Tag Archives: Martin Callinan


From top: Sgt Maurice McCabe and his wife Lorraine; former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan

This morning.

From 10am.

Former Commissioner Martin Callinan will resume giving evidence at the Disclosures Tribunal.

The tribunal is examining claims by Supt Dave Taylor that he was instructed in mid-2013 to negatively brief journalists about whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe and to let them know he was motivated by revenge as a consequence of an abuse allegation made by the daughter of a colleague.

This allegation was made in 2006 – but pertained to 1998 – and it was dismissed by the DPP in 2007 as having no foundation.

As part of that campaign, Supt Taylor has told the tribunal that, in addition to the abuse allegation matter, part of the briefing was to also spread the idea that Sgt McCabe didn’t engage with an internal Garda investigation into penalty points by Assistant Commissioner John  O’Mahony.

This was a claim made by celebrity solicitor Gerald Kean on RTE’s Marian Finucane Show on Sunday, January 26, 2014 – after then Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan appeared before PAC on Thursday, January 23, 2014, and before Sgt Maurice McCabe appeared before the same on Tuesday, January 28.

Mr Kean had received a briefing from Mr Callinan before the show and has told the tribunal that Mr Callinan instructed him not to reveal him [Callinan] as his source of information – a claim Mr Callinan denies.

Mr Callinan has told the tribunal that he didn’t tell Mr Kean anything that wasn’t already in the public domain.

Sgt McCabe and former Garda John Wilson sued over the comments.

Further to this…

Yesterday the tribunal heard that on January 9, 2013, Assistant Commissioner Derek Byrne emailed Assistant Commissioner John O’Mahony.

Since October 2012, Mr O’Mahony had been leading Operation Squeeze which was investigating the penalty points controversy internally for An Garda Siochana.

His report was eventually published in May 2013.

In the January 2013 email, Mr Byrne told Mr O’Mahony that he had received several telephone calls over the previous few days from a Bernard McCabe.

Mr Byrne identified him as the “uncle of the whistleblower“.

Mr Byrne further stated that Bernard McCabe alleged he had a lot of information about the whistleblower and wanted to meet a member of An Garda Siochana to discuss the matter.

Mr Byrne also wrote:

“I told him I was not the appropriate person to speak with as you had been appointed by the Commissioner [Martin Callinan] “to investigate issues raised by the whistleblower”.

Mr Byrne said he told Bernard McCabe that Assistant Commissioner O’Mahony would arrange contact with Mr McCabe.

The tribunal then saw an email dated January 10, 2013 from Asst Commissioner O’Mahony to Detective Chief Superintendent Padraig Kennedy of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation which, the tribunal was told, deals with serious crime.

In this email, Mr O’Mahony wrote that, further to their telephone conversation, “you [Det Chief Supt Kennedy] should make contact with Mr McCabe and listen to what he has to offer. Report in course”.

The tribunal then saw Detective Chief Supt Padraig Kennedy emailed Detective Superintendent George Kyne on May 17, 2013.

The two men subsequently visited Bernard McCabe’s house and spoke to him and his son Fintan.

At the time of the visit, the tribunal heard, Det Supt Kyne was involved in a very serious murder investigation in Dundalk.

Det Supt Kyne then directed a detective garda to prepare a report on this visit.

This report document, headlined “Operation Squeeze” detailed how Bernard and Fintan McCabe alleged that two people who had been arrested for drunk driving had got off, on account of an interference by Sgt McCabe.

Michael McDowell SC, for Sgt McCabe, explained to the tribunal that the allegations were investigated and found to be “utterly bogus”.

It should be noted that, at the aforementioned meeting of the Public Accounts Committee on January 23, 2014 – in which the then Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan made his “disgusting” remark – Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald asked Assistant Commissioner O’Mahony why Sgt McCabe hadn’t been consulted when he was carrying out his investigation into the quashing of penalty points.

Mr O’Mahony told the committee:

“First and foremost the documentation provided to the Commissioner and subsequently to me was unsigned and unattributed. I proceeded with my examination on the basis I was dealing with anonymous allegations.”

Hmmm.

Meanwhile…

The tribunal also saw another letter written by another Assistant Commissioner Michael Finn, on December 15, 2016, in which he said he “was tasked with meeting Bernard McCabe”.

He wrote:

On the 15th December 2016, I was tasked with meeting Mr Bernard McCabe, uncle of Sergeant McCabe, in relation to assertions he was making in relation to persons that he alleged had got off with various road traffic offences.”

“I was with Bernard McCabe for approximately two hours.”

“Bernard McCabe handed me copies of newspaper cuttings in relation to Maurice McCabe and Mr. Shatter. He did not wish to commit anything to writing. He made assertions that Sergeant McCabe was influential in letting people off with road traffic offences going back 15 years. I subsequently made a memo of my meeting with him. I was of the opinion that Bernard McCabe has issues with Sergeant McCabe.”

“And that he wanted An Garda Síochána to investigate Sergeant McCabe but had no material to support his assertions.

I advised Bernard McCabe to contact me again if he had any more specific information or if he wanted to pursue a complaint. I also advised him that he could go to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission.

“I was satisfied that the information/material I received from Bernard McCabe wouldn’t merit proceeding with a formal investigation against Maurice McCabe and I made Bernard McCabe aware of that fact.”

Asst Commissioner John O’Mahony is scheduled to give evidence to the tribunal.

Meanwhile…

The tribunal has also heard that a document compiling matters pertaining to Sgt McCabe was created in June 2013 by Mr Callinan’s then private secretary Frank Walsh.

Mr Walsh went on to become the private secretary to Mr Callinan’s successor Noirin O’Sullivan.

Mr McMcDowell called it a “compendium of bad news about Sgt McCabe” as it stretches back many years.

Mr Callinan said he doesn’t know “the provenance of the document. I don’t know who commissioned it, I don’t know who compiled it, I don’t know anything about it”.

The tribunal continues.

Leah Farrell/Rollingnews

UPDATE:

From top: Anne Harris; yesterday’s Sunday Times

The Disclosures Tribunal – which is examining allegations of a smear campaign against whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe – is to resume next Monday, April 30.

The evidence set to be given over the following couple of months is understood to largely involve journalists and media outlets.

Last June, the tribunal released a statement outlining some details of what certain people had told it at that point.

At the time, the tribunal said the former editor of the Sunday Independent Anne Harris told its investigators:

“In the years 2013 and 2014, matters raised by whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe, such as the termination by senior gardaí of fixed penalty points, as well as allegations of murder and abductions not properly investigated, came to prominence.

From the first instance that the Sunday Independent began to report on these matters, certain journalists came to my office to warn me off Sergeant McCabe.

I was given varying accounts of an alleged case of child sex abuse by him, which was apparently being investigated.

This was repeated several times by a very reputable journalist, one who had shown great courage in exposing incidents of corruption and terrorism. I made enquiries and was satisfied that the matter had been investigated by the DPP, and the complaint found to be without grounds.

“The Sunday Independent continued to report on Sergeant McCabe’s concerns and the consequent treatment of him.

In 2013, the allegation that Sergeant McCabe as a “paedophile” was stated in my office by senior executive from the wider “Group” editorial hierarchy of Independent Newspapers.

“I am certain that a whispering smear campaign was being conducted and that the media were being used.

“The pressure on me was less about publishing the sex abuse allegation – it would have been difficult within the laws of libel – but had the clear purpose of discrediting him, and therefore censoring the issues he was raising.”

Further to this…

In yesterday’s Sunday Times and in relation to Ms Harris’s statement to the tribunal…

Mark Tighe and John Mooney reported:

The INM editorial executive, who still works at one of the group’s newspapers, has told the tribunal that he does not recall making such a comment. He has attacked Harris’s motivation and accused her of being a disgruntled former editor.

…Harris told The Sunday Times she decided to name the editorial executive to Peter Charleton’s inquiry because its investigators had asked her to identify those who had passed on information about McCabe.

“When I subsequently considered the timing of the remark, I actually thought the editorial executive himself might be willing to provide useful information to the tribunal. He made this comment in late 2014. I have never shown any animosity towards this editorial executive. I genuinely thought he might have been willing to help the tribunal,” said Harris.

I believe the protection of journalistic sources is paramount, except when they are being used to detract from a good man’s character. I believe that abuse of journalist privilege inspires no confidence in journalism.”

Meanwhile…

Former Garda press Officer Dave Taylor (left) with former Garda Commissioner Nóirin O’Sullivan in 2014

In yesterday’s Sunday Business Post

Francesca Comyn reported:

“Former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan claims whistleblower David Taylor blamed Nóirín O’Sullivan for having him arrested and said he would “bring her down” because of what she had done to him.

“Callinan has made the claim in a statement to the Disclosures Tribunal. He alleges that after he retired as head of the force in May 2014, Supt Taylor visited him at home on several occasions and expressed anger and disappointment that O’Sullivan, who was commissioner at the time, transferred him from the Garda press office to the traffic division.

“…Billing records from her [former Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan’s] mobile phone will show numerous contacts between her and well-known crime and security journalists between July 2012 and May 2014 when she was deputy commissioner.

“She made 33 phone calls to well-known reporter Paul Williams including conversations lasting up to 20 minutes. The tribunal is expected to ask her to explain ten contacts made with Williams in February, March and April 2014.

“In March that year, Williams wrote two articles after interviewing Ms D, the daughter of the garda who made the sexual allegation against McCabe in 2006, later found by the DPP to be groundless.

“…The former commissioner’s phone records for the same time period show further media contacts. Over the 23-month period, she called RTÉ’s crime correspondent Paul Reynolds 20 times and Tom Brady, security editor with the Irish Independent, 74 times.”

Ex-INM editor Anne Harris was ‘warned’ about whistleblower Maurice McCabe (The Sunday Times, Mark Tighe and John Mooney)

Whistleblower: ‘I will bring her down’ (Sunday Business Post, Francesca Comyn)

Previously: Disclosures And Non-Disclosures

Clockwise from top left: Marian Finucane; Gerald Keane and former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan

Tomorrow morning.

The Disclosures Tribunal will resume with celebrity solicitor Gerald Kean taking questions first.

Sgt Maurice McCabe and former Garda John Wilson sued over comments made by Mr Kean during a panel discussion on the Marian Finucane Show on RTÉ Radio One on Sunday, January 26, 2014.

The radio appearance came two days after the then Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan met Fianna Fail TD and then chairman of the Public Accounts Committee John McGuinness in a car park on the Naas Road – Friday, January 24, 2014.

At this time there were discussions within PAC over whether or not Sgt McCabe would go before it to discuss the quashing of penalty points, following the publication of a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General into the matter in October 2013.

Mr Callinan had appeared before the PAC on Thursday, January 23, 2014, to discuss the same report – which found that one in five motorists avoided penalty points because their cases were not pursued. For 2011 and 2012 – the C&AG found approximately 2,900 cases were terminated for around 700 vehicles, with three or more cases terminated each.

Mr McGuinness claims at the car park meeting of January 24, 2014, Mr Callinan told him Sgt McCabe abused his children and nieces and that he was making a “grave mistake” in relation to the PAC.

Mr Callinan denies Mr McGuinness’ claims.

In October 2013, the then Minister for Justice Alan Shatter told the Dail that Sgt McCabe and ex-Garda Wilson had not cooperated with an internal garda investigation into the quashing of penalty points by Assistant Commissioner John O’Mahoney – which found there was no widespread quashing of points.

In March 2014, Mr Shatter apologised in the Dail for making this claim.

The tribunal has already heard that after Sgt McCabe heard Mr Kean’s comments, he wrote to Mr Kean and that Sgt McCabe received a letter back from Mr Kean.

These letters haven’t been shown to the tribunal yet.

Further to this…

The transcript from the Marian Finucane Show (the other panellists were then Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte, former Assistant Commissioner Martin Donnellan, former editor of the Sunday Tribune and managing destination editor with the Lonely Planet Noirin Hegarty):

Gerald Kean: “I am very, very clear in my opinion and I think it’s reflected by Mary Carr in the Mail [Irish Mail on Sunday] today that matters of criminality should be left within An Garda Siochana to deal with and if, as some political commentators and media persona have said this week, they don’t have confidence in the Garda Siochana, then we’ve a really serious problem because I do have confidence in the Garda Siochana. And I do think that matters of criminality, where there’s allegations of criminality have to be dealt with within the force.”

Marian Finucane:But the force investigating the force?

Kean: “Well that’s what the force is there for. Let me put it this way to you. And I mean I’m not sure, I don’t understand why this hasn’t been highlighted in the media. If we take, for example, the one that I have an interest in, these penalty points and the role of the Commissioner of An Garda Siochana [Martin Callinan] there.

“There’s two words – I know Noirin and Martin were talking beforehand about – first of all, you know, this criticism of him saying before the Public Accounts Committee that it’s ‘my force’ and this – well, with all due respects, the head of the Armed Forces calls ‘his men’.

“Nobody’s suggesting the Commissioner is at home with the Deputy Commissioner [Noirin O’Sullivan] and Assistant Commissioners sitting around  the fire planning a coup de tat. I mean ‘my force’ denotes pride, it does.

“And I did my usual yesterday, I contacted guards all over the country. I spoke to 13/14 members of the force, now they’re mostly guards – one inspector and one sergeant – and they basically are saying, there’s nothing wrong with that.

“It is his force, he’s the leader, he’s not suggesting, for one moment, it’s not a very important organisation that’s there for the benefit and at the behest of the State – of course he’s not. It’s just a turn of phrase.

“And then I know there’s this question about him referring to ‘disgusting’. You know, when you put that in context, what he’s saying is that he’s always stated, and I’ve been in the presence, I only met the man personally once, so he’s not somebody I know that well, but I know at one function he advocated, in no uncertain terms, the importance of whistleblowers and the importance of protecting them but…”

Finucane: “But yet, but yet, there was fierce undermining of…sorry, Noirin, you wanted to come in on…”

Kean: “Well, yeah, the undermining is the fact that when whistleblowers, first of all, do not co-operate in any way shape or form with the investigation, the investigative committee under Inspector [sic, Assistant Commissioner ] John O’Mahoney] who’s a very respected man, they didn’t co-operate with that at all. They go in, they breach the Data Protection Act, that’s clear. I mean I think that is clear.

And from the information that I have, it looks as if they breached Data Protection, which is a criminal offence, and then what they do is they spoonfeed this information to certain Independents in Dail Eireann, instead of the proper practice, procedure. I don’t believe for one minute that the Minister, or sorry, that the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners and Assistant Commissioners are going to condone for one moment any illegality that takes place within An Garda Siochana.”

Finucane: “Gerald? Do you remember Donegal?”

Kean: “Yes, I do. Yeah I do. But I’m not saying, sorry, I didn’t say there’s no wrongdoings within An Garda Siochana.”

Finucane: “Yeah.”

Kean: “I said I don’t accept that the Minister, or sorry that the Commissioner, the Deputy Commissioners, the Assistant Commissioners, all sit around and said ‘let’s bury this, let’s bury this’. I don’t accept that.”

Noirin Hegarty: “I would say to Gerald, I would disagree completely. Look at the facts. These whistleblowers did go through the proper procedures within the gardai. It would be generally viewed that it was somewhat of a whitewash internally in terms of how they dealt with this, then they went to elected members of Dail Eireann. Now they’re before the Public Accounts Committee with information. There isn’t transparency in this.

“If you’re the leader of an organisation, like the Commissioner of the Gardai and somebody comes to you to give you information that you don’t want to hear and your first instinct, or even your second or third instinct, is to discredit that person or to shut them up in some way, then your part of the problem and I think what we saw this week with Martin Callinan was that he may well be part of the problem.

“He talked about ‘my force’ and I don’t agree with you, the head of the Armed Forces doesn’t refer to ‘his men’. Number one, it’s not just men anymore, it’s men and women.

Finucane: “They forget that.”

Hegarty: “They do forget that. But he also referred to the whistleblowers  as ‘disgusting’. Now this is highly charged, personal language – what is disgusting about bringing into the public arena something you feel very strongly about.

“In fact , the price that the whistleblowers have paid has been enormous. John Wilson was effectively forced out of the gardai and the sergeant [Maurice McCabe] has been named now and people know who he is and I can only imagine that there are reprisals internally are there. John Wilson had a rat tied to his door so his family have paid an enormous price for him coming out and saying, he didn’t have to do this at any point.

“And I think what you’re seeing is that culture eats strategy for breakfast. So no matter what you’re saying about internal garda procedures, at this point there needs to be some kind of an independent inquiry to restore faith.

“Because why should there be a golden circle that get their penalty points written off.

Finucane: “Martin Donnellan…”

Hegarty:Because you’re a celebrity , because you’re a journalist, or because you’re whoever, it’s wrong. It should be one law for everyone.”

Kean:But the Commissioner said that. The Commissioner said that.

Hegarty: “But, in practice, it’s not what’s happening. Look at the figures, Gerard. You see. For example, seat belts, something like 500 penalty points for seat belts written off two years ago, then it went down to 300, there were none last year – nobody had their penalty points quashed for not wearing their seatbelt. Now if that doesn’t tell you that there was a problem, and that people are waking up to it, what does?”

Finucane: “Well, can I just come to Martin Donnellan on that, because I mean the point that Gerard made and that I believe is universally accepted is there is respect for the gardai, there is a desire for them to do their job, etc, etc, etc. But they have to be seen to as well, would you not say?”

Martin Donnellan: “Well, you know, the gardai, since 1922, they operate on the moral authority of the people of this country – there’s no doubt about that. So that’s the way they’re founded and set up. And I trained back in the late 1960s and during the training and during our mentoring out in stations, we were encouraged to use our discretion and when we went in, poor judges brought people in for various offences, minor and serious, but generally minor in the District Court, and you had some young fella for his first offence, and it might be a small amount of cannabis, it might be breaking a window and the judge used, the judiciary used discretion all the time.

“And the judge would say to the gardai and it was said to me many a time: ‘do you think we should give this guy a break here. If I give him a criminal conviction, he may not realise it now but it is going to come again’ him later on in life – he’s going to have a criminal conviction and that is the way I came up through the job.

“I saw discretion being used very wisely and it’s part of what the gardai do. Now. Ok. We’ll come along now to the penalty points and the, the, you see, as I look at this from outside now. Five and a half years gone now…”

Finucane: “You’re still part of the family.”

Donnellan: “I am indeed. And maybe fell out with them a little bit at times and, you know, but I learned the best form of success is revenge anyway. A very wise man said that to me. But discipline, we’re a disciplined, the gardai are are disciplined organisation. Now, it’s OK, like I don’t know Mr Wilson, and I don’t know the sergeant [Maurice McCabe] so I don’t know how they got to the situation or how it developed to where we are now – where we have. Now. I read a paper the other day with shock, where it said that up to 200  officers are, we’ll say, cancelling notices corruptly, now that’s a very, just think about that for a minute, that’s unlawful. It’s unlawful, it’s corruption, it’s unlawful.”

Finucane: “But do you take Noirin’s point?..”

Donnellan: “I see Noirin’s point..”

Finucane: “…that when the whisteblowers came out in the open, suddenly the number goes down to zero.”

Donnellan: “Correct, yeah, and I agree. Even [Assistant Commissioner] John O’Mahoney has been mentioned here already. He did an investigation. He’s one of the best and most competent investigators in this country. I worked with that man at various ranks but the Commissioner put him in charge and I could see why. But the people that made the allegations, what I would like to know is, had they the full facts? They downloaded stuff from computers, ok? They went then and they made assumptions. This, that these were incorrectly or unlawfully…”

Finucane: “Well they noticed patterns.”

Donnellan: “Of course they did. But did they go behind the issuing or the cancellation of them? Now, I agree with you. If some-…”

Finucane:They were knocked off PULSE, as I understand, straight away – so that is circulating wagons. And I mean, I’m quoting [Judge Peter] Smithwick when he talked in his [tribunal] report about within the gardai, loyalty was prized above honesty..”

Donnellan: “Well, I can say this much to you, as far as I’m concerned, and the people I, I prosecuted, arrested guards and prosecuted them and jailed them. That was part of what I did. I did internal investigations aswell.

“Now, OK, Judge Smithwick said loyalty took precedence over honesty, I think that is not correct. He’s entitled to his opinion, he sat at that [tribunal] for five years, he’s an eminent member of the judiciary, but that’s a very big reach I do think. Because…”

Finucane: “But you see that is what people are saying, some people, not all people, they’re saying about the Commissioner.”

Donnellan: “I know it is, listen I don’t want to go talking about the Commissioner or his choice of language or whatever. But. Listen. We’re a disciplined force, I do not believe that Garda Wilson and the sergeant were effectively dealt with in the first place. Unless that they’re saying ‘well, listen, I’m going to go further with this’. I heard a saying a long, long time ago when we’d be dealing with somebody, he’d say ‘listen, if I go down on this, I’ll bring a lot with me’. So maybe they wanted to go to a higher forum…”

Finucane:You cannot allege that against them either.”

Donnellan: “No, I am not alleging, I’m not alleging but..’

Finucane: “That can’t be done..”

Hegarty: “That’s why we need…”

Talk over each other

Pat Rabbitte: “I don’t think Marian that we can judge the issues here today. The issue is whether or not it’s properly before the Public Accounts Committee. I agree with what Martin says about discretion in all walks of life, including the Garda Siochana and I understand what he’s saying as well about what the mood in the country and amongst the gardai was when he was a young garda growing up in the force, so to speak. The past is a foreign country, the gardai and the rest of us now operate in a more complex and difficult environment and the issue is, ought the Public Accounts Committee examine this question.

“And it seems to be, since the day, the Secretary General of the Department of Justice handed over the job of Accounting Officer to the head of the Garda Siochana, that he is responsible to the Public Accounts Committee for monies misspent, or monies badly spent or monies forgone or not collected on behalf of the Exchequer so, that much is very clear.

“Now the issue is narrowing it down to whether or not the Public Accounts Committee ought to be entitled to take witnesses and whether in particular take the witnesses that are the whistleblowers in this case. I don’t know what Gerald’s opinion is, as a lawyer.

“My own opinion is that: so long as the committee has satisfied itself that they have a credible witness and he or she, he in this case, follows a legitimate, answers, follows a line of answering legitimately questions that are put to him, that he is entitled to be heard.”

He’s not entitled to use it as a platform to promote an agenda of his own, if he had such an agenda or to make allegations…”

Finucane: “Well allegations against named people would be outrageous…”

Rabbitte: “…against particular colleagues who wouldn’t be there to defend themselves. That, it seems to me, would not be permitted. And but, is the Public Accounts Committee entitled to take evidence if they have settled in their own minds that he’s a credible witness, and that they’re entitled to ask legitimate questions relating to monies forgone. It seems to me they are.”

Whether or not there has been any criminality, as Gerald says, is a separate issue for a different forum. But in terms of whether monies have been forgone, that ought to have been collected for the State, it seems to me the Public Accounts Committee are entitled to pursue it.”

Kean: “I think the important thing is that, we all agree, and I think it’s accepted, that the vast majority members of An Garda Siochana here deserve our support and confidence. But it annoys me when people are not getting the facts right.”

“And Noirin is simply, absolutely, totally incorrect when she says that the whistleblowers have done everything they can within An Garda Siochana, on this matter that’s been investigated, it’s just simply wrong. She’s believing what she’s reading in the papers.”

The fact of the matter is that Inspector [Assist Comm] John O’Mahoney who we accept is a wonderful, I’ve never met the man but I’ve heard great things about him. But he was set up to investigate this and these two gentlemen…”

Finucane: “I’ve no doubt the other men  are wonderful men too, do you know what I mean?”

Kean: “I’ve no doubt about that aswell. I’m not denying that at all. But what I’m saying is they did not cooperate with that investigation. And by the way, just so you’re aware of these…as a result of John O’Mahoney’s investigation, three or four members of the force have been sent forward for disciplinary action.

“Secondly, many new reforms have been put in place, based on his, which were needed, we’re not saying, nobody is suggesting, of course there were wrongdoings. But in addition to that, which people don’t know, is the anti-fraud mechanism which is in place has sent four relatively senior members of An Garda Siochana files to the DPP for criminal prosecution.”

Finucane: “But you sound like that’s outrageous? That is the way it is supposed to be..”

Kean: “No, no..It should be that way, yes, but what I’m saying is, you’re absolutely right.  And every one of them who’ve done a wrongdoing should go. But what I’m saying is that for some reason ‘it’s as if there’s a whitewash here’, nobody is aware that they are trying to do something and that’s under the Garda Commissioner, and I think that reflects badly on the rank and file members if there is just one-way criticism of An Garda Siochana. I believe that An Garda Siochana are well able to deal.

“And if, by the way, at the end of that, they don’t get a say, and if they don’t, if the whistleblowers, who have a very legitimate right to air their grievances, if they don’t go through the proper channels to get that, well absolutely fire on ahead.”

Hegarty: “But on the one hand, Gerald, you’re saying the whistleblowers have an absolutely legitimate right to air their grievances, on the other hand it’s clear that this hasn’t been dealt with.

“You’re speaking as if this is done, it’s over, it has been investigated thoroughly and we can move on from here.

“Clearly, we can’t.”

Kean: “Nobody said…”

Hegarty: “What I’m saying is, nobody, well you are…”

Kean: “I’m saying that you can’t, you can’t have it, in fact I’m saying the very opposite, you can’t investigate it thoroughly when an inspector is set up to investigate and the two whistleblowers don’t cooperate, they don’t cooperate…”

Previously: The Commissioner, The ‘Knacker’s Horse’ And The Two ‘Headbangers’

Rollingnews

 


Top: Former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan before PAC on January 23, 2014; Mr Callinan, former General Secretary of the Department of Justice Brian Purcell and former Minister for Justice Alan Shatter

This afternoon.

At the Disclosures Tribunal.

It has heard that the then General Secretary of the Department of Justice Brian Purcell texted the then Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan on the day that Mr Callinan appeared before PAC on January 23, 2014

This was the PAC meeting when Mr Callinan made his infamous “disgusting” remark.

At 3.02pm, on that day, Mr Purcell texted Mr Callinan:

“Well done, exceptional performance under fire. Brian.”

This was 12 minutes after the meeting finished.

Readers will recall how, the following day, January 24, 2014, Mr Callinan met Fianna Fail TD and then chairman of the Public Accounts Committee John McGuinness in a Dublin car park.

This is Mr McGuinness’s account of that meeting:

“I arrived in the car park, as arranged, and I presumed that we were going to meet in the hotel, so when I saw the Commissioner approach, I was in the process of getting out of the car, but he in turn went around quickly to the passenger side of my car and sat in.

And then he immediately got into the conversation to do with the Maurice McCabe and the issues.

“I suggested to him at the beginning of this conversation, as I did the day before, that like any other employer that perhaps the best way out of this was for him to talk directly to Sergeant Maurice McCabe and to determine what exactly the issues were and resolve it that way, without it having to, you know, go into the public realm and him dealing — trying to deal with it that way.

“And it was at that stage that he said to me that no, it had gone beyond all of that and that there was issues to do with Maurice McCabe and his behaviour and he suggested that there was — he had sexually abused his family and an individual, that he was not to be trusted, that I had made a grave error in relation to the Public Accounts Committee and the hearings because of this and that I would find myself in serious trouble.”

He gave me to believe that there was an investigation ongoing in relation to the allegations and that they were at an advanced stage and I immediately presumed from that that Sergeant Maurice McCabe would be charged with something or other.

“…I believe that he said that there was a file, I presumed that this was a file that was going to whatever prosecutor would be involved in the case.”

Mr Callinan denies this.

Meanwhile…

On that same day…

At 5.44pm…

Mr Purcell texted Mr Callinan saying:

“Martin, know u are en route to Dundalk, can u call me if possible, just wondering how u got on with JMcG. Brian.”

The tribunal heard today that the Public Accounts Committee eventually made the decision to have Sgt McCabe go before it and discuss the quashing of penalty points, in private, on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 with Sgt McCabe ultimately giving evidence the following Thursday, January 30, 2014.

Earlier: The Commissioner, The ‘Knacker’ And The Two ‘Headbangers’

From top: Fromer Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, John Wilson; Maurice McCabe

The Disclosures Tribunal will resume at 9.30am with Fianna Fáil TD and former chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) John McGuinness will continue to give evidence.

Olga Cronin will be live tweeting for the sheet here.

After Mr McGuinness, Garda Paul Hynes – who was former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan’s driver – will give evidence.

Scheduled to follow Garda Hynes are the Comptroller & Auditor General Seamus McCarthy and Fine Gael TD John Deasy.

As he gave evidence yesterday, Mr McGuinness recalled events running up to and including January 2014 when, he claimed, there were rumours swirling around Leinster House about Sgt Maurice McCabe.

At this time, Sgt McCabe was attempting to unveil the quashing of penalty points – among other matters – and was scheduled to appear in a private sitting of the PAC on January 30, 2014.

Separately, the then Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan was not pleased that Sgt McCabe had given documentation to the PAC and was scheduled to go before it.

Mr McGuinness, a Carlow/Kilkenny TD, claimed that on two occasions in January 2014, he witnessed Mr Callinan referring to Sgt McCabe as someone who abused children.

Mr McGuinness claims after a meeting of the PAC on January 23, 2014 – during which Mr Callinan made his infamous “disgusting” remark – that Mr Callinan referred to Sgt McCabe as someone who “fiddles with kids” while referring to both Sgt McCabe and Garda Wilson as “fucking headbangers”.

In an article about this PAC meeting by Irish Times journalist Miriam Lord, in February 2017,  Ms Lord recalled being among the gardai and politicians who milled around after the meeting finished. She wrote:

“I remarked to somebody that I wasn’t at all impressed by his [Callinan’s] attitude and evidence.

“I got back a tirade in the most colourful of language about Maurice McCabe and what an awful person he was and if I only knew the half of it I wouldn’t be so quick to criticise the commissioner.

The “half of it” included insinuations about inappropriate sexual contact with a minor. This didn’t come as news – the rumours were already floating around.

Mr McGuinness also claims that, a day later, on January 24, 2014 – when they met in the car park of a hotel on the Naas Road – Mr Callinan told him “[Sgt McCabe] had sexually abused his family and an individual, that he was not to be trusted…”

Mr Callinan is denying he said what Mr McGuinness alleges on both January 23 or January 24, 2014.

The tribunal also heard yesterday that Mr McGuinness told his party leader Micheál Martin of the car park meeting not long after it occurred. Mr Martin has told the tribunal that in February 2014:

“…he [McGuinness] mentioned that a short while previously he had met the then Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan in a hotel car park and I recall him mentioning that the Commissioner had told him that Sergeant McCabe was not to be trusted and that he was a child abuser. He gave no further details.”

This notification to Mr Martin was two months before Mr Martin met Ms D with the assistance of Irish Independent journalist Paul Williams.

This week and next, the witnesses are expected to be mainly asked about matters in relation to 2012, 2013 and 2014 and the penalty points controversy over those years.

Media reports – and contacts pertaining to these reports – are also likely to be examined, given Supt Dave Taylor has told the tribunal he was instructed to negatively brief journalists about Sgt McCabe by Mr Callinan with the knowledge of the then deputy commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan.

As it stands, both Sgt McCabe and Mr McGuinness have told the tribunal that Supt Taylor told them that this smear campaign was circulated to journalists, some senior gardai and certain politicians via text messages.

But Supt Taylor denies telling them he communicated negatively about Sgt McCabe via text and, instead, it was though word of mouth.

As the next week’s witnesses will be discussing matters pertaining to the period in which Sgt McCabe and former Garda Wilson were trying highlight the quashing of penalty points and the media…

The following is a timeline of these matters in 2012, 2013 and 2014…

[Below that are comments that Sgt McCabe has made about certain media reports in relation to him during those years and some actions that he’s taken…]

January 2012: Sgt Maurice McCabe went to the Garda Confidential Recipient, Oliver Connolly, with a dossier of 12 complaints alleging Garda malpractice and incompetence regarding serious cases of criminality.

The dossier included allegations of malpractice and incompetence in relation to the case of Mary Lynch – a taxi driver who was assaulted by Jerry McGrath who went on to kill Sylvia Roche Kelly. Mr Connolly handed over details of these complaints to the then Minister for Justice Alan Shatter, who then handed the dossier over to the then Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.

GSOC investigated a section of the Sylvia Roche Kelly case and it recommended that disciplinary action be taken against two officers. But Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan declined to discipline the two officers.

February 2012: It’s understood Mr Connolly spoke to Mr Shatter and told him about the whistleblowers and that Mr Connolly met with Mr Shatter again before Easter and discussed the allegations.

February 9, 2012: Mr Connolly met Sgt McCabe, who taped their conversation. They discussed Sgt McCabe’s complaints. Mr Connolly tells Sgt McCabe that no further action will be taken on his complaints. Mr Connolly also warns Sgt McCabe: ‘I’ll tell you something Maurice – and this is just personal advice to you – if Shatter thinks you’re screwing him, you’re finished.’ Mr Connolly advised Sgt McCabe to avoid going to the media and to go through the courts system. Mr Connolly assures Sgt McCabe that Minister Shatter looked into Sgt McCabe’s complaints in detail.

March 2012: Garda John Wilson and Sgt Maurice McCabe make a complaint to Mr Connolly about the quashing of penalty points. Mr Connolly gave this complaint to the Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.

May 2012: Sgt McCabe sends Mr Connolly more information, alleging the quashing of penalty points.

July 2012: Sgt McCabe gives Taoiseach Enda Kenny information of alleged misconduct concerning penalty points and offered to meet Mr Shatter, with his legal team, including former Attorney General and former Minister for Justice Michael McDowell, and to provide him with files and information. Mr Kenny replies to Sgt McCabe and says Mr Shatter would deal with his request.

August 2012: Sgt McCabe writes to Mr Kenny again, in relation to the penalty points.

September 2012: Sgt McCabe writes to Mr Kenny again.

December 4, 2012: After receiving no response from the Garda Commissioner, the two garda whistleblowers approach then United Left Alliance TD Clare Daly to voice their concerns to her.

United Left Alliance TDs Clare Daly and Joan Collins use parliamentary privilege in the Dáil to name Judge Mary Devins as someone who had their penalty points quashed.

December 7, 2012: Commissioner Callinan issues a press statement in relation to the penalty points, saying he has appointed Assistant Commissioner John O’Mahoney to look into the allegations before adding: “There is no question of what has been described as a culture of non-enforcement of penalties being tolerated by An Garda Síochána.”

December 11, 2012: Under privilege in the Dáil, United Left Alliance TD, Joan Collins names several high-profile people who had penalty points quashed including rugby player Ronan O’Gara, Irish Independent crime reporter Paul Williams and Judge Mary Devins, again.

December 14, 2012: Sgt McCabe is visited by Chief Supt Mark Curran.

Sgt McCabe secretly records his conversation with Chief Supt Curran.

Reading out a document, Chief Supt Curran told Sgt McCabe:

“Correspondence from commissioner.

“Direction to desist searching Pulse and dissemination to a third party, of sensitive personal data regarding cancellation of fixed charged notices.

“The commissioner understands that you have been searching and printing out from pulse documents that contain sensitive personal data regarding the cancellation of the fixed charge notices.

“The commissioner further understands that it is your intention to provide a third party with that documentation. It is noted that sensitive personal data in relation to fixed charge cancellation have already appeared in the public domain.

“The commissioner has sought the advice of the Attorney General and has consulted with the Data Protection Commissioner in respect of this matter.

You are aware that there is power as set out in the Garda policy procedure and guidelines for canceling these fixed charge notices in certain instances in such circumstances.

“Having consulted with the above mentioned authority, the commissioner is satisfied that you’re continued access Pulse data and disclosure of such it and personal data to a third party is likely to be in breach of the Data Protection Act and other legislation, as well as being prejudicial to the current investigation being undertaken by Assistant Commissioner John O’Mahony.

“OK, so that is the instructions to you in his direction.

“The direction is as follows: The commissioner is now directing you to desist from the practice of accessing Pulse and or disclosing to third parties sensitive personal data regarding the cancellation of fixed charge notices by members of An Garda Siochána. If you have any further concerns and without prejudice of your rights under the Confidential Reporting Mechanism, such matters can be brought to the attention of Assistant Commissioner John O’Mahony, Crime and Security, who will fully investigate those matters.”

Sgt McCabe and Chief Supt Curran then had the following exchange:

McCabe: But I didn’t do any of that?

Curran: Well, I’m only telling you that that is the directions from the commissioner.

McCabe: And what happens under the Garda Siochána Act, where you are allowed hand over stuff, under Section 62 and the whistleblower charter, what about that?

Curran: I think you need to raise that with Assistant Commissioner Mahony, honestly that might be the way you pursue it.

McCabe: That’s a serious accusation.

Curran: The directions on it, and just to make sure we are both clear, I’ll read it out to you again.

McCabe:  No, I am very clear. He is accusing me of handing stuff over, [Curran then reads out the first paragraph in the report again]  So he is saying I did that.

Curran:  The commissioner has facts on which he is basing these comments on. So I’ll read it out one more time so you understand. [He reads it all out again].

McCabe: He is basically saying that I gave the information to somebody else, so the whistleblower charter is gone, finished, cause he is saying there. If the Data Protection Commissioner asks me for stuff what do I do, do I say no to him? He has asked for stuff.

Curran: No, no, don’t. If you want authority to do anything or if you have an issue there in relation to those matters, you can talk to Assistant Commissioner John O’Mahony. Or you can send your concerns here in relation to that.

McCabe: So I can’t go near the whistleblower charter anymore? Obviously!

Curran: You cannot.

McCabe: I can. [Curran reads out the report again]. He’s after accusing me of stuff there that  I didn’t do and that is shocking. The only person I forwarded stuff to was An Taoiseach, so I’ll have to take it up with him. Cause he must be the third party? Shocking stuff.

Curran: I know but that’s his legal advice.

McCabe: But even the Data Protection Commissioner, he asked me for stuff, so what do I say to him, no?

Curran:  Well that’s the instruction and you’ll be in breach of discipline and any other possible acts if you ignore it.

McCabe: So am I allowed email Enda Kenny about that.

Curran: I can give you an answer, my own personal answer but I think you should address it with John O’Mahony. The direction is down here that he will deal with your concerns.

McCabe: Shocking stuff. So basically, I can do nothing.

Curran: What you need to do is do what you’re meant to do, your day-to- day duty.

McCabe: Oh, and not report anything which is wrong which…

Curran: This is a direction from the commissioner, you are searching Pulse for a particular reason.

McCabe: I got a complaint in relation to that from a garda, I carried out my duty.

Curran: Did you report that?

McCabe: I carried out my duty.

Curran: Did you report it here?

McCabe: I carried out my duty, I carried out my duties in relation to that.

Curran:  Did you report it thought the channels?

McCabe: I carried out all my duties in relation to it.

Curran: OK.

McCabe:  I used the whistleblowing charter. Let’s not argue, as regards the last paragraph, you’ll have no issue with me here anymore.

Curran: That’s all I want to know.

McCabe: You won’t chief, you won’t, no. But it’s just amazing. I did not think it was that, I thought it was something.

Curran: No, you should follow that, it is a direction.

McCabe: Yes, it is, and I will follow that, I won’t disobey any direction and you can make note of that, Paddy, I won’t disobey any directions in relation to that. You have my full compliance. But, I’m just amazed…

McCabe: Do I get a copy of that?

Curran: No.

McCabe: OK, well it won’t happen anyway. I give you my word on that. It’s not your problem anyway, you were sent to read it out to me.

January 29, 2013: Just after midnight, Clare Daly is arrested on suspicion of drink driving. She’s brought in a patrol car to the Kilmainham Garda Station where she is placed in a cell on her own at one point.

She provides a urine sample and when she’s released a female Garda tells her to ‘come back when you are sober’. She is released at around 1.30am.

Ms Daly is handcuffed during her arrest. Details of her arrest are leaked to the press. She says she had taken a hot whiskey for a cold during a meeting at a house prior to her arrest.

At around 4pm, Ms Daly is contacted by RTE and becomes aware for the first time that members of the media knew of her arrest.

February 8, 2013: Clare Daly receives the official result of the urine sample. It was 45 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine – 33% below the allowable limit. Ms Daly tells RTÉ that she made a complaint to GSOC about the leaking of the arrest to sections of the media and that the body was investigating this.

April 19, 2013: Irish Independent publishes journalist Gemma O’Doherty’s story that penalty points attributed to the car of Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan were quashed.

More than a week previous – after Ms O’Doherty had called to the home of Mr Callinan to confirm that she had the right address for the quashed fixed charge notice – she was given a dressing-down by her bosses at Independent News and Media and told her behaviour was that of a ‘rogue reporter’.

Some weeks later, she loses her position as Travel Editor and then, another few weeks later, she’s informed that she’s being made redundant.

She’s told if she doesn’t take it voluntarily, she will receive notice of compulsory redundancy. She doesn’t accept it voluntarily and therefore immediately receives compulsory redundancy. Ms O’Doherty goes on to sue INM and Mr Rae.

An Employment Appeals Tribunal would later hear INM apologised to Mr Callinan after INM learned Ms O’Doherty had called to the home of Mr Callinan.

April 21, 2013: Sgt McCabe writes to Enda Kenny to relay his concerns over not being interviewed for the internal Garda inquiry by Asst Commissioner O’Mahoney into the quashing of penalty points, saying he had “serious concerns regarding not being contacted or interviewed regarding my allegations. It would appear that the (O’Mahoney) investigation is complete and if this is the case it’s a shocking development. One would imagine that I would be one of the first to be interviewed”.

May 15, 2013: Assistant Commissioner John O’Mahoney’s report into the quashing of penalty points concludes there was no widespread quashing of penalty points.

May 27, 2013: Sgt McCabe emails Enda Kenny about the penalty points controversy, in which he refers to what Mr Connolly warned him, writing: “Mr Shatter is in the public spotlight at the moment, and unlike him, I do not intend to play the man and not the ball. It is suffice to say that my figures are correct, my allegations are correct, and despite receiving information that Mr Shatter would ‘go after me’ if I brought the matter further, I am standing firm.”

August 2013: A woman referred to as Ms D – who made an allegation in 2006, when she was aged around 14, against Sgt McCabe which was found to have no foundation by the DPP – speaks to a HSE counsellor about the matter.

The 2006 complaint referred to an allegation of ‘dry humping’ which she told gardai happened in 1998, when she was around six, during a game of hide and seek.

When the complaint was made, in December 2006, it was 11 months after Ms D’s father, a Garda colleague of Sgt McCabe, was disciplined for arriving at the scene of a suicide drunk and whom Sgt McCabe told to leave the scene.

After Ms D speaks to the counsellor in August 2013, the matter is erroneously sent to Tusla – erroneous because the matter had already been investigated by the gardai and was found to have no foundation – but it is conflated with a rape allegation wholly unrelated to both Ms D and Sgt McCabe and it sits in the Tusla office until May 2014.

August 15, 2013: Tusla social work team leader Keara McGlone writes a “private and confidential” letter to Superintendent Noel Cunningham – who investigated the 2006 allegation against Sgt McCabe.

In the letter, Ms McGlone wrote:

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.”

Supt Cunningham never replied to Ms McGlone’s letter.

September 16, 2013: Broadsheet reports that penalty points attributed to group editor of the Irish Independent, The Herald and The Sunday Independent, Stephen Rae – incurred on November 5, 2009 – were quashed.

September 20, 2013: A Justice Department senior official writes to Sgt McCabe telling him he should give any material he had to a member of the Oireachtas, or an Oireachtas Committee or to another legally-allowed recipient.

October 1, 2013: The Comptroller and Auditor General issues a report which finds one in five motorists avoided penalty points because their cases were not pursued. For 2011 and 2012 – the C&AG found approximately 2,900 cases were terminated for around 700 vehicles, with three or more cases terminated each. [Sgt McCabe gave the C&AG information to help them with their report into the quashing of penalty points].

October 2, 2013: In light of the C&AG report, Minister for Justice Alan Shatter refers to the two whistleblowers when he accuses them of not cooperating with the garda investigation that had taken place, saying: ‘In so far as individuals who raised issues, are alleging that the Garda reports published are untrue, let them bring forward the chapter and verse and proof of that. I’m open to being convinced, but they haven’t done so. Indeed, having engaged with members of this House, and published material, they didn’t cooperate with the Garda investigations that took place. Now I don’t know why that is.’

Late October [day unknown], 2013: Sgt McCabe writes to Minister Shatter asking him to explain who told him that Sgt McCabe was “offered the opportunity… to submit any evidence or other relevant information…. but did not do so”, before adding that he was “never afforded a right of reply or a right of response” after he complained about alleged quashing of points by certain gardaí. Sgt McCabe asks the Justice Department to supply him with any documents that suppoted the claim that he had not co-operated.

November 15, 2013: Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan writes to PAC chairman John McGuinness and requests that documentation given to the PAC by Sgt McCabe be returned to him as Sgt McCabe was not authorised to send it to PAC.

Mr McGuinness subsequently replies to Mr Callinan to say the PAC had received legal advice and that the documentation was “lawfully” before the PAC. Mr McGuinness also tells Mr Callinan that the PAC had arranged for personal information on the documentation to be redacted.

December 3, 2013: Sgt McCabe writes to Minister Shatter again to say he’s “very concerned that someone has told Minister Shatter information about me of a very serious nature and I am being refused the right to know the identity of the person or persons who advised him. I want to know now who advised Minister Shatter of this and when. If you refuse to give me this information I would like to know the reason why you are refusing me? I have the right to know who passed this information to Minister Shatter and when.”

December 4, 2013: A Justice Department senior official emails Sgt McCabe saying Sgt McCabe was offered the chance to provide more evidence to the head of the internal penalty points inquiry, Assistant Commissioner John O’Mahony, saying “our understanding on this comes from the Garda Commissioner”.

December 24, 2013 [Christmas Eve]: Commissioner Callinan writes to the PAC chairman John McGuinness again, repeating his request for the documentation. In this second letter, Mr Callinan tells Mr McGuinness that in his pending appearance at PAC – to discuss the C&AG report into the quashing of penalty points – he will not be able to “discuss individual cases”.

January 2014: According to evidence given to the Disclosures Tribunal by Fianna Fail TD John McGuinness, rumours were circulating around Leinster House that Sgt Maurice McCabe was a paedophile.

He claims there was considerable pressure to prevent Sgt McCabe and former Garda John Wilson from raising the issue of the penalty points in the Oireachtas and that “malicious rumours” about Sgt McCabe were spread to that effect.

January 17, 2014: PAC chairman John McGuinness writes back to Mr Callinan and repeats that the documentation in relation to the penalty points controversy is “lawfully” with the PAC and, again, explains that the documentation is “devoid of any information from which any person can be identified”.

In addition, Mr McGuinness tells Mr Callinan that the PAC “shall not discuss any individual case of prosecutorial discretion whereby fixed charge notice may have been cancelled”.

Thursday, January, 23, 2014: Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, accompanied by the then deputy Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan, appears before the Public Accounts Committee, during which Mr Callinan makes the infamous “disgusting”comment about Garda whistleblowers Sgt McCabe and Garda Wilson.

He said it was “disgusting” that two members of a 13,000-strong Garda force would make “extraordinary allegations” while there’s not a “whisper” from other members of the Gardaí of “corruption or malpractice”.

Mr Callinan has told the Disclosures Tribunal that his comment was in reference to the manner in which Sgt McCabe and Garda Wilson brought the matters into the public domain and not the men themselves.

Assistant Commissioner John O’Mahoney, who carried out the internal Garda investigation into the penalty point allegations, attended the same meeting.

During their discussions, Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald asked Mr O’Mahoney: “Am I right to state that at no stage in the course of Assistant Commissioner O’Mahoney’s investigation did he speak to or interview the whistleblowers?” Mr O’Mahoney replied: “That is correct.”

The TD asked why and Mr O’Mahoney replied: “First and foremost the documentation provided to the Commissioner and subsequently to me was unsigned and unattributed. I proceeded with my examination on the basis I was dealing with anonymous allegations.”

He added: “I waited for their contact but it did not come.”

(Fine Gael TDs John Deasy and Eoghan Murphy are members of PAC at this time).

Fianna Fail TD John McGuinness claims, after the PAC meeting, as everyone milled around outside the committee room, he went to thank Mr Callinan for appearing when, in his words, the following happened:

“I approached the Garda Commissioner, he immediately went into a story, or telling me about an incident involving John Wilson, where there was a difficulty in Grafton Street I think it was, the police were called to that, John Wilson was one of the individual Gardaí that attended at that incident, and in the Commissioner’s words, he pulled the ‘knacker off the horse’, because it involved horses and individuals, he got on the horse himself, rode it back to the barracks and tied it to the railings of the barracks; ‘and the other fella fiddles with kids; they’re the kind of fucking headbangers I am dealing with’.”

Mr McGuinness has told the tribunal that the ‘fiddles with kids’  comment he alleges Mr Callinan made about Sgt McCabe was “disgusting”.

Supt Dave Taylor has told the tribunal he heard Mr Callinan make the ‘fiddles with kids’ comment but not the comment about Garda John Wilson.

Mr Callinan, in a statement to the tribunal, denies making either claim and says they are “simply incorrect and untrue”.

Mr Callinan also claims that after the PAC meeting he asked Mr McGuinness if Garda Wilson would give evidence to PAC and that Mr McGuinness responded: “You must be joking, sure he’s a fucking header.”

Mr McGuinness says this is not true.

Separately, the Comptroller & Auditor General Seamus McCarthy has told the Disclosures Tribunal that he met Mr Callinan at this PAC meeting and that…

Commissioner Callinan referred to Sergeant McCabe by name and made statements to the effect that Sergeant McCabe was not to be trusted, that he had questions to answer, and that there were allegations of sexual offences against him.”

Mr Callinan claims:

I did not at any point state that Sergeant McCabe was not to be trusted nor that he had questions to answer. I did not state that there were any allegations of sexual offences against him.

Irish Times journalist Miriam Lord wrote an article about this same PAC meeting in February 2017, in which she said the following:

On that day, members of the Garda delegation mingled with journalists and observers as they left the PAC session.

“A lot of them knew each other. There was the usual small talk around the coat racks, but there were mutterings about the commissioner’s evidence.

I remarked to somebody that I wasn’t at all impressed by his attitude and evidence.

I got back a tirade in the most colourful of language about Maurice McCabe and what an awful person he was and if I only knew the half of it I wouldn’t be so quick to criticise the commissioner.

“The “half of it” included insinuations about inappropriate sexual contact with a minor. This didn’t come as news – the rumours were already floating around.”

“I looked around at the uniformed officers, the top layer of law enforcement in Ireland, and thought of the venomous denunciation of whistleblowers which had just happened at the committee.

“And I thought about those words in the concourse, and the vehemence of their delivery.

It didn’t tally with descriptions of McCabe I’d heard from politicians and colleagues. Cussed, dogged individual he might be, but there was never a question about his character.

“The words left a bad taste. There was something not right. I didn’t believe them.

“Then, we weren’t to know that Tusla had received a complaint about McCabe in August of the previous year, claims which were passed onto the Garda. The man at the centre of them didn’t know either.”

Friday, January 24, 2014: It’s reported in the media that Commissioner Callinan has consulted the Attorney General’s office about preventing Sgt McCabe from going before PAC.

Friday, January 24, 2014: Fianna Fail TD and chair of the Public Accounts Committee John McGuinness meets the then Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan in a car park on the Naas Road. It follows phone calls made by Mr Callinan to Mr McGuinness.

Mr McGuinness has told the tribunal his recollection of this meeting is as follows:

“I arrived in the car park, as arranged, and I presumed that we were going to meet in the hotel, so when I saw the Commissioner approach, I was in the process of getting out of the car, but he in turn went around quickly to the passenger side of my car and sat in.

And then he immediately got into the conversation to do with the Maurice McCabe and the issues.

“I suggested to him at the beginning of this conversation, as I did the day before, that like any other employer that perhaps the best way out of this was for him to talk directly to Sergeant Maurice McCabe and to determine what exactly the issues were and resolve it that way, without it having to, you know, go into the public realm and him dealing — trying to deal with it that way.

“And it was at that stage that he said to me that no, it had gone beyond all of that and that there was issues to do with Maurice McCabe and his behaviour and he suggested that there was — he had sexually abused his family and an individual, that he was not to be trusted, that I had made a grave error in relation to the Public Accounts Committee and the hearings because of this and that I would find myself in serious trouble.”

He gave me to believe that there was an investigation ongoing in relation to the allegations and that they were at an advanced stage and I immediately presumed from that that Sergeant Maurice McCabe would be charged with something or other.

“…I believe that he said that there was a file, I presumed that this was a file that was going to whatever prosecutor would be involved in the case.

Mr Callinan has denied Mr McGuinness’s version of events.

The tribunal has heard of a draft letter written by Mr Callinan for Mr McGuinness – but was never sent to Mr McGuinness – and that Mr Callinan claims he drafted it on either January 23 or January 24, 2014.

In it, Mr Callinan outlines a number of steps he suggested the committee take in respect of Sgt McCabe’s pending appearance before PAC (which eventually occurred on Thursday, January 30, 2014).

The tribunal has heard that it’s Mr Callinan’s case that the matters outlined in the draft letter are the matters they discussed in the car park.

Mr Callinan has further told the tribunal that it was Mr McGuinness who raised the DPP and Sgt McCabe. Mr Callinan has told the tribunal that:

“During the course of the meeting, Deputy McGuinness asked why was Sergeant McCabe raising these issues. He asked if it was because of the file that went to the DPP.”

“”It was clear that he was already aware prior to our meeting that Sergeant McCabe had been the subject of a criminal investigation. His query in this regard was not in response to, nor was it prompted by anything I had said.”

When asked if Sgt McCabe told Mr McGuinness of the DPP directions in respect of Ms D in 2007, Mr McGuinness told the tribunal he wasn’t aware of any criminal investigation until Mr Callinan raised it and that when he previously asked Sgt McCabe about the rumours which had been circulating, Mr McGuinness said the following happened:

“From my memory of it, we were dealing with the gossip and so on, but there was nothing ever specifically said about a prosecution, and the only time that that came into my consideration was when I had met Commissioner Callinan on the 24th.

It took him [Sgt McCabe] some time to respond to me when I put it to him, because he was quite shocked and upset, and he told me that they were unfounded. That was enough for me.

At the tribunal, Patrick Marrinan SC, for the tribunal, put it to Mr McGuinness that he and Mr Callinan’s account of the car park meeting were completely at odds.

He said:

The two can’t be reconciled with each other. He is saying that the meeting was about the fact that Sergeant McCabe was going to be giving evidence, his concern about data protection issues and that he discussed these issues with you and he put the proposals that are set out in the draft letter that I have opened to you, but that you were the one, in fact, who raised the issue in relation to Sergeant McCabe’s motivation in the first instance and that, in fact, it was you who introduced the allegation of a sexual assault as opposed to a number of sexual assaults.”

Mr McGuinness has told the tribunal that his account of events are “absolutely true”. He added:

All of the issues that Commissioner Callinan raised in terms of data protection, and so on, were already dealt with, and he was absolutely aware of the position of the Public Accounts Committee because we had written to him in December. So those matters had already been dealt with…”

Sunday, January 26, 2014: Celebrity solicitor Gerald Kean is interviewed on RTE’s Marian Finucane show. Kean is on the panel with the then Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte, former Assistant Garda Commissioner Martin Donnellan and former Sunday Tribune editor Noirin Hegarty.

During the panel discussion, Kean emphatically tells the panel that Sgt McCabe and former Garda Wilson did not cooperate with Asst Commissioner John O’Mahoney during his investigation of the claims about penalty points.

Both Mr Wilson and Sgt McCabe later sue over the comments.

January 28, 2014: Minister Shatter reveals that GSOC will hold a new penalty points inquiry.

January 30, 2014: Sgt Maurice McCabe gives nearly three hours of evidence to the Public Accounts Committee.

February 2014: Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has given a statement to the tribunal to say that in February 2014:

[John McGuinness] mentioned that a short while previously he had met the then Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan in a hotel car park and I recall him mentioning that the Commissioner had told him that Sergeant McCabe was not to be trusted and that he was a child abuser.”

February 12, 2014: Enda Kenny announces that he has asked the Department of Justice to furnish him with a report into the alleged comments about Shatter going after Sgt McCabe.

February 12, 2014: Minister Shatter says: “There’s a reference to some transcript. I’m not privy to the transcript, I don’t know anything about the meeting that took place, I don’t know how the transcript was created.”

February 18, 2014: Broadsheet posts the full transcript of the conversation between Oliver Connolly and Sgt Maurice McCabe.

February 19, 2014: Garda Confidential Recipient Oliver Connolly is sacked.

February 21, 2014: Broadsheet posts a letter dated December 17, 2012, which was sent from the assistant secretary at the Department of Justice, and which was forwarded to Enda Kenny and Leo Varadkar’s departments.

The letter is, in the main, in response to an email Sgt McCabe sent on December 12, 2012 in relation to the quashing of penalty points.

But it also refers to the dossier of serious complaints that Sgt McCabe made to the confidential recipient in January and which had been passed on to the Taoiseach, via Fianna Fáil’s Mícheal Martin.

February 23, 2014: Philip Ryan, the Sunday Independent, reports that attempts were made by Garda colleagues to blame Sgt McCabe for releasing Jerry McGrath from custody before McGrath went on to kill Sylvia Roche Kelly.

February 24, 2014: At lunchtime, Broadsheet posts a letter sent by Sgt Maurice McCabe to Jon Leeman, of GSOC, on October 27, 2011, after GSOC decided to discontinue its investigation into complaints made by Mary Lynch – expressing his dismay over the decision.

February 24, 2014: At 4.30pm, Broadsheet posts The Thin Blue Timeline – a comprehensive timeline about recent Garda controversies including the matters pertaining to Garda Wilson and Sgt McCabe.

February 25, 2014: In the early evening, RTE’s Paul Reynolds reports that Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan claims he ordered Garda Wilson and Sgt McCabe to cooperate with John O’Mahoney while he was doing his report into penalty points and that this instrction was sent to them both on December 14, 2012.

Later, RTE’s Six One news repeats the report that Mr Callinan directed Sgt McCabe to cooperate with Assistant Commissioner O’Mahoney on December 14, 2012.

RTE reporter David Davin Power reported:

We’re told this evening that Maurice McCabe was indeed directed by the Commissioner to cooperate with the inquiry. Now he didn’t in the end give evidence to the inquiry, we don’t quite know the circumstances of that but if, as we’re told, there was a direction given to Sgt McCabe that obviously provides Alan Shatter with a defence because of course he’s in the dock for suggesting that Maurice McCabe didn’t cooperate with the inquiry. If he was given a direction and he didn’t ultimately give evidence to the inquiry, there’s obviously a grey area there, but there is a potential defence for the minister.”

February 25, 2014: Later that evening, on RTE’s Prime Time, a statement from Sgt McCabe is read out by Katie Hannon and she reports details from the transcript of the conversation between Sgt McCabe and Chief Supt Curran (see above) from December 2012.

Sgt McCabe’s statement to Ms Hannon said:

“My attention has been drawn by members of the media today to a statement or press release that appears to have been released to the media earlier today in relation to me.

“The un-headed statement or press release is, I regret to say, both gravely misleading and false.

“It suggests that the Garda commissioner wrote to me 14 months ago ‘and told [me] to co-operate with the investigation into the allegation that penalty points had been cancelled’.

It claims that the commissioner ‘issued a direction’ to me ‘to co-operate with the investigation being carried out by the assistant commissioner’ and ‘directing’ me to bring any information or concerns I had ‘to the inquiry team’.

“It goes on to say that ‘the Garda Síochána is a disciplined force and that members are required to comply with directions issued by the commissioner’, implying that I wrongfully failed to comply with the commissioner’s direction to cooperate.

“The statement further suggests that I did not comply with the commissioner’s direction during a period when I was on sick leave and that I ‘did not contact’ the assistant commissioner until ‘April 2013, by which time the investigation had been completed’.

I was never directed by the commissioner to co-operate with the O’Mahony investigation as alleged. On 14th December, 2012, I was asked to remain back after duty in Mullingar Garda Station to meet with Chief Superintendent Mark Curran. I did so.

“When he arrived he read me out a document. I have, fortunately, a full record of what transpired and it is attached to this statement. As appears from the record, the chief superintendent refused my request to furnish me a copy of that document. I presume that this was in accordance with his superiors’ instructions.

“The fact that I was denied a copy of the direction may have encouraged the author of the statement issued today about me to grossly misrepresent the terms of the commissioner’s direction as read out to me and as recorded by me.

“I was never contacted by anyone conducting the O’Mahony investigation which completed its report without making any attempt to speak with me or to seek my input or co-operation into its inquiries. I never withheld any information or co-operation from the O’Mahony investigation as is now suggested.

“When I learned that its report had been completed without making any attempt at all to contact me, I protested at what had happened, as the record shows. At that point I was offered a totally meaningless opportunity to speak with Assistant Commissioner O’Mahony.

“As a member of the Garda Síochána, I have tried to uphold its integrity by complying with my duty and being truthful in my dealings with my superiors and with the public office holders with whom I have been dealing in relation to these matters.

“I must leave it to others to judge whether those standards are shared or have been adhered to by those who issued the false and misleading statement concerning me today.”

February 26, 2014: Alan Shatter tells the Dail

“Clearly there is a difference of views and perception between An Garda Síochána and Sergeant McCabe with regard to this issue. I have explained the basis on which I made my statement and I can take it no further. However, I want to make it clear, because of some public comment that has been made, that there is no basis for the suggestion that the Garda Commissioner in any way misled me in relation to this matter. Nor is there any basis for an allegation that I in any way misled the House. I appreciate that different Members of the House may perceive these matters differently. It is unfortunate that perceptions are coloured on occasion by political differences.”

March 3, 2014: It’s reported that Sgt McCabe will write to the Ceann Comhaire Sean Barrett and ask Justice Minister Alan Shatter to correct the Dáil record over Mr Shatter’s comments that he and John Wilson didn’t cooperate with Assistant John O’Mahoney’s penalty points inquiry.

March 8, 2014: Paul Williams, of the Irish Independent, meets and interviews Ms D.

March 12, 2014: The Garda Inspectorate publishes its report into the penalty points controversy. In it, “consistent and widespread breaches of policy” are highlighted, while many of the concerns of the whistleblowers are vindicated.

March 20, 2014: At a Road Safety Authority conference in Dublin Castle the then Minister for Transport and Fine Gael TD Leo Varadkar calls on Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan to withdraw his ‘disgusting’ remark in relation to the garda whistleblowers Sgt Maurice McCabe and former Garda John Wilson. He calls the two men ‘distinguished’.

March 21, 2014: The Data Protection Commissioner Billy Hawkes publishes the Data Protection Commission’s new audit on Garda compliance with the Data Protection Act. It found ‘disturbing instances of…improper access’ of PULSE by individual gardaí.

Speaking after its publication, Mr Hawkes backs Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan’s criticism of Sgt Maurice McCabe and former Garda John Wilson.

He told RTÉ:

Once the whistleblowers had discharged, if you like, their moral duty to report malpractice within An Garda then there was not a basis for them continuing to access the Pulse system and even less so for disclosing confidential information about people to third parties.”

March 25, 2014: Mr Callinan steps down from his position as Garda Commissioner and Noirin O’Sullivan takes over as acting Garda Commissioner.

March 26, 2014: Justice Minister Alan Shatter apologises to Sgt Maurice McCabe and former garda John Wilson for telling the Dáil in October 1, 2013 that they didn’t cooperate with Asst Comm O’Mahoneys report into the quashing of penalty points.

April 12, 2014: The first of Paul Williams’ articles about Ms D is published.

April 15, 2014: The second article about Ms D, by Mr Williams is pubilshed.

April 16, 2014: The third article about Ms D, by Mr Williams, is published.

April 30, 2014: Tusla social worker Laura Connolly plucked Sgt McCabe’s unallocated file randomly from a filing cabinet and sent a Garda notification, after she further conflated the already conflated allegation of abuse.

Ms Connolly also opens separate files on Sgt McCabe’s four children – two of whom were over 18 at the time. They all include the entirely false allegation that Sgt McCabe was alleged to have abused a six-year-old girl and that the abuse involved both vaginal and anal penetration.

April 30, 2014: On the same day as Sgt McCabe’s unallocated file is taken out of a filing cabinet, Ms D meets the leader of Fianna Fail Micheal Martin.

Mr Williams has told the tribunal that Ms D asked him to organise this meeting but Ms D told the tribunal it was Mr Williams who suggested or advised she meet Mr Martin.

She said:

“…he said to me that it was Micheál Martin who brought Maurice McCabe’s cases to the attention of the Dáil and it would be good if you could meet with him and explain why you want your case to be included.”

“…Absolutely nobody prompted me. And I would just like to clarify that Paul did not put me up to going to speak with anyone. He suggested that it may be something that would help as I was very, very frustrated at how my case had been handled and that these were possible people that may be able to get my case to be included in the dossier of cases that were being re-examined.”

Mr Williams has told the tribunal that he gave Ms D a lift from the train station to the Dail, where she met Mr Martin, and then dropped her back to the train station. He said they didn’t discuss what she would say before the interview.

May 3, 2014: The fourth article by Mr Williams – about Ms D – is published.

May 6, 2014: Sean Guerin SC recommends that a Commission of Investigation be held into allegations made by Sgt McCabe – this gave rise to the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation in 2015.

May 7, 2014: Supt Leo McGinn, the district officer in Bailieboro, receives Tusla social worker Laura Connolly’s referral and sends it up the chain of command.

May 7, 2014: Minister Shatter resigns.

May 16, 2014: The false rape allegation against Sgt McCabe is sent to Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan.

May 20, 2014: Gardai in Baileboro receive an amended referral from Tusla – after it becomes aware of the false rape error – but this, the tribunal has been told, was never passed on to Ms O’Sullivan.

The fake rape allegation remains in the commissioner’s office until the start of 2017.

June 17, 2014: Ms D met with the then Fine Gael TD Alan Shatter, who had just recently stepped down from his role as Minister for Justice. [Readers will recall the rape error on Sgt McCabe’s file was discovered in May 2014]

Of this meeting, Paul Williams told the tribunal:

“I think in June Ms D asked me would I get in touch with Mr. Shatter. At this stage he was gone from justice, he had resigned. “

Asked why he was organising this meeting, he said:

“Because she asked me.”

But Ms D told the tribunal:

“It was Paul Williams contacted me and told me that he had been in touch with him and that he was aware of the situation and aware that I wanted my case to be included in the Guerin Report and that he wanted to speak with me about the matter.”

And in a statement to GSOC, Ms D said:

Within the last two weeks Paul Williams contacted me and said that Alan Shatter had asked to meet me. Paul Williams told me that my case had been known by a few people in senior ranks in the Gardaí and Government for some time. I met Alan Shatter in the Merrion Hotel on Tuesday 17th June. He wanted to speak about my case and told me he was speaking before the Dáil on Thursday and wanted to mention my case to see if it could be fitted into the new investigation that had been conducted in cases in the Cavan-Monaghan area.”

Similar to when Ms D met Micheal Martin, the tribunal heard Mr Williams also met Ms D on the day she met Mr Shatter.

Mr Williams said he couldn’t recall him and Ms D having a conversation about the matter.

Meanwhile…

Readers may wish to recall evidence given by Sgt McCabe in February of this year at the tribunal – especially when he was asked about the infamous “disgusting” remark made by Mr Callinan at the PAC on Thursday, January 23, 2014.

Sgt McCabe said, if he had his time back, he wouldn’t raise the penalty points matter.

He told the tribunal:

“… if I was to do it over again, I would never, never have highlighted the penalty points, because it was that and that stage when, you know, when I got — I started to get all the hassle. And I think that Martin Callinan — sorry, assistant — or ex-Commissioner Martin Callinan, as I said before, I think after that comment I think the flood gates were opened, you know. It was hard to take. It’s extremely hard to take.”

In addition…

Sgt McCabe was asked about comments made by solicitor Gerald Kean on RTE Radio One’s Marian Finucane show on Sunday, January 26, 2014 – in which Mr Kean emphatically alleged that Sgt McCabe and Garda John Wilson didn’t cooperate with Asst Comm O’Mahoney.

Sgt McCabe said of Mr Kean’s comments:

“It was a Sunday, I was on duty, I was working in the patrol car, and I heard it on the radio, I was on my own. I pulled in, I was very annoyed, and I rang the programme, and I just said, you know, that is wrong. And they asked me would I go on the programme, and I says I can’t, I’m a serving member, but that’s wrong, what has been said.”

Sgt McCabe subsequently wrote to Mr Kean and Sgt McCabe received a reply from Mr Kean.

The tribunal is expected to hear about this correspondence later this week.

Sgt McCabe and Garda John Wilson went on to sue over the comments.

Furthermore…

Sgt McCabe was also asked about Mr Williams’s articles in the Irish Independent in April 2014 and May 2014 – based on the interview Mr Williams carried out with Ms D in March 2014.

Readers will recall that, after the DPP investigated Ms D’s complaint, a letter from the DPP’s office sent to the State solicitor for Cavan Rory Hayden on April 5, 2007, stated:

“Even if there wasn’t a doubt over her credibility, the incident that she describes does not constitute a sexual assault or indeed an assault… there is no basis for prosecution.”

Of Mr Williams’ articles, in which he repeated Ms D’s claim against Sgt McCabe, Sgt McCabe told the tribunal:

“…it was awful. I mean, I have been cleared, completely, and I should have been left alone….I can’t prove it, but I knew it was in relation to what I was doing, in relation to penalty points.”

Reader should note Sgt McCabe has sued over one other radio report in 2016.

This was a report by John Mooney, of The Sunday Times, on Northern Sound.

It was about the results of the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation, before the report from the commission was published.

Previously: Disclosures Tribunal on Broadsheet

The Disclosures Tribunal heard claims that Supt Dave Taylor (above) told Sgt Maurcie McCabe (top) that a ‘spiritual person’ had told him to confess his role smearing the whistleblower

This week.

At the Disclosures Tribunal…

Which is examining allegations of a smear campaign being orchestrated by former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, with the knowledge of fellow former Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan, against Sgt Maurice McCabe…

Sgt Maurice McCabe told the tribunal details of information relayed to him during a meeting Fianna Fail TD John McGuinness in Dublin’s Merrion Hotel in May 2016 and, separately, Supt Dave Taylor on September 20 2016, at Supt Taylor’s home.

While giving evidence about both of these meetings, Sgt McCabe became very upset.

Readers should note, the tribunal has heard Mr McGuinness agrees with everything Sgt McCabe has told the tribunal about their meeting, save for one minor detail.

In contrast, it’s heard Supt Taylor’s account of his meeting with Sgt McCabe differs greatly.

However, the tribunal has also heard that Supt Taylor’s own evidence to the tribunal has also changed over time with chairman Judge Peter Charleton noting:

“…there has been perhaps a somewhat, look, one could say a softening or a vagueness in relation to the three statements made by David Taylor, particularly to our investigators, in relation to Nóirín O’Sullivan and what she knew…”

In any event.

Of his meeting with Mr McGuinness – the date of which is unclear other than it was May 2016 – Sgt McCabe told the tribunal on Monday that Mr McGuinness, who was then chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), told him that he had met Martin Callinan in a car park on the Naas Road on January 24.

This would have been a day after Mr Callinan made his “disgusting” remark to PAC about Garda whistleblowers and days before Sgt McCabe was due to appear before the committee to talk about the quashing of penalty points.

Sgt McCabe told the tribunal:

“He told me that he met the former Commissioner Martin Callinan at the Red Cow Inn, or that pub, and he said that I wasn’t to be trusted and he said that I had sexually abused all my children and my nieces. He said to me, I didn’t like to tell you before — you know, up to this point.

“At times I’m glad that he actually didn’t. But I asked him what was the circumstances about it, and he said he was asked to meet him at the Red Cow and he said this is what he said. And he also said that he grabbed his arm as he was getting out of the car and said, ‘it’s very serious, it’s very serious’.

Yesterday, JohnMcGuinness’ legal representative Daren Lehane BL said his client’s evidence will be the same as Sgt McCabe – except he will say he told Sgt McCabe Mr Callinan told him that Sgt McCabe had abused “your children” and nieces, as opposed to “all” your children and nieces.

Readers should note on May 26, 2016, during a speech in the Dail about the death of Shane O’Farrell in Monaghan, Mr McGuinness mentioned this meeting with Mr Callinan in the Dail.

He told the Dáil

Every effort was made by those within the Garda Síochána at senior level to discredit Garda Maurice McCabe.

The Garda Commissioner confided in me in a car park on the Naas Road that Garda McCabe was not to be trusted and there were serious issues about him.

The vile stories that circulated about Garda McCabe, which were promoted by senior officers in the Garda, were absolutely appalling. Because they attempted to discredit him, he had to bring forward various pieces of strong evidence to protect his integrity.

Continue reading

From top: Sergeant Maurice McCabe; Former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan

On Wednesday.

At the Disclosures Tribunal.

In George’s Hall, Dublin Castle.

Diarmuid McGuinness SC, counsel for the tribunal, read out an opening statement outlining the progress the tribunal is making and an overview of the evidence gathered to date.

Readers will recall how the tribunal is examining claims that a smear campaign was conducted against Sgt Maurice 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.

Both Mr Callinan and Ms O’Sullivan deny the allegations.

In reading out the opening statement, Diarmuid McGuinness SC explained that Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness, RTÉ journalist Philip Boucher-Hayes and Comptroller and Auditor General Seamus McCarthy have all told the tribunal about claims former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan made to them directly about Sgt Maurice McCabe.

He also read out statements made by former Sunday Independent editor Anne Harris, journalist Gemma O’Doherty, and Labour TD Brendan Howlin, about a conversation he had with former Irish Mail on Sunday journalist Alison O’Reilly and a follow-up statement from Ms O’Reilly.

He also explained how the tribunal wrote letters to almost 30 journalists but “with a few exceptions” many of these letters have gone unanswered (more below). Diarmuid McGuinness SC didn’t specify who responded and who didn’t respond.

The Comptroller and Auditor General Seamus McCarthy said he and former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan met at a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee [PAC] on January 23, 2014. It was at this meeting that Mr Callinan, who sat next to Noirin O’Sullivan, referred to former Garda John Wilson and Sgt Maurice McCabe as “disgusting”.

Mr McCarthy told the tribunal:

Commissioner Callinan referred to Sergeant McCabe by name and made statements to the effect that Sergeant McCabe was not to be trusted, that he had questions to answer, and that there were allegations of sexual offences against him.

In his response, Mr Callinan said:

I did not at any point state that Sergeant McCabe was not to be trusted nor that he had questions to answer. I did not state that there were any allegations of sexual offences against him.

Mr McGuinness told the tribunal a meeting took place between him and former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan on the 24th of January, 2014 – the day after the PAC meeting – in the carpark of Bewley’s Hotel, Newlands Cross, Co. Dublin. Mr McGuinness told the tribunal:

Mr Callinan asked if I was aware of issues surrounding Mr McCabe’s personal life. I stated that I had heard vague rumours and gossip that Mr McCabe had abused someone and that he was a paedophile but that I had been assured by Mr McCabe that these rumours were lies, that he had heard them before and that they were malicious falsehoods.

Mr Callinan stated to me that the rumours were true, that Mr McCabe had sexually abused someone and that he was not a credible person. Mr Callinan stated that an investigation into Mr McCabe’s activities was underway. Mr Callinan then asked me was I aware that Mr McCabe had sexually abused family members. I was shocked and extremely troubled by what Mr Callinan was telling me because the allegations being made were extreme and the person relaying them to me, as well as the fact that an investigation had commenced, was the Commissioner of An Garda Síochána.

When he left my car, Mr Callinan put his hand on my arm and stated that Mr McCabe was not reliable and could not be trusted and suggested that I had gotten myself and the Public Accounts Committee into a lot of trouble by pursuing the penalty points issue.

In addition,  Deputy McGuinness’s statement to the tribunal states that he kept a handwritten note of the meeting. Part of that note reads:

Callinan
McCabe
Sexual abuse!
Individual + family
Don’t trust him
Story not credible
Investigations ongoing
He’s not credible

In his response, former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan told the tribunal:

I did not at any time state to Mr McGuinness that Mr McCabe had sexually abused anyone or that he was not a credible person… I never at any stage indicated to Mr McGuinness that Sergeant McCabe had sexually abused family members.

Mr Boucher-Hayes told the tribunal of a conversation he had with Mr Callinan outside an RTE studio on December 17, 2013, as part of Crimecall programme. There had been a disagreement about whether Mr Boucher-Hayes could ask Mr Callinan about the penalty points allegations made by Sgt Maurice McCabe.

Mr Boucher-Hayes said:

He offered me background information on the penalty point story. But the majority of his information related solely to the two whistleblowers, John Wilson and Maurice McCabe, not to the substance of the story. He offered a negative but cursory impression of John Wilson, before speaking at some length on Maurice McCabe’s character. I had not asked any questions to elicit this information.

He told me that McCabe was a troubled individual and that he had a “lot of psychological issues and psychiatric issues”. He claimed that McCabe was motivated by a set of grievances against Garda management and that he was famous with An Garda Síochána for this. He warned me that McCabe was not to be trusted and went onto add that there were other things he could tell me about him “horrific things, the worst kind of thing” but he did not elaborate further.

In his response, Mr Callinan said:

I did not speak “at some length” on Sergeant McCabe’s character as indicated. I did not state that Sergeant McCabe had “a lot of psychological issues and psychiatric issues,” and was “motivated by a set of grievances against Garda management and that he was famous within An Garda Síochána for this.”

I did not indicate to Philip Boucher Hayes that Sergeant McCabe was not to be trusted, nor did I state there were other things I could tell him about “horrific things, the worst kind of thing.” I do not know what Philip Boucher-Hayes is referring to.

In addition, Superintendent Dave Taylor has told the tribunal that, in the company of now Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan, Garda communications director Andrew McLindon, Assistant Commissioner John O’Mahoney and Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness that Mr Callinan called Sgt Maurice McCabe a ‘kiddie fiddler’.

This took place after the PAC meeting in January 2014, in which Martin Callinan referred to former Garda John Wilson and Sgt Maurice McCabe as “disgusting”.

Meanwhile…

Superintendent Dave 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 Maurice McCabe.

Similar waivers have been signed by Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan and former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.

However…

Diarmuid McGuinness SC notes:

This waiver, and the similar waivers signed by Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan and former Commissioner Callinan, have been notified to several journalists. The journalists named by Superintendent Taylor are Paul Williams, Paul Reynolds, Conor Lally, John Mooney, Michael O’Toole, Cormac O’Keefe, John Burke, Daniel McConnell, and Juno McEnroe.

In particular Superintendent Taylor reiterated in his statement to tribunal investigators that Paul Reynolds and Conor Lally would have received negative briefings by him about Sergeant McCabe.

Sir, the tribunal has also identified from telephone data other journalists that Superintendent Taylor contacted during the relevant period.

Arising out of its investigations to date the tribunal has now written to the following journalists: Sarah Bardon, Ali Bracken, Tom Brady, Jennifer Bray, Stephen Breen, John Burke, Paul Connolly, Dyanne Connor, Ken Foy, Fran Greany, Mark Hilliard, Mick McCaffrey, Juno McEnroe, Cathal McMahon, Emma McMenamey, John Mooney, Eavan Murray, Niall O’Connor formerly of the Irish Sun, Niall O’Connor currently of the Irish Independent, Mick O’Toole, Paul Reynolds, Joe Walsh, Debbie McCann, Alison O’Reilly, Paul Williams, and at a later date, Conor Lally, Daniel McConnell and Cormac O’Keefe.

In the first instance, the tribunal wrote to most of these journalists on the 15th of March 2017 and requested statements from anyone who may have information relevant to the terms of reference. Regrettably, many of these letters went unanswered.

Five weeks later on the 21st of April 2017, the tribunal wrote again to these journalists, informing them of the waivers referred to earlier and asking the following series of questions:

1. Can you confirm your mobile phone number and work phone number?
2. Was this number your mobile phone number in the years from July 2012 until Feb 2017?
3. Were you briefed negatively about Sergeant McCabe by anyone? And if so, by whom?
4. Have you any information or evidence about an orchestrated campaign directed by senior officers of the Garda Síochána, to discredit Sergeant Maurice McCabe by spreading rumours about his professional and personal life?
5. Were you contacted by Superintendent David Taylor in relation to Sergeant Maurice McCabe?
6. Were you briefed negatively by Superintendent David Taylor in relation to Sergeant Maurice McCabe?
7. Were you briefed negatively by Superintendent David Taylor in relation to Sergeant Maurice McCabe to the effect that his complaints had no substance?
8. Were you briefed negatively by Superintendent David Taylor in relation to Sgt McCabe to the effect that the Gardaí had fully investigated complaints and had found no substance to his allegations and that he was driven by agendas?
9. Was your attention drawn by Superintendent Taylor to an allegation or suggestion of criminal misconduct made against Sergeant McCabe in any respect?
10. Was your attention drawn by Superintendent Taylor to an allegation that the root cause of Sergeant Maurice McCabe’s agenda was revenge against an Garda Síochána?
11. Were you informed by Superintendent David Taylor that he was instructed/directed by former Commissioner Callinan and /or (then) Deputy Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan to contact the media to brief the media negatively against Sgt Maurice McCabe?
12. Are you aware and have you any evidence of any attempt made by former Commissioner Callinan or Commissioner O’Sullivan or any other senior member of an Garda Síochána to discredit Sergeant Maurice McCabe by reference to an allegation of criminal misconduct made against him ?
13. Were you informed by a journalist or any other person of any matters referred to in the questions above?
14. Have you any knowledge, information or evidence relating to any of the matters above? 15. Have you any knowledge, information or evidence relating to any matters within the Terms of Reference of the Tribunal?
16. Have you any records (however made, wherever stored) of any communications from or with Superintendent Taylor or former Commissioner Callinan, Commissioner O’Sullivan or any other senior Gardaí relating to any of the above matters?

With a few exceptions, the journalists have either ignored these letters, or refused to answer these questions, citing journalistic privilege. Many of them nonetheless wish to make generalised academic arguments about the nature of journalistic privilege to the tribunal.

In addition…

Former editor of the Sunday Independent, Anne Harris told the tribunal:

In the years 2013 and 2014, matters raised by whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe, such as the termination by senior gardaí of fixed penalty points, as well as allegations of murder and abductions not properly investigated, came to prominence. From the first instance that the Sunday Independent began to report on these matters, certain journalists came to my office to warn me off Sergeant McCabe.

I was given varying accounts of an alleged case of child sex abuse by him, which was apparently being investigated. This was repeated several times by a very reputable journalist, one who had shown great courage in exposing incidents of corruption and terrorism. I made enquiries and was satisfied that the matter had been investigated by the DPP, and the complaint found to be without grounds.

The Sunday Independent continued to report on Sergeant McCabe’s concerns and the consequent treatment of him. In 2013, the allegation that Sergeant McCabe as a “paedophile” was stated in my office by senior executive from the wider “Group” editorial hierarchy of Independent Newspapers.

I am certain that a whispering smear campaign was being conducted and that the media were being used. The pressure on me was less about publishing the sex abuse allegation – it would have been difficult within the laws of libel – but had the clear purpose of discrediting him, and therefore censoring the issues he was raising.

Labour leader and TD Brendan Howlin also made a statement to the tribunal about a conversation he had with journalist Alison O’Reilly, then of the Irish Mail on Sunday.

Diarmuid McGuinness SC writes:

According to Mr Howlin, Ms O’Reilly informed him that another journalist, Ms Debbie McCann, had told her “that the Commissioner had given information to her claiming serious sexual misconduct on the part of Sergeant McCabe.”

Ms O’Reilly then informed Mr Howlin that Ms McCann described Sergeant McCabe in very derogatory terms following a conversation with Commissioner O’Sullivan and that these matters were being discussed generally in the Mail on Sunday office. Ms O’Reilly also told Mr Howlin that Superintendent Taylor and Commissioner O’Sullivan had both provided this type of information to Ms McCann. Obviously some of what Ms O’Reilly recounted to Mr Howlin was hearsay evidence.

…In response to Mr Howlin’s statement, Ms Alison O’Reilly sent a very helpful and detailed statement to the Tribunal which covers not only her account of her conversation with Mr Howlin, but also her knowledge of events from 2013 until the present as seen from the perspective of the media. This statement is of great assistance to the Tribunal and has opened up a number of avenues of enquiry. Some of the information is hearsay but is nevertheless helpful in identifying journalists who it appears have first-hand knowledge of who may have been behind a campaign to blacken Sergeant McCabe’s good name.

Journalist Gemma O’Doherty told the tribunal that she was:

Well aware of the whispering campaign against Sergeant McCabe and when I was informed about the allegations of child sexual assault against him, I put them to him. He immediately informed me as to what happened and when I did some further investigation into the allegations, I found them to lack credibility entirely.

It was in 2013 that I first became aware that Sergeant McCabe was being associated with an allegation of child sexual assault. Rumours about this were circulating in a number of Dublin newsrooms at the time. It is my understanding that a copy of the garda file concerning the allegations had been provided to Mr Paul Williams (Special Correspondent) by senior gardaí in Garda Headquarters and that was how ‘the word’ got out.

The fact that a Garda investigation file was said to exist and that it contained damaging details concerning Sergeant McCabe, gave the story certain credibility but knowing Sergeant McCabe, I was in no doubt that this was a malicious campaign against him orchestrated by certain people who wanted to silence him and knew they couldn’t.

I spoke to Garda Wilson about the allegations that I had heard concerning Sergeant McCabe. He was aware of them. He said that a number of journalists were on the story but that it was untrue. One such individual was Paul Williams. Paul Williams has significant garda connections which both he and [Independent News and Media] rely upon for exclusive information… It is my understanding that the same firm of solicitors represents Paul Williams, [Independent News and Media] and the woman who was purportedly behind the allegations of sexual abuse concerning Sergeant McCabe…

Rumours circulated that a copy of the garda file had been given to Paul Williams and that it revealed that Sergeant McCabe was under investigation for child sexual abuse… Garda Wilson also informed me that a reporter named Debbie McCann, who worked for the Irish Daily Mail and whose father was a senior garda, was allegedly one of the journalists that was putting the word out that Sergeant McCabe was a child sex abuser. He said that she called him a ‘paedo’.

Readers will recall how Paul Williams, in the Irish Independent, wrote a series of articles in April 2014 concerning the woman – referred to in the tribunal as Ms D – who was at the centre of an allegation made in 2006 against Sgt Maurice McCabe.

This allegation, readers will recall, was investigated and a file was sent to the DPP with the DPP subsequently directing that no prosecution be taken – with the observation that it was doubtful the allegation should constitute a crime at all.

In relation to this…

Diarmuid McGuinness SC writes:

Sir, in early 2014, some journalists sought to contact Ms D, at whose instigation is not yet entirely clear. However, Ms D engaged in contact with a journalist in relation to her initial complaint in 2006. This appears to have been as a result of an inquiry made by her father of her as to whether she’d be prepared to speak to a Mr Paul Williams. He in turn appears to have been nominated to her father by a friend of his, who is a Detective Superintendent in the gardaí.

Meanwhile…

Diarmuid McGuinness SC told the tribunal that of the 15 phones that are of interest to the tribunal – six granted to Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan; six to former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and three to Superintendent Dave Taylor – just four have been located.

Read the opening statement in full here

screen-shot-2016-05-30-at-19-31-15

Former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and current Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan

Yesterday.

In The Sunday Times.

John Mooney reported on the protected disclosures made by Sgt Maurice McCabe and former head of the Garda Press Office Supt Dave Taylor to the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald.

He reported that retired High Court judge Iarfhlaith O’Neill, who has reviewed the allegations and given a report on the same to Ms Fitzgerald, had been given “conflicting accounts from key witnesses” including the Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan.

Readers will recall how Supt Taylor has claimed that there was an orchestrated campaign, within the gardai, to destroy the reputation of Sgt McCabe.

Supt Taylor has claimed he was following orders from senior gardaí and that both the former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and the current commissioner Ms O’Sullivan knew about the campaign.

Further to this…

Mr Mooney reported:

A central allegation examined by O’Neill is thought to have concerned a text Taylor says he sent to O’Sullivan informing her a journalist had interviewed a person making allegations about McCabe. Taylor claims O’Sullivan responded to his text with a one-word reply: “perfect”.

In a statement to O’Neill, O’Sullivan vehemently denied Taylor’s claims, and pointed out the large number of text messages she got on various matters. The commissioner acknowledged she often responded to text messages using the word “perfect” or “thanks”, and described these as “perfunctory” replies to the large number of messages she received while a deputy commissioner.

The Sunday Times has learnt O’Neill also approached Callinan about an unsolicited approach he made to John McGuinness, as chairman of the PAC, in advance of McCabe’s appearance at a parliamentary committee.

Details of the meeting, which took place in a hotel car park in 2014, emerged after McGuinness claimed he had been given damaging information about McCabe by the former garda commissioner.

In a two-page letter to O’Neill, Callinan said he regarded media reports on what had transpired at the meeting as “hearsay” and asked that his constitutional rights be protected. The former commissioner also asked O’Neill for a guarantee his legal fees would be discharged.

New row over McCabe ‘smears’ (John Mooney, The Sunday Times)

Rollingnews

hotel-car-park

screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-11-53-24

screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-14-52-26

From top: Car park of The Maldron Hotel, formerly Bewley’s Hotel, Newlands Cross, Dublin 22; the panel on last night’s Tonight with Vincent Browne and Vincent Browne

Last night.

On Tonight with Vincent Browne.

The panel included Independents 4 Change TD Clare Daly; Irish Examiner journalist Michael Clifford; director of communications at Social Democrats Anne Marie McNally; and Gavan Reilly, of Today FM.

The show followed Noirin O’Sullivan’s appearance before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality on Wednesday, of which Clare Daly is a member.

They discussed the ongoing Garda whistleblower controversies and, in particular, the meeting that took place between Fianna Fail TD John McGuinness and former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan in a car park on the Naas Road on January 24, 2014.

Mr McGuinness has told the Dail that, at that meeting, Mr Callinan told him Sgt Maurice McCabe could not be trusted.

The panel talked about what else Mr McGuinness claims Mr Callinan said to him, without detailing what was supposedly said.

Readers may wish to note that, on RTÉ’s Six One on Wednesday, Fianna Fáil’s justice spokesman Jim O’Callaghan – who is also a member of the Oireachtas justice committee – told presenter Brian Dobson:

I have confidence in here [Noirin O’Sullivan] and it’s not my part to be an investigator on this committee, this isn’t an investigative committee, there’s a judge who’s been put in place, Judge O’Neill, to inquire into the protected disclosures that were recently made, that is an investigative process and there will be a report produced at the end of that process and if that report is critical of individuals in high places whoever they are, I won’t be shy, nor will other members of Fianna Fail be shy about calling on those individuals to take responsibility. But what I’m not prepared to do, is just to call for somebody to resign in circumstances where allegations have been made against them but there’s no findings. In those circumstances, I do retain confidence in the commissioner.”

Further to this, from last night’s Tonight With Vincent Browne…

Vincent Browne: “Among the rumours that I’ve been hearing over the last while is that a senior Garda directed by an even more senior Garda sent text messages to other senior gardai and to members of the media, making horrendous allegations about a whistleblower and that a lot of these top echelons of An Garda Siochana were aware of this and may even have encouraged this. Now, it seems to me, if this is true and it isn’t the resignation of the Garda Commissioner that would be required but the resignation of an awful lot of people at a senior level. Have you heard this?

Michael Clifford: “It’s more than a rumour. I mean, a lot of what you said is in one of the protected disclosures but, as you said, Vincent, if it’s true, the issue is can it be proven? Can it be proven to a degree that it would for example, an official legal figure, whomever would be willing, would be satisfied enough…”

Browne: “It could be proved to be true or not to be true because the gardai have capacities to examine text messages, as we found out in the Elaine O’Hara murder trial, for instance, and they’d be able to look back at the text messages and see…”

Clifford: “If they wanted to…”

Browne: “But, sorry, there is available, the expertise, to look back at text messages…”

Gavan Reilly:If the handset or SIM can be recovered which isn’t always necessarily a given.

Browne: “What’s that?”

Reilly: “If the physical phone or the SIM card from which the text messages were sent is available to you – which may or may not be the case.”

Anne Marie McNally:My understanding is that Keith Harrison is saying that he’s got evidence on his phone that will prove the allegations. But, if I’m reading it correct this evening, the judge that’s been appointed, according to the Commissioner’s testimony, he won’t actually have the power to examine phone records so I’m not sure if that extends to text messages but it would seem to be…”

Clifford:He’ll be able to request it…”

Clare Daly: “Yeah.”

McNally: “He should be, yeah.”

Reilly: “That’s part of the problem of the inquiry that’s been asked of Iarlaith O’Neill, that because he’s existing in a very legal grey area, where it’s all very ill-defined where he’s not acting in a judicial capacity, he’s effectively acting as a kind of wise alderman but he has no powers of compellability or inquiry, as such, so all he can really do is ask people to cooperate and if they do, then he’s entitled to come up with an opinion, as eminent as it might be but that he’s ultimately flying blind. He doesn’t have the powers to demand anything of anybody. So, realistically, the scoping exercise…”

Browne: “So what’s the point?”

Daly: “Well that’s the question, isn’t it. And I mean obviously points have been made by the two…”

Browne: “You’re aware of what I’m talking about…”

Daly: “I’m absolutely aware of what you’re talking about…”

Browne: “My understanding is that when a senior garda person got a, got this text message, the reply was ‘perfect’ which would seem to imply that that person, that senior garda officer was aware of the plan to smear the reputation of the whistleblower in the most odious possible way that you could think of.”

Daly: “At the heart of the protected disclosures is precisely that, that there was an organised and orchestrated deliberate campaign, authorised at the top, including the current and the former commissioner to effectively do exactly what you’ve said – to demonise, to ostracize and put everybody off this whistleblower so that he would be a person that nobody would want to touch or listen to and I mean media people would have got that information, obviously a lot of guards, but politicians did aswell. And, you know, whatever about maybe…”

Browne: “Did politicians get them?

Daly: “Texts, part of the allegations that selected politicians were sent these messages also..”

Browne: “Really?”

Daly: “And given that message which…”

Browne:Who were they?

Daly: “Well, I don’t know, I know I definitely wasn’t one but it begs the question that even if, initially, some people believed it to be true, as I’m sure some people would, when it emerged around the O’Higgins Commission and the evidence that emerged in that, whereby the commissioner’s legal team had been instructed to undermine the credibility of Maurice McCabe and question his motivation and all of that came into the public domain, why wasn’t that the trigger for people to come forward? And say, ‘hang on a minute here, there’s a lot more to this than meets the eye. A huge problem now with the inquiry is that the present whistleblowers, the serving guards, who were live, who made protected disclosures, under Noirin O’Sullivan’s watch, they’re allegations of mistreatment and bullying are not being included in Iarlaith O’Neill’s terms of reference…”

Later

Clifford: “What would be very interesting in that inquiry is whether the chairman or the judge asks in somebody, for example, [Fianna Fail TD] John McGuinness, who may have something to say. And he’s nothing to hide himself whatsoever but he may have something to say in relation to his meeting with former [Garda] commissioner Martin Callinan and did anything transpire there that may be of any use to Mr O’Neill trying to get to the bottom of this issue.”

Browne:I think many of us know what John McGuinness says he was told by Martin Callinan.”

Clifford: “He hasn’t publicly stated it himself, I suppose for good reason, but he hasn’t. But I’m sure…”

Browne:It is truly shocking. It would really..absolutely shocking. I think if viewers knew what was said, what John McGuinness says was said, I think they would be appalled…”

Reilly: “To go back to the very last point though, what John McGuinness and his meeting with Martin Callinan in a car park somewhere on the Naas Road. John McGuinness revealed that, on the Dail record, he was in the chamber, when he was speaking under privilege but I think he’s repeated it outside the chamber since, that Martin Callinan told him Maurice McCabe was, quote, not to be trusted. Now if that, that in most people’s eyes I think would qualify as an attempt by the most senior garda in force…”

Browne: “Yeah, but if that’s all that was said, you might think, well, yeah, yeah, yeah, but if that was all that was said…”

Reilly: “Well is it tenable for the commissioner at the time to be intervening as he did to cast those kinds of aspirations on the character of Maurice McCabe as he was…”

Browne: “OK but if…”

Reilly: “And for his assistant deputy commissioner not to know?”

Browne: “If that was all was said, that Maurice McCabe wasn’t to be trusted, if that was all was said, you’d say, well, all right, it was, shouldn’t have done it and all that,  but my understanding is that very much more was said and of much more damning significance than that Maurice McCabe wasn’t to be trusted…”

Later

Browne:If what we’ve heard is true, the damage that’s been done will be nothing to the damage that will be done.

Watch back in full here

john-mcguinness-public-accounts-committee-4-752x501

Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness

Mr McGuinness continues to claim he did no wrong in secretly meeting Callinan and not telling anybody about it until now. Yet the Fianna Fáil TD accepts his information may have helped the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation into whistleblower allegations. His excuses for not coming forward before are less than convincing.

Is his decision to divulge the information now related to him not being reappointed as chairman of the Dáil Public Accounts Committee and being notably left off Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin’s frontbench?

Whatever about his role as a TD – only the voters of Carlow-Kilkenny can pass judgment on that – Mr McGuinness was negligent in his duty as chairman of the Dáil’s most powerful committee, which is supposed to be the taxpayers’ watchdog.

The public deserved better from the holder of that role. And these matters are more important than John McGuinness’s ego and attention-seeking antics.

Right so.

From an editorial in today’s Irish Independent.

McGuinness negligent as chairman of Dáil PAC (Irish Independent)

Previously: Better Late Than Never

‘We Are Part Of The Cover-Up’

Did The Editor Have His Points Quashed?