On October 8 2012 I submitted a formal complaint against Mick Wallace TD to Cobh Gardai.
The complaint was in response to Wallace’s admission on live radio that he hired a hitman to recover an outstanding debt from a building contracts manager.
I heard nothing more on the matter from Cobh Gardai until I contacted them nearly a year later on 10 September last.
I was informed that my complaint had been passed on to Wexford Gardai two days after submission, presumably because Wallace is based in Wexford.
I received no communications from Wexford Gardai until I phoned the station on October 8 last, exactly one year after I had submitted my complaint.
The investigating officer informed me that my complaint had been submitted to the DPP who directed, in January 2013, that no prosecution should be taken.
I was not informed of this decision.
I requested more details from the investigating officer.
Did you carry out an investigation or did you just submit my complaint to the DPP?
I submitted an investigation.
Did you contact Mick Wallace?
I’m not going to say what I did or didn’t do but I investigated the complaint.
Is there any information at all you can give me regarding your investigation?
No, I’m not going to give you any information.
I find that a bit strange. Is the investigation you carried out totally confidential?
I’m not going to tell you the ins and outs of it. All I will say to you, and you can take whatever you want out of this, is that I carried out the relevant inquiries and submitted a file to the DPP.
The following is my assessment of this case.
It is obvious that neither the Gardai nor the DPP thought it necessary to inform me of what was happening. If I had not made enquiries I would never have known what action had been taken as a result of my complaint.
In common with the many complaints I have submitted over the years against politicians, civil servants and others I did not for a moment expect that charges would actually be brought against Mick Wallace.
My principal motive for submitting such complaints is to highlight the fact that Ireland is a deeply dysfunctional state where certain categories of citizens seem to be virtually untouchable when it comes to law enforcement.
At some point in the distant future when Ireland is a fully accountable democracy the following will be the norm.
Police investigators will be legally required to keep complainants informed of the progress of any investigation.
The DPP will be legally required, without revealing substantial facts, to regularly publish lists of complaints/cases that have been submitted stating whether they are to be prosecuted or rejected.