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Reputation of Irish Justice Dept and Police in Catastrophic Meltdown 

Screen Shot 2014-05-10 at 21.23.47By John Donovan

Most visitors to this website are probably fed-up with our coverage of events in Ireland stemming from allegations made against Shell and the Garda by a whistleblower company – OSSL – that worked as a Mr Fixit for Shell.

However, remarkable related events continue to unfold. 

OSSL says that it purchased and distributed free booze at Christmas time to Irish police officers on behalf of Shell. As part of a cover-up, Shell issued a press statement several months ago (above) denying OSSL allegations. 

It is confirmed that Shell did give wine packs as Christmas gifts to members of the Irish news media. 

The Irish police have carried out two internal and one internal/external investigation (currently underway by the Police Ombudsman) into OSSL allegations.

The credibility of the investigations is obviously dependent on the credibility of the Irish Justice Department, the Irish Police and the Irish Police Ombudsman. 

Unfortunately the credibility of all three parties is at an all time low. 

Multiple articles have been published today by the Irish Times that further undermine public trust in those responsible for policing in Ireland. The Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and the Irish Justice Minister, Alan Shatter, have already resigned. 

The latest articles provide evidence that the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC), which has an oversight responsibility for the Garda, is also mired in cover-up and incompetence. 

The GSOC has supposedly been investigating the OSSL allegations for the last eight months, apparently without ever obtaining testimony under oath from accused Garda officers, nor interviewing third parties with direct knowledge of what happened?

The senior officer in charge of the GSOC investigation – Johan Groenewald – is in a very difficult situation, which is perhaps making him increasingly nervous. He has taken the unusual step of sending me a blunt written message via OSSL. His reputation and career are at risk if he delivers a verdict that later unravels. 

He is bound to be anxious at the prospect of publishing his findings at a time when the reputation of the Irish Justice Ministry, the Garda and the GSOC is all shot to pieces in a multi-faceted national scandal of unprecedented dimensions. 

In view of recent shocking developments reported in the articles, the detail of the OSSL/Corrib investigation by the GSOC and its findings, are going to receive far more scrutiny than would otherwise apply. 

ARTICLES PUBLISHED SAT 10 MAY 2014 BY THE IRISH TIMES

Whistleblower feels vindicated after ‘six years fighting system’

A career shattered

Criticised over level of co-operation with Guerin

McCabe has full access to Pulse system restored

The 336-page report into Garda misconduct allegations digested

Institutions unable or unwilling to investigate their own

Extract:Pointed criticism of Department of Justice and Garda management

RELATED ARTICLES

Investigation to be set up following Guerin Report: RTE.ie-May 9, 2014

Guerin report calls for comprehensive commission of inquiry: Irish Times 9 May 2014

Guerin report finds inadequate investigation of whistleblower claims: Irish Times 9 May 2014 

GSOC criticised over level of co-operation with Guerin: 9 May 2014

Guerin report: main findings: Irish Times (blog)-May 9, 2014

Garda whistleblower John Wilson: The contents of the Guerin report Irish IndependentMay 9, 2014

Shocked Varadkar admits Garda Siochana are in crisis: Independent.ie 11 May 2014

Extract: Transport Minister Leo Varadkar says An Garda Siochana is “in crisis” and that he is deeply shocked by the wave of allegations.Mr Varadkar severely criticised An Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) which he branded a “toothless dog if ever there was one” which was not fit for purpose.”

Garda watchdog seeks extra powers of inquiry: Irish Times 12 May 2014

Extract: The body charged with investigating complaints against gardaí is pushing for a range of new powers in response to the problems that it and Garda whistleblowers have encountered in trying to investigate and expose wrongdoing in the force.

Garda misconduct ‘unlikely’ to be confined to one district: Irish Times 12 May 2014

Extract: Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte has said it is “unlikely” the examples of Garda misconduct revealed in the Guerin report is confined to one Garda district. Mr Rabbitte described Seán Guerin SC’s report into wrongdoing in the force in the Cavan-Monaghan area as “extraordinary”. “It is a shocking litany of serious allegations…” he said. The new Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald last week declined to express confidence in the secretary general of her department, Brian Purcell.

Frances Fitzgerald to probe fresh claims of Garda misconduct: Independent.ie 12 May 2014

Extract: DISTURBING new allegations of wrongdoing and malpractice within An Garda Siochana are now under investigation by new Justice Minister Frances FitzgeraldA dossier of 27 sworn affidavits was presented to Taoiseach Enda Kenny last month, who in turn passed them on to the Department of Justice just before Alan Shatter resigned as minister. 

Garda scandals show Department of Justice ‘not fit for purpose’, says Varadkar: Irish Times 12 May 2014

Extract: “The Department of Justice is not fit for purpose. They accepted what the gardaí told them,” Mr Varadkar told The Week in Politics on RTÉ television yesterday. He said people were shocked by the series of scandals and revelations surrounding the Garda. “I am probably less shocked than most people because of my dealings with Maurice McCabe.”

Ambiguous relationship between gardaí and department set for a shake-up: Irish Times 13 May 2014

Extract: The Department of Justice is “utterly isolated” from Garda Headquarters. It rarely seeks specific information from senior gardaí, but when it does ask a question, it tends to take the answer “on trust”. These are not the observations of Liveline callers, nor even of senior counsel Seán Guerin, whose damning report on the official response to a whistleblower’s claims on Garda malpractice was published last week. They are the conclusions of Mr Justice Frederick Morris, in a 2004 tribunal report into claims about the behaviour of gardaí in Donegal.

Further Garda whistleblower expected to come forward: Irish Times 13 May 2014

Extract: Another Garda whistleblower is expected to come forward this week with a claim that colleagues told him he had made “a fatal mistake” by arresting and charging another member of the force for drunk driving. The man, who is a serving garda, is alleging that he came under pressure from within the force and was treated as a pariah by his colleagues after the arrest.

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