From top: Sergeant Maurice McCabe with his wife Lorraine; Social worker Laura Brophy
At the Disclosures Tribunal in Dublin Castle.
The tribunal will hear from Ms D in a private sitting.
Readers will recall Ms D was aged 14 in December 2006 when she made a complaint to gardai that Sgt Maurice McCabe held her above a sofa and made “dry humping” motions towards her during a game of hide and seek when she was aged six or seven in 1998.
The tribunal has already heard that Ms D’s claim was investigated by the DPP who subsequently ordered that no prosecution take place.
It’s also heard that, according to Sgt McCabe’s legal counsel, the DPP queried how Ms D’s parents could have reached the conclusion that a sexual assault had occurred even as described.
Ms D parents – referred to as Mrs D and Mr D, who’s a garda, – will also give evidence today.
Mr D, the tribunal has heard, “lost his position and was reverted to other duties” after Sgt McCabe “caused the institution of serious disciplinary procedure against” Mr D in January 2006 – 11 months before Ms D made her complaint.
The tribunal is not re-examining Ms D’s allegation but it is examining how her allegation became conflated with another much more serious and wholly separate allegation of rape pertaining to a Ms Y when HSE counsellor Laura Brophy sent a referral to Tusla on August 9.
This referral was sent after Ms Brophy held two counselling sessions with Ms D.
Ms Brophy sent this referral, she told the tribunal, on the basis that it was her understanding that Tusla had no knowledge of the 2006 allegation and that, therefore, the matter had not been considered by a social worker.
She said this understanding was based on a phone call she had had with Breige Tinnelly, of Tusla. However Ms Brophy knew the matter had been sent to the DPP.
Michael McDowell SC, for Sgt McCabe, in a previous sitting, asked Ms Brophy if she was aware that in 2006/2007, the gardai were obliged to inform the HSE of all such incidents. Ms Brophy said that this was her confusion at the time and that’s what she wanted to check when she rang Ms Tinnelly.
Mr McDowell argued that Ms Brophy was misinformed by Ms Tinnelly and that “the reality is that a report was going in on this occasion, no matter what” and that Ms Brophy’s claim – that she wouldn’t have sent in the report had been told that the matter was already known to Tusla – “is not supportive on the paper”.
Ms Tinnelly has yet to give evidence.
Mr McDowell also asked Ms Brophy about an article by Conor Lally in The Irish Times from earlier this year, in which Ms D is quoted speaking negatively about her counselling session with Ms Brophy.
At one point in the article, Ms D said:
“I knew by her [Ms Brophy] she was going to report it whether I wanted to or not.”
Brophy told the tribunal that that wasn’t her recollection of their meeting.
Tusla didn’t become aware of Ms Brophy’s mistake until May 14, 2014 – when Ms D called Ms Brophy to inform her of it.
The tribunal has also heard Michael O’Higgins SC, for the Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan, read to the tribunal excerpts of a statement made by Ms D’s father in relation to when he became aware of the false allegation related to his daughter and Sgt McCabe – before it was known that it was a mistake – in May 2014.
“Early May, my superintendent, Leo McGinn, asked me did I have a minute. I went into his office. He handed me a HSE referral form and asked ‘is that your lassie? I said ‘yeah, that is her’. I saw the detail of the allegation, digital penetration. I couldn’t believe it. I got a fierce shock.
“I couldn’t think straight. I felt had she told the counsellor this and not told us. Had this actually happened. She had maybe told the counsellor but had not told us. I was sick to my stomach. I couldn’t wait to get out of the office.”
“I didn’t say anything to Leo McGinn as I didn’t know what was going on.”
Previously: No Recollection