Garda whistleblower to give 'explosive' evidence on penalty points loss

Garda whistleblower to give 'explosive' evidence on penalty points loss

A SERVING Garda sergeant will today present a “comprehensive report” detailing the loss of millions of euro in revenue to the State following what he describes as the widespread practice of terminating penalty points.

Retired Garda whistleblower John Wilson described the evidence that Sgt Maurice McCabe will give to the Dail Public Accounts Committee (PAC)  as “explosive.”

“Sgt McCabe has compiled a detailed and comprehensive document relating to the loss of revenue that has come about from the unlawful termination of fixed charged penalty notices,” Wilson told The Irish Post.

“From what I’ve seen, the evidence presented will be comprehensive and explosive. It will be a good day for democracy in Ireland.”

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, who gave evidence to the committee last week, said he will not make any legal attempt to stop a garda giving evidence to the PAC.

In a statement, the commissioner said it would not be in the public interest to pursue legal proceedings against the committee, despite his reservations.

He said the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission is the proper manner in which to address penalty points allegations.

John Wilson has given a ‘guarded welcome’ to the news the ombudsman will investigate allegations he and Sgt McCabe have made in respect of what they have alleged are laxities in terms of processing penalty points.

“The Garda Ombudsman needs full unrestricted access to Pulse (the garda computer system) without anyone looking over their shoulder,” he said.

This intervention was brought about after the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter intervened when it was suggested the PAC may be extending its brief.

It appeared as though the committee, made up of TDs from the government, would no longer have a role in investigating the loss of revenue findings as highlighted by a C&AG report in October.

But in what was a largely unexpected move, they agreed on Tuesday afternoon to continue with their plan to question Sgt Maurice McCabe.

“It is totally unprecedented for serving member of An Garda Siochana to give evidence about corruption within his own force to a parliamentary body,” said Wilson.

“The PAC’s sole remit is to deal with matters of finance and the loss of revenue to the State. Mr Shatter didn’t want this to happen and these people (the members of the PAC) deserve great credit from the public for what they have done.

“The Comptroller’s Report (C&AG) vindicated us and from that point on I was confident that this matter would receive a wider address.

“We want to get the information out there.”