Drawn-Out Police Scandal Bedevils Irish Prime Minister

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Enda Kenny, Ireland’s prime minister since 2011, is facing one of the worst political crises of his career over a convoluted police scandal that has dragged on for more than a decade, reports the New York Times. The scandal has been compared to the case of Detective Frank Serpico, whose testimony in the 1970s brought to light corruption in the New York Police Department. The matter dates to 2006, when Sgt. Maurice McCabe began raising concerns about low-level misconduct within the National Police Service. McCabe quickly found himself shunned by his fellow officers. But he persisted, and a government inquiry found in his favor.

But the case won’t go away. Last week, The Irish Examiner and the public broadcaster RTE’s “Prime Time” program reported that Ireland’s child protection agency had created a file on McCabe containing a false accusation of child sexual abuse. That a whistle-blower could face such accusations in apparent retaliation has raised unsettling questions about Ireland’s culture of policing and the possible collusion of other agencies, including the child protection agency. The case has affected the highest levels of the Irish government, bedeviling Kenny. He has been attacked by critics who charge that he missed opportunities to resolve the mess in 2014, and supported the police chief at the time and his justice minister for too long. Denny, who survived a no-confidence motion last week, promises an inquiry into the latest developments.

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