Whistleblower cousin unhappy with case

A first cousin of Mullingar sergeant Maurice McCabe has claimed he is being treated differently by gardaí because of who he is. Joseph McCabe (52 ), Ross, Mount Nugent, Meath said that four times he produced the insurance that covered him to drive the vehicle, which did not belong to him, to a Garda station as requested, but it hadn’t been recorded until the morning of the court case. However, none of the documents he brought to court, which he said he’d shown to gardaí, actually covered him to drive on September 13 last. He was stopped at Crookedwood and asked to prove that he was insured to drive the vehicle, and he said he brought the documents to Castlepollard Garda Station the next day, that they were logged and he thought he was okay, but he got a summons in February. He said he rang Garda Gareth O’Brien and explained the circumstances and that Garda O’Brien told him to send the documents in to Mullingar Garda Station, where he is the only Garda Gareth O’Brien and has his own post-box. McCabe said he produced the documents at the reception desk at Mullingar Garda Station. He said when he recently contacted Garda O’Brien he was told no documents had been logged on the system. However, he said a very nice girl he phoned at the station directly before coming to court, said they had been logged that morning. There was no NCT on the vehicle, though it had been booked in for the test, and Judge Hughes advised him that if he is caught driving a second time with no NCT, he will be automatically disqualified for two years. The insurance documents presented were examined in detail, and Garda O’Brien said the policy in the name of Mellett, covered named drivers only. McCabe said his own insurance covered him to drive the vehicle, but Garda O’Brien said the policy didn’t cover him to drive a vehicle owned by his employer. McCabe, who has no previous convictions, said the garda was making assumptions about his employment. The insurance certificate shown to the court didn’t cover the relevant date. Regarding production of the paperwork to the station, the garda said McCabe, whom he didn’t know, had produced the documents after two weeks, instead of the ten days required by law. He was unhappy that Garda O’Brien was seeing the paperwork for the first time, when he said he had copied it four times and concluded this was possibly because of who he is. Judge Hughes acknowledged McCabe’s evidence of two recent tragic bereavements but said everyone has problems. He said he was trying to read McCabe’s body language and if it was a case that he didn’t have insurance, he should put his hands up because it’s not a hanging offence. It’s the court’s general policy not to disqualify for a first no-insurance offence, he said, and advised McCabe that if he continues on the road he was going with the court, he is heading for a lot of trouble. McCabe insisted that he has insurance, and the case was adjourned to May 15 for him to produce it.

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