Disclosures Tribunal: Former Assistant Commissioner says Callinan never spoke in derogatory way about McCabe

John O’Mahoney was tasked with investigating the cancellation of penalty points

Disclosures Tribunal: Former Assistant Commissioner says Callinan never spoke in derogatory way about McCabe

Former Assistant Commissioner John O’ Mahoney. Photo: Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie

 

The Garda Assistant Commissioner who reported on the cancellation of penalty points says he didn’t formally know who blew the whistle on the matter until April 2013, after his report was issued.

However, John O’Mahoney has told the Disclosures Tribunal that he knew about a letter to Maurice McCabe the previous December, asking him to engage with the Assistant Commissioner if he had concerns.

Minister Alan Shatter corrected the Dáil record and apologised to Sgt McCabe after saying he had not cooperated with the O’Mahoney inquiry.

John O’Mahoney was tasked with investigating the cancellation of penalty points in October 2012, when the former Assistant Commissioner says he didn’t know who was making the allegations.

Weeks later, in December - letters were sent to two whistleblowers, including Maurice McCabe, ordering them to stop using the Garda Pulse system.

It said, if they had further concerns, to engage with Assistant Commissioner O’Mahoney.

Mr O’Mahoney says it would have been his natural instinct to go to the source of the information, but he believed he was precluded from doing so - and that the whistleblowers hadn’t engaged with him.

Maurice McCabe has always maintained he was willing to cooperate with the inquiry, but wasn’t asked until the following April – when the report was completed.

The then Justice Minister Alan Shatter was forced to correct the Dáil record for saying the whistleblowers had not cooperated with the O’Mahoney inquiry.

Mr O’Mahoney says former Commissioner Martin Callinan never spoke in a derogatory way about Maurice McCabe, and that it would have been out of character for him to use the words some accuse him of using.

'Nasty questions'

Earlier, the tribunal heard a list of 'Nasty Questions' was drawn up for the Garda Press Office to prepare the Garda Commissioner for possible queries by journalists.

The Disclosures Tribunal has seen the list, drawn up by a consultant in the press office in October 2016.

Among the questions are whether the Commissioner at the time, Noirin O’Sullivan, had knowledge of a smear campaign against whistleblowers.

The Tribunal is currently exploring whether there was an orchestrated smear campaign against Maurice McCabe – directed by Garda management.