PAC refers whistleblower's transcript request to another committee

Thursday 13 February 2014 23.58
Maurice McCabe's solicitor requested the transcript
Maurice McCabe's solicitor requested the transcript

The Public Accounts Committee has referred a request by a whistleblower for a transcript of his evidence to it to another Dáil committee.

The matter will now be considered by the Committee on Procedure and Privileges.

Sergeant Maurice McCabe gave evidence to the PAC in private two weeks ago about allegations of abuse of the penalty point system.

He has since made a request for a transcript of his evidence.

The PAC discussed his request today.

Committee members Mary Lou McDonald and Shane Ross had objected to the committee's decision not to refer the matter to the procedure and privileges committee to obtain a transcript.

Ms McDonald said it was absurd not to give Sgt McCabe a transcript and asked for the decision to be revisited.

Mr Ross said Sgt McCabe's solicitor had requested the transcript and it was extraordinary to say that the committee was protecting the whistleblower by not giving him a transcript of his evidence.

Fine Gael TD Simon Harris said the meeting was held in private because the committee had received a written request from Sgt McCabe to have his evidence heard in private. 

Last week the clerk of the committee, Ted McEnery, said that the advice he received on standing orders is that the publication of the transcript would be a fundamental change in procedure and would have implications for other committees hearing evidence in private. 

Fine Gael TD John Deasy said the committee would be potentially compromising any whistleblower who wanted to appear before a committee in private in the future.