Clockwise from top left: Lorraine McCabe, Sgt Maurice McCabe, former Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald, and former Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan
The Disclosures Tribunal released details of who will appear before Judge Peter Charleton for the first 10 days of sittings, after it resumes on January 8.
These witnesses will be asked questions in relation to the tribunal’s term of reference ‘e’.
Specifically, this term of reference is:
“To investigate whether the false allegations of sexual abuse or any other unjustified grounds were inappropriately relied upon by Commissioner O’Sullivan to discredit Sergeant Maurice McCabe at the Commission of Investigation into Certain Matters in the Cavan/Monaghan district under the Chairmanship of Mr Justice Kevin O’Higgins.”
Readers will recall how claims made about Sgt McCabe at the outset of the privately held commission in 2015 were proven to be untrue but the claims and fall-out of the same were never recorded in Justice O’Higgins’ final report.
When the tribunal resumes on Monday, January 8, the first witness will be the Head of Legal Affairs at An Garda Siochana Ken Ruane.
Also appearing on the first day will be Anne Marie Ryan, who was a solicitor with the Chief State Solicitor’s office during the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation.
On the afternoon of Tuesday, January 9, the former Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan will appear.
Ms O’Sullivan may also appear on the morning of Wednesday, January 10.
Colm Smyth, SC, who represented Ms O’Sullivan and other gardai at the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation, will also appear on Wednesday, January 10.
Mr Smyth will be followed by Gareth Byrne, BL, and Michael MacNamee, BL, who were also part of the legal team representing Ms O’Sullivan and other gardai.
The guards whom Mr Smyth, Mr Byrne, Mr MacNamee and Ms Ryan represented at the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation included former Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan, her predecessor Martin Callinan, retired Chief Supt Colm Rooney, Chief Supt Michael Clancy, retired Assistant Commissioner Kieran Kenny, retired Chief Supt Jim Sheridan and Supt Noel Cunningham.
On Thursday, January 11, head of HR at An Garda Siochana John Barrett will give evidence.
Readers will recall how it has been previously reported that the Disclosures Tribunal has already been told that – before the beginning of the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation – a member of Garda management told Mr Barrett “we are going after Maurice at the commission”.
It’s expected that Mr Barrett will give evidence in relation to this claim.
Mr Barrett will be followed by the former Chief Administration Officer Cyril Dunne.
On Friday, January 12, Richard Barrett, of the Attorney General’s office, will appear, followed by Michael Flahive, of the Department of Justice.
Readers may recall Mr Barrett and Mr Flahive’s involvement in the now infamous email that led to calls for former Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald to resign several weeks ago.
This was an email sent by Mr Flahive to Department of Justice officials, including former Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald’s private secretary Christopher Quattrociocchi, on May 15, 2015.
In it, Mr Flahive said he received a call from Mr Barrett and that, according to Mr Barrett, a row had taken place at the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation between the legal counsel for Sgt Maurice McCabe and the former Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan.
In the email, Mr Flahive wrote that Mr Barrett told him the row occurred because the counsel for Ms O’Sullivan wanted to introduce a complaint that the 2006 investigation into Ms D’s ‘dry humping’ allegation against Sgt McCabe wasn’t investigated properly.
Mr Flahive outlined that Michael McDowell, SC for Sgt McCabe, objected to this being raised and asked if Ms O’Sullivan had authorised the argument that this claim was relevant to Sgt McCabe’s motivation.
Mr Flahive explained that Mr Barrett said Ms O’Sullivan had authorised this approach.
Mr Quattrociocchi forwarded this email to to three people, including Ms Fitzgerald.
The other two people were Ms Fitzgerald’s special advisors William Lavelle, a Fine Gael councillor, and Marion Mannion.
After the email emerged, readers may recall, Sgt McCabe told Taoiseach Leo Varadkar the alleged events outlined in this email never happened.
Former General Secretary of the Department of Justice Noel Waters will appear on Monday, January 15.
Readers will recall Mr Waters resigned with immediate effect on November 28 – within hours of Ms Fitzgerald resigning.
On Tuesday, January 16, Mr Quattrociocchi will give evidence, followed by the former Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald.
On Wednesday, Fine Gael councillor Mr Lavelle will appear.
On Thursday, January 18, Sgt Maurice McCabe will give evidence.
Read the schedule for this term of reference here
Previously: Absence Of Malice