Top: Sgt Maurice McCabe and above, clockwise from top left: Conor O’Donnell, Debbie McCann, Robert Cox, Alison O’Reilly and Sebastian Hamilton.

Following  the completion of evidence from Fionnan Sheahan (full report on this here), chairman of the Disclosures Tribunal Justice Peter Charleton turned to the Irish Independent editor and asked:

“Mr Sheahan…Is there anything in the world of journalism that I’m unaware of that might help me in any way as to why these completely contradictory allegations are flung up?

The judge had, to this point, heard four direct conflicts of evidence between eight journalists, often working for the same news organisations.

Justice Charleton continued:

“…I have had reference to bitterness, to careers, to jobs, to people leaving their posts. I don’t know whether it’s down to sick buildings or what it is down to, but is there any way you can assist me on this?”

Mr Sheahan was unable to help.

The evidence taken by journalists from Associated Newspapers Ireland, which publishes the Irish Daily Mail and the Irish Mail on Sunday, was more of the same. Only more so.

Conor O’Donnell, editor of the Irish Mail on Sunday; Sebastian Hamilton, group editor at the Irish Daily Mail; Debbie McCann, crime correspondent at the Irish Mail on Sunday; Robert Cox, deputy editor of news at the Irish Mail on Sunday; and Alison O’Reilly, of the Irish Daily Mail and formerly of the Irish Mail on Sunday, all gave evidence.

Most of their questioning was taken up with a conflict between Ms O’Reilly and Ms McCann, who had not been just been colleagues but good friends.

When Labour leader Brendan Howlin told the Dáil in February 2017 that he had been contacted by a journalist who said they had “direct knowledge” [sic] of the then Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan telling journalists [sic] of “very serious allegations of sexual crimes having been committed by Sergeant Maurice McCabe”, he was referring to his contact with Ms O’Reilly.

She had told him that Ms McCann had told her that Ms O’Sullivan was a source of information for her about Ms D.

Ms McCann was the first journalist to call to the home of Ms D in early 2014.

This visit came about after she had first heard “murmurings” about Sgt McCabe and after she made inquiries, following the then Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan’s “disgusting” remark.

Ms McCann’s line editor, Robert Cox, told the tribunal when Mr Callinan made his “disgusting” remark at a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee on Thursday, January 23, 2014, everything changed.

He said:

“Commissioner Callinan, once he said ‘disgusting’ it became a whole different ball game in a certain respect because there was — any allegations or anything that was in the ether, was now, had kind of — it hadn’t surfaced but there was some reason behind that disgusting remark and anybody who was following the [penalty points] story kind of was wondering what was behind it.”

Mr Cox said, around this time, and as Ms McCann told him she had heard “murmurings” about Sgt McCabe, he told her to find out more details. He said:

“She came back with, that there had been an allegation, the allegation was of child sex abuse, that the person was a minor at the time of the abuse, that it was historic, and that the DPP had chosen — had decided not to press charges.”

When Ms McCann gave evidence, she said:

“I knew she was a young girl at the time. I didn’t know her exact age…I knew that they [Mr D and Sgt McCabe] were colleagues. I don’t know if I knew at that point that they had fallen out, I don’t know...I had that it was an allegation of inappropriate touching. I think I knew at the time that there may have been tickling involved, but I think that’s all I knew.”

Despite knowing that the DPP ruled against a prosecution, Ms D subsequently called to the D house.

Ms D wasn’t at the house at the time and, instead, Mrs D answered the door.

It’s the evidence of Ms McCann and Mrs D that Ms McCann was turned away from the door pretty much immediately.

It’s not clear what date Ms McCann called to the D house but she initially told the tribunal she thought she visited the D family in or around February 14 or 21, 2014.

When Ms McCann’s editor Conor O’Donnell gave evidence, he said:

“What happened is we sent [Ms McCann to the D house]. Nothing came of it. We did nothing more on it and we never discussed it again.”

But Ms O’Reilly – who told Sgt McCabe there were rumours circulating about him to the effect that he had sexually abused a girl when she first met him on February 28, 2014 – claims Ms McCann told her there was much more to it.

Coincidentally, around the same time, Ms O’Reilly claims she had asked Mr Cox if she could write something “positive on the whistleblowers” and she said Mr Cox said “they didn’t want any negative stories because it would piss off the gardaí and they would stop giving Debbie [McCann] stories”.

Ms O’Reilly claims Ms McCann told her that, at some point, she had spent about an hour interviewing Ms D, and that Ms McCann was able to describe in detail how Ms D held her arms as they spoke to each other.

She claims Ms McCann called Sgt McCabe a paedo, child abuser and a dirty fucking bastard.

She claims Ms McCann told her she’d heard Ms D “was in a bad way” from the former head of the Garda Press office Supt Dave Taylor and that she seemed to have been very moved emotionally by Ms D’s story.

She claims Ms McCann said the then Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan was a source of information for her about Ms D.

She claims Ms McCann said Sgt McCabe was hated within the gardaí.

She claims Ms McCann said she had written a story on Ms D but that it wasn’t published.

And she claims Ms McCann said Mr O’Donnell wanted to publish it as an anonymous story but that Mr Hamilton didn’t want the story published as he was too cautious.

In regards to the above claims, Ms McCann, Mr O’Donnell and Mr Hamilton categorically deny them all, while Ms O’Sullivan also utterly denies being a source of information for Ms McCann.

Ms McCann refused to be drawn on her communications or conversations with Supt Taylor – who waived his right to privilege – saying she had to protect her career as a journalist “going forward”.

At one point she said:

“I am the journalist and I believe that that decision lies with me. I have a career to think about going forward. I can’t go there. I would love to go there, but I honestly cannot do that.”

In his final submission, Ms McCann’s counsel Tom Murphy recalled Ms McCann saying the quote above and added:

“This is an archetypal Catch-22: answer the question and your career will be damaged, perhaps irrevocably; don’t answer the question and your failure to do so could lead to adverse inferences, including, most seriously, a potential finding of dishonesty. Further, and despite some suggestions to the contrary, the stance adopted by Ms McCann in relation to her journalistic privilege is mirrored by other journalists…”

Mr Murphy went on to list these other journalists as Conor Lally, of The Irish Times; Michael O’Toole, of the Irish Daily Star; and John Mooney, of The Sunday Times.

Mr Murphy also recalled what Ms McCann had said to Judge Charleton a few weeks previously when she said:

“He [Supt Taylor] has waived his privilege. It is — I am the journalist, and, going forward, if I start revealing the contents of conversations that I had with people, it’s going to really damage me going forward. And I think that I am not in a different position to other journalists who have come before this Tribunal.”

However.

The judge had replied to Ms McCann: “Well, you are [different], I’m afraid, very much, as from what I can see at the moment.”

It took Associated Newspapers five months to tell the tribunal that Ms McCann had called to the D house.

Neither Ms McCann nor Supt Taylor confirmed the fact until after the tribunal heard about it from elsewhere.

Kathleen Leader BL, for the tribunal, asked Sebastian Hamilton if there had been a conscious decision made at the Mail “to say, okay, we are going to claim journalistic privilege, we are not going to tell the tribunal anything about any of our journalists knowing anything about the D story until such time as we see what other information the Tribunal gets?”

Mr Hamilton said: “I’m certainly not aware of any decision in those terms having been taken at all.”

Throughout Mr Hamilton’s evidence, he repeatedly stated that Ms O’Reilly had a grievance with Associated Newspapers.

Mr Hamilton’s repeated claim followed the sending of a letter – on April 18, 2018 – from the Mail’s solicitor Michael Keeley to the tribunal, which stated:

“My client believes that the state of Ms O’Reilly’s relations with them at the time she spoke with Mr Howlin is a relevant issue and was a strong motivating factor in her actions and also, in their view, cast considerable doubt on the credibility of the witness.”

Judge Charleton pointed out that a person can have a grievance with another and still tell the truth.

The judge also pointed out that, regardless, several facts weren’t immediately disclosed to the tribunal by Associated Newspapers – which had nothing to do with Ms O’Reilly.

He said:

The fact that someone goes and knocks at somebody’s door, is a fact; the fact that they speak to somebody’s mother, is a fact; the fact that you know that, your newspaper knows that, is a fact; the fact that that is nothing to do with journalistic privilege, the fact of being at the door, but nonetheless you choose not to tell us and it takes you five months to get to the point, when we already know the information, I have to put it to you. So, I mean, it’s all very well to say journalistic privilege to journalistic privilege any number of times you wish, but at the moment that doesn’t look very impressive to me.”

[The alleged grievance which Mr Hamilton was referring to is an ongoing legal action Ms O’Reilly is taking against the Mail – following the fallout of a story by Ms O’Reilly which was published in the Irish Mail on Sunday on March 27, 2016, about the Buncrana pier tragedy in which Louise James lost five family members after the Audi jeep they were in slipped off the pier and into Lough Swilly in Co Donegal.

After the story was published, Ms James complained to the newspaper and the newspaper subsequently apologised – stating Ms James had not consented to being interviewed.

When Ms O’Reilly gave evidence, she said: “I made it clear to Ms James, Chairman, that I was a journalist with the Irish Mail on Sunday, that I was doing a story and that I taped it in line with what we normally do in The Mail on Sunday, we secretly tape things for our own protection in case you are accused of fake news or in case you are attacked.”

She also said: “I have a conversation with Conor O’Donnell, who told me that I did interview Louise James and that they only apologised to her because that is what she wanted, and he wanted to know if I was okay.”

The tribunal heard that, after the IMOS story about Buncrana, there had been an internal investigation within the IMOS, and a warning had been placed on Ms O’Reilly’s record for a year.

Ms O’Reilly also signed the following statement: “I note the sanction. Just to be absolutely clear, I fully accept my error of judgement. I want to put it behind me. I want to continue working for the Mail. I want the opportunity to prove myself. I look forward to working on features and welcome any training that would be given and I embrace it. The last few months have taught me a lot of us here need to look at how wework. On the basis of that, I accept the sanction and look forward to getting back to work.”

Of this statement, Ms O’Reilly told the tribunal: “I was very heavily medicated, Chairman, and to the point where Sebastian Hamilton had actually called my representative aside and said: Should we proceed with this? I have never seen her look so bad. And that was the advice I was given in those circumstances.”]

The tribunal also heard about a possible attempt to “block” the tribunal from obtaining information.

Ms O’Reilly said the following about a meeting she had with the company’s solicitor Michael Keeley before the the tribunal’s proceedings got under way.

She said:

“Chairman, I went to a meeting with Michael Keeley after receiving a letter from the Tribunal and he asked me a series of questions and he asked me did I ever hear the rumour about Maurice McCabe being a child abuser, and I said yes, I did. And I went to tell him who it was and he put his hand up and he said, I don’t want to know.

“And I thought, well, what are we doing here? I mean, do we tell the truth or do we not tell the truth? And then he went on, maybe question five or six he said: Did you meet Maurice McCabe? I said I did. I asked him to do an interview. I said, Michael, I actually feel very sorry for Maurice McCabe. And he said — he put his pen down and he looked at me, he was sitting there, and I was sitting here, and he said: You know, nobody comes out of a Tribunal looking okay, even if they’re trying to be the good guy.

“And I said, do you know what? I’m not telling you anything. I was terrified, absolutely terrified. I felt threatened and terrified. And I thought, what is this? I knew that Debbie had been up at the house, I knew that I had been up with Maurice McCabe, and by the time he got to his very last question, as we were standing up to leave, I said I’m not telling him anything, I’m too afraid.”

Hugh Mohan SC, for Associated Newspapers, repeatedly put to Ms O’Reilly that she had “lied” to Mr Keeley when she “denied” she was Mr Howlin’s source.

Ms O’Reilly said she accepted she didn’t tell Mr Keeley, but she also said:

“I accept that I tried to tell Michael Keeley everything, and he didn’t want to know.”

Judge Charleton stepped in around this point and asked Mr Mohan if Mr Keeley accepted what Ms O’Reilly claimed Mr Keeley said – “nobody comes out of a Tribunal looking okay”.

Mr Mohan and Judge Charleton then had this exchange while Ms O’Reilly also interjected intermittently:

Mohan: He made it clear that he did not want to be put in a position where sources were told to him in that context. I think it’s a different version of events, but in that context that was the basis of what was said.

O’Reilly: Chairman, he said ‘I don’t want to know’.

Mohan: Sorry, he did not want to know — sorry, Chairman, he did not want to be put in the position of being told sources

O’Reilly: But that was my whole point, Chairman; like, what were we doing there? Why — we are meeting to not tell the Tribunal anything. I mean —

Charleton: So the Tribunal is writing letters to people, and what’s the result? I mean, either we actually owe allegiance to this country or we don’t. So what is the result of the Tribunal writing letters to people?

Mohan: Well, sorry, Mr. Chairman, this information was put before you by the witness, the current witness, and my client in this case, Ms. McCann, has a different version of events in relation to this. It just so happens, for yet the second time, both the parties to it have a fundamentally different version of events than this witness has given. I am challenging her credibility —

Charleton: Well, if you want to put a different version of a conversation, of course you are perfectly entitled to, Mr. Mohan, and I would welcome that indeed.

Mohan: Well, what I want to do now if I may —

Charleton: No, but this is actually important, because we have been spending the last year-and-a-half trying to find out things that we have been charged by the Oireachtas to do, and it is, this is our country, we owe allegiance to it. We are tasked with trying to find this information out. Now, it’s appropriate, if you have a different version of the conversation, to please put it.

Mohan: Sorry, the different version I am putting is that, in fact, Ms. McCann did not, because she was not in contact with Nóirín O’Sullivan, ever say that Nóirín O’Sullivan had told her anything whatsoever.

Charleton: “No, no, and I appreciate that. But it is — the Tribunal went to a lot of trouble to write an awful lot of letters to an awful lot of people, and furthermore, there were back-up letters, there were follow-up letters, many people never replied, we had to follow up in the case of some people a large number of times, and then, apparently, if anything comes up, well then I’m given a submission on this, that and the other. But this is actually important, and it’s important from the point of view of the other person having the conversation. If there’s a different version of this conversation, it should be put.

Mohan: Well —

Charleton: I am not talking about Ms. McCann; I am talking about the conversation with Michael Keeley. I mean, that’s what I am talking about, that. I mean, Mr. Mohan, vis-à-vis Mrs. O’Reilly and what she was told, what is was saying was, well, I don’t know what was behind it, I don’t know whether it was the fisherman’s tale of getting the 50-pound salmon or whether it was the truth, but what I am telling you is that it was said. So that’s one thing, I appreciate that. But then the other thing is, okay, source or no source, the Tribunal had asked for information, and I am now being told that that was blocked. Now, that’s important. If there is a different version, I really ought to know.

Mohan: I have an account, which you don’t have, of that attendance that Mr. Keeley prepared following his conversation with Alison O’Reilly, and I have checked it, for some reason that didn’t appear, although Ms. O’Reilly would be familiar with it, and I have no difficulty with that being put in. It’s Mr. Keeley’s account. I can read it, if I may.

Charleton: Well, yes, of course, but it’s not for me, it’s for the witness.

Mohan: Sorry, you did ask me, I have an account —

Charleton: Well, I don’t know why everyone is arguing with me and parsing and analysing everything I say. Look, it is a very fundamental principle of law. It’s from the point of view of fairness to Mr. Keeley, from the point of view of fairness to the witness and also from the point of view of the functionability of a tribunal in this Republic, as to whether any such thing happened. Now, of course I had no notice, and neither did you perhaps have any notice, I don’t know, Mr. Mohan, certainly it’s no blame, I am not sending any in your direction at all, that in answer to your question Ms. O’Reilly would tell me what she’s just told me. But from the point of view of fairness, if there is a different version of the conversation, it should be put, out of fairness to her and out of fairness to Mr. Keeley as well.

Mohan: I wonder, I’m going to — not to waste the court’s — the Tribunal’s time, I will go on to another and come back to this. But in the meantime I will have this photocopied and circulated so everybody has a copy of it, and I will return to that point. And this will be the version dealing with the point that you have made, if I may deal with it that way?

Charleton: Well, it’s not exactly as if I am making a point; it is pretty fundamental.

Mohan: Well, no, I am happy to deal with it, absolutely.

Charleton: Well, that’s fine. Grand.

Mohan: I can read the note, but I think it might be better if everybody has a copy.

Charleton: Well, I’m not trying to interfere. I think you should take your own course. And I appreciate the questions you’ve put. Look, Ms. O’Reilly is saying: I had the conversation, it was such and such. You are saying you couldn’t possibly have, because you never had, for instance, the Commissioner’s number, there was no record of any communication between them. That’s perfectly and utterly fair. But in the event there is an allegation of obstruction on the Tribunal, well that should be dealt with today, if possible.

Mohan: I’m going to get copies of the note made and I will return to that, if I may. Ms. Leader is going to make copies of it.

Charleton: Yes, we will facilitate you every way we can.

The tribunal never heard any more evidence on this alleged conversation.

When Alison O’Reilly gave evidence, the tribunal heard about a text exchange she and Ms McCann had on May 9, 2014 – several months after Ms McCann had been, the tribunal heard, turned away from the door of the D house by Mrs D.

In May 2014, Ms McCann was also on maternity leave which began within weeks of calling to the D house.

The text exchange followed the publication of a report by Sean Guerin SC, whose scoping exercise of Sgt McCabe’s complaints about Cavan/Monaghan led to the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation in 2015.

The tribunal was initally told the following was the sequence of texts:

O’Reilly to McCann:

“A highly respected officer held in ‘high regard’ is how judge Guerin describes McCabe.”

McCann to O’Reilly:

“I am fully aware and, to be honest, I think it’s gross. There is a very messed up girl at the heart of it and no one gives a fuck.”

McCann to O’Reilly:

“It’s a farce. Everyone knows, from politicians to cops to journos. It’s an fucking pantomime.”

McCann to O’Reilly:

“Sorry for Shatter? It’s just like a house of cards. Self-preservation is the name of the game. It’s one big sordid game. Nóirín should get the job, she’d be fab, and it’ll be the ultimate knee-jerk reaction if they go down the civilian route. I also feel for Callinan. What a way for his career to end. The tape thing is one big f-ing smokescreen designed to save political face, and at what cost? Justice will be the biggest loser if the government continues the way it’s going. It’s disgusting.”

When Ms McCann gave evidence, she told the tribunal that the sequence, as presented by Ms O’Reilly above, was incorrect and that another text was sent to her by Ms O’Reilly before her text about Ms D being a “very messed up girl”.

Ms McCann claimed this missing text had been deleted.

Ms McCann then read the missing text:

“‘Paul Williams and the Indo have an agenda against McCabe,’ says Micheál Martin to pals.”

Ms McCann told the tribunal she believes that missing text changed the whole context of the exchange.

She said: “…that “to be honest, I think it’s gross”, if you read the full context, that would suggest what I’m calling gross is the game-playing that’s happening in relation to it and not Sergeant McCabe.”

However.

When the various legal teams presented their final submissions to Judge Charleton, Fíonán Ó Muircheartaigh BL, for Ms O’Reilly, told the tribunal:

“Debbie McCann advised the Tribunal that a text in the sequence of messages furnished by Alison O’Reilly was deleted and that it was held back to show her in a bad light. The actual sequence… shows that this is not so. Alison O’Reilly did not delete any texts.”

Mr Ó Muircheartaigh said the sequence was as follows:

O’Reilly to McCann:

“A highly respected officer held in ‘high regard’ is how judge Guerin describes McCabe.”

McCann to O’Reilly:

“I am fully aware and, to be honest, I think it’s gross. There is a very messed up girl at the heart of it and no one gives a fuck.”

O’Reilly to McCann:

‘Paul Williams and the Indo have an agenda against McCabe’, says Micheál Martin to pals.’

McCann to O’Reilly:

“It’s a farce. Everyone knows, from politicians to cops to journos. It’s an fucking pantomime.”

When Tom Murphy BL, for Ms McCann, gave his final submission on behalf of Associated Newspapers, he did not challenge the sequence of texts as read out by Mr Ó Muircheartaigh.

Mr Ó Muircheartaigh said this about the text exchange when he gave his final submission:

This exchange occurred after the Mail had apparently decided not to run with the story concerning Ms D. This is referred to in the evidence of Debbie McCann to the Tribunal on the 8th June.

This suggests that even after the decision to drop the story by the Mail, Debbie McCann still had a very negative perception of Sergeant McCabe.

The Tribunal heard in evidence on the 8th June that, despite being on maternity leave, Debbie McCann continued to work on stories for her employer.

But the following points are pertinent in that regard: Debbie McCann was the crime correspondent with the Irish Mail on Sunday; she was in regular contact with David Taylor, the head of the Garda Press Office.

Superintendent David Taylor says he negatively briefed journalists as the opportunity arose in relation to Sergeant Maurice McCabe’s agendas and his motivation for revenge against the gardaí.

Superintendent David Taylor says he was in touch with and discussed Debbie McCann’s visit to Ms D’s house with her in or about the time of her visit. The Mail legal team did not challenge this evidence by cross-examination.

Debbie McCann was the first journalist to visit Ms D’s house seeking an interview with Ms D. It is unlikely that Debbie McCann did not discuss Sergeant McCabe with David Taylor.

Debbie McCann was refused to divulge the content of any discussion she had with Superintendent David Taylor about Maurice McCabe or Ms D.

Debbie McCann’s father, Superintendent John McCann, was aware of the historic allegations against Sergeant McCabe.

He told the Tribunal that he did not discuss it with his daughter, and Debbie McCann concurs with that account. It is submitted that these facts suggest that the origin of Debbie McCann’s concerns regarding Sergeant McCabe and Ms D were as a result of Superintendent David Taylor and other senior gardaí.

This contact was indicated in Debbie McCann’s conversations with Alison O’Reilly. The contact is an identifiable factor in the escalation of her interest and her express views of Sergeant McCabe and her excursion to Ms D’s house.

Debbie McCann’s refusal to answer any questions regarding her contacts with David Taylor, notwithstanding his waiver of privilege, suggests the inference that Superintendent Taylor did brief her negatively.

If he did not, there could be no reason for not divulging the content of those conversations. It also suggests that, whatever contacts took place, they were not confined to the formula suggested by Superintendent David Taylor in his evidence.

If Debbie McCann had not been persuaded that Sergeant McCabe was guilty of sexual misconduct with a minor, it is difficult to rationalise how she could have expressed the views she did about Sergeant McCabe.

The texts suggest that she continued to hold those views for some time after her visit to the D household. It seems inescapable also that Debbie McCann learned the detail of the allegations from a Garda source.

In her direct evidence to the Tribunal she stated she knew before her visit to Ms D’s house of the issue of tickling.

The reference to tickling only appeared in the confidential Garda investigation of the complaint, and, as far as we are aware, this was never divulged to third parties or never mentioned prior to Debbie McCann’s evidence to this Tribunal.

Ms McCann was asked about the level of sympathy she displayed for Ms D in her text to Ms O’Reilly from May 9, 2014, when she referred to Ms D as a “very messed up girl”.

Ms McCann put her sympathy down to her very brief exchange with Mrs D at the front door of the D house in early 2014.

She said:

“I had a degree of sympathy for the girl. I didn’t know her. I had met the mother, and, from meeting the mother, I found her to be upset, I found her — I felt that she believed something had happened with her daughter and, based on that, I found that was my opinion on the matter.”

She added:

“She [Mrs D] was very clearly distressed when I knocked on her door, in the sense that she told me that she had been listening to the news and something about hearing McCabe — Sergeant McCabe being referred to as a hero. It was quite clear that she was distressed and upset, and it immediately struck me and I found just from — I found her to be credible and I found her to — that conversation that I had with her, I found that she certainly believed something had happened.”

However, it’s the evidence of Mrs D that she wasn’t upset and she didn’t mention anything about hearing a news item on the radio about Sgt McCabe.

Michael McDowell SC, for Sgt McCabe, had this exchange with Ms McCann.

McDowell: “First of all, did you have any further information, other than the allegation that you had been told about, about your source or sources and your meeting with Mrs. D and her being — her looking upset?”

McCann: “No.”

McDowell: “Well, then, how could you possibly say there is a very messed-up girl at the heart of it and nobody gives an eff, how could you possibly say that?”

McCann: “Because, again, I had — I had come to that opinion based on hearing the allegation and based on meeting a mother at the door.”

McDowell: “But listen, the DPP heard the allegation.”

McCann: Mm-hmm.

McDowell: Superintendent Cunningham heard the allegation.

McCann: Yes.

McDowell: He investigated it.

McCann: Mm-hmm.

McDowell: And the DPP, we now know, said that there was no offence disclosed at all.

McCann: Mm-hmm.

McDowell: So how could you come to the view that this girl had been seriously effed up by abuse in these circumstances?

McCann: No, I didn’t come to the view that she had been abused in any way; I came to the view that she was messed up, yes, I came to that view.

McDowell: By what? By what?

McCann: Based on the fact that her — on meeting her mother, her mother clearly believed something had happened.

In relation to her knowledge of tickling, it was suggested to Ms McCann that she had obtained the Garda file on Sgt McCabe.

Ms McCann said: “No, I don’t. And I have never had sight of any Garda file.”

Asked where she got the notion that “tickling” was involved, Ms McCann said: “I got it from a source.”

Ms McCann was asked if the only reference in the public domain to tickling was in the Garda file would it be fair to assume that her source had access to the garda file?

Ms McCann said she didn’t know.

As mentioned above, Ms O’Reilly and Ms McCann had been close.

Ms O’Reilly said:

“We were good friends and she [McCann] is a good journalist and I just felt that she was being used, and I felt, by using her, they were trying to use our paper. Whoever was telling her this, she believed it. And I just shared with her what Maurice McCabe had told me and how I felt about it, but again, I had no proof of anything other than his word, and he seemed quite credible to me.”

Tomorrow: Maurice McCabe And The Irish Examiner

Previously: Maurice McCabe And INM

Maurice McCabe And INM: Part 1

Maurice McCabe And RTE

Maurice McCabe And The Irish Times

Maurice McCabe And The Irish Times: Part 2

Maurice McCabe And The Sunday Times

Pics: RollingNews

 

It’s time to meet The Muppets…’

Broadcast yesterday on Drivetime on RTÉ Radio 1.

Liam Geraghty (top as a felt frog-loving nipper) writes:

As a life long Muppet devotee, going to see the Muppets play their first ever live European show in London at the weekend was a dream come through. This is my little tribute to Kermit and the gang…

Previously Liam Geraghty on Broadsheet

 

June, 1990.

Scenes from Nelson Mandela’s visit to Ireland after being released from prison held in the aftermath of the Italia ’90 World Cup.

Also featuring Winnie Mandela and Charles Haughey.

Paul McGrath’s da‘ Nelson Mandela, who died in December 2013, would have been 100 today.

Eamon Farrell/Rollingnews

Soneva Jani – a luxury retreat in the Maldives connecting five islands in a shallow lagoon, accessed by a sinuous wooden walkway.

(photo: @alexpreview)

thisisnthappiness

Free Friday?

Tightrope Dublin presents ‘Sketch Night’ in the Pearse Centre, Pearse Street, Dublin 2 Dublin at 8pm.

Neil Curran (him off the telly!) writes:

The thrill of theatre, the attention span of television. Dublin’s own comedy furnace,Dublin’s own comedy furnace, the Tightrope, presents a special once-off night of live sketch comedy.

Think Monty Python, SNL or Key & Peele, but here and now, and right before your eyes.

Featuring unique performances from Lovely Stuff, the Underthings, and the live debut of Youtube sketch group Kings of the Harpies.

Tightrope Dublin

This afternoon.

Naas, County Kildare

Parched land is stunting the growth of cereal crops, say farmers, affecting the yield and in some cases making it only suitable for horse feed. Meanwhile, hay and straw prices have almost doubled.

Can I go up on top, Daddy?

No.

Straw prices almost double as stud farms muscle in on supplies (Independent

Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews

Intricately detailed paper cut portraits of sealife, flowers and animals (along with the initial pencil sketches she incises with a scalpel to create them) by Japanese artist Riki Fukuda.

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Behold the Aston Martin Volante Vision Concept Aircraft – a VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) short-hop ‘urban aircraft’ concept offering a glimpse of the auto manufacturer’s designs on the luxury aerospace market.

Supported by Cranfield Aerospace Solutions and the Rolls Royce aircraft engine company, the plane has a central propellor providing vertical lift with two smaller engines for horizontal motion.

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