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The Word on the Week

Sgt Maurice McCabe

Like a couple of schoolkids reluctant to hand in their home-work An Garda Siochana and the Department of Justice eventually passed their files this week to the Charleton Tribunal. This was at the 11th hour after having months to gather the material!
In order for the Judge to read the material the Tribunal has been postponed to next week.
Sergeant Maurice McCabe first raised issues of negligence at Bailieboro Garda Station some 10 years ago and listed 23 of them for action by the Superintendent. Had these been researched and dealt with the matter would have gone no further. However, in a classic case of shooting the messenger who brings bad news the powers that be decided to try to prove that McCabe was acting out a grudge against a colleague and this was the reason for his raising the complaints.
A false account of the meeting with two Inspectors tried to show there was a grudge but was refuted by McCabe’s foresight of taping their conversation on his smartphone!
By now McCabe had become known as a whistleblower. An almost unknown species in the Garda where the covering up of any shoddy practices was almost universally carried out in a misguided form of loyalty.
After many efforts to silence McCabe, who to his credit continued to expose error whenever he discovered it, a recurring accusation of sexual misconduct was used against him and his family. This matter had been shown to be without substance but was used by his superiors to blacken his name.
To cut a long story short McCabe has survived a number of enquiries both inside and outside the Garda and has seen the departures of a Taoiseach, two Ministers for Justice, two Garda Commissioners and two Secretaries’ General at the Department of Justice over the past three-and-a-half years.
And it’s not over yet! The Charleton Tribunal is currently sitting to examine whether or not the Garda were out to destroy Sgt McCabe.
In another context, “You know nothing at all. Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, than that the whole nation should perish” (St John Chapter 11 verse 50). Thus Caiaphas unwittingly anticipates Jesus’ substitutionary atonement. Or with the wonderful understanding of the African, “He die me no die”. May we also have a like faith and serve our conscience rather than men.