Commissioner Mobile Phone Loss Raises Many More Questions
Commenting on revelations in the Sunday Times, Labour TD Alan Kelly has said:
“The reported fact that the mobile phone that was used by Commissioner O’Sullivan during the period that the Charleton Enquiry are investigating is lost is quite frankly incredible. It raises so many questions about the behaviour of senior management in the Gardaí. It also raises serious questions over what level of co-operation Garda Management will give to the Charleton Enquiry. It raises even further questions about the competence of Garda Management.
“Following the retirement of former Commissioner Callinan it was reported that he had multiple bags of documents that were destroyed and that his phone’s SIM card went missing.
“New regulations and protocols were to be put in place at the highest levels in the Gardaí to ensure such behaviour and destruction of documents could never take place again. An Assistant Commissioner was put in place to make sure this happened.
“If this was the case, how could the mobile phone of Commissioner O’Sullivan from the period in question now also be missing considering she put in place procedures and protocols to make sure this never happened again.
“A Charleton Tribunal Liason Group has been set up in Garda Headquarters. I understand this group is made up of at least two retired senior Gardaí and two other Gardaí. The two retirees appointments were never approved by either Department of Public Expenditure, Department of Justice or indeed the Policing Authority. There was no interview or procurement process. We don’t know why they were picked or indeed whether they are the appropriate people. We also don’t know what contracts they have been given and how much they’ll cost. We also don’t know if the two serving Gardai are the appropriate Gardaí to be on such a Group or whether they were have conflicts from previously being involved in any of the issues Charleton is enquiring into.
“This all comes exactly two years after the arrest of former Garda Press Officer turned Whistleblower Dave Taylor. Interestingly, he had his mobile phone confiscated when he was arrested but he has yet to get access to it as part of the Charleton Enquiry. His phone and its data is critical to the enquiry given the allegations of a smear campaign against Sergeant Maurice McCabe. It is in the possession of Garda Management. Dave Taylor will have to apply to the Tribunal Liason Group, created and chosen by Commissioner O’Sullivan in order to get access to his phone to substantiate his protected disclosure.
“So ultimately for one of the core issues of the Charleton Enquiry; whether there was a smear campaign against Sergeant McCabe, the following seems to be the situation. The current and previous Garda Commissioners mobile phones and sims are lost and the phone of the Whistleblower making the allegation is in the possession of Gardai senior management, who take their instructions from Commissioner O’Sullivan against whom the allegation is made.”