Speaking in the Dáil this morning Sinn Féin TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin called on the Taoiseach to apologise to the Garda Whistleblowers Maurice McCabe and John Wilson.
Deputy Ó Caoláin also asked the Taoiseach if he believed the position of the Garda Commissioner was tenable given his comment at the Public Accounts Committee recently that the actions of the whistleblowers were disgusting.
“It would seem, from the leaks we have noted this morning, that the report vindicates the actions of the whistleblowers, Garda Sergeant Maurice McCabe and former Garda John Wilson. This begs the question of why the Minister attempted to discredit Sergeant McCabe - it was on the floor of this House that he did it - accusing him of failing to co-operate with an internal Garda investigation into alleged misconduct.
“Has the Taoiseach spoken to the Minister about the Garda Inspectorate report? Will the Minister come into the House and correct the record? Has the Taoiseach asked him to do so and, if not, why has he not asked him? Will the Minister apologise to Garda Sergeant Maurice McCabe?
“Will the Taoiseach take the opportunity to apologise to Garda Sergeant McCabe and former Garda John Wilson? They have both been subjected to a very serious, personally targeted smear campaign - of that there can be no question. It is incumbent on the Taoiseach, as Head of Government, to make an apology on the floor of the Dáil to both of these gentlemen.
“Garda Sergeant McCabe is unable to perform his duties as sergeant, in line with his role and responsibilities. Will all of the restrictions that are currently applying to his carrying out his role and function be removed and will he be restored to full sergeant status within An Garda Síochána without any question as to his integrity?
“There is the further matter that at a meeting of the Committee of Public Accounts recently, the Garda Commissioner, Martin Callinan, described the gardaí concerned as ‘so-called whistleblowers’ and said their actions were ‘disgusting’. Where does the Garda Inspectorate report, which vindicates, we believe, the claims of both Garda Sergeant McCabe and former Garda John Wilson, leave the Garda Commissioner? This report apparently vindicates the whistleblowers, yet the Commissioner believes their actions were ‘disgusting’. That is a very serious matter.
“Does the Taoiseach believe that the Garda Commissioner's position is tenable while he holds to the view that the actions of the gardaí concerned were disgusting, despite the fact that the Garda Inspectorate report, we believe, vindicates the claims made by both gardaí?
“There is sufficient information and evidence to prompt an immediate response from the Minister. Will he come into the Dail today and make a clear and unequivocal apology to the gardaí concerned? Will he likewise make an apology to Deputy Mick Wallace, whom he also slighted in this House?”