13 May 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard


THE REPORT of a commission of investigation into the Cavan/Monaghan branch of An Garda Síochána has found that there was no evidence of Garda corruption, even though serious flaws and failures in criminal investigations in 2007 and 2008 have been highlighted.

The O’Higgins Commission of Inquiry, which has not yet been officially published but was widely reported on throughout this week, points to problems with garda management and resources but finds that the failures it examined were “at a human level and caused by poor individual performance and, in many instances, by poor supervision”.

The 362-page report by retired High Court judge, Mr Justice Kevin O’Higgins describes Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe, who had been a station sergeant in Bailieboro at the time, as a dedicated and committed member of the force who acted out of “genuine and legitimate concerns”. It further states that “the commission unreservedly accepts his bona fides”.

But it also finds that Sgt McCabe’s complaints of corruption against senior officers, including former Commissioner Martin Callinan, were “unfounded and were deeply hurtful”. There was “not a scintilla of evidence” to support such an allegation against Mr Callinan, O’Higgins has concluded.

The commission, which found that there was no criminality on the part of gardai based at the station in Bailieboro in 2007 and 2008, arose from allegations made by Sgt McCabe about how a number of investigations had been handled, including the case relating to Jerry McGrath, who murdered Sylvia Roche-Kelly in Limerick after securing bail in Cavan in 2007.

Mr Justice O’Higgins finds that victims of crime were “not well served” by the Garda Ombudsman, and identifies serious failings in eight criminal investigations including assaults, dangerous driving, child abuse, and also in the McGrath case.

While the inquiry upholds some of Sgt McCabe’s complaints it also identifies cases where, in the dossier given by him to Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Taoiseach Enda Kenny, he had exaggerated complaints and submitted allegations that were found to be wrong.

While Sgt McCabe is deemed to have acted out of genuine concern and has had some of his complaints upheld, others were rejected as inaccurate, incorrect, overstated and unfounded. It also concludes that while “never less than truthful” in his evidence to the commission, he was also “prone to exaggeration at times”.

Former justice minister Alan Shatter is …

Comments are closed.