ireland has a constitutional obligation to
set down and support the motions for the issue of a writ
for the holding of a by-election after a reasonable time has
elapsed from the vacancy arising and that there is also an
arguable case that the Government is constitutionally
obliged not to impede or oppose such a motion after a
reasonable time has elapsed, except in the context of
substituting its own motion. As a Minister can be judicially
reviewed in the exercise of his powers and functions, there
must, I think, be an arguable case that the government
can be judicially reviewed in the circumstances of this
particular case."
He then proceeded to grant leave to the applicant to bring
judicial review proceedings as against the Government of
Ireland and the Attorney General. He also directed that
Ireland be joined as a respondent.
That application, unlike the present proceedings, does not
appear to have proceeded any further, but, perhaps
significantly, and just as in the instant case, there was no
application brought on behalf of the respondents to set
aside the leave which had been granted on the grounds
that the issue sought to be determined was non-

In considering whether any particular controversy is
justiciable, the courts take great care to uphold the
principle of the separation of powers and to avoid
situations where the court goes beyond its own proper
own role in the constitutional framework laid down by the
In Maguire v Ardagh (2002) 1 I.R. 385 Keane C.J. noted
that the Constitution did not expressly exempt the actions
of the Oireachtas or individual members thereof from
judicial scrutiny save to the extent specified in Article
15.12 and Article 15.13. Keane C.J. acknowledged that the
doctrine of the separation of powers precluded the courts
from accepting every invitation to interfere with the
conduct by the Oireachtas of its own affairs. Keane C.J.
then continued to list specific activities that were nonjusticiable, stating as follows at p. 537:
"Specifically, the courts have made it clear that they will
not intervene in the manner in which the House exercises
its jurisdiction under Article 15.10 to make its own rules
and standing orders and to ensure freedom of debate
where the actions sought to be impugned do not affect the
rights of citizens who are not members of the House: see
the decision of this court in Slattery v An Taoiseach [1993]
1 I.R. 286. It was also held by the former Supreme Court in
Wireless Dealers Association v Minister for Industry and
Commerce (Unreported, Supreme Court, 14th March,
1956) that the courts could not intervene in the legislative
function itself: their powers to find legislation invalid
having regard to the provisions of the Constitution arise
only after the enactment of legislation by the Oireachtas,
save in the case of a reference of a Bill by the President to
this court under Article 26. Nor, in general, will the courts
assume the role exclusively assigned to the Oireachtas in
the raising of taxation and the distribution of public
resources, as more recently made clear by this court in
T.D. and Others v Minister for Education and Science and
Others [2001] 4 I.R. 259.
A justiciable controversy may, at its simplest, be defined

as a dispute capable of litigation in the courts. In Baker v

Carr 369 US 186 (1962), the United States Supreme Court
held that the issue of justicability should be determined on
a case by case basis. It has also been suggested that:"Non-justicability concerns whether a court can with
constitutional propriety adjudicate on the matter before it
or whether such an adjudication would be an infringement
by the court of the role which the Constitution has
conferred on it. Essentially the doctrine is concerned with
identifying those claims which may be legitimately
advanced before a court and those which must be
advanced in parliament through the political process. In
other words, is it a case for judicial or political relief.
(McDermott, The Separation of Powers and the Doctrine of
Non-Justiciability 35 Irish Jurist 280 at p. 280).
Thus controversies surrounding purely political issues or
the extent to which the revenue or borrowing powers of
the State are exercised or the purposes for which funds
are spent are entirely outside the proper role of the court.
Thus, in O'Reilly v Limerick Corporation [1989] I.L.R.M.
181, the question as to whether the Oireachtas had
adequately provided for disadvantaged groups via its
taxation policies was deemed to be non- justiciable.
Similarly, in international relations and the conduct of
foreign affairs, the courts have invariably taken the view
that controversies which may arise are non-justiciable at
the behest of individual citizens as the provisions of
Articles 29.1 to Article 29.3 relate only to relations
between states and confer no rights upon individuals. (See
Horgan v An Taoiseach [2003] 2 I.R. 468).
However, even in this context, the courts have seen fit to
intervene when an actual or threatened breach of an
individuals constitutional rights may occur, as in Crotty v
An Taoiseach [1987] 1 I.R. 713 where Finlay C.J. stated at
p. 774:"The overall provisions concerning the exercise of
executive power in external relations do not contain any
express provision for intervention by the Courts. There is
nothing in the provisions of Articles 28 and 29 of the
Constitution, in my opinion, from which it would be

possible to imply any right in the Courts in general to

interfere in the field or area of external relations with the
exercise of an executive power. This does not mean that
the executive is or can be without control by the Courts in
relation to carrying out executive powers even in the field
of external relations. In any instance where the exercise of
that function constituted an actual or threatened invasion
of the constitutional rights of an individual, the Courts
would have a right and duty to intervene."
Equally, in what might be described as a political context,
the Supreme Court by a majority decision in McKenna v An
Taoiseach (No.2) [1995] 2 I.R. 10 took the view that the
question of state funding for referendum campaigns was
justiciable. Hamilton C.J. stated, at p. 32, that the case law
established the three principles for judicial intervention:"1. The courts have no power, either express or implied, to
supervise or interfere with the exercise by the
Government of its executive functions provided that it acts
within the restraints imposed by the Constitution on the
exercise of such powers.
2. If, however, the Government acts otherwise than in
accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and in
clear disregard thereof, the courts are not only entitled but
obliged to intervene.
3. The courts are only entitled to intervene if the
circumstances are such as to amount to a clear disregard
by the Government of the powers and duties conferred on
it by the Constitution".
In Murphy v Minister for the Environment [2008] 3 I.R. 438,
Clarke J. considered the question of delay in implementing
a census. He held that it would not have been practicable
to implement the report within the two or three months
between publication of census and dissolution of the Dil.
However, at p. 471, he went on to say that if the
Oireachtas did not take steps with "the minimum delay", it
might be appropriate for the court to intervene:
"8.7 In the circumstances of this case I am not satisfied
that it would be appropriate to conclude that the
Oireachtas has failed in its constitutional obligations. I do
not, therefore, propose making a declaration in those

terms. However it does appear to me to be a case in which

it is appropriate to adopt the position taken by the
Supreme Court in District Judge MacMenamin v Ireland
[1996] 3 I.R. 100, in which the courts view as to the
general constitutional obligations which arise are set out
and the Oireachtas is invited to take whatever detailed
measures it might consider appropriate to deal with the
issue which has arisen. The precise methods to be
adopted in the formulation of new constituencies, is, of
course, a matter for the Oireachtas. The only role of the
court is to intervene if the methods adopted are in breach
of the constitutional obligations of the Oireachtas. For the
reasons which I have indicated, I am not satisfied that that
position has been reached. However it seems to me to be
clear that if, without justifiable reasoning, the Oireachtas
did not take appropriate steps to ensure the minimum
delay between the finalisation of the ascertainment of the
population in a census and the determination and
enactment of a law providing for new constituencies, then
it might be appropriate for the court to take further
That decision would appear to have particular resonance
in terms of the facts of the instant case. In McDonald v
Bord na gCon [1965] 1 I.R. 217 Kenny J. in the High Court
concluded that a justiciable controversy is one of a type,
which, as a matter of history, has been capable of
litigation in the courts of this country.
While clearly, as illustrated by decisions such as O'Malley
v An Ceann Comhairle [1997] 1 I.R. 427 (a case in which
the applicant contended that certain parliamentary
questions had been wrongly disallowed by An Ceann
Comhairle), internal matters and the internal workings of
Dil ireann - not involving citizens outside the House - fall
outside the appropriate remit for the courts intervention,
this is not such a case because the applicant is in a
position to assert that his constitutional rights are being
breached or rendered inoperative because of the manner
in which the Government is applying and exercising the
provisions of section 39(2) of the Electoral Act, 1992.
It seems to me that there is ample precedent for
concluding that decisions or omissions which affect or

infringe citizens rights under the Constitution are prima

facie justiciable. Thus in Ahern v Minister for Industry and
Commerce (No. 2) [1991] 1 I.R. 492, a decision to put a
civil servant on compulsory sick leave was held to be
justiciable since it affected his right to work. Similarly, in
MacPharthalain v Commissioners of Public Works [1992] 1
I.R. 111, the designation of certain lands as constituting an
area of scenic interest was held to give rise to a justiciable
controversy as it affected a landowner's right to obtain
certain types of grants.
It seems to me that a citizen's constitutional rights are
trenched upon and significantly diluted when no effect is
given to rights for representation clearly delineated in the
Constitution. These are rights which might usefully be
characterised as forming part of the "constitutional
contract" between the citizen and the State.
Implicit in Article 5 of the Constitution, which states that
Ireland is a sovereign, independent and democratic state,
is a recognition of the requirement for democratic
representation through the electoral system which the
Constitution provides. Article 16.1 of the Constitution
provides for a clear right for every citizen to have the right
to vote at an election for members of Dil ireann. Article
16.2 further provides that the number of members shall
from time to time be fixed by law, but in any event the
total number shall not be fixed at less than one member
for each 30,000 of the population, or at more than one
member for each 20,000 of the population. Article 16.2.3
requires that the ratio between the number of members to
be elected at any time for each constituency and the
population of each constituency, as ascertained at the last
preceding census, shall, so far as is practical, be the same
throughout the country.
These provisions are in no sense aspirational. They do, as
already, noted, set out the citizens rights in clear and
unambiguous terms. Furthermore, Article 16.7 which
provides for elections for membership of Dil ireann to be
regulated in accordance with law, specifically refers to
"the filling of casual vacancies" which seems to me to

imply something more than the mere regulation, without

more, of elections for casual vacancies. (Emphasis added).
The applicant in the present case is a person who is
entitled in my view to seek judicial review in the limited
declaratory form being sought on the issue as to whether
or not a lengthy delay in moving the writ for the byelection in question may be said to infringe those rights.
As has being emphasised, this is not a case in which the
constitutionality of section 39(2) of the Electoral Act, 1992
has per se been called into question. Rather, it is a case in
which the applicant invites the court to hold that, by
reference to the aforesaid constitutional provisions, the
Electoral Act, 1992 and, in particular, section39(2) thereof,
must be operated and applied by the Government in a
manner which upholds and reflects the constitutional
position. Put another way, a constitutional approach
necessarily means that section 39(2) of the Act of 1992
must be interpreted as being subject to a temporal
requirement that a by-election motion be either moved by
the Government or not resisted by it within a reasonable
time of the vacancy arising.
I am satisfied that this is a justiciable controversy. It is not
a controversy which relates to the internal workings of Dil
ireann in relation to its own affairs; it is not a controversy
in relation to external affairs or to any issue which might
be characterised as a socio-economic issue. Rather this
applicant's case relates to the effects of delay on his right
to be represented by the number of members laid down
by law, and the right to equality of political representation.
It is well settled that the courts should interpret a statute
in accordance with the Constitution and on the assumption
that it complies with the Constitution (per McCracken J in
Eastern Health Board v McDonnell [1999] 1 IR 174 at p.
In Minister for Social Community and Family Affairs v
Scanlon [2001] 1 I.R. 64 there had, as in the instant case,

been no direct challenge to the constitutionality of the

legislation in issue. Nevertheless Fennelly J in the course
of his judgment, at p 85, stated that:
The court must not interpret it so as to bring it into
conflict with the Constitution if that is reasonably possible
as a matter of interpretation
The presumption of constitutionality which applies to
statutes also means that a statute must, where possible,
be construed in a fashion which best protects
constitutional rights (per Hamilton CJ in Hanafin v Minister
for the Environment [1996] 2 IR 321 at pp. 423 and 424
and at pp. 441 and 442 per Blayney J).
In East Donegal Co-operative Ltd v Attorney General
[1970] I.R. 317 Walsh J stated that even where the mode
of performing official actions envisaged by an Act is not
specified in the Act, they must be performed in such a way
as to respect the Constitution. At p 341, Walsh J. stated
the following:
At the same timethe presumption of constitutionality
carries with it not only the presumption that the
constitutional interpretation or construction is the one
intended by the Oireachtas but also that the Oireachtas
intended that proceedings, procedures, discretions and
adjudications which are permitted, provided for or
prescribed by an Act of the Oireachtas are to be
conducted in accordance with the principles of
constitutional justice. In such a case any departure from
those principles would be restrained and corrected by the
Finally, a useful example may be referred to at this point
to illustrate how the courts can make a straight choice
between an interpretation which is constitutional and one
which is not. In Re National Irish Bank (No.1) [1999] 3 I.R.
145 the ambit of section 18(a) of the Companies Act 1990,
which provides that answers given by a person pursuant
to statutory demand made by company inspectors may
be used in evidence against him, without specifying
whether this encompassed criminal cases, was
considered. Barrington J pointed out that, while there
might be two possible interpretations of the section, the

better interpretation in the light of the Constitution was

that the section was not to be construed as permitting the
admission of a statement made to a company inspector by
a person who was legally compelled to answer and section
18(a) accordingly only applied to the admission of such
evidence in civil proceedings.
A construction which treats section 39(2) of the Electoral
Act, 1992 as devoid of any temporal requirement clearly
offends the Constitutional provisions of Article 5 and
Article 16. For example, if an elected representative were
to die within a few days of being elected at a general
election, could the Government be said to be acting in
conformity with the Constitution if it kept putting off a byelection until the last few months of the five year term of a
Dil? To ask the question is, I think, to know the answer: it
most certainly would not.
To read section 39(2) of the Electoral Act, 1992 as being
subject to the requirement that the writ be moved within a
reasonable time does no violence to the express wording
of the sub-section. Rather it gives effect to the sub-section
in a manner which honours the Constitutional provisions in
Even looking at ordinary principles of statutory
construction, it is well settled that a statute should not be
given an interpretation which is illogical or absurd.
Common sense must be used and the court must strive to
implement rather than defeat the object of the legislation.
This rule of interpretation is sometimes referred to via the
maxim ut res magis valeat quam pereat (it is better for a
thing to have effect than to be made void). The absence of
a temporal requirement in section 39(2) of the Act of 1992
could produce precisely that result. So construed, an
entire Dil term of 5 years could pass without any
obligation falling on the Government to exercise its control
of the Dil to move or not oppose a motion.
It must also be remembered that the Act of 1992 is part of
a code of Electoral Acts which includes the Electoral
(Amendment) Act, 2005 which provides as follows at
section 2:

Dil ireann shall, after the dissolution thereof that next

occurs after the passing of this Act, consist of 166
Counsel for the respondents argued that this provision
meant nothing more than to specify the numbers that
would make up the present Dil following the last general
election but it seems equally open to the interpretation
that, during its lifetime, the Dil should, as far as
practicable, continue to have that number of deputies.
I conclude therefore that, by well settled principles of
constitutional and statutory construction, section 39(2) of
the Electoral Act, 1992 is to be construed as incorporating
a requirement that the discretion reserved thereunder be
exercised within a reasonable time.
I have already set out the provisions of s. 2(1) of the
European Convention on Human Rights Act, 2003 which
impose an obligation on a court, when interpreting and
applying any statutory provision, to do so, so far as is
possible, in a manner compatible with the States
obligations under the Convention provisions.
Every organ of the State is obliged (under s.3(1)) of the
Act of 2003 to perform its functions in a manner
compatible with the States obligations under the
Convention provisions. The President and the Oireachtas,
or either House thereof, is excluded from this definition.
Any other body, other than a court, through which the
legislative, executive or judicial powers of the State are
exercised, is subject to this requirement.
Article 3 of Protocol 1 of the Convention requires that
elections be held at reasonable intervals. The applicant
relies on this provision to argue that s. 39 (2) of the
Electoral Act, 1992 be interpreted and applied in
accordance with the requirements of s. 2 of the Act of
Some limited authority was opened to the Court by the
parties in this regard, there being an absence of cases
decided by the European Court of Human Rights indicating

that the reasonable intervals requirement applied to

anything other than general elections. Counsel for the
respondents suggested that, as many European countries
filled casual vacancies from a list system, it would be
wrong to apply any such requirement to a by-election.
Reference was made to passages from Clayton &
Tomlinson The Law of Human Rights (2nd Ed. Oxford,
2009) the first of which, at para. 20.35 states:
The Court has observed that democracy is without doubt
a fundamental feature of the European public order and
has held that Article 3 of the First Protocol enshrines the
principle of efficient political democracy. It also protects
individual rights of participation; the right to vote and the
right to stand for election to the legislature. These rights
are not absolute and there is room for implied limitations.
States can make the rights subject to conditions and have
a wide margin of appreciation. However, the conditions
must not impair the very essence of the rights or deprive
them of their effectiveness.
At para. 20.37 the authors state:
Reasonable Intervals
The Convention does not lay down any particular interval
for holding elections. The question as to whether elections
were held at reasonable intervals must be decided by
reference to the purpose of parliamentary elections:
ensuring that changes in public opinion were reflected in
the opinions of the elected representatives. Too short an
interval might impede political planning. On the basis of
these considerations, an interval of five years between
elections was reasonable (see Timke v Germany [1996]
E.H.L.R. 74).
It can hardly be disputed that, historically in this
jurisdiction at least, by-elections have been seen to
provide a very clear barometer of public opinion and to
serve an important function in the working of a democratic
representative system. Thus the same principles which
underpin the authors views about the requirement to hold
general elections at reasonable intervals seem to me to
apply with equal if not greater force where by-elections

are concerned. It would strike me as absurd to apply a

requirement of reasonable time to the holding of a general
election and then to flout or altogether ignore the same
principle at the micro level of a by-election. The issue of
representation is the same; the requirement to provide an
opportunity to the electorate to have their views
expressed by elected representatives is also the same.
I am of the view therefore that s. 2 of the Act of 2003 does
require that s. 39(2) of the Electoral Act, 1992 be
interpreted and applied (the latter requirement being
perhaps particularly relevant in this context) by reference
to Article 3 of Protocol I to the Convention as requiring that
a by-election be held within a reasonable time of the
vacancy arsing.
A fall-back position adopted by the respondents is to
argue that no declaratory relief should be granted because
of the commitment given to Dil ireann on the 29th
September, 2010 that it was the intention of the
Government to move the writ for the by-election to fill the
vacancy in Donegal South West in the first quarter of
2011. It was argued on behalf of the respondents that the
Court is not therefore confronted with a situation of which
it could be said that the by-election is not going to be held
within the lifetime of the current Dil. I would observe, en
passant, that implicit in this submission is a recognition
that indefinite postponement of the by-election would
amount to a gross disregard of those provisions of the
Constitution which exist and are designed to provide for
an effective democracy.
I am of the view however that the Court should not resile
from its own constitutional obligations by reference to a
particular statement of intent made on a particular
occasion by a spokesman on behalf of the Government.
Circumstances might quite legitimately dictate a changed
statement of intent and the court has no right to conduct
any sort of watchdog role over events which call for
consideration within the political arena. Just as the Court
has no function to assess or evaluate statements made or
reasons offered when the Dil voted as it did on three
previous occasions on this issue, it has no adjudicative

role on any statement of intent in relation to future events

either. Its function is confined purely within the narrow
confines already outlined.
The Court will declare that section 39(2) of the Electoral
Act, 1992 is to be construed as requiring that the writ for a
by-election be moved within a reasonable time of the
vacancy arising.
Has there in fact been unreasonable delay in moving the
writ for the by-election in the Donegal South West
constituency? The Dil has a 5 year term and the
unprecedented delay in this instance the longest in the
history of the State represents a significant proportion of
the term of the current Dil. The Court notes that The
Constitution Review Group in its Report in 1996 proposed
(at p 49) that Article 16.7 of the Constitution be amended
so as to require the holding of a by-election within 90 days
of the vacancy occurring. Whatever else, this
recommendation may be seen as affording recognition to
the requirement that by-elections take place within a
reasonable time of any vacancy arising. Other instances of
appropriate time intervals in different countries which
provide for by-elections in their electoral systems have
been referred to elsewhere in this judgment. None is of the
length that has occurred here. Even allowing for the wide
margin of appreciation which must be afforded to the
Government when moving the writ, not least for reasons
which it has offered to the Dil (and which are not for this
Court to evaluate), I am satisfied that the delay in this
case is so inordinate as to amount to a breach of the
applicants constitutional rights to such a degree as to
warrant the Court granting some form of relief. Far from
the Court tearing asunder the provisions of the
Constitution by adjudicating upon this application, it is the
ongoing failure to move the writ for this by-election since
June 2009 which offends the terms and spirit of the
Constitution and its framework for democratic
However, as this matter has not been the subject matter
of detailed court analysis in the past, I do not propose to

make a declaration of the wider sort contemplated or

implicit - as a possibility at least - in the judgment of
Geoghegan J in Dudley v An Taoiseach [1994] 1 I.L.R.M.
321, i.e., that the Government is obliged to set down and
support the motion for the issue of a writ or at least not
impede or oppose such a motion. I would hope, however,
that any clarification provided by this judgment would
have that effect. As Hamilton CJ stated in District Judge
McMenamin v Ireland [1996] 3 IR 100 at 136:
I do not propose to make a declaration giving effect to
my views because, having regard to the respect which the
separate organs of government, the legislature, the
government and the judiciary have traditionally shown to
each other, I am satisfied that once the Government is
made aware of the situation with regard to this
constitutional injustice, it will take the necessary steps to
have the matter remedied in accordance with the law and
in accordance with its constitutional obligation.
The court might in another case following on from this one
feel constrained to take a more serious view if any
government, and not just necessarily the present one, was
seen by the courts to be acting in clear disregard of an
applicants constitutional rights in continually refusing
over an unreasonable period of time to move the writ for a
by-election. That the Court can intervene in a more
draconian way in extreme cases to protect constitutional
obligations was made clear by OFlaherty J in OMalley v
An Ceann Comhairle [1997] 1 I.R. 427 and by Murray CJ in
TD v Minister for Education [2001] 4 I.R. 259 at p. 337.
This is not yet such a case but in my opinion it is not far
short of it.
However, for the reasons outlined above, the Court will
simply make the declaration sought by the applicant to
the effect that there has been unreasonable delay in
moving the writ for the by-election in Donegal South West.

French police investigating the murder of Sophie Toscan du

Plantier have continued interviews in West Cork, as her
son said the family would maintain the pressure.

The efforts of the three French investigators to drive the

case forward will see them interview people at locations
around West Cork, after a French magistrate Judge Patrick
Gachon sought permission to interview up to 20
The three French investigators were due in Bandon Garda
station yesterday, but it is thought they are being

facilitated in their efforts by garda in various stations, if

and when required.
Ms du Plantier was murdered near her holiday home in
Toormore, Schull in Co Cork, two days before Christmas in

The visit by the French investigators is the second such

visit in recent years after a team of five officers
interviewed 30 people in October 2011. Any interviews
conducted have to be voluntary, as the French police have
no authority to compel people to speak with them. Prior to
that, Judge Gachon visited the scene of the murder in June
Earlier this year, Alain Spilliaert, the lawyer who
represents Ms Toscan du Plantiers parents, Georges and
Marguerite Bouniol, and her son, Pierre-Louis BaudeyVignaud, welcomed the news that another visit to Ireland
would be conducted by French police as part of its
investigation into the death.

It followed a visit last year to Ireland by a campaign group,

the Association for the Truth about the Murder of Sophie

Toscan du Plantier. The groups president, Jean-Antoine
Bloc-Daude, said on that visit to Cork he did not
understand why there was a blockage in the case and
added: Our case is being treated like a fiasco.
Last weekend, French newspaper Le Figaro reported that
this visit by investigators is likely to last two weeks and
will hear from a dozen witnesses, with the information to
be added to the file on the case being compiled by Ms
Gachon. The newspaper suggested the file will then be
completed, meaning this is likely to be the last such visit
by the French police here.
This week Pierre-Louis Baudey-Vignaud was interviewed on
French television station i-TELE, in which he said he was
still seeking justice in the case. He posted the interview on
his Facebook page and wrote: We maintain the pressure
thank you for your support.
The Department of Justice would not comment on the visit
of the French investigators but said any such operation
was being conducted thanks to a mutual assistance
agreement between Ireland and France.
Investigation (Certain Matters relative to An Garda Siochana and
other persons) The Hon. Mr. Justice Nial Fennelly Sole Member Terms
of Reference

Frances Fitzgerald: The first role of

government is to keep our people safe
AUGUST 14, 2016

Frances Fitzgerald: Weve seen very good female leaders around the
world and were going to see more

The Tnaiste and Minister for Justice believes that the

political road is punctuated by events and opportunities
It wasnt until she was 42 that Frances Fitzgerald decided to get
into politics. There was, she claims, no grand plan or strategy to
work her way up the ladder.
I am not a huge believer in thinking that you can plan hugely in
politics because I think it is very much events. Its such a complex
career path, such a complex web we weave in politics, she said.

Welcome Filte

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Fitzgerald announces new

Garda recruitment campaign

Frances Fitzgerald, Local TD and Tnaiste and Minister for

Justice and Equality, today announced the launch of a new
recruitment campaign for members of An Garda Sochna.
This new campaign will continue the ongoing accelerated
recruitment to fulfil the Governments commitment to increase
the strength of An Garda Sochna to 15,000 members.
Announcing the new campaign Fitzgerald said: Today is a
very important day for An Garda Siochna. It marks the
formal launch on of the commencement
of a recruitment campaign for new members of An Garda
Siochna. It reflects the Governments commitment to
seamless ongoing recruitment to An Garda Siochna to
ensure that the service is renewed and has the capacity to
provide visible, responsive and effective policing to every
community throughout the country.
Taking account of projected retirements, reaching a strength of
15,000 will require some 3,200 new Garda members to be
recruited on a phased basis over the next four years in addition
to the 1,200 that will have been recruited by the end of this year
since the reopening of the Garda College in September 2014. So
far 534 recruits have attested as members of An Garda Sochna
and are on the ground in communities nationwide. Another 150
recruits are due to attest later this year.

Fitzgerald continued: It is essential to ensure that An Garda

Siochna has the capacity to train larger numbers without
any diminution in the quality of its training programme, and
to provide appropriate supervision and support to newly
qualified Gardai to ensure that victims and the public are
well served. I welcome the detailed planning process that the
Commissioner and her team have in place to ensure the
delivery of increased numbers of Gardai without any
compromise on the quality of those recruited or the training
The new campaign will, in addition to an Irish language
stream, include a special stream for eligible members of the
Garda Reserve who give their time on a voluntary basis to
support the work of An Garda Siochna. This special stream
was introduced for the first time in the existing campaign
and has worked well.
I encourage all those interested in joining An Garda
Siochna to access the website of the Public Appointments
Service and submit their application at
In particular, I urge members of minority and new
communities to consider applying so that the membership of
An Garda Siochna will reflect the diverse communities that
it serves.
The existing recruitment campaign (launched last November) is
ongoing and successful candidates will continue to be called
from that campaign this year and into next year. It is expected
that successful candidates from the new campaign will enter the
Garda College from mid-2017.
Notes for editors
Applications must be made through The
closing date for applications is Thursday 29 September 2016.
Successful candidates are required to undergo a two year
training programme leading to a BA in Applied Policing. The
two year programme comprises a 32 week block of tuition at the
Garda College in Templemore with a further 72 weeks of on the
job experiential learning.

A quick selfie before the match

started with
The Irish Criminal Justice System

The Irish Criminal Justice system is an adversarial system where the

prosecution side pits itself against the defence to prove its case.

This requires the prosecution to prove to the jury the case against
the accused beyond all reasonable doubt. Criminal cases are
prosecuted by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on behalf of
the State. One of the downsides of this system is that the victim is
not directly a party to the proceedings. However in recent years
there has been much more recognition given to victims and the
victims rights in the process.
A victims charter was drawn up some years ago by the Department
of Justice and Equality see under Victims Charter.
More information on the criminal justice system of use to victims is
contained in the Victims Charter and Guide to the Criminal Justice
system. There is also very useful information to be found on the
website of the Director of Public Prosecutions at
Click on the image below to enlarge

Group of States against corruption (GRECO)


Stupid bitches shouldn't be in there at all if any of them had a brain

theyed be dangerous
Might be time to go, but leave the "girls" term out of it. Many more
members of this ineffective bumbling government need to go and
they are not all girls or even women

Martin Callinan "Disgusting" comment to

Public Accounts Committee
4 October 2016
Callinan publicly calling the Garda Whistleblowers (DISGUSTING)
now imagine what he called them behind their backs ??? And the
orders given to senior management to discredit them ??? O'Sullivan
took over the culture of corruption implemented by
Callinan.................. (DISGUSTING)...