Gardaí investigate use of police uniform in Castleisland parade

Gardaí are investigating the use of a garda uniform which appeared on a float which took part in the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Castleisland.

An image of garda whistle blower, Sergeant Maurice McCabe, was placed on a mannequin wearing a garda hat and hi-vis jacket.

The figure was placed hanging from a clothes line with the slogan, ‘Garda The Special Branch Men hang Sergeant Maurice McCabe out to dry’.

Dan Lynch from Pound Road, Castleisland created the float which showed his support for Garda whistle blower, Sergeant Maurice McCabe for last Saturday’s St Patrick’s Day Parade in the town.

The float showed a figure, representing Sgt McCabe, wearing part of the uniform of An Garda Síochána, a hat and hi-vis jacket.

Under the Garda Síochána Act 2005, it’s an offence if a person, whether a garda or not, has in their possession any article of garda uniform or equipment supplied to an officer and who isn’t able to satisfactorily account for possessing it.

Dan Lynch confirmed the hat and hi-vis jacket were part of garda uniform but would not state where he acquired them from.

The Garda Press Office says Tralee gardaí are investigating the matter and further developments will be reported in due course.

Mr Lynch says he borrowed garda uniform in the past for previous parades and there had never been an issue.

He claims that 20 minutes after he’d taken part in the parade, four gardaí called to his home in relation to the matter.

Mr Lynch says his freedom of speech has been violated and that the topic of his float was appropriate, given that the controversy has led to the resignation of two Justice Ministers and a Garda Commissioner.