From top: Former Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan; Maurice and Lorraine McCabe this morning.
Former Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan is continuing to give evidence to the Disclosures Tribunal in Dublin Castle about the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation.
Olga Cronin is there and ‘sheet tweeting on the evidence given so far today.
For the first time the public heard Ms O’Sullivan speak about her knowledge of the false rape allegation that was levelled against Sgt McCabe in documentation circulated between Tusla and An Garda Siochana in 2013 and 2014.
Readers will recall how, on May 16, 2014, then Asst Commissioner Kieran Kenny sent a letter to the the then Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan’s office, with the wrong referral attached.
The letter included the line:
“You will note that the allegation identifies the alleged perpetrator as Maurice McCabe.”
Ms O’Sullivan has told the tribunal she can’t remember getting the false referral when it was sent to her by Mr Kenny.
Asst Comm Kenny also told the tribunal he subsequently received an amended/corrected referral but never sent this on to Ms O’Sullivan.
In the summer, Ms O’Sullivan’s former private secretary told the tribunal that he was of the understanding she had read the incorrect referral in May 2014.
Readers will recall it was May 2014 when Sean Guerin SC recommended that a Commission of Investigation be carried out into Sgt McCabe’s allegations of malpractice in Cavan/Monaghan – giving rise to the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation.
The tribunal heard of two letters that Mr Walsh sent to Asst Comm Kenny – in which he clearly stated “I am directed by the Commissioner” – asking for further details on any follow-up action on foot of Mr Kenny’s referral.
Ms O’Sullivan told the tribunal that she read Mr Walsh’s evidence and doesn’t dispute it.
However, she said she had “no recollection of that letter being brought to my attention”.
She repeated: “I don’t remember it”.
Kathleen Leader BL, for the tribunal, asked Ms O’Sullivan, given timing of the O’Higgins Commission and her receipt of the false referral – and the level of interaction between her and the department about Sgt McCabe – if she had ever shared any information about this false referral with the Department of Justice or any Department of Justice officials.
Ms O’Sullivan said she didn’t and it would have been “very inappropriate [to do so] even if I had seen it”.
Ms O’Sullivan said when the issue of the false rape allegation arose in 2017 (presumably because of tribunal), she learned the referral sent to her office was “filed on a different file to deal with Ms D as opposed to McCabe file”.
She said, in light of referral being in Ms D’s file as opposed to Sgt McCabe’s, that perhaps its relevance to Sgt McCabe was “not immediate” to her.
The tribunal continues.
Olga’s tweets can be followed here