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Readers will recall how the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation, led by Judge Kevin O’Higgins, looked into allegations of malpractice made by Sgt Maurice McCabe (top).
After it was published, it emerged that claims made by Noirín O’Sullivan’s senior counsel to the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation – that Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe was acting out of malice – were proven to be untrue during the commission.
However, these details weren’t included in Justice O’Higgins’ findings.
Further to this…
The Disclosures Tribunal, led by Supreme Court Judge Peter Charleton, is looking at allegations that a smear campaign was conducted against Sgt McCabe by former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan – with the knowledge of Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan – as alleged by the former head of the Garda Press Office, Superintendent David Taylor.
Michael Clifford, in this morning’s Irish Examiner, reported that the head of HR in An Garda Siochana John Barrett has told the Disclosures Tribunal that a member of Garda management told him that they were “going after” Sgt Maurice McCabe in the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation.
It’s reported this occurred before the O’Higgins Commission started in 2015.
In an interview earlier today for Eamon Dunphy’s podcast The Stand, Mr Dunphy spoke to Mr Clifford about this claim and about the Disclosures Tribunal.
At one point they talked about the media in respect of the Disclosures Tribunal and about how some journalists have ignored letters sent to them by the tribunal. The letters were a means for the tribunal to get answers about any possible contact they had with Supt Dave Taylor in respect of Sgt McCabe.
It should be noted that Supt Taylor has provided the tribunal with a waiver of any journalistic privilege and is not claiming privilege over his identification as the source of any information to journalists relating to Sgt McCabe, while similar waivers have been signed by Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan and former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.
Mr Clifford said:
“The media are going to come under focus very much and, personally, I think it’ll be a good thing for the media because if there are faults within how the media operates then they’ll be aired and hopefully we’ll be able to address them in some way.”
“But 23 journalists were named the last day, at the tribunal, as having had contact with David Taylor at this time and the tribunal has indicated, there are, what you might call, varying degrees of co-operation being extended from members of the media as to whether or not they’ll help.”
They also discussed the matters pertaining to the Garda College.
The interview can be listened to in full above.
Readers may wish to note the Disclosures Tribunal will start to hear evidence on Tuesday, July 4.
An opening statement about the tribunal and some of the evidence gathered to date can be read in full here.
Previously: Disclosures And Non-Disclosures