An investigation by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman into Fixed Charge Notice Cancellations between 2009 and 2014 has shown that over 1,100 fixed penalty notices were cancelled in the five year period in Cavan.
The investigation was commenced following allegations of “criminality, corruption, deception or falsification” by Sg Maurice McCabe.
The Ombudsman figures present Cavan in 19th place on a list of the Fixed Charge Notice Cancellations with seven counties below. The data shows that in the five year period Cavan had 1,154 cancellations. This represented 2% of all cancellations in the country. From 2009 to 2014 there was a total of 21,455 Fixed Penalty Notices issued from Cavan which is 4% of the cancellations of all Fixed penalty Notices.
The report notes that there have been a number of significant investigations and examinations specifically about, or related to, the Fixed Charge Processing System.
It says that the report of Assistant Commissioner John O’Mahoney was presented to the Department of Justice and Equality on 28 March 2013. The report found no evidence of “criminality, corruption, deception or falsification” as alleged by Sergeant McCabe
Under the heading “Examination of Evidence Provided by Sergeant Maurice McCabe” it states that Sg McCabe attended the GSOC office in Dublin on five occasions in total. He consented to his interviews being recorded and was unaccompanied during these proceedings.
Sergeant McCabe stated that he was aware that his attendance at GSOC was providing him with the opportunity to provide details of incidents where he believed that wrongdoing had taken place in relation to the Garda Síochána FCPS.
At the time, Sergeant McCabe had been a member of the Garda Síochána for 29 years, with the majority of his service in County Cavan. He was transferred to Mullingar, County Westmeath in 2008.
Sergeant McCabe set out chronologically who he approached and furnished with documentation, with regard to allegations about the FCPS. The order of disclosure is important and Sergeant McCabe stated in interview that he obtained legal advice about who he was entitled to disclose information to and how to maintain the lawfulness of such disclosure.
The report concluded by saying: “The findings in this report and from the various reports by other agencies that have examined this system show without any doubt, that the failings within the FCPS system were exploited in previous times. These findings also confirm the information provided by Sergeant Maurice McCabe that improper cancellations were carried out.”