Feb 112017
 

There’s nothing new about the Garda attempts to destroy Maurice McCabe using false accusations of sexual abuse. Indeed, this technique is such a normal part of Garda procedures that they don’t even realise it might be wrong. And of course, due to the flawed recruitment structures of our national police force, all senior Gardai started out as junior Gardai, carrying with them throughout their careers the lessons they learned in their teens and twenties . Their attitudes were formed in the quasi-monastic environment of Templemore, their certainties were reinforced in the daily drudge of street-duty and the message they learned is a simple one: It’s Us against Them.

Since there has until recently been no induction from outside, there is no cleansing of the water. All the senior management are former grunts who paid their dues by pounding the beat. They all ate the doughnuts and they all had their hawks. Because nobody from outside has ever been appointed to lead the organisation, there has been no possibility of introducing a new vision, uncontaminated by the stale, cynical thinking of the past.

What are the chances, then, of a Garda Commissioner being shocked by some of the shadier practices ingrained in the force? Why would a Commissioner coming from this gene pool not consider it perfectly legitimate for members of the force to smear a perceived enemy with foul sexual slurs?

Some years ago, I was friendly with a Garda, and we shared many enjoyable jugs of ale together. He was a nice guy but with a tendency to be indiscreet, and he told with great glee the stories of how they searched the homes of suspects.

Well, you see, when we were going through the place, we’d bring a few filthy magazines and we’d just happen to find them while his wife was watching.

Any honest Garda will admit that this is the culture of the force.

Maurice McCabe broke the ultimate taboo of any police force anywhere. He violated the omerta that motivates all policemen, by being stupid and naive. Maurice McCabe just assumed that honesty, integrity and decency are essential elements of policing, and how wrong he was.

By exposing petty corruption concerning speeding tickets, he has been falsely smeared as a sex offender, described as disgusting by a Garda Commissioner and placed on a sex offenders register by another state agency.

Maurice McCabe’s problems started when he made a legitimate complaint that led to a colleague being disciplined.

Not long after that event, his colleague used his own young daughter as a pawn in a vindictive game to accuse McCabe of inappropriate behaviour. Even the gardai who submitted the report to the DPP confirmed that the complaint had little substance, while the DPP observed that the behaviour complained of was probably not even an offence in the first place. Otherwise, we’d all be in front of a court for chasing children in a birthday hide-and-seek game.

The complaint was dismissed out of hand and so it rested until an unnamed counsellor, we’re invited to believe, submitted a report to Tusla, the child protection agency, alleging that Maurice McCabe had raped a child.

Let it be said now that this complaint was entirely false.

The counsellor responsible for this false allegation later acknowledged that it was a mistake. An administrative error.

Somehow, a vicious allegation of the worst kind had been accidentally copied and pasted from another file into the file — of all people — of the same  man who stood in severe conflict with our national police force.

What are the chances?

What are the chances that a counsellor would have two documents open at the same time on a computer? One file would be that of a client sexually abused as a child, and the other would be an old file, long-closed and discredited. And yet, somehow, details of the most vile abuse are somehow copied and pasted into the document relating to a blameless man. Furthermore, the professional who made this clerical error failed to read over the final document and check its accuracy before transmitting it to the Gardai. What are the chances of that?

And if Brendan Howlin is to be believed in his statement to the Dáil, these horrible calumnies were being repeated by the incumbent Garda Commissioner even after their author had admitted they were false. If Brendan Howlin is to be believed, the current Commissioner was actively urging certain journalists to publish these lies.

There are many questions to be answered about this, among them the following.

First: how did Maurice McCabe’s closed file just happen to be on the counsellor’s computer when this accidental copy-and-paste took place?

Second: why did the counsellor send this information directly to Tusla instead of following established reporting procedures?

Third: why did Tusla not investigate these extremely serious allegations?

Fourth: why was there no Garda investigation of this alleged crime?

Fifth: why was Maurice McCabe not informed of this life-destroying allegation?

Sixth: on what authority did Tusla open files on the two children of Maurice McCabe who were adults at the time of the false allegation?

It’s about time the Gardai were examined in depth. It’s about time we asked ourselves if we have a police force fit for purpose. After all, how many police forces refer to their employees as Members?

Hard questions need to be asked about the relationship between an Garda Síochána and Tusla. Did somebody talk to somebody about Maurice McCabe?

These are not questions that can be answered by an insider. These questions need to be asked by somebody who has no connection to Irish affairs.

We are talking here about something fundamental to our society because this is all extremely sinister. What happens to Maurice McCabe today can happen to you and me tomorrow.  This is an attack on our democracy. Even seeking a benign interpretation of events, this looks sinister. There is no innocent interpretation of what has been done here.

If the government fails to address this attack on our democracy head-on, that government must collapse.

 

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Previously on Bock

Guerin inquiry report on Garda handling of McCabe allegations

All Garda-related posts HERE

Elsewhere

Fintan O’Toole on the McCabe scandal

 

  16 Responses to “Maurice McCabe persecution – frankly disgusting”

Comments (16)
  1.  

    I believe absolutely that the depth and level of this corruption you mention here comes directly from the Office of the Taoiseach as I believe too that no senior level Gárda decisions can be acted upon without the approval of that Office.
    Deep shit.

  2.  

    Sinister indeed…

    If someone made false accusation about me abusing a child, I would expect them to be hauled into a Garda Station and then before the courts….

    This is a real pivotal moment for this nation….trust in our institutions is at an all time low…

    The only option is a Criminal Investigation by an outside policing agency…it is imperative that any future potential whistleblower gets to see justice swiftly served on all individuals involved, be they Commissioners, Ministers Politicians…we now have corruption crossing major agencies of the state…that is what happens when all the power and influence are centralised in one city…a city that is overheating and riddled with planning corruption…

    I see FF are topping the Polls, with a Leader who has never been asked about serious corruption allegations made against him and his wife…just where is Paul Williams when you need him…

  3.  

    I do ask these questions.
    I do have no connection to Irish affairs.

  4.  

    But @EC, none of what you said will happen. In a few days Trump will have committed a large and serious faux-pas on the international stage and all this hand-wringing over McCabe will be forgotten about.
    As for FF, I do a lot of travelling around the surrounding areas of my home. When domestic politics is brought up in my company, people seem to go all Finding Dory and get nostalgic for Pre-2008 times. “Ah sure, at least when Fianna Fáil were in, you had money in your pocket!”

  5.  

    This is where we need to fight for this man. Gofundme time to get him the best defense. Sickening.

  6.  

    Welcome back Bock you were badly missed.I couldn’t agree with you more.What astonishes me is that Kenny,Martin and co. don’t seem to get it.They seem to think that this is normal behaviour.The system is rotten from top to bottom.Perhaps I am not entitled to comment having lived in the UK for 40 years,but I closely follow events in Ireland.There is one glimmer of light and that is that there are several Garda and others who blew the whistle,and I hope will continue to do so.

  7.  

    I talking to a wise old friend of mine, He seem to think there just might be a connection between how this was handled for years,and the ability of FF and FG TDs being able to phone the local super to sort a little problem out.

  8.  

    The depth and insidiousness of all this business has almost left me dumbstruck. If my unwavering faith in the righteousness of Irish politics and institutions weren’t so strong I’d be tempted to think it smacked of cross-institutional corruption leading right to the top.
    It would now appear that a tribunal is the preferred option of the establishment, a format previously disavowed by the aforementioned establishment due to the length of time they take and the inconclusive nature of previous tribunals. One might, if one were to be bloody minded about it, think that this is precisely the reason for a tribunal being set up. It has occurred to me that more might be achieved (and in half the time) if Sgt. McCabe were to take a civil case against those who falsely accused him. I don’t know if this is an option (in legal or practical terms) but it seems like nothing will be done any time soon if there is a tribunal

  9.  

    If Maurice McCabe took a civil action, he’d need a large amount of money to fund the case. Where would that money come from?

  10.  

    That’s the rub. He’d need money and time and I don’t know if he has either. He’d also need the will and some belief in the judicial system, this is probably in short supply too. If he could take the case, assuming he has time, money, will and belief, he would have to also hope that the skullduggery was through…and there’s no guarantee there knowing what we know now

  11.  

    That’s why a tribunal is the only decent option.

  12.  

    A decade of prevarication awaits then. Though I’ve heard that the named victim is pressing charges. We can but hope…

  13.  

    Is there a named victim?

  14.  

    Apparently the original file from which the ‘cut and paste’ was taken pertained to an actual victim of abuse. That person is now overage and rumoured to be taking legal action because, among other things, confidential information of her case is now in the public domain. If she does take legal action it will surely bring everything else out in the open

  15.  

    The force is rotten to the core. Not one Garda has come forward to support Mcabe and voice their opposition to the status quo. Despite the tribunal results its business as usual. Many people will say there are good cops and bad cops that you can’t paint them all with the same brush. Until McCabe receives support from the rank and file they are all bad cops.

  16.  

    The problem is that they now know what can be done to them if they do stand up for him. Who knows what will be ‘copied and pasted’ on their file? I know what you mean Tedfiftyfour but, in light of all that has come out, the depths to which were stooped etc., I have some sympathy for the rank and file Gardaí

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