THE fallout from the O’Higgins Report into how the Gardaí handled claims by Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe continued today with a kind and conciliatory gesture by Garda Comissioner Noirin O’Sullivan.
Authoured by Justice Kevin O’Higgins, the report highlighted myriad flaws and incompetencies in investigations carried out by the Cavan/Monaghan division of An Garda Síochána, and follows on from a separate investigation into the widespread and corrupt cancellation of penalty points.
Commissioner O’Sullivan has denied that neither she, nor her legal representatives cast aspersions on McCabe by suggesting his motivations for reporting the consistent mishandling of cases by Gardaí were ‘malicious’.
“I said the claims were delicious, I was misheard,” the Commissioner is believed to have said through her legal representatives.
McCabe has spent much of the last 4 years having his integrity questioned all while trying to bring evidence of corruption to his superiors, and was on one occasion called ‘disgusting’ by former Commissioner Callinan, who displayed contempt for all whistleblowers.
In an effort to show the force has learned from previous mistakes and is willing to start a fresh, reinvigorated by being investigated at length by someone who isn’t a fellow guard and friend, Commissioner O’Sullivan made a public gesture of goodwill.
“Take this as a token, to symbolise the strides we’ve made in addressing claims of mismanagement, corruption, intimidation and canceling of penalty points. The dark days of when the Gardaí in certain parts of the country pinned rats to the doors of fellow officers’ homes who spoke out against corruption and favours for the boys are gone. Let no one say the Gardaí has not learned from its lesson. We have,” the Commissioner said while sending a symbolic text to McCabe with the words ‘points cancelled, say nothing’.
There was then a ritualistic burning of the mobile phone and its sim card, removing all trace evidence.
Although McCabe had no penalty points, an unnamed Garda accessed the pulse system to add points onto McCabe’s car so that the ceremony, symbolising a new and open age of Gardaí accountability could be ushered in.