Nóirín O'Sullivan says she "never regarded garda whistleblower as malicious"

Garda Commissioner says she fully accepts the findings and recommendations of the O'Higgins Commission

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Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan | Image: RollingNews.ie

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan has said she does not and has never considered Sergeant Maurice McCabe to be malicious.

It was reported last week that documents from the O'Higgins Commission of Inquiry suggested the Garda Commissioner claimed the whistleblower was "motivated by malice".

Sgt McCabe is said to have presented the Commission with a tape of the meeting in question that disproved the allegations, and no mention of the comments featured in the final report.

In a statement yesterday evening, Ms O'Sullivan said she is legally barred from clarifying certain matters related to the Commission.

She apologised to victims who she said believed "with justification" that they were not dealt with properly by the force, saying gardaí will "seek to work with them".

She added: "Like every member of An Garda Síochána, Sergeant Maurice McCabe’s contribution is valued and the service has changed for the better in response to the issues about which he complained. I want to make it clear that I do not - and have never, regarded Sergeant McCabe as malicious." 

Commissioner O'Sullivan explained: "I have consistently and without exception, within An Garda Síochána and in public, stated clearly that dissent is not disloyalty, that we must listen to our people at every level with respect and with trust, and that we stand to gain, rather than lose, when members bring to our attention practices they believe to be unacceptable.

"We are on a journey towards a markedly better policing service and we will learn from every mistake we make."

An Garda Síochána has already indicated that they will accept the findings and recommendations of the O'Higgins report, which was published last week.

The report found no evidence of garda corruption or criminality.

However, it found flaws with how several crime investigations were handled by the Cavan-Monaghan division, and how the division treated the victims of crime.