Maurice McCabe persecution – frankly disgusting

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.



Previously on Bock

Guerin inquiry report on Garda handling of McCabe allegations

All Garda-related posts HERE


Fintan O’Toole on the McCabe scandal



Man with moustache appointed Garda Commissioner

It’s high time we shook off those prejudices about men with moustaches.  That’s gone.  It’s over.  I’m willing to bet the new Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has never worn leather chaps or a cowboy hat in his entire life.  I’m quite sure he doesn’t work out, and he probably hates Barbra Streisand.  And you can be sure there will be no Madge posters in his office, or Kylie for that matter.

Our police commissioner will not have a Kylie Minogue poster on the wall of his office.  Of that I am certain.

That’s all so yesterday!

Martin’s tasher is more of a Kitchener effort, in my opinion.  Get out there, chaps, and give the Bosch what-for!

Actually, now that I think of it, Martin’s Mo is surfing the Zeitgeist, with its War of Independence schtick going on.  At a time when we face the possibility of civil upheaval, I think we need a man with a moustache at the helm to steady the ship.  Great men of history, and women for that matter, have rarely been clean-shaven.  Name me a Kaiser without facial hair.  A Czar?  Attila the Greek?  Zorba the Hun? The Man With No Name?  Golda Meir?  Abraham Lincoln?  Stalin?  Ho Chi Minh?  Margaret Thatcher?

No indeed.  A tash says it all.  It says to the bad guys, If you’re lookin’ for stubble, you came to the right place.

I’m telling you now, you’ll never see Martin prancing around with an apron and a vacuum cleaner.

I don’t know much about him, but it seems he was a detective for most of his career, hanging around bars in all that smoke, with wise-cracking femmes fatales constantly trying to seduce him.

Hey there Magnum.  Wanna little fun?

I’m not Magnum.  I’m Martin.

Where’s the Hawaiian shirt, Magnum?

Martin.  I’m fuckin Martin.  All right?  For fucksake.

I hope he has a better grasp of spoken English than Fachtna Murphy, the man he replaces, who has brought the Garda muttering-dialect to an art-form.  A member observed the vehicle containing three male persons proceeding at high velocity in a westerly direction

I wish him well.  God knows, he has enough to contend with, considering the culture of lies and evasion that pervades the organisation, where perjury is commonplace and discipline is through the floor.  An organisation where the hawk is paramount, and where  technological ignorance knows no limits.  An organisation where police routinely plug their private laptops into the national database and download vital files about suspects onto the same machines that their children might later be surfing the web on.  A force deemed so unprofessional that not a single applicant from its ranks qualified for interview to the position of PSNI Chief Constable.

I wish Martin well in this challenge, but I fear, since his promotion came from within the same organisation, that we will see little improvement, even though we need and deserve far better.

And anyway, he has a fine moustache, which has to count for something.

I want to break free.


More on the Gardai

Crime Favourites gardai Policing

McBrearty Settles Action Against Irish State for €3 Million

Over a year ago, I wrote about the disgraceful actions of the police in framing, intimidating and harassing a Donegal businessman, Frank McBrearty. Read about it here should you feel inclined.

Well, today, Frank McBrearty and his wife, Rosalind, settled their personal action against the State for €3 Million. This is on top of the €2.5 Million they were awarded last week by the courts for the damage the police had deliberately done to their business. And on top of their €1 Million legal costs. That’s €6,500,000 of your money, handed out to compensate for disgraceful behaviour by our police force.

Then there was the case of Frank Shortt, “Perjured into jail” in the words of the the Supreme Court, when awarding him €4.5 Million for what the police did to him. As I said in the earlier post, he was imprisoned, lost his business, his family and his health and was struck off as an accountant because policemen lied to put him in jail.

That makes €11 Million so far, of our money, to cover the costs occasioned by an indisciplined, unprofessional police force.

The reports of the Morris Tribunal make chilling reading. To quote from its chairman:

The Tribunal has been staggered by the amount of indiscipline and insubordination it has found in the Garda force. There is a small, but disproportionately influential, core of mischief-making members who will not obey orders, who will not follow procedures, who will not tell the truth and who have no respect for their officers.

Now let me ask you a question: apart from the dismissal of a few random miscreants within the force, do you think the Garda Siochana will suffer the root-and-branch examination it deserves? Or do you think the culture of untouchability and ignorance will remain as deeply rooted as it has been since the force went corrupt back in the Seventies when they recruited a cadre of uinprincipled and crooked thugs to beat up IRA suspects?

These thugs saw membership of the force as a chance to enrich themselves, and fouled the entire culture of the organisation with a contagion that remains to this day and is passed on to every new recruit through the semi-monastic training establishment they call the Garda College, where young men learn to be “members” of the Garda cabal, and where all other citizens — you and me, in other words — are seen as potential criminals.

And let me ask you another question: do you think for a second that these are isolated incidents or that this sort of thing could never happen again?

Previous posts

Gardai Deny Farting at Suspect

Gardai Deny Everything

Who Killed Richie Barron?

Do you know your Daddy’s a murderer?

Three tragic deaths

The Cannibal Murders

The Professionals

Losing hearts and minds

Crime Favourites gardai Policing Scandal

The Cannibal Murders Revisited

Anyone remember Dean Lyons?

He was a vulnerable young Dublin man, a drug addict, who was framed by the police for a double murder he didn’t commit. A brutal, ritualistic murder with satanic overtones.

He was jailed for it, and remained in jail for seven more months even after another man committed an identical murder in Roscommon, and confessed to the Dublin killings. You see, Dean Lyons signed a confession describing in great detail a murder he didn’t commit, and the layout of a house he was never inside. How did he come to know such things, and how did he come to sign such a confession?

How indeed.

He died a miserable junkie’s death in England shortly after his release.

The government commissioned an investigation, and a reporter, Mick McCaffrey, reported on its findings. Fabricated evidence. Intimidation. Suppression of evidence. False imprisonment.

Were the police who fabricated the evidence prosecuted as a result?


Were the police who intimidated Dean Lyons into confessing prosecuted?


So was anyone at all arrested?

Yes: the journalist was prosecuted.

Well, you might be glad to know that no charges were brought against him, but that a policeman has finally been charged with something.

Good, you say. Are these charges to do with fabricating evidence or beating a confession out of a suspect?

Eh, no, in fact.  They’re not. The only charge to be brought in the case is against a policeman for leaking the report to the journalist.

Now! How about that?

Here’s what I wrote about it previously: The Cannibal Murders


More of Bock on the Irish police:

Police and thieves

The Heart of Darkness

Worst police force in Europe

Three tragic deaths

Anti-social behaviour orders

Do You Know Your Daddy’s a Murderer?

Non-lethal weapons

Oh those funny old Guards

The Professionals

Losing hearts and minds

kick it on

Policing Politics Religion

Sikhs, Turbans and the Irish Police

You know what a reasonable, tolerant man I am except when I have to oppress idiots who disagree with me. Everyone knows that I’ll put up with anything except idiocy and intolerance.

So why has this turban thing got me so confused?

A Sikh is refused membership of the Garda reserve because he won’t take off his turban while in uniform. This is Ireland, so everybody instantly adopts entrenched and opposing positions. Insults are thrown.


Religious nutcase!!

Go back to India!

Stupid police!

I’ve heard people saying that the Sikhs’ religion should be respected, that the British police, the Canadian police, the US army, the British army and just about everybody else in the world allow Sikhs to wear their turbans while on duty.

This is true.

People will tell you that Sikhs are civic-spirited and decent people who have shown great courage in both World Wars and whose instinct is to contribute in a positive way to society at large.

This is undoubtedly true.

People say religious practice needs to be respected.

This is less true, though Sikhism seems to be at the fairly harmless end of the scale. Look at Rastafarianism, a religion that believes Haile Selassie – a dead, mass-murderering despot – is God. While you’re at it, look at the majority religion on this island, Catholicism. The followers of this religion worship a biscuit.

What to think? I don’t know.

On the one hand, the turban is an integral part of what it means to be a Sikh. It’s an article of faith, so to speak. Furthermore, we need diversity in all our public services – not just the police. And what harm can it be to allow the turban? That’s one thing I’m thinking.

The other thing I’m thinking is, why? What’s so important about any religion that it should get a free pass? Sikhs, I’m thinking, are fairly inoffensive people, except when they’re assassinating Indian heads of state and the like. They don’t try and tell me what to do with my private life. They’re law-abiding, upright and honest, so why not let them wear the symbol of their religion? Well, I answer myself, because that’s all it is: a religion.

It isn’t a race. It’s a religion.

Now I’m in a quandary.

What to think?

Well, I remember the Catholic maniacs who used to roam this land not so long ago and who are now merely hibernating. Suppose one of these guys decides to join the Garda Reserve? Suppose some quasi-fascist asshole like the revolting Justin Barrett should decide to oppress me in the name of his demented religion? And supposing the Justin-thing should decide that a uniform was the very thing to rally his supporters around him. And supposing the Justin-creature decided that his religion gave him the right to wear a cross on his uniform as a sign of his faith? And supposing this cross was a very special cross, with four equal-length legs, and little kinks at the end of them?

Well, that’s why, unfortunately, at the moment I’m tending to think the Sikhs should not be allowed to wear their turbans as part of a police uniform. Not because I have anything against them. I don’t. In fact, I think they’re generally a fine bunch of people.

It’s because I don’t see why any religion should be entitled to special treatment, and because, if a special exemption was made for Sikhs, our own home-grown fundamentalist dip-sticks would abuse it.

I am open to having my opinion changed about all this, however.

Now, on the positive side, I think Sikhs are exempt from the turban rule when they swim, though I’m not sure what the rule is about visiting outer space. I know the Guards have no interplanetary division, except at senior management level, but they do a lot of river- and sea-searches. Maybe he could join the sub-aqua unit. They might give him a reserve tank.