Donegal based garda whistleblower demands inclusion in public inquiry

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Donegal based garda whistleblower demands inclusion in public inquiry

Garda Keith Harrison at his Letterkenny home. (North West Newspix)

A Donegal based garda whistleblower has come forward and demanded that he be included in the public inquiry investigating claims against Sgt. Maurice McCabe.

Garda whistleblower Keith Harrison issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon saying he shares Mr McCabe's "heartache".

Keith Harrison claims he was victimised by other gardaí after arresting a plain-clothes garda member for drink-driving.

Pearse Doherty of Sinn Féin used parliamentary privilege in 2014 to outline his concerns.

In today’s statement Harrison states:  "Having read the heartfelt statement of the McCabe family, we share their heartache. We have similarly suffered at the hands of An Garda Síochána, have been reported to Tusla and have been ignored when we raised the issues with Government.

"We hope the McCabe family will get the truth and justice they deserve. We too feel that we deserve truth and justice in our case.

"We have been writing to the Tanáiste, in her capacity as Minister for Justice, continuously since June 2014 to bring our concerns to her attention, but we never received a response that gave us any hope.

"The similarities between the experiences we have endured and the McCabes cannot be ignored by this Government or the political establishment.

"The treatment of Sergeant McCabe and myself bear similarities.”

"By restricting the inquiry to only one story, a situation will be allowed to develop whereby the treatment of Sergeant McCabe will be found to have been a one-off when in fact our story and its striking similarities to that of the McCabes, show that this formed part of an orchestrated system and culture within senior management of An Garda Siochána.

"Unless and until this approach to whistleblowers itself is exposed, An Garda Siochána will forever be tainted.

"I demand that my case be included in any Inquiry/Commission of Investigation by the Government and political establishment. We will not rest until this happens," the letter adds.

In a statement to Independent.ie Tusla said: "Tusla – Child and Family Agency does not comment on individual cases. This is to protect the privacy and wellbeing of the children and families with whom we work. Tusla screens and assesses all child protection concerns received in line with ‘Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children'."