A third Garda whistleblower has come forward, raising serious allegations of misconduct related to the controversy surrounding the force’s 999 canceled calls.
The protected disclosure, allegedly filed with the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC), is not believed to have been part of a larger investigation into the controversy by the police department.
At the request of this newspaper, the Police Authority confirmed that a key report on the canceled calls has now been completed by Derek Penman, a former Deputy Chief Constable of the Scottish Police. It will be discussed at a meeting next Thursday with Garda Commissioner Drew Harris, who will be asked about his findings.
Two whistleblowers came forward last year and made protected disclosures regarding how Gardaí canceled calls to the Garda Command and Control Centers.
A third Garda whistleblower is understood to have lodged a complaint in recent weeks. In the complaint, the anonymous official claimed Gardaí in Command and Control routinely dropped “groups of calls” at shift changes.
The official also claimed that a senior official named in the protected disclosure was later involved in the “declassification” of several categories of calls when the internal investigation into the matter began in a bid to reduce the 999 calls to which the Troop is accused of canceling.
The senior officer was investigated in this matter. It will be understood that this third proprietary revelation “supports” what has already been outlined by the previous two
whistleblower. When contacted, Garda headquarters told this newspaper, “A Garda Siochána is barred by law from commenting on whether or not Garda employees have made protected disclosures to third parties.” Gsoc was also contacted for comment.
Meanwhile the Sunday independent has learned new details about the nature of some of the canceled calls. One concerns a frantic phone call from a Traveler woman who was severely beaten by a man. Their caravan was later set on fire. Another unsupervised call involved a disabled youth who was attacked and beaten by a gang of young men.
The Police Department has essentially concluded its investigation into the controversy and the third whistleblower’s allegations are not believed to have been part of the investigation. Mr Penman, a former Deputy Chief of Police for Police Scotland, was appointed by the last July
Police Department to prepare a full independent report on the matter.
He wasn’t initially allowed to overhear the canceled calls, mostly due to GDPR issues. However, this matter was later resolved after Gardai and the Police Authority sought joint legal advice. He was then given the “green light” to listen to a sample of the abandoned calls.
“Mr Penman’s final report is expected to be considered by the Authority at its meeting on September 29 and the matter will be discussed publicly with the Garda Commissioner at that meeting,” a spokesman for the Authority said when contacted.
Sources familiar with the investigation expressed “concerns” that Mr Penman may not have had the opportunity to examine all relevant material related to the controversy.
“Next Thursday’s meeting will be very revealing as to what will or will not be revealed,” said a well-placed source.
A separate source insisted the independent process had been “transparent”.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/gardai-routinely-cancelled-999-emergency-calls-when-changing-shifts-according-to-new-whistleblower-42015076.html Gardaí have routinely canceled 999 emergency calls at shift change, according to a new whistleblower