Attorney General to decide if whistleblower report can be published

Judge Iarfhlaith O’Neill was appointed to head an inquiry into the allegations and delivered his findings to the Department of Justice yesterday

Attorney General to decide if whistleblower report can be published

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A report into an alleged 'smear campaign' against Garda whistleblowers has been passed on to the Attorney General

The report relates to the garda response to protected disclosures made by two garda members - Sergeant Maurice McCabe and Superintendent David Taylor.

The disclosures claimed that Sergeant McCabe was the victim of a smear campaign following his attempts to bring information regarding alleged penalty points malpractice within the force into the public domain.

The whistleblowers claimed the alleged smear campaign was orchestrated at a high level of garda management - however, Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan has denied all knowledge of the alleged campaign.

Judge Iarfhlaith O’Neill was appointed to head an inquiry into the allegations and delivered his findings to the Department of Justice in a report yesterday.

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Mick Clifford, Special Correspondent with the Irish Examiner said the attorney general will now decide whether there is any reason the report cannot be published.

“The report has been passed on to the Attorney General because it is still at the status of allegations,” he said.

“The AG will have to decide whether or not it will be published in its current form or whether or not it has to be redacted.

“That will include whether it is just a question of redacting names or whether they might have to redact some of the report that would easily identify someone in case there is any legal issue.”

In a statement yesterday, the Department of Justice said the report “sets out in detail” the allegations made by the two whistleblowers.

It said Justice O’Neill was asked make recommendations on what further action - if any - may be appropriate to address the allegations.

“In view of the nature of those allegations and the fact that third parties are mentioned the Report is being referred to the Attorney General for her advice on how to proceed,” reads the statement.

The department said the report will now form the basis for ensuring the protected disclosures are properly addressed.

The Tánaiste will bring forward proposals to Government on how to proceed with the case once the Attorney General returns with her advice.