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Thread: The mysterious case of the missing child-porn computer seized by Gardaí

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    Default The mysterious case of the missing child-porn computer seized by Gardaí

    Fine piece here by Michael Clifford which details exactly how a Garda whistleblower was set up. I know we have a couple of related threads already but this case deserves to be examined as a major scandal in itself.
    Clifford will be on the Vincent Browne panel tonight, presumably to discuss this case
    He wrote to Supt Gerry O’Brien of Bailiboro in Sept 2010, requesting that a hard drive seized from the parish house in Kill, Co Cavan, be returned to the diocese. The computer had been taken in the course of an investigation into a priest suspected of child abuse.

    The priest, Michael Molloy, was subsequently convicted of child abuse and child pornography, and sentenced to five years in prison. Now, Bishop Leo O’Reilly was requesting a return of the hard drive as, he said, he suspected there might be some evidence of fraud contained in it.

    “Computer? What computer?” was the initial reaction in the gardaí. A cursory examination soon established there was no such computer in possession of the force. This was a serious matter. A computer which had been seized from a by-now notorious abuser and child pornographer had gone missing in Garda custody.

    Somebody had to be held accountable. And before long, the whole focus bore down on one individual, a turbulent cop who had been making uncomfortable waves, a whistleblower who had broken ranks within the force to report on alleged wrongs
    http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland...ai-255814.html

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    Default Re: The mysterious case of the missing child-porn computer seized by Gardaí

    ffs

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    Default Re: The mysterious case of the missing child-porn computer seized by Gardaí

    The feckin' really bizarre thing is that once the hook failed to catch, the fact that some pig walked off with a load of child porn, seems to have been totally forgotten about.

    Priorities...

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    Default Re: The mysterious case of the missing child-porn computer seized by Gardaí

    Quote Originally Posted by Seán Ryan View Post
    The feckin' really bizarre thing is that once the hook failed to catch, the fact that some pig walked off with a load of child porn, seems to have been totally forgotten about.

    Priorities...
    Hopefully someone just accidentally and incompetently dumped it; but you're probably right. ****!
    "The floggings will continue until morale improves "

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    Default Re: The mysterious case of the missing child-porn computer seized by Gardaí

    Possible that others would be implicated in the child porn and some Garda felt the need to remove evidence. In any normal country this would be a massive story and would require an immediate independent investigation/inquiry. Not in Ireland however.
    For instance the first half an hour of Drivetime with Mary Wilson this evening focused on a drinking game call neck and nominate while the crime correspondent/Garda spokesman was preoccupied with a relatively small scale fraud case in Wicklow. I'm not sure if any of the Garda whistle-blowing got a mention all day on the radio on any channel. Certainly not in the news anyway.
    Do the right thing.

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    Default Re: The mysterious case of the missing child-porn computer seized by Gardaí

    Quote Originally Posted by morticia View Post
    Hopefully someone just accidentally and incompetently dumped it; but you're probably right. ****!
    That'd be virtually impossible. Once evidence hits lockup, it only gets out to go to court or be subject to a destruction order, or it gets returned to its owner. It didn't last long enough to do any of this. It can also be removed for forensic examination, but loadsa paperwork would leave a trail to suss out that particular history.

    This evidence allegedly got as far as lockup and then walked. A confession by the defendant saved the day. I find it very suspicious that the search warrant was defective and that the fruits of it conveniently went missing.

    The biggest outrage though, is that the subsequent investigation focussed on a disciplinary issue and not on the two obvious criminal offences, possession and theft (and maybe perversion of the course of justice).

    PJ is very correct in seeing this as a major scandal. It'll be interesting to see if either the mainstream or the powers that be can move beyond the smear angle to examine the actual criminality at play here.

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    Default Re: The mysterious case of the missing child-porn computer seized by Gardaí

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie Lee View Post
    Possible that others would be implicated in the child porn and some Garda felt the need to remove evidence. In any normal country this would be a massive story and would require an immediate independent investigation/inquiry. Not in Ireland however.
    For instance the first half an hour of Drivetime with Mary Wilson this evening focused on a drinking game call neck and nominate while the crime correspondent/Garda spokesman was preoccupied with a relatively small scale fraud case in Wicklow. I'm not sure if any of the Garda whistle-blowing got a mention all day on the radio on any channel. Certainly not in the news anyway.
    Michael Clifford was on Newstalk with Pat Kenny this morning, apparently. Broadsheet has an extract from the discussion...
    Pat Kenny: “Listening to all of this, it leaves me with the impression, reading what you wrote this morning, and in this conversation with you, it’s kind of: ‘that’ll teach to whistleblow’.”Michael Clifford: “You could easily..”
    Kenny: “I mean that’s the conclusion that I’m left with, I may be wrong.”
    Clifford: “Yeah.”
    Kenny: “That’s the conclusion: that you actually stick by your colleagues, you don’t rock the boat, you don’t create scandals, you don’t damage the force and, if you do, you know, you pay a price.”
    Clifford: “I’ll put it to you this way, to you Pat. In today’s piece, I quoted legal opinion that was obtained by sources, associated with the whistleblower and the legal opinion of having reviewed the case, suggested that it seems, the whole thing was connected with this man whistleblowing and it was described as shambolic.”
    http://www.broadsheet.ie/2014/01/20/...o-whistleblow/

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    Default Re: The mysterious case of the missing child-porn computer seized by Gardaí

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie Lee View Post
    I'm not sure if any of the Garda whistle-blowing got a mention all day on the radio on any channel. Certainly not in the news anyway.
    standard practice is to wait for the garda press office to sort out their response and lead with that.

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    Default Re: The mysterious case of the missing child-porn computer seized by Gardaí

    More from Michael Clifford on Maurice McCabe.
    Saturday, January 25, 2014
    GARDA Maurice McCabe worked through Christmas 2012, from Dec 20 to St Stephen’s Day. Ten-hour shifts. Young family at home, huddled in the warmth of the season. That’s the lot of frontline workers. They put in the hours, while the rest of us kick back. The upside for gardaí is a holiday at the end of it, time to make up time.Or so McCabe thought. He had a few days coming to him to chill out with the family, cocooned from the world outside, which was loaded with stress.

    McCabe was a whistleblower. He had first made complaints, some years previously, about what he deemed malpractice and deception. He had a good record when he was asked to be station sergeant in Bailieboro, Co Cavan. While there, McCabe encountered a number of concerns. Eventually, following what he saw as shocking incompetence in the investigation of a serious assault, he made a complaint. Others followed. A number were upheld, but McCabe wasn’t informed whether any action was taken against the officers involved.
    http://www.irishexaminer.com/viewpoi...ai-256419.html

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    Default Re: The mysterious case of the missing child-porn computer seized by Gardaí

    Quote Originally Posted by PaddyJoe View Post
    Fine piece here by Michael Clifford which details exactly how a Garda whistleblower was set up. I know we have a couple of related threads already but this case deserves to be examined as a major scandal in itself.
    Clifford will be on the Vincent Browne panel tonight, presumably to discuss this case

    http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland...ai-255814.html
    To pick a quote from the article in the paper

    The lawyer wrote: “I think we are all agreed the investigation has most likely been promoted by virtue of the fact that ‘WB’ availed of the confidential reporting regulations and charter. Indeed the investigation has all the hallmarks of a shambolic exercise.”
    There was a serious deviation from standard operation procedures in the chain of evidence. If a chain of evidence is broken it opens up a not so nice can of worms. I tend to agree with what Frankie Lee said...
    History is the only true teacher, the revolution the best school for the proletariat - Rosa Luxembourg

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    Default Re: The mysterious case of the missing child-porn computer seized by Gardaí

    Not the only occasion when it appears Maurice McCabe may have been set up.

    Both Wilson and McCabe have alleged that Gardaí regularly set up innocent people for various reasons.

    No exceptions spared it seems.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: The mysterious case of the missing child-porn computer seized by Gardaí

    Extract from Shatter's statement relating to the missing computer case:
    The Commissioner’s detailed response, received by me on 30th January, described the investigations that had been undertaken and the chronology of events and explained that, of the 12 allegations against the Superintendent, 11 had already been dealt with as part of the investigation by the Assistant Commissioner and Chief Superintendent. In other words, the January 2012 letter from Sergeant McCabe restated these 11 complaints which had already been dealt with under the Statutory Confidential Recipient Scheme. The Commissioner also explained that the 12th allegation in the January 2012 letter related to a case of ‘child pornography and rape of a minor in September, 2007 where the offender was a priest in the District’. The report went on to explain that this investigation centred on offensive and inappropriate behaviour with a 14 year old boy, and that it was apparent that the investigation was efficiently and speedily carried out, resulting in the priest being convicted and sentenced to 5 year concurrent sentences. The assurances which I received were essentially to the effect that these matters had been fully investigated in accordance with the law in place at the time.
    So nothing to see. No mention of the missing computer and documentation. No mention of Maurice McCabe being blamed for the disappearance.
    Another whitewash.
    If the rest of Shatter's statement is as disingenuous as this it won't be very difficult to pick holes in it.

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    Default Re: The mysterious case of the missing child-porn computer seized by Gardaí

    First time I've heard this case mentioned on RTE. Alluded to by Paul Reynolds on the 9 News tonight and then by Katie Hannon on Prime Time.

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    Default Maidir Le: Re: The mysterious case of the missing child-porn computer seized by Gardaí

    Quote Originally Posted by @KatieGHannon
    #DisclosuresTribunal is told that Sgt McCabe was accused of having responsibility for a missing computer in clerical child abuse case at O'Higgins Comm based on an exhibits chart and an exhibits officer's statement that turned out to be forged and true versions were later found.
    Previously https://www.irishtimes.com/news/crim...port-1.2644449

    On September 11th, 2007, at Bailieboro Garda station, Co Cavan, a man made a complaint that his son had been sexually abused by a priest, Fr Michael Molloy. Searches were carried out, a computer, mobile phone and other items were seized, and Fr Molloy was arrested three days later. In March 2008, he was charged with child abuse offences.

    At Cavan Circuit Court, in July 2009, he pleaded guilty to one count of defilement of a child under 15, one count of defilement under 17, and one count of possession of child pornography. He was sentenced to five years, three years and three years for the offences respectively, to run concurrently.

    Justice O’Higgins found the investigation had major flaws, including that the search warrants were defective, there was a failure to have the computer forensically examined and it was lost. Its loss was “surprising”, he said.

    A file had gone to the Director of Public Prosecutions in advance of the charges. Supt Noel Cunningham “expressly informed” the DPP that the search warrants used were defective and wrote a covering letter recommending disposal of the case at the District Court in the event of a guilty plea.

    “This recommendation is surprising and difficult to comprehend given the gravity of the offences and the strength of the evidence,” Mr Justice O’Higgins said. He said Supt Cunningham explained he was concerned about the victim. He told Mr Justice O’Higgins the trial could collapse and “half a loaf is better than no bread”.

    But Mr Justice O’Higgins said he “remains surprised that such a recommendation was made by a Garda officer with the experience of Supt Cunningham”. The judge also noted the file sent to the DPP made no mention of the computer. He said there was “no evidence to support any allegation that in omitting to refer to the computer in his report, Supt Cunningham was attempting to conceal anything from the DPP or that he was sweeping anything under the carpet”. He said the loss of an exhibit was a matter of concern.

    “Where the exhibit in question is a full-sized computer, its loss is all the more surprising,” the judge said. He said it inevitably gave rise to the suspicion it was removed to protect the priest, but it would be “quite unjustified in default of any evidence, to attribute that motive”. There was no evidence to support it and no evidence to support that the computer was stolen by gardaí or others.

    Mr Justice O’Higgins also said it was difficult to understand why Sgt McCabe was the only person subjected to disciplinary proceedings for the loss of the computer, given Garda Sinead Killian was the exhibits officer in the case

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