• November 1, 2018

A member of the Irish Police, An Garda Siochana, Sgt Maurice McCabe is to retire after thirty years service. An Irish ‘Serpico’ McCabe exposed wrongdoing and malpractice in the Police and was subjected to almost a decade of villainous behaviour from some in the Force up to and including those at the most senior level.

McCabe’s mistake was to be an honest police officer a commodity you would think that would be valued in any police service but not apparently in An Garda Siochana. McCabe survived it all including the most scurrilous campaign of abuse against him and his family and was eventually exonerated.

A report in the Irish Examiner yesterday said:

“The Irish Examiner understands Sergeant McCabe met Assistant Commissioner Fintan Fanning at the weekend and applied to retire. As he has served the requisite 30 years, he is entitled to retire on a full pension.
His application was accepted and will come into effect from 12am.

His retirement comes three weeks after publication of the Disclosures Tribunal report in which Judge Peter Charleton described the Cavan-based sergeant as having done the state “considerable service”.

Judge Charleton also ruled there had been a “campaign of calumny” against Sgt McCabe conducted for former commissioner Martin Callinan and former garda press officer Superintendent David Taylor.

Earlier inquiries had largely vindicated the complaints of malpractice within the force which Sgt McCabe had made and which caused enormous pain for him and his family over a decade.

Judge Charleton also concluded that there had been hostility towards Sgt McCabe in some quarters of An Garda Síochána.

Following the publication of the Disclosures report, Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan apologised to Sgt McCabe on behalf of the State. The minister told the Dáil that Sgt McCabe “deserves the gratitude of all of us for bringing serious shortcomings to public attention.

“He also deserves an apology for what he had to endure, both him and his family over the past decade.”

The State is facing a significant payout to Sgt McCabe, who is also taking a case against Tusla, the child and family agency, after it grossly mishandled an erroneous allegation against him.

Tusla has already formally apologised.”

Full report here:


One wonders if the McCabe episode has promoted a culture change in An Garda Siochana. The appointment of Drew Harris a former Deputy Chief Constable of the PSNI as Garda Commissioner was surrounded by controversy. Additionally recent participation by Garda officers wearing hoods and ski masks at the eviction of housing protesters was controversial. Drew defended the behaviour!

Note: Frank Serpico was a famous whistleblower in the NYPD in the late 1960s his experience also led to an in depth enquiry into that Force. His story was highlighted in the 1973 film Serpico starring Al Pacino.

Image: Sgt Maurice McCabe

Bernard Moffatt

Assistant General Secretary 
Celtic League

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