At a meeting of the Oireachtas committee on Children and Youth Affairs.
Tusla’s Chief Executive Officer Fred McBride is answering questions in respect of a report published by HIQA yesterday.
HIQA’s report looked at the management of allegations of child sexual abuse against adults by Tusla – after it emerged that Tusla had sent a notification containing a wholly false allegation of rape against Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe to An Garda Síochána in May 2014.
This false rape allegation was brought to the attention of the then Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan in the same month.
Sgt McCabe wasn’t made aware of this false allegation until January 2016 when Tusla wrote to him and told he was being investigated for this.
Between May 2015 and December 2015, Sgt McCabe was involved in the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation which examined his complaints about poor policing in Cavan/Monaghan and throughout this time, he never knew this false allegation had been documented by Tusla and sent to the gardaí.
It wasn’t until June 2016 that Tusla wrote to Sgt McCabe and told him a mistake had been made.
These matters are currently being examined by Supreme Court judge Peter Charleton at the Disclosures Tribunal.
The HIQA report identified 65 cases where the group failed to protect children at “potential risk” of abuse.
Clockwise from top left: Sgt Maurice McCabe and his wife Lorraine; Paul Reynolds, of RTÉ, journalist Colm Kenny; John Mooney, of The Sunday Times, Paul Williams, of the Irish Independent, Eavan Murray, of the Irish Sun, Alison O’Reilly, of the Irish Daily Mail, and Debbie McCann, of the Irish Mail on Sunday
This morning, from 10am.
Former Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan will resume giving evidence to the Disclosures Tribunal at Dublin Castle.
The tribunal is examining allegations made by the former head of the Garda Press Office Supt Dave Taylor that, at some point in the middle of 2013, he was instructed by Ms O’Sullivan’s predecessor Martin Callinan to negatively brief journalists about Sgt Maurice McCabe.
At that time, Sgt McCabe and former Garda John Wilson were raising concerns about An Garda Síochána, including the quashing of penalty points.
In December 2012, People Before Profit TD Joan Collins named Irish Independent journalist Paul Williams as having had points quashed while, in April 2013, Gemma O’Doherty, in the Irish Independent, reported that points pertaining to the then Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan had been quashed.
[The tribunal has heard Sgt McCabe wasn’t the source of Ms O’Doherty’s story].
Supt Taylor alleges that, following this alleged instruction from Mr Callinan, he was to convey to journalists that Sgt McCabe was driven by maliciousness and motivated by revenge due to an allegation of sexual assault made against him in 2006.
This was the allegation made by a Ms D – the daughter of a former Garda colleague of Sgt McCabe who was sanctioned after Sgt McCabe made a complaint on foot of the colleague attending the scene of a suicide after drinking alcohol.
In April 2007, the DPP found Ms D’s allegation had no foundation.
Supt Taylor alleges that he was instructed to tell journalists about this allegation and to tell them that the DPP ruled against a prosecution, but that he was to convey that it was the “root cause” of Sgt McCabe’s complaints about malpractice within An Garda Siochana.
Supt Taylor also alleges that he was also to convey to journalists that Sgt McCabe didn’t cooperate with an internal Garda investigation called Operation Squeeze into the quashing of penalty points led by Assistant Commissioner John O’Mahony – which began in October 2012 and reported in May 2013.
In a protected disclosure submitted in September 2016, Supt Taylor alleges that Ms O’Sullivan was aware of these instructions from Mr Callinan.
He also alleges that the director of communications at An Garda Síochána Andrew McLindon was also aware.
Mr Callinan, Ms O’Sullivan and Mr McLindon categorically deny all the allegations.
The tribunal has heard it’s the position of An Garda Siochana that Supt Taylor told Mr Callinan that he was going to “bring down” Ms O’Sullivan – after he was moved out of the Garda Press Office and moved into Traffic in June 2014 – and that he made up the claim about Mr Callinan to give credence to the allegation.
It’s alleged Supt Taylor made this threat known to Mr Callinan after Supt Taylor had been arrested and suspended from duty in May 2015 – over allegations of leaking information to journalists while he was no longer in the Garda Press Office.
[The tribunal has heard that after an investigation which involved six interviews comprising of 18 hours of questioning – in which Supt Taylor continuously replied “no comment” – the DPP decided not to prosecute Supt Taylor on February 13, 2017, just days after Labour leader Brendan Howlin made claims about Ms O’Sullivan in the Dáil. But last week Supt Taylor conceded to the tribunal that he did make all of the communications he was accused of making to the journalists. The tribunal has heard Supt Taylor had around 11,000 communications with journalists between September 2014 and December 2014, after having been transferred out of the press office in June 2014. A comprehensive post on Supt Taylor’s evidence, Chief Supt Francis Clerkin’s investigation into Supt Taylor, Supt Taylor’s judicial review application to the High Court will follow]
Mr Callinan’s evidence is that he never told Ms O’Sullivan of this alleged threat made by Supt Taylor, while Supt Taylor denies making it.
In any event.
Separate to Supt Taylor’s allegations, Mr Callinan has been accused by five people – Fianna Fáil TD and then chairman of the Public Accounts Committee John McGuinness, Fine Gael TD and then a member of PAC John Deasy, the Comptroller and Auditor General Seamus McCarthy, RTE journalist Philip Boucher Hayes and solicitor Gerald Kean – that he negatively briefed them about Sgt McCabe during one-to-one conversations in December 2013/January 2014.
The allegations range from Mr Callinan saying Sgt McCabe was a troublemaker to he couldn’t be trusted to he had psychiatric problems to he was a person who “fiddles with kids”.
Mr McGuinness gave evidence to say that he was led to believe that a child sex assault investigation into Sgt McCabe was ongoing, while Mr McCarthy said he was told there were sexual offences (plural) against Sgt McCabe.
All of these briefings were to have taken placed in or around the Public Accounts Committee meeting on January 23, 2014, in which Mr Callinan, who was sitting next to Ms O’Sullivan, made his infamous “disgusting” remark.
Mr Callinan categorically denies the accounts of each of these five individuals.
The tribunal has heard that notes taken by various people present at several meetings held in Garda HQ in preparation of that PAC meeting show that Sgt McCabe, the Ms D allegation and “motivation” were discussed.
Yesterday, Ms O’Sullivan said she has no recollection of these matters being discussed in her presence, while Mr Callinan conceded that the notes suggest they were discussed but he can’t recall the matters being discussed either.
Sgt McCabe was only informed of this false rape referral in January 2016.
But going back to Supt Taylor’s protected disclosure…
In his protected disclosure, Supt Taylor only named one journalist – Paul Williams, of the Irish Independent – in respect of the Ms D allegation. However, he did also state he spoke to “various journalists”.
He also referred to RTE’s Paul Reynolds in respect of separate briefings on the day Mr Callinan stood down from his role as commissioner in March 2014.
The tribunal has already heard that three journalists called to the D family home in early 2014 – Debbie McCann, of the Irish Mail on Sunday; Eavan Murray, of The Irish Sun; and Mr Williams.
However, only Mr Williams wrote articles about Ms D in 2014.
In his protected disclosure, Supt Taylor alleged that he got a phone call from Mr Williams in which Mr Williams told him he was in Ms D’s house and he was going to interview her.
But, in his protected disclosure, Supt Taylor also said: “No article was ever published”.
However four articles written by Mr Williams were published about Ms D in the Irish Independent in April/May 2014. Supt Taylor said he never saw these articles.
Supt Taylor has told the tribunal that the purpose of Mr Williams’s phone call was for information purposes and that he passed on what Mr Williams told him to both Mr Callinan and Ms O’Sullivan.
The tribunal yesterday saw that Ms O’Sullivan – who would have been Garda Commissioner at this point – texted Paul Williams at 7.11pm on April 12, 2014, the day Mr Williams’ first Ms D article was published in the Irish Independent. When asked if this text was about his Ms D article, Ms O’Sullivan said no.
Ms O’Sullivan also told the tribunal that she couldn’t recall talking to anybody about the article at that time.
The tribunal heard evidence from the D family and Mr Williams last summer in which they said Mr Williams came to the D family home on Saturday, March 8, 2014 and interviewed Ms D.
It followed a separate visit by Mr Williams a few days beforehand in which he just met Ms D’s parents, Mr and Mrs D.
On that Saturday, in which he interviewed Ms D, the tribunal heard, Mr Williams – with the help of videographer Caoimhe Gaskin – also videoed part of his interview with Ms D.
The tribunal hasn’t seen this video interview.
[More can be read about this here, while Mr Williams is scheduled to return to give further evidence next week]
After making his protected disclosure – in September 2016 – Supt Taylor gave the names of nine male journalists, whom he claims he negatively briefed about Sgt McCabe, to the tribunal.
They were Mr Williams; 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.
Later still, afterthe D family gave evidence on Monday, July 17, 2017 – in relation to the Tusla module which looked at how the false rape referral came into existence and when Ms D, Mr D and Mrs D told the tribunal that Ms McCann, of the Irish Mail on Sunday and Ms Murray, of the Irish Sun, visited the house separately in February of 2014 – the tribunal’s investigators went back to Supt Taylor and he then added these two journalists to his list.
From top: Maurice McCabe and Former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan at Dublin Castle this afternoon
At the Disclosures Tribunal in Dublin Castle.
Former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan gave evidence before Supreme Court judge Peter Charleton who is examining allegations of a smear campaign against Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe.
Mr Callinan said Sgt McCabe was right to report his allegations of wrongdoing and that he was “proved to be correct on quite a large amount of the issues that he has raised” before adding “and we know the criticism in relation to other matters”.
Mr Callinan also said that he would be the first to acknowledge that Sgt McCabe “has identified and did identify weaknesses in my system”.
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”.
“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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
“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 errorin 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 – butwas 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.
“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’Mahoney’s 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.
“…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.
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.”
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.
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.
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
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.
Sgt Maurice McCabe will give evidence in respect of all the tribunal’s modules.
It will be the first time Sgt McCabe will have spoken in a public forum.
He will field questions on a false rape allegation which was levelled against him in a Tusla file and sent to the then Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan in May 2014 – which he didn’t learn of until he received a letter from Tusla stating the organisation was investigating him for rape on December 29, 2015.
Sgt McCabe will also be asked about his treatment at the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation which took place between May and December 2015, and looked at his allegations of poor policing in Cavan/Monaghan.
He will also be asked about an alleged smear campaign against him by senior gardai – as alleged by former head of the Garda Press Office Supt Dave Taylor.
Sgt McCabe is also scheduled to give evidence tomorrow morning, also from 10am.
On Thursday, the legal representatives for the various parties are scheduled to give oral submissions on the O’Higgins module – which attempted to decipher whether or not the former Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan inappropriately used unjustified grounds to discredit Sgt McCabe at that commission.
Broadsheet will be tweeting live from the proceedings here
Michael Clifford and Cormac O’Keeffe reported on an answer to a parliamentary question put down by Social Democrats TD Roisin Shortall to the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan.
The answer, published on Tuesday, revealed that the email accounts of the former Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald and her special advisers were not looked at as part of the “trawl” for documents in the Department of Justice relevant to the Disclosures Tribunal.
The tribunal, overseen by Supreme Court judge Peter Charleton, is examining allegations of a smear campaign against Garda whisteblower Sgt Maurice McCabe.
On the same day, Mr Flanagan, in an answer to a separate parliamentary question, revealed the Disclosures Tribunal issued discovery orders on the Department of Justice in February, April and September of this year.
Readers may wish to note that, in response to the question asked by Ms Shortall, the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said:
“While the email accounts of the then Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality and her advisors were not specifically examined as part of the recent trawl for documents, I can confirm that the email accounts of officials working in relevant areas of the Department were searched and that this exercise would of course encompass emails sent from or to the then Minister and her advisors on any such matters.
“I would point out that all discovery orders issued by the Tribunal were complied with fully. The Department has also made extensive voluntary disclosure of other matters including three protected disclosures, reports from the Garda Commissioner under section 41 of the Garda Síochána Act and, most recently, the two email threads that were uncovered following a trawl of documents in the Department.
“In acknowledging receipt of the emails, the Tribunal made reference to my Department’s already extensive discovery which has allowed the Tribunal to place the current documents in context.
“I am assured that in the event of further documents being located that may be of relevance to the Tribunal’s work that these will of course be furnished to the Tribunal and I would point out that, the Deputy will be aware, the Taoiseach has announced that there will be an external examination of the way in which my Department fulfilled its obligations in relation to discovering documents to the Tribunal, to conclude before Christmas. That is a step I welcome.”
“I can assure the Deputy that any further Discovery Orders to be made by the Tribunal will also be complied with in full and the Tribunal has been assured of my full and ongoing support in that regard.”
After the a meeting of the joint Oireachtas committee on justice and equality, which was attended by Deputy Secretary General at the Department of Justice Oonagh McPhilips…
In the Dail…
Labour TD Alan Kelly said to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar:
“There is an element of denial about what is going on. I spent a period of time at the Joint Committee on Justice and Equality this morning and genuinely ask the Taoiseach to ask his colleagues, Deputy Colm Brophy and Senator Martin Conway, who made good contributions about what happened. It was extraordinary.
“Given everything that has gone on and the information we have received through persistent questioning and with help from the media, we still have departmental officials coming to the committee to state the Department provided the information that it had been requested to provide during discovery.
“That is it – nothing has changed. The meeting was deeply worrying. I asked a specific question. I asked if private email addresses that potentially had been used by senior officials for departmental business and mobile phone records had been provided for the tribunal. The answer was that they had not been asked for them.
“I had to ask the officials to ask Mr. Justice Charleton if he wanted this information. Is that not crazy? Has anything changed? We were also told that the information provided had been provided based on the questions asked and that there might be other documentation available.
“In effect, they are acting as judge and jury and as a filtering system in providing information for the Charleton tribunal. The trawl has not changed anything. The culture has not changed.
“There are three specific issues. First, the way in which parliamentary questions are answered has not changed. The Taoiseach made a commitment in the Dáil that it would. I have evidence from yesterday. I am receiving far more text, but I am not getting answers in seeking facts, not speculation.
“Second, when it comes to the information being provided for the Charleton tribunal, we need a volte-face in attitude. The Department needs to provide everything. It needs to err on the side of providing too much. Information on the specific issues I have raised has not been sent.
“The tribunal will be live for the next couple of months and we need this unit to be dealt with. We need answers quickly because it is having a dramatic impact on the operations of the tribunal.
“The Taoiseach should remember that the Department has received lots of correspondence from certain witnesses who have issues and concerns about this issue, on top of the 29 parliamentary questions from me.”
From top: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar; Sgt Maurice McCabe
On January 8, 2018, the Disclosures Tribunal, overseen by Supreme Court judge Peter Charleton, will resume.
The tribunal is mainly investigating allegations of a smear campaign against Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe.
It had been expected to hear allegations of former head of the Garda Press Office Dave Taylor – who has claimed that he was instructed to negatively brief journalists about Sgt McCabe.
But Justice Charleton released a statement last Friday to say the tribunal’s next module will focus on the former Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan’s legal strategy at the O’Higgins Commission.
Broadsheet has learned Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will appear as a witness and give evidence.
As Minister for Transport, Mr Varadkar defended Sgt McCabe’s actions as ‘distinguished’.
He told a road safety conference in March, 2014:
“I think it is very important to bear in mind that the Garda whistleblowers only released information about people after they tried to use the correct procedures and those procedures failed them and when they did release the information, they did it through Oireachtas members which is provided for under the Garda Act of 2005.”
Mr Vardkar thanked Sgt McCabe and fellow Garda whistleblower, John Wilson:
“…on my own behalf and on behalf of the thousands of families who have had to endure the pain and loss that flows from the death of a loved one on the road.”
A Government press officer said he could not confirm if Mr Varadkar would appear as a witness. He said: “This is a matter for the tribunal.”
A spokesman for the Disclosures Tribunal said:
“I can’t confirm one way or the other whether Mr Varadkar or anybody else is going to be a witness at the tribunal in the next module. So you will have to wait for a witness list to go up [on the tribunal’s website].
“The work, as such, of the tribunal would be confidential. So until the witness list goes up, you wouldn’t be able to say whether anybody is going to be a witness at the next module or who would be a witness at the next module.”
Readers may recall how in May 2016, it emerged that, at the privately held O’Higgins Commission of Investigation, held during 2015, the then Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan employed a legal strategy which attacked the credibility and motivation of Sgt McCabe.
In February 2017, just prior to the establishment of the Disclosures Tribunal and when there was talk of setting up a second commission of inquiry involving Sgt McCabe, he and his wife Lorraine McCabe made a statement.
“Today, we have heard one Minister, Simon Harris, state that we are entitled to “truth and justice”.
“We wish to make it clear that we are definitely not agreeable to that entitlement being wholly postponed so that another Commission of Inquiry can conduct a secret investigation behind closed doors and make a report, into which we have no input as of right, in nine or eighteen months’ time.
“We are entitled to the truth today – justice can follow in its wake.
“… the public has little or no appreciation of what was done, and attempted to be done, to Maurice in the course of its hearings.”
Last week it emerged that an email of May 15, 2015 circulated to the former Minister for Justice and other justice officials which should have been sent to the Disclosures Tribunal wasn’t sent.
Sgt McCabe told Mr Varadkar in a phonecall that evening that the sequence of events alleged in the email did not happen and that the transcripts of the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation will prove this.
Following a call by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, for the Department of Justice to do another search for documents relevant to the tribunal, further emails were found and subsequently sent to the Disclosures Tribunal.
The email thread showed, among other things, how, on Saturday, July 4, 2015, the former Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan phoned the Department of Justice Secretary General Office Assistant Secretary Ken O’Leary to tell him a press query about the stance taken by An Garda Siochana against Sgt McCabe at the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation had been sent to the Garda Press Office.
The garda weren’t commenting on the matter.
Mr O’Leary subsequently advised the then Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald on what to say, if she was asked about the matter during a scheduled interview on RTE’s This Week on Sunday, July 5.
In the end, Ms Fitzgerald wasn’t asked about it.
Amid these revelations, the Tanaiste and former Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald has resigned.
Of her resignation, Mr Varadkar told the Dail he accepted her resignation with regret and that “It is my strong view that a good woman is leaving office without getting a full and fair hearing”.
The Secretary General of the Department of Justice Noel Waters yesterday announced that he’s resigning with immediate effect as opposed to next February – which he announced last week on the same day the May 15, 2015 email surfaced.
Meanwhile, questions remain over the current Minster for Justice Charlie Flanagan’s handling of related matters.
Readers will also recall how, on March 20, 2014, when Mr Varadkar called Sgt McCabe and Garda Wilson “distinguished”, he also called on the then Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan to withdraw his “disgusting” remark in relation to the two men.
Mr Callinan made that remark at a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee in January 2014.
Finian McGrath and Shane Ross of the Independent Alliance this morning
“A source contacted me, a short time ago, and I stress it’s one source but it’s quite senior within the Independent Alliance. Basically saying, that they’re not backing her and that she needs to go. So that to me seems to be pretty clear as to the Independent Alliance’s stance, albeit not publicly but privately, indicating that this has reached the end game…”
Hugh O’Connell, political correspondent of the Sunday Business Post, on Today with Sean O’Rourke in the past 20 minutes, discussing the fall-out of the emails published last night in relation to Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald.
Sgt Maurice McCabe outside the Disclosures Tribunal this summer
Further to questions being asked about what former Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald and the Department of Justice knew of the legal strategy used by the former Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan and several gardai in the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation in 2015 – in which allegations made by Ms O’Sullivan’s legal counsel were dropped after Sgt McCabe proved them to be false…
And reports of a phone call from Ms O’Sullivan to the then acting Secretary General at the Department of Justice Noel Waters on May 15, 2015 – the same date Sgt McCabe first gave evidence at the O’Higgins Commission which delivered the first blow to Ms O’Sullivan’s legal strategy…
And how within hours of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar saying on Tuesday, during Leaders’ Questions, that he could not be sure if there was such a call or not, Mr Waters announced he’ll be stepping down in February as he is approaching 40 years of service…
Garda Headquarters has directed officers of all ranks to scrutinise their personal email accounts, handwritten notes and laptops for any material relating to Garda whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe.
In an unprecedented move, an assistant commissioner has been appointed to oversee the collation of potentially reams of electronic and written data from gardaí that will then be forwarded to the Disclosures Tribunal.
In a memo sent to all Garda divisions, seen by the Irish Independent, Garda management laid down the diktat ahead of the next phase of the tribunal, which is examining an alleged smear campaign against Sgt McCabe.
The blanket search even includes emails sent from officers’ own personal Gmail accounts.
…The news of the major fishing expedition is believed to stem from previous criticism levelled at management by whistleblower Keith Harrison.
…Gda Harrison is taking separate High Court action against the Garda Commissioner for breaching a court order.
Former commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan was accused of failing to fulfil an order to furnish Gda Harrison with the full Garda file in relation to a personal injury claim.
Acting Garda Commissioner Dónall Ó Cualáin may be forced to appear in court to defend the claim.