After seeing the powerful RTE 1 documentary a few years ago about Maurice McCabe and his trials as a whistleblower, I was shocked and moved. Whistleblowers are often so alone when it comes to standing up to power. They are often discredited and intimidated in order to give up the fight for truth and justice. And many do. It requires a deep strength of character to maintain the courage of their convictions and stay the course.
I’ve never met Maurice McCabe but I wanted to honour the role he played as a whistleblower in this painting.
I used extracts from newspaper articles about the case to make up his uniform. I scratched those same words into the paint in the background. Everything around him in the painting is messy and fragmented with flecks of florescent yellow and navy that make up the Garda uniform interspersed with words from the media.
The only part of the painting that is untainted is Maurice McCabe’s face. I wanted to show the dignity, resilience and integrity he maintained throughout the storm of controversy, bullying and false allegations that were hurled at him.
He has done the Irish public a service for exposing corruption within the Garda Siochana at great personal cost. This piece is a visual acknowledgement of his bravery.