From top: Michael McDowell; Keara McGlone and Carmel McAuley arriving at the Disclosures Tribunal on Thursday
You may recall how allegations against Sgt McCabe were not made known to him for nine years.
Rian counsellor Laura Brophy sent the contaminated retrospective abuse report to Tusla – which is central to the Disclosures Tribunal – following two counselling sessions with Ms D in 2013, on August 9, 2013.
It contained an allegation of rape against another person, referred to as Ms Y – an allegation which had nothing to do with Sgt McCabe.
Ms Brophy said that if she had known that a referral to Tusla had previously been made in relation to Ms D’s 2006 allegation, she wouldn’t have sent the referral.
Earlier this week, at the Disclosures Tribunal, counsel for Sgt McCabe, Michael McDowell argued that as it was known that Ms D’s allegation of 2006 had gone to the DPP – who decided that no charges be brought and observed that it was doubtful the allegations should constitute a crime at all – and that gardai at the time would have been obliged to inform the HSE of all such incidents, this referral should never have been made.
Readers will also recall how earlier this week the tribunal heard that a “private and confidential” letter had been sent by social work team leader Keara McGlone to Superintendent Noel Cunningham on August 15, 2013.
The letter states:
“Dear Superintendent Cunningham, Health Service Executive Child and Family Services have recently received a referral from Rian, a therapeutic counselling service for adult survivors of child sexual abuse. The referral states that Ms. D, now aged 21, has discussed during counselling sessions that she was sexually abused during her childhood by an adult male, M. McC.”
“I note from the social work file that you conducted a criminal investigation into these allegations in 2007. However, it appears the alleged perpetrator was not met with by Health Service Executive at that time.”
“I would like to meet with you to discuss the case prior to making any contact with the alleged perpetrator.”
On Wednesday, Mr McDowell highlighted this letter to point out the inconsistency with Ms Brophy’s decision to send the referral – which turned out to be contaminated with an unrelated allegation.
“I am just wondering, how could it be that you [Laura Brophy] were told that there was no evidence of a social work file on the 8th or 9th of August in the course of a phone conversation, when, a week later, people are examining its contents and relying on its contents to contact Superintendent Cunningham?”
Further to this.
This morning, at the tribunal…
Keara McGlone is giving evidence and is being asked about this letter.
She was asked if she received a response from Supt Cunningham to this letter.
She said no.
She was asked if she received a response from anyone on his behalf.
She said no.
She was asked if she made any further inquiries.
She said no. She said she was awaiting allocation for the case and she had no more involvement with it.
She was asked if she was not anxious about the fact that Sgt McCabe had not been met with someone from the HSE.
She said she was working on some 230 cases at that point and the matter wasn’t one of high priority.
Readers will recall how Sgt McCabe first learned of the circulated allegations made against him on December 29, 2015.
The tribunal continues.
During the continuing questioning of social work team leader Keara McGlone.
Judge Charleton asked Mícheál O’Higgins SC, for the Garda Commissioner, why Supt Noel Cunningham didn’t respond to Ms McGlone’s letter.
Mr O’Higgins explained that, in his statement, Supt Cunningham said he was on leave until September, at which point he returned and opened the letter, and then his father died in October.
Mr Charleton said he couldn’t understand why the death of Supt Cunningham’s father would be relevant saying: “We all have dead relatives”.
Mr O’Higgins said that Supt Cunningham “divined from the letter correctly” that the subject of the letter related to the 2006 allegation and while “that doesn’t excuse the non-answering of the letter and he acknowledges that”, he married up the letter with the remainder of a file he had.
The tribunal continues.