Whisteblower reportedly seeking transcript of evidence

Friday 31 January 2014 17.41
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Maurice McCabe gave evidence at the Public Accounts Committee yesterday
Maurice McCabe gave evidence at the Public Accounts Committee yesterday
The Garda Ombudsman Commission is to investigate the penalty points controversy
The Garda Ombudsman Commission is to investigate the penalty points controversy

It is understood that garda whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe's legal team is making contact with the Public Accounts Committee to obtain a transcript of his evidence to the committee yesterday.

Sergeant McCabe gave three hours of evidence in private session regarding claims of abuse of the penalty points system.

PAC Chairman John McGuinness said yesterday that if Sergeant McCabe applied for a transcript of the proceedings, the committee would consider it.

He added that he had no doubt that the transcript would be made available to him and his legal team.

Mr McGuinness also said that the committee will decide if the transcript should be given to its members.

However, he added that the matter had to be cleared by Sergeant McCabe's legal team.

He said he has to be satisfied in the first instance as there may be issues that may affect him.

Sinn Féin's Mary MacDonald said she looked forward to a speedy decision.

She said today that she did not think that it was legally problematic.

Meanwhile, Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has said he wants the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission's investigation into penalty points abuse allegations to be comprehensive to avoid any additional issues arising and to ensure public confidence. 

Mr Shatter said he did not know what evidence garda whistleblower Sergeant McCabe had given to the PAC yesterday. 

It is being reported that during the private session Sergeant McCabe said money lost from penalty points could have bought 300 squad cars. 

Mr Shatter said he did not know if what is being reported is accurate and had no idea how that calculation was made. 

"I don't know if it's based on an assumption that every ticket issued in all circumstances should always be paid.

"I know when they're not paid, on occasion, individuals end up in the courts that the courts dismiss charges taken in circumstances, for example, when someone might have been rushing a family member to hospital", he said. 

Keywords: penalty points