Tag Archives: Maurice McCabe

And rising.

A petition calling for the State not to pay for the legal representation of former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan in an action taken against him by Maurice McCabe has reached more than 22,000 signatures.

Previously: The Bill

The petition can be signed here

This morning.

Following the second part of a two-part documentary on RTÉ 1 about Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe last night.

A petition calling for the State not to pay for the legal representation of former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan in an action taken against him by Maurice McCabe has reached more than 14,000 signatures.

At the Disclosures Tribunal Judge Peter Charleton accepted Fianna Fail TD John McGuinness’s evidence that Mr Callinan told him Sgt McCabe “fiddles with kids” and referred to both Sgt McCabe and former Garda John Wilson as “fucking headbangers” in January 2014.

He accepted that Mr Callinan told Mr McGuinness, during a meeting in a car park of Bewley’s Hotel on the Naas Road, Dublin, on Friday, January 24, 2014, that Sgt McCabe sexually abused his children and nieces.

And he accepted that Mr Callinan led him to believe there was a live investigation of some kind, causing Mr McGuinness to believe that charges against Sgt McCabe were imminent.

Judge Charleton accepted that Mr Callinan told Fine Gael TD John Deasy, on the way to a Public Accounts Committee meeting on Thursday, January 23, 2014, that Sgt McCabe was not to be believed or trusted with anything.

He also accepted the evidence of the Comptroller and Auditor General Seamus McCarthy – whose report into the quashing of penalty points was being discussed at that PAC meeting – that Mr Callinan told him Sgt McCabe was not to be trusted, that he had questions to answer, and that there were live allegations of sexual offences against him.

The judge also accepted that Mr Callinan told RTE journalist Philip Boucher-Hayes, before a broadcast of RTE’s Crimecall in December 2013, that Sgt McCabe was a “troubled individual” with a “lot of psychological issues and psychiatric issues”.

And the tribunal heard that Mr Callinan briefed celebrity solicitor Gerald Kean before Mr Kean went on the Marian Finucane Show in January 2014, during which Mr Kean alleged that Mr McCabe and Mr Wilson had not cooperated with an internal garda investigation into the penalty points controversy.

After Mr McCabe sent Mr Kean a legal letter about his comments threatening a defamation action, Mr Kean sent the letter on to Mr Callinan asking for his help in replying to Mr McCabe.

Mr Callinan, in turn, wrote up several paragraphs for Mr Kean to insert into this reply to Mr McCabe – which were inserted word for word.

Judge Peter Charleton wrote:

“So, the Garda Commissioner, by profession a criminal law enforcement officer, was drafting a letter for a solicitor on a legal problem, defamation, which the solicitor had. No comment is needed on this. Maurice McCabe subsequently took a defamation action against RTÉ and Gerald Kean. The case against Gerald Kean was not ultimately pursued, while a settlement was reached between Maurice McCabe and RTÉ.”

The petition can be signed here

Watch ‘Whistleblower’ Part 2 here.

Yesterday: How Was It For You?

Last night.

The first half of ‘Whistleblower’, a documentary by Katie Hannon (top right) about Maurice McCabe’s fight against Gardai malfeasance, was broadcast on RTÉ One – featuring interviews with Sgt McCabe (top centre) and Lorraine McCabe (top left) and will conclude tonight at 9.35pm.

Watch back here

Meanwhile…

Further to a report in The Sunday Times by John Mooney last weekend…

In which Mr Mooney reported that the State is paying for the legal representation of former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan in an action taken against him by Maurice McCabe, following an agreement finalised in mid-July

After the Disclosures Tribunal heard evidence from Fianna Fail TD John McGuinness, Comptroller and Auditor General Seamus McCarthy, RTE journalist Philip Boucher Hayes and Fine Gael TD John Deasy that Mr Callinan spoke derogatorily to them about the now retired sergeant…

A petition has been set up on Uplift calling for the State not to do so.

The petition sets out the following reasons for why the State shouldn’t cover Mr Callinan’s legal costs:

1. The most senior Garda in the country knowingly and deliberately smeared a serving Garda who raised the shortcomings in performance of other Gardai.

2. The State already funded the Tribunal to establish the facts and the facts have vindicated Garda McCabe.

3. For the State to then indemnify the guilty party is further persecuting the McCabe’s and also means there is no consequence for the guilty party.

4. The Minister for Justice should review the former commissioners contract of employment to see what sanctions were possible for breach of contact for bringing the force into disrepute. If there is such a provision the State should then seek to review his retirement and pension arrangements and if necessary take action to recover costs borne by the State because of his scurrilous actions.

5. This sets a dangerous precedent, where employees of the State can ruin peoples lives with absolutely no consequence for their actions.

At the Disclosures Tribunal Judge Peter Charleton accepted Mr McGuinness’s evidence that Mr Callinan told him Sgt McCabe “fiddles with kids” and referred to both Sgt McCabe and former Garda John Wilson as “fucking headbangers” in January 2014.

He accepted that Mr Callinan told Mr McGuinness, during a meeting in a car park of Bewley’s Hotel on the Naas Road, Dublin, on Friday, January 24, 2014, that Sgt McCabe sexually abused his children and nieces.

And he accepted that Mr Callinan led him to believe there was a live investigation of some kind, causing Mr McGuinness to believe that charges against Sgt McCabe were imminent.

Judge Charleton accepted that Mr Callinan told Fine Gael TD John Deasy, on the way to a Public Accounts Committee meeting on Thursday, January 23, 2014, that Sgt McCabe was not to be believed or trusted with anything.

He also accepted the evidence of the Comptroller and Auditor General Seamus McCarthy – whose report into the quashing of penalty points was being discussed at that PAC meeting – that Mr Callinan told him Sgt McCabe was not to be trusted, that he had questions to answer, and that there were live allegations of sexual offences against him.

And he accepted that Mr Callinan told Mr Boucher-Hayes, before a broadcast of RTE’s Crimecall in December 2013, that Sgt McCabe was a “troubled individual” with a “lot of psychological issues and psychiatric issues”.

The petition can be signed here

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris and retired Sgt Maurice McCabe

“He did a service for policing, for An Garda Síochána, but policing in Ireland as well. And we’re the stronger for the example that Maurice McCabe has set and stronger for the Charleton Report that’s been delivered.

“I regret that I hadn’t met him before, under, you know, more normal circumstances because I think a lot of his views in policing are the views that I would have held as well.”

The newly appointed Garda Commissioner Drew Harris speaking on Northern Sound radio earlier today.

Garda Commissioner says he shares Maurice McCabe’s views on policing (Northern Sound)

Rollingnews

Hatchette Ireland tweetz:

Excited to reveal the cover of the updated edition of A Force for Justice: The Maurice McCabe Story by award-winning journalist @Mickcliff. Out November 22 #TheFinalVerdict

Previously: The Price We Paid

Irish-made stocking fillers to Broadsheet@broadsheet.ie marked ‘Irish-made Stocking Fillers’. No fee

Sgt Maurice McCabe

The Irish Examiner understands Sergeant McCabe met Assistant Commissioner Fintan Fanning at the weekend and applied to retire. As he has served the requisite 30 years, he is entitled to retire on a full pension.

His application was accepted and will come into effect from 12am.

His retirement comes three weeks after publication of the Disclosures Tribunal report in which Judge Peter Charleton described the Cavan-based sergeant as having done the state “considerable service”.

Maurice McCabe retires after 30 years on force (Michael Clifford, irish Examiner)

Rollingnews

Meanwhile…

From left: Conor Brady; Judge Peter Charleton

During the Disclosures Tribunal, Judge Peter Charleton repeatedly called out for journalists, or anyone else, with any knowledge of any smear campaign against Sgt Maurice McCabe to come forward and make it known to the tribunal.

The judge made a specific appeal after editor of The Irish Mirror John Kierans gave evidence, and told how it was his understanding that former Garda Press Officer Supt Dave Taylor had “peddled” the story about Sgt McCabe and Ms D to various newsrooms in Dublin in early 2014.

Judge Charleton said:

“I would be grateful if the message would go forth through whatever media are present in the room, there is actually a duty on people who actually know something about this to come forward.

“I made that plea back in February 2017, and here is yet another variation of people not coming forward, perhaps, perhaps suppressing matters, here is a view being expressed in relation to a situation where an individual has completely waived their privilege.

“If people say they have a privilege but they know something, I would much rather know that, than for them to simply, if it is the case, sit in their office blocks and not come to the Tribunal and not communicate. There is a website. You can communicate. There is a phone line. It is manned. It will be manned indeed all day on Saturday.

“This matter is coming close to an end. And I regard it as not a legal obligation, but much, much more serious than that: a patriotic obligation of people who know something to come forward so that the people of Ireland aren’t left in the daft situation that people who know things in the journalistic profession have not come forward to speak, but, nonetheless, will be able to write articles about what happened to them in the aftermath of the Tribunal report appearing.

“Now, in the event that that happens, the people of Ireland will no doubt take their own view as to the credibility of the persons who do that and that may indeed cause damage to the media outlets who may be involved in this, and I don’t know if they are or not, much worse than any libel action on earth; in other words, people simply stop trusting journalists.

“And it is important that they do, because journalists fulfil an extremely important function within our society and one which personally I value very highly.”

Meanwhile…

In yesterday’s The Sunday Times

Former Garda Ombudsman Conor Brady, in an opinion piece about An Garda Síochána, wrote:

Many gardai passed on the word to whoever would listen that McCabe was a “bad one”. A businessman friend of mine was told this by a superintendent on the golf course.

One senior official solemnly assured me, in the company of others, that there was a “whole other side” to McCabe.

Mr Brady did not appear as a witness at the Disclosures Tribunal.

Conor Brady: The Maurice McCabe saga goes beyond a morality tale (The Sunday Times)

Earlier: Bryan Wall: Vinidcation At The Expense Of Justice

UPDATE:

In a statement to Broadsheet, a spokesman for the Disclosures Tribunal said:

‘The  tribunal  wishes to advise, Mr Brady never contacted the tribunal and or/gave us a statement and we were not aware of this information.

Mr Brady was never mentioned to us as a journalist we should pursue. He did however, have a GSOC involvement – he was a member of the board from 2005 to 2011.

The tribunal has no further comment to make.’

 

From top (clockwise) Irish Mail on Sunday editor Conor O’Donnell, IMOS Crime Correspondent Debbie McCann, Deputy News Editor of the IMOS Robert Cox, Irish Daily Mail journalist Alison O’Reilly, Mail Group Editor Sebastian Hamilton; Eavan Murray, of The Irish Sun; Irish Times Crime Editor Conor Lally; Daniel McConnell, Juno McEnroe and Cormac O’Keeffe, of The Irish Examiner; John Burke, of RTÉ

Ahead of statements being made in the Dáil about the report this afternoon from 4.50pm

And further to a post this morning concerning some of Judge Peter Charleton’s findings on certain gardai who appeared at the Disclosures Tribunal…

Judge Charleton also found that some journalists also frustrated his efforts to find out exactly what happened to Sgt McCabe.

At the outset, he found that “no newspaper or media outlet ever traduced the character of Maurice McCabe in consequence of any communication from Superintendent Taylor, or indeed at all” in relation to the Ms D allegation which was found to have no foundation by the DPP in 2007.

He wrote:

“No one in print or on radio or on television or on Internet sites ever said either that Maurice McCabe had abused a child or that he was a bitter man with hidden agendas in consequence of being investigated by his colleagues due to an allegation made against him in December 2006 of what was then claimed to be historic abuse.”

But he conceded:

“Rumours were, however, as this report details in part, flying around about him; particularly from 2013 and in January 2014.”

Following on from former Garda press officer Supt Dave Taylor claiming in his protected disclosure that he “negatively briefed” journalists about Sgt McCabe – but giving no significant details of where, when and how he briefed them – the tribunal wrote to 25 journalists at the outset of the tribunal’s inquiries on March 15, 2017.

Each of these journalists, after having been found to have been in contact with Supt Taylor during the relevant period of time of the smear campaign against Sgt McCabe, were asked if they had any information relevant to tribunal’s terms of reference.

On March 21, 2017, the tribunal wrote to Conor Lally, of The Irish Times.

[This took place a month after the publication of an article by Mr Lally, on February 20, 2017, based on an interview he had with Ms D, upon which Sgt McCabe subsequently took action. The print version of the article was headlined “Woman behind alleged complaint about McCabe wants her day before inquiry” while its online version was headed “When can I get on with the rest of my life? – woman at the centre of the McCabe case”.]

[In the High Court in July 2018, the newspaper apologised to Sgt McCabe for suggesting in the article that the DPP’s ruling that no prosecution be made against Sgt McCabe was based on merely “insufficient evidence”.

[When Mr Lally gave evidence to the tribunal – which took place between the time he wrote the article and when The Irish Times apologised to Sgt McCabe – Mr Lally said he had first heard of the Ms D allegation in 2010 or 2011 and that the matter was “dead” to him because he knew “the case was, quote-unquote, completely thrown out by the DPP]

On April 21, 2017, the tribunal wrote to each of the 25 journalists again and it also wrote to Cormac O’Keeffe and Daniel McConnell, of The Irish Examiner.

On April 24, 2017, the tribunal wrote to Mr Lally again.

The judge noted:

“In these letters to 28 journalists, the tribunal requested answers to a list of questions relevant to its terms of reference. With one exception, no answer was given to the complete set of questions at that time.”

[That exception was Frank Greaney, of Newstalk]

On April 13, 2017, Supt Taylor gave the tribunal the names of nine journalists – claiming that he negatively briefed them about Sgt McCabe.

Continue reading

Oh.

Tweets last night about the Blogging Unveiled controversy from John Mooney, an investigative journalist with The Sunday Times.

The last line in the second tweet is reference to Mr Mooney and his paper’s role in the Maurice McCabe saga.

And barely-veiled criticism of those who confirmed the source of negative and dishonest briefings about the Garda whistleblower.

Yes.

Good times.

Previously:

Maurice McCabe And The Sunday Times

They Are Laughing At You

From top: Lorraine and Maurice McCabe; Cathal McMahon and John Kierans

Cathal McMahon worked as a crime reporter with the Irish Mirror between July 2012 and June 2014 – roughly the same period of time that Supt Dave Taylor was the head of the Garda Press Office.

He told the Disclosures Tribunal that sometime in early 2014 – and most likely in January or February 2014 – he was told by a source that Sgt Maurice McCabe had been investigated over an allegation of child sex abuse in the Cavan area and that “the allegation was historic in nature”.

Mr McMahon didn’t identify this source to the tribunal.

But he confirmed it was neither Supt Taylor, the then Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan or the then Deputy Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan.

He also confirmed it wasn’t any member of An Garda Síochána.

Asked what he did with this information, Mr McMahon said:

“I then contacted Superintendent Dave Taylor, who was at the time the Press Officer, and he confirmed the story as I had given it to him, and the only addition was that he suggested that maybe I should go to Cavan and find further details there.”

Mr McMahon said Supt Taylor – whom he contacted directly by phone – didn’t direct him to go to anyone in particular in Cavan and Mr McMahon didn’t ask him to point to anyone in particular.

He said he was “dubious” about the allegation because “obviously if the allegation was true, it would have been investigated, he may have been brought before the courts”.

He said he wasn’t aware of the outcome of the investigation into Ms D’s complaint and that he and Supt Taylor did not discuss the DPP’s directions regarding Ms Ds complaint.

Mr McMahon said, after speaking with Supt Taylor, he thought the next prudent step was to talk to his editor John Kierans – whom, Mr McMahon said, told him he didn’t feel it was a story worth pursuing. Mr McMahon said he was satisfied with this response.

But the tribunal heard Mr Kierans – in a statement to the tribunal, before he gave evidence – say that he thought Mr McMahon was “disappointed” with this response.

When this was put to Mr McMahon, he said that wasn’t his memory of what happened.

Mr McMahon told the tribunal about his interaction with Supt Taylor in June 2018, after his former editor John Kierans first told the tribunal of the matter in the same month.

Similarly to other journalists, the tribunal wrote to Mr McMahon in March and April 2017 – but “no substantial reply” was received.

When Mr McMahon was asked why he didn’t tell the tribunal about this encounter with Supt Taylor from the outset, Mr McMahon said:

“I sought legal counsel at the time, and I was taken to believe that my evidence didn’t fall within the terms of reference of the Tribunal. I obviously had serious concerns about the protection of sources, as a number of colleagues in other newspapers have raised.

“I didn’t write anything about this story. I never pursued the story outside a very short conversation. I wasn’t negatively briefed about Sergeant McCabe by any of the people mentioned as part of the terms of reference of this Tribunal. And I also wasn’t named by Superintendent Dave Taylor as one of the 11 journalists he said he had negatively briefed.”

Mr McMahon wasn’t named by Supt Taylor when he initially claimed to have negatively briefed nine journalists – Paul Williams, of the Irish Independent; Paul Reynolds, of RTE; John Mooney, of The Sunday Times; Michael O’Toole, of the Irish Daily Star; Juno McEnroe, of the Irish Examiner; Cormac O’Keeffe, of the Irish Examiner; Daniel McConnell, of the Irish Examiner; Conor Lally, of The Irish Times and John Burke, of RTE – about Sgt McCabe.

He later added two – Debbie McCann, of the Irish Mail on Sunday, and Eavan Murray, of The Irish Sun – after the D family told the tribunal that the two journalists had separately called to their house in early 2014 – in an attempt to talk about Ms D and Sgt McCabe.

None of these journalists confirmed Supt Taylor’s claim that he negatively briefed them, and Mr McMahon also told the tribunal that Supt Taylor never negatively briefed him.

But in relation to this position, that he wasn’t negatively briefed by Supt Taylor, Mr McMahon had this exchange with Kathleen Leader BL, for the tribunal.

Leader: “You say you weren’t negatively briefed about Sergeant McCabe, but at the same time you’re saying you did speak to Superintendent Taylor in relation to the D allegation, as it is referred to here, and he pointed you in a particular direction. Do you consider that negatively briefing?

McMahon: “It was a direction I already knew. He was merely repeating what I had already said to him — in terms of the location of where the allegation had come from.”

Leader: “Right. But, for instance, Superintendent Taylor could say, look, there’s nothing to that and leave it at that, instead of pointing you in a particular direction, maybe — maybe it does actually constitute negative briefing, pointing you in a particular direction, hinting that you should take the story a bit further, do you see that now, with the benefit of hindsight?

McMahon: “I’m not quite sure what you are asking, sorry.”

Judge Peter Charleton then attempted to tease out Ms Leader’s question for Mr McMahon when they had the following exchange:

Charleton: “In other words, counsel’s question, as I understand it, is this: You hear a rumour, then you go to someone who is expected to know whether the rumour
is true or not, but the person then confirms the rumour, and added on to that is, well, what I would take as an invitation to go and look into the matter further and the place you need to look into it is indeed the area you mentioned. That is counsel’s question.”

Leader: “Yes.”

Charleton: “So that –”

McMahon: “Are you asking me if I should have come forward sooner?”

Charleton: “No, I think — I know what counsel is actually asking you is, I suppose, the definition of negative briefing, do you see that as being helpful to Sergeant McCabe or not helpful to Sergeant McCabe? If it was you they were talking about –”

McMahon: “I understand.”

Charleton: “– that there was an historical allegation of sex abuse, that it happened in relation to a child, if they went to your editor and if they asked the question, look, is it true what they say about this fellow, and the editor confirmed it, yes, and furthermore, if you want to find out more, the place to go is Drumcondra, where this thing happened, counsel is asking you how would you feel about that?”

McMahon: “Yes, I understand.”

Leader: “Yes.”

McMahon: “So are you asking me to say if I feel like I should have taken different steps?”

Leader: “Well, no, do you think now, having heard it explained to you in those terms, that that constitutes negative briefing?”

McMahon: “I don’t believe I was negatively briefed.”

It was also put to Mr McMahon by John Ferry BL, for Supt Taylor, that because Supt Taylor didn’t set him straight on the Ms D allegation – that that was a form of negative briefing.

Mr McMahon accepted that that was Mr Ferry’s view.

Mr Ferry also told Mr McMahon that Supt Taylor maintained that Mr McMahon was a journalist whom he negatively briefed about Sgt McCabe at crime scenes and during phone conversations.

But Mr McMahon maintained that this was not correct and that they only had the one interaction about Sgt McCabe, referred to above.

Mr Ferry also put it to Mr McMahon that it was Supt Taylor’s case that Mr McMahon didn’t go to Supt Taylor about Sgt McCabe and Ms D but, instead, Supt Taylor briefed Mr McMahon.

Mr McMahon said: “That is simply not true.

And in regards to Mr McMahon’s claim that Supt Taylor directed him to Cavan, Mr Ferry BL, for Supt Taylor, said Supt Taylor maintains “he never referred or directed any journalist to travel to Cavan”.

When Mr Kierans gave his evidence to the tribunal, he said he didn’t have much to say in dispute with Mr McMahon.

Recalling the day Mr McMahon told him about the Ms D allegation, which was the first time Mr Kierans heard about the allegation, Mr Kierans said:

“Basically, Cathal got this really good story, came in to us, we had a meeting in the boardroom in the office in Dublin, he said that he had a cracking story about that Sergeant McCabe had been questioned over the abuse of a child. I was quite shocked, you know. In our world we would have looked at it as one hell of a story, but my antenna was up and I felt that something wasn’t right.

“And it’s one thing for somebody to be questioned by the police, but my view of it was, well, why hadn’t he been charged, you know. And, like, we talked about the story. I don’t really — because it’s four or five years ago, I don’t really remember the full discussion I had with Cathal, to be honest about it, and, you know, I took a decision, you know, I spoke to the news desk about it, some of my executives, and over the next couple of days Cathal said that he’d go to Cavan, and I told him not to, that I wanted to hold off, that I just felt something was wrong here, that I didn’t really believe it.

“My view of it was, you know, this was a very, very serious story, if we are going to run it, the risks to the publication from a defamation point of view would have been absolutely huge, you know, we were talking about millions, making an allegation, if it turned out to be false, against a Garda whistleblower, and also the fact that Sergeant McCabe had been a whistleblower also, you know, I don’t always believe everything that I’m told by governments or by the police. So, for that reason, I kind of decided that we’d back off.

“Now, I didn’t believe the story and I wasn’t going to run it, so I more or less told Cathal to just concentrate on other things, that I wasn’t going to take a risk on it, and I didn’t really believe it in my gut, to be perfectly honest.”

“…And then the other thing that was in my head: Why are the cops telling us this? You know, why are the gardaí telling us that Maurice McCabe has been questioned over a child sex abuse allegation, you know? And the fact that he was a whistleblower, you know, I kind of said there’s something not right here. So again, in my gut, I felt my antenna was up and I walked away from the story. I’m glad I did because it was absolutely totally untrue.”

Mr Kierans told the tribunal that Mr McMahon never told him the identity of his initial source but he did think it was Supt Taylor, however he said he accepted that Mr McMahon had told the tribunal that this wasn’t the case.

Mr Kierans told the tribunal Mr McMahon is an honest individual.

He said:

“I just couldn’t believe that the cops were spinning it, that’s the way I had seen it, that they so easily confirmed — you know, Cathal said that the guards had confirmed it. I can’t remember if I asked him specifically who it was, but I assumed it was Dave Taylor. Like, in fairness to Cathal, he’s a very honest reporter, always has been, he would always tell you the truth, and, as a journalist, he would never, ever put you wrong on a story. He’s a very low-key guy. He’s not one of those guys who wants to be on television every night of the week, and he’s a very honest individual.”

He also reiterated how suspicious he was of what had been confirmed to Mr McMahon, saying:

“It also kind of alarms me as well when the Garda Press Office were confirming a story against an existing member of their own force, right, because normally if a member of the Garda Síochána is in any trouble, they tend to cover it up from one end of the country to another, because they really stand together, the guards.”

Mr Kierans did see Paul Williams’ first article about Sgt McCabe and Ms D in the Irish Independent on April 12, 2014. Asked if he was regretting his decision not to send Mr McMahon to Cavan, Mr Kierans said:

“Absolutely not. I thought they were mad in the head to run it. Because it was anonymous, it was no names, what did it mean? Like, to Joe public, unless people are named, they don’t really know who they are. So you had a garda questioned over an allegation of paedophilia and there was no more detail, you know, so it was all anonymous. And you had quotes from the victim, is my recollection of it.

“So my view is, I didn’t care less, that is their business, and I suspect they’ll probably pay a price for it.

Mr Kierans, like Mr McMahon, didn’t tell the tribunal the information above until he gave a statement to the tribunal in June 2018.

Asked about this delay, he said:

“I like to tell the truth as best I can and I think this Tribunal is really important, I think that the Irish people have a right to know what was going on in the Gardaí at this particular time of our history, and when the investigators initially came into my office and interviewed me and they asked me had we come across any stories in relation to Maurice McCabe, and I didn’t remember any.

“And then subsequent to that, I think it was on the day I was due to come in here to give evidence, I had a phone call with somebody and then it just triggered a memory that I had and I mentioned it to my lawyer and he said, well, you’d better make a new statement to the Tribunal, and this is how it came about that this story that Cathal had, I had completely forgotten about it, and Cathal had been out of my mind because he’d left the Mirror and moved on to other publications, and that’s how it came to be.”

Mr Kierans didn’t tell the tribunal who he had spoken with on the phone.

He also went on to say he believes that when a source waives their privilege, journalistic privilege no longer applies.

He said:

“I think we’ve spent a lifetime cultivating our contacts and we build them up, and especially real confidential informants, it takes a lot of time and trust, and a lot of these people are your best friends and, you know, but if somebody wants — if a contact came to me and wanted to be identified, I would have no problem with it.

“But I have to say and I point out that in 38 years I have never had a contact who came to me, you know. But in this case Mr Taylor has identified himself, so I personally see no problem with it. I think privilege is something that should be cherished and it’s really important for our industry, and equally, I don’t think it should be misused either.”

Mr Kierans also told the tribunal that, after Mr McMahon brought his attention to the Ms D matter, “I would have discovered then over the following two or three weeks that that story had been peddled around town by Superintendent Taylor to a number of other news outlets”.

He latter added:

“I don’t know who he briefed or who he didn’t briefed. All I’m telling you is, my understanding was that that story that we came across was peddled around other newsrooms.”

In response to this, Judge Peter Charleton asked Mr Ferry BL, for Supt Taylor, to find out what Supt Taylor’s response was to that claim.

The judge also made a lengthy plea for anyone with information to come forward and suggested there may be consequences for those with information who weren’t coming forward then but may go public in the future.

He said:

The evidence now from Mr Kierans is that this particular story was peddled around the town to at least two or three other newsrooms or news editors by Superintendent Taylor, and I think it is up to him to say whether that happened or not and what the names of those people are. And whereas I am grateful, obviously, to the media, and from time to time I see, because I do read the newspapers and I get both entertainment and instruction from them, perhaps colourful things that I have said in relation to, I don’t know, Kurosawa or anything else like that coming up, but this is a very serious matter.

“I mean, this thing is beginning to come to an end and I would be grateful if the message would go forth through whatever media are present in the room, there is actually a duty on people who actually know something about this to come forward. I made that plea back in February 2017, and here is yet another variation of people not coming forward, perhaps, perhaps suppressing matters, here is a view being expressed in relation to a situation where an individual has completely waived their privilege.

“If people say they have a privilege but they know something, I would much rather know that, than for them to simply, if it is the case, sit in their office blocks and not come to the Tribunal and not communicate.

“There is a website. communicate. There is a phone line. It is manned. It will be manned indeed all day on Saturday. This matter is coming close to an end. And I regard it as not a legal obligation, but much, much more serious than that: a patriotic obligation of people who know something to come forward so that the people of Ireland aren’t left in the daft situation that people who know things in the journalistic profession have not come forward to speak, but, nonetheless, will be able to write articles about what happened to them in the aftermath of the Tribunal report appearing.

“Now, in the event that that happens, the people of Ireland will no doubt take their own view as to the credibility of the persons who do that and that may indeed cause damage to the media outlets who may be involved in this, and I don’t know if they are or not, much worse than any libel action on earth; in other words, people simply stop trusting journalists. And it is important that they do, because journalists fulfil an extremely important function within our society and one which personally I value very highly.”

Mr Ferry later told Judge Charleton that “there’s no other names that he [Supt Taylor] wishes to add to the list”.

Judge Charleton said it wasn’t “a question of wishing. It’s a question of actually assisting in this process”.

Mr Ferry repeated there were no other journalists’ named to be added to Supt Taylor’s list but he confirmed for the judge that Supt Taylor didn’t brief editors or newsrooms directly – he claims he simply told certain journalists.

As Mr Kierans wouldn’t tell the tribunal which newsrooms he believed were “peddled” the matters concerning Sgt McCabe and Ms D, Ms Leader BL, for the tribunal, had the following exchange with Mr Kierans.

Leader: “I just wonder if I could ask you the question in another way. The Tribunal knows that DMG Media [Mail] was aware of this story from the evidence Debbie McCann has given to the Tribunal; the Tribunal also knows that Independent News and Media was aware of the story from evidence given by Mr [Paul] Williams; the Tribunal also knows the Irish Times was aware of the story from Mr [Conor] Lally’s evidence; and there was also, Mr [Michael] O’Toole was aware of the story who I think is The Star?”

Kierans: “Yeah.”

Leader: “The Daily Star?”

Kierans: “Mm-hmm.”

Leader: “And then we have Ms [Eavan] Murray’s evidence from The Sun?”

Kierans: “The Sun.”

Leader: “Are there any other newsrooms that the Tribunal should be aware of?”

Kierans: “Not that I’m aware of, no.”

Leader: “All right. Thank you very much.”

Judge Peter Charleton is due to publish his report in October. He examined allegations made by former head of the Garda Press Office Supt Dave Taylor that he was instructed by former Commissioner Martin Callinan, with the knowledge of then Deputy Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan, to convey to journalists that an investigation into the Ms D allegation against Sgt McCabe  was the “root cause” of Sgt McCabe’s whistleblowing. The DPP ruled Ms D’s allegation had no foundation in April 2007 while Mr Callinan and Ms O’Sullivan both deny Supt Taylor’s claims.

Previously: Maurice McCabe And The Irish Daily Star

Maurice McCabe And The Irish Sun

Maurice McCabe And The Irish Examiner: Part 2

Maurice McCabe And The irish Examiner: Part 1

Maurice McCabe And The Mail Newspapers

 Maurice McCabe And INM: Part 2

Maurice McCabe And INM: Part 1

Maurice McCabe And RTÉ

Maurice McCabe And The Irish Times

Maurice McCabe And The Irish Times: Part 2

Maurice McCabe And The Sunday Times