THE latest garda whistleblower is a serving officer in Donegal Town. Garda Keith Harrison was named under parliamentary privelege in the Dáil this afternoon.
Garda Harrisson, who is not from Donegal, met with Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty in Monaghan earlier today where he discussed complaints before he hands them over to the Garda confidential recipient, retired judge Patrick McMahon.
The garda claims he was treated like a ‘pariah’ in the force and came under severe internal scrutiny by senior colleagues after he arrested another member of the force for drink driving. The incident did not happen in Donegal.
Garda Harrison claims he made a ‘fatal mistake’ by arresting a colleague and subsequently charged the officer.
The drink-driving charge against the plainclothes garda was adjourned a number of times in court and was ultimately struck out on a legal issue by a District Court judge.
The arrest at the centre of this case took place during a routine Garda checkpoint in the midlands when the garda involved carried out a roadside alcohol test on an off-duty detective. He then arrested the detective on suspicion of drunk driving.
The suspect was tested at the local station and found to be over the legal limit. He was subsequently charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.
The two gardaí knew each other and the arresting garda claims that the detective was unhappy about the arrest.
Speaking yesterday Deputy Doherty, said he had first been contacted by the garda over a month ago.
“He was very nervous, understandably and was fearful of a backlash. I’ve had a series of meetings with him since then and built up trust,” he said.
“However, following the Gurein Report and the resignation of Alan Shatter as Justice Minister he now feels confident enough to come forward,”
“I feel there needs to be protection for gardai who come forward with allegations or complaints. My job is to support the member and raise it with the Minister for Justice and appropriate authorties,” Deputy Doherty added.
One source familiar with the case said: ‘This man had a great career but everything changed for him after this arrest. On the night he brought the plainclothes garda in on this charge colleagues told him he had done the wrong thing. They said he had made a fatal mistake. He came under pressure immediately’.”