Tag Archives: Sgt Maurice McCabe

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Katie Hannon and David McCullough on last night’s RTE Prime Time

Further to last week’s Prime Time in which Prime Time‘s political correspondent Katie Hannon outlined the sequence of events concerning how a false allegation against Sgt Maurice McCabe ended up being circulated by Tusla.

Last night.

Ms Hannon had further information, after speaking with the solicitor of the woman at the centre of the original allegation made in 2006; and after speaking with someone who has seen the Tusla referral document which contained the false abuse allegation.

The new information, as presented by Ms Hannon, means there are now conflicting accounts of how events unfolded – as put forward by the HSE, and subsequently the Minister for Health Simon Harris in the Dáil, Tusla, the Gardaí, and the solicitor for the woman at the centre of the original 2006 allegation.

The interview…

David McCullough: “Now, lest we forget all this political turmoil is the treatment of Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe and the revelation last week by our political correspondent Katie Hannon of the false sex abuse allegations made against him. As Katie told us, last week, those allegations in 2013 arose after a counsellor said she pasted the allegation from another file in error. Katie joins me now. There is a tribunal of inquiry to look into this and related matters. But, in advance of that, the department of justice has written to the Garda Commissioner posing six questions that the McCabes want answered, relating to: when the Gardai first learned about the allegations, about contacts between gardai and the supposed victim and contacts between gardai and the counsellor. And Katie, you have some new information about this?”

Katie Hannon: “Yes. Of course, a huge amount of focus has focussed on this referral from this counsellor that had this, what was described as this clerical error, this cut and paste error. Now, I’ve spoken with somebody who’s actually seen this document. We haven’t seen this document because it wasn’t released to the McCabes in the Tusla file because it had been retrieved because of data protection by the counselling service.”

“But, according to my source, what the counsellor is now telling the management there is that: what actually happened there was not a cut and paste error. She was actually using the template of a previous referral and typing over it, with this new McCabe referral and failed to delete some information referring to the previous referral. So it wasn’t a ‘pasting in’ error, it was a ‘failure to delete’ error. And she says that she just simply did not notice that before she sent on the referral [to Tusla].”

“Now, according to the person that I was talking to, who has seen it, it should have been obvious to anyone looking at it that there was a mistake in it because, I’m told, there actually was the names of two alleged abusers on the file that went over. Like the phrase that was used to me was: it would have jumped off the page. So, why that happened in Tusla when were then using this document to create the other files, the referrals, the files on the [McCabe] children, that’s the question that remains now.”

McCullough: “There’s been a lot of focus on how this error was ultimately discovered.”

Hannon: “Yes, and I’ve confirmed today that the girl at the centre of this, who made the original allegation back in 2006, she has given an account of how this happened that does not tally with the account that the Health Minister Simon Harris put on the Dáil record this week.”

McCullough: “And in what way is it different?”

Hannon: “Well, first of all, Minister Harris told the Dail that, and he was using information that he got from the HSE, he said that the girl had contacted the counsellor to say that the allegation of digital rape was incorrect, that she had never made it and that’s how the mistake came to light. That’s what the Dáil was told.”

“But I spoke to the girl’s solicitor today and he tells me that that is not the case. He says that, this is the sequence of events: the girl’s mother made the initial appointment, for her, with this counsellor. She attended just once. She had no idea that a referral had gone to Tusla as a result of this one counselling session, until many months later, her family were contacted by the guards and they were asked to attend to the Garda station about this allegation. Her parents went to the Garda station, looked at this, were presented with the allegation and said immediately: this is not our daughter’s allegation, this was never made.”

“And according to the girl’s solicitor, this was the last that she had to do with it, that she, whoever contacted the counsellor, it wasn’t her.”

“And also, what this does is it raises questions about when the gardai first were aware of this mistake. We know that Tusla sent them the file in early May. According to this account, from this girl’s solicitor, the guards were informed that it was incorrect, there was a mistake in it, by the 4th or 5th of May and that’s not what the rest of the files show…”

McCullough: “What does the Tusla file say?”

Hannon: “Yeah, the Tusla file says that the first contact with the garda was the original investigating guard that investigated the 2006 complaint – that was done back in August 2013. We don’t know what came of that, if the meeting took place. We know that Tusla contacted the guards with the referral in early May. We know that they were told about the referral, from the counsellor, on the 14th of May [2014] and then they say, the file says they contacted the guards one or two days after that.”

McCullough: “Ok, so very, very briefly, we already have conflicting accounts here?”

Hannon: “We do, we’ve two serious conflicts. We’ve a conflict between the account that the minister [for health] gave the Dail this week to what the client says as regards when we found out about the error and there are other conflicts about when the guards knew about it in the first place and when the guards knew this second allegation was a mistake. So, you know, the attempt or demand for the answers to these six questions might be trickier I think than we think.”

McCullough: “Hence, the tribunal, ok, Katie, thank you very much.”

Watch back in full here

Previously: Pasted In Error

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From top: John McGuinness, of Fianna Fáil; Taoiseach Enda Kenny, the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald and the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone

Last night.

During the ‘statements of clarification’ session in the Dáil.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny was asked a million many times to state when he first became aware of the smear campaign against Sgt Maurice McCabe.

At one point, he had the following exchange with Sinn Féin TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin: “Will the Taoiseach tell us when he first became aware of that smear against Garda Sergeant McCabe?”

Enda Kenny: “I became aware of it the same as most of the rest of the nation, which was after the Prime Time programme.”

This is despite the fact Labour TD Brendan Howlin spoke about the campaign during Leaders’ Questions the day before the Prime Time programme was broadcast.

Readers will also recall how that supposed conversation he had with the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone, prior to her meeting Sgt Maurice McCabe, never happened

Further to this…

Fianna Fáil’s John McGuinness – who has previously said he was warned not to trust Sgt Maurice McCabe by then Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan in a car park of Bewley’s Hotel on the Naas Road on January 24, 2014 – accused Taoiseach Enda Kenny of knowing about the allegations being made against Sgt Maurice McCabe ‘a long time ago’.

Readers will note that, in the Sunday Independent at the weekend, Philip Ryan reported that Mr McGuinness claimed Mr Callinan made false child abuse allegations – about Sgt McCabe – to Mr McGuinness during that meeting in 2014.

From last night’s session…

John McGuinness: “We’re here discussing this public inquiry because of the fact that the McCabe family have no trust whatsoever in a private inquiry. We’ve had enough of them. And, in relation to the smear campaign, why is it that we cannot admit that ,for the last number of years, for anyone who wished to stop and listen to what was being said in this house…I’ll deal with the car park in a minute…why is it that when we were told what was happening in relation to Maurice McCabe, anyone that supported him, was sold this narrative that he was a sex abuser. That he had abused people sexually. And that’s what they said. And therefore, those that supported him were knocked off of their support by virtue of that gossip and that innuendo and that accusation.”

“So the fact of the matter is: that while that was going on, the Tusla file existed. So how many gardai knew about that Tusla file? How many in this house knew about the allegations that were being made? And when he appeared before the public accounts committee, the great efforts were made by this house – and by members within it – to stop him from coming forward. That’s why we’re here today.”

“Because we have ignored Maurice McCabe and the other Maurice McCabes that exist out there. And if we’re to have any public inquiry into this then we have to take into consideration, the culture that has sent all of those people out sick, some of them struggling now with mental illness. And we cannot ignore those people. And the Government cannot ignore them. But how many within Government knew about those, about these allegations that were being made? Even though it might have been gossip. It was gossip that was being spread maliciously, to take you off your game and not to support Maurice McCabe. And all of us, in this house, knew what was going on.”

Enda Kenny: “I think it’s obvious Deputy McGuinness that the entire country feels sympathy with the pressure and stress and distress of the McCabe family. Now am I, am I right or not or did you have a meeting with the former commissioner of the gardai [Martin Callinan] and did you hear information, relevant to a smear campaign against Garda McCabe? And if you did, what did you do about it?

McGuinness:I knew about it Taoiseach because you knew long time ago about the accusations that were being made against Maurice McCabe. Everyone in this house knew and great efforts were made to derail Maurice McCabe and the story he was telling. Everyone knew. And the fact of the matter is, that it was a deliberate attempt to undermine Maurice McCabe, a deliberate attempt.”

Frances Fitzgerald: “[inaudible]…you say you had your meeting. That would have meant that some of these issues that you were told about would have been dealt with in the O’Higgins commission…”

McGuinness: “On legal advice, minister, I followed legal advice.”

Fitzgerald: “But… you followed legal advice… and like Minister [Katherine] Zappone, I didn’t want to give legs to something that was totally untrue…”

Fitzgerald: “Then what are you saying…”

McGuinness: “…I felt myself that it was untrue. And that’s the fact of the matter but you did nothing about Maurice McCabe.”

Fitzgerald: “Sorry, deputy, you didn’t want to act on legal advice…but you had direct information, deputy, which is more than many people or anybody in this house had.”

Later – after Fine Gael’s Regina Doherty asked Mr McGuinness to correct his claim that ‘everyone in the house’ knew

McGuinness: “Those of us that were clearly associated with supporting Maurice McCabe, knew about this and not everyone in the house.”

Meanwhile…

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Fine Gael TD John Deasy

Last night.

On RTÉ’s Prime Time.

Prime Time‘s political correspondent Katie Hannon interview Waterford Fine Gael TD John Deasy.

Mr Deasy explained to Ms Hannon that, on the same day the former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan appeared before the Public Accounts Committee – and made his “disgusting” remark – he was approached by a senior garda who warned him not to trust Sgt Maurice McCabe.

He explained he lobbied Taoiseach Enda Kenny after the garda’s approach.

John Deasy: “Before the meeting, I was approached by a very senior guard and he proceeded to make some very derogatory comments about Maurice McCabe. The nature of which were, Maurice McCabe couldn’t be believed and couldn’t be trusted on anything. They were very, very derogatory. It was a serious attack and very strongly worded.”

“Maurice McCabe was in the Public Accounts Committee the following Thursday and I thought that he was credible and I made that judgement.”

Katie Hannon: “You’re quoted after that meeting, actually, in newspaper reports, as saying he’s a credible witness, he’s responsible and knowledgeable in his answers. How did you square that with what you had been told about him, by this senior garda.”

Deasy: “I formulated a view that he was correct. I think that I and others realised that there was a campaign against Maurice McCabe, to undermine his character…”

Hannon: “Being run by who?”

Deasy:The gardai.”

Hannon: “At a senior level?”

Deasy: “Yeah and I had first-hand, you know, contact of that..”

Hannon: “So what did you do with this information?”

Deasy: “A couple of weeks later, I was having a meeting with Enda Kenny in Government buildings and, after that, it was on a separate issue, I asked to meet with him privately about Maurice McCabe and the entire affair. He would have known that that was significant. It’s not something I would have done every day. Probably twice in 15 years. And at that meeting, I said to him that I believed that Maurice McCabe would be vindicated. That he was being treated extremely badly. And that he was genuine and that this needed to be handled completely differently.”

Hannon: “And how did he respond to that?”

Deasy: “You know, he listened, he acknowledged it and the meeting ended. I do know, at the time, that another individual in Fine Gael was making a similar case to one of this cabinet colleagues, at the same time. And was being ignored and really wasn’t getting anywhere, was begin dismissed with regard to how the whistleblowers were being dealt with at the time and the treatment that was being meted out to them.”

Later

Deasy:I really can’t defend anyone in Government when it comes to Maurice McCabe.”

Meanwhile…

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Also on RTE’s Prime Time last night.

Former Labour leader Pat Rabbitte (above) told David McCullough how a garda told him of the false allegation against Sgt Maurice McCabe back in 2014.

David McCullough: “You were sitting at cabinet for some of the period when all this was going on. Did you hear rumours about Maurice McCabe? The smears about Maurice McCabe?”

Pat Rabbitte: “I did, yes. Maurice McCabe approached me at the end of 2006 or early 2007, about policing difficulties and malfeasance and he had a major, thorough file. And I helped him or advised him, on the confidential basis he sought as best I could. But, when the incident blew up in 2013/14  – probably early 2014 – I was asked on a programme like this, that same question. And I explained that I did indeed know Maurice McCabe as an upstanding and, in my view, an honest, conscientious policeman.

“And I was approached that night by a friend of mine, who’s a retired garda, to say that he didn’t know that I had any knowledge of Maurice McCabe and that I better be careful because did I not know what was going around and he, graphically, told me what was going ’round.”

McCullough: “And did you tell anyone about that?”

Rabbitte: “No, nobody. I thought it was foul gossip. I didn’t believe there was anything to it. And I didn’t think it should be given legs. But I did express my view publicly and privately about the probity and integrity of Maurice McCabe.”

McCullough: “But, if he was being traduced like that behind the scenes, was there not an obligation, on a politician, to somebody, whether it was the Minister for Justice, whether it was the Taoiseach?”

Rabbitte:I think, in hindsight, you might be right. In hindsight, you may be right. But, you know, you could say the same about your own profession and you could say the same about others who were told about it.”

Previously: How Did He Get Here?

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Fianna Fáil justice spokesman Jim O’Callaghan and Fine Gael Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald in the Dáil last night

Last night.

In the Dáil.

There was a three-hour session entitled ‘Clarification of Statements made by the Taoiseach and Ministers’ in the wake of reports about the false sex abuse allegation against Sgt Maurice McCabe.

So, what was clarified?

Well.

Fianna Fáil’s justice spokesman Jim O’Callaghan and the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald had this exchange at the very beginning.

Jim O’Callaghan: “Last Wednesday evening I met the Tánaiste in a quiet area of this House to tell her that I wanted the terms of reference of the proposed commission of investigation extended.”

I told her that I had become aware, from speaking to my party leader Deputy Micheál Martin, who had spoken to Sergeant McCabe, that Sergeant McCabe had informed him that there would be a “Prime Time” programme broadcast on Thursday evening which would contain a story about a Tusla file that contained a false allegation of sexual abuse against Sergeant McCabe.”

“I told the Tánaiste that paragraph B of the terms of reference needed to be extended to cover that. The Tánaiste agrees that I asked her to extend the terms of reference. She also agrees that I asked her to extend the terms of reference because of a forthcoming “Prime Time” programme.”

“However, she denies that I told her about any Tusla file contained in that programme. If she is correct, why did she agree to consider my amendments, as she did, without asking me what the “Prime Time” programme was about?”

Frances Fitzgerald: “I got a phone call from Deputy O’Callaghan at about 6.30pm last Wednesday. He asked me if I would meet him and I left the parliamentary party meeting and went to meet him. We had a discussion for about 12 minutes. Deputy O’Callaghan informed me that there was a “Prime Time” programme the next evening. He used the word “documentary” in relation to Maurice McCabe and the allegations.”

He said the programme would cover the smear campaign allegations that had been made against Sergeant McCabe and he said to me that I needed to look at the terms of reference because if they did not cover what emerged on the “Prime Time” programme that would not be a good place to be in and it would leave “egg on our face” in terms of the Dáil and the work we are doing.”

“He said to me that he wanted to make sure that the allegation of a smear campaign against Sergeant McCabe was covered and whether it had been carried out by the Garda Commissioner and the previous Garda Commissioner. I said to him that they were already covered in the terms of reference and the vast majority of our conversation was about the detail of the amendments and how they needed to be changed because the Deputy was concerned that the reference in relation to Superintendent Taylor was too restrictive and would mean that there was not a proper examination of the allegations.”

“For that reason, I agreed to consider how we would extend the terms of reference to make it absolutely clear that this could be covered. He also asked that Ministers would be included and I said there was no reason not to include them. I went away to do some work on the changes to the terms of reference.”

At no time did Deputy O’Callaghan mention Tusla, and if he had, or if he had said to me he wanted a particular reference in that regard I would have included it. It would have been to my advantage to include it if I had been told about it, and if he had made it clear to me that Tusla should be included because “Prime Time” was covering it, I would have included it.”

“It would have been totally to my advantage to come back to the Dáil and insert Tusla. Deputy O’Callaghan made no mention the next day about Tusla when he made his speech.”

O’Callaghan:I disagree with the Tánaiste. I referred to Tusla in our conversation. What the Tánaiste has said in her statement is that she was prepared to seek the amendment of important terms of reference based upon a forthcoming television programme I was telling her about.”

At no stage is she saying that I indicated to her what the programme was about and at no stage did she ask. Is it credible that a Minister for Justice would agree to amend terms of reference of an important commission of investigation based on upon a television programme and not ask what the programme was about?

Fitzgerald: “Deputy O’Callaghan made an extremely strong case that he felt the way the terms of reference were formulated as the judge presented them – because they were the judge’s words – regarding the allegation of a smear campaign in Superintendent Taylor’s protected disclosure was too narrow.”

“The Deputy spent most of the time talking to me about how it circumscribed the investigation too much and ought to be broader. He made his case entirely on the fact that the terms of reference were too narrow, not on the “Prime Time” programme. He made his case on the basis that the way the judge had written them made them too circumscribed. I accepted in full the Deputy’s bona fides on it.”

“He wanted the terms of reference changed so that there was no doubt whatsoever that all of those allegations could be investigated and I responded on that basis. What was in or not in the programme was not the central point. It was that the Deputy wanted clarity in respect of the allegations and that they would be fully investigated and would not be circumscribed by reference to Superintendent Taylor. That was the main point of the discussion.”

O’Callaghan: “The Tánaiste is correct in stating that most of our discussion was about paragraph (b) and I emphasised to her that it was too limited in terms of how it referred to Superintendent Taylor’s communications with the media and that it needed to be broader. However, I commenced the conversation with her by telling about the forthcoming programme which was in respect of a Tusla file. My final question for her is this. After her discussion with me, who did she contact and what did she say to them?

Fitzgerald:The first point I would make to Deputy O’Callaghan is that if he was so concerned about Tusla being included in the terms of reference, why did he not raise it himself? Why did he not raise it in his speech? I came in here last Thursday and asked for statements so I could take on board the point of view of everybody here. I was completely flexible in terms of what I wanted to include in terms of investigating it and getting at the truth.”

After Deputy O’Callaghan spoke to me, I contacted the Attorney General, asked her about changing the terms of reference, told her what Deputy O’Callaghan’s formulation was and asked her whether it was legally sound and whether it was the way we should proceed.”

I had a further discussion with Deputy O’Callaghan about how it should be changed. Deputy O’Callaghan reiterated the points made here the next day but he never mentioned Tusla. Other people mentioned different things they wanted included. Deputy O’Callaghan did not mention Tusla. I had a conversation with him primarily about making sure that the terms of reference included Government Ministers, that they included great clarity and that the commission would investigate the allegations fully.”

O’Callaghan:Were any of the Tánaiste’s officials or Government officials aware of the Tusla allegation prior to the programme being broadcast on Thursday evening?”

Fitzgerald:I was not aware of what was in the Tusla file prior to the programme being broadcast and neither were my officials. Nobody had brought it to my attention.”

Right so.

Transcript via Oireachtas.ie

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Earlier this afternoon.

During Leaders’ Questions, Independents 4 Change TD Mick Wallace named other Garda whistleblowers.

He also claimed that, in early 2014, a journalist contacted Supt Dave Taylor, to tell him that he had been in contact with the family of the girl at the centre of the false abuse allegation against Sgt McCabe.

Mr Wallace said the journalist told Supt Taylor “he had a great story and that it was going to be really damaging for McCabe”. Mr Wallace also said, following this conversation, Supt Taylor contacted both Martin Callinan and Noirin O’Sullivan.

From Mr Wallace’s speech in the Dáil…

“Taoiseach, I think the public inquiry should have a disciplinary, a criminal investigation running in parallel, run by people, policed from outside the country. A lot of bad things have happened.

“You said there Taoiseach that everybody has the presumption of innocence. You’ve a short memory. For several years, according to the Fine Gael government, Maurice McCabe was guilty until proven innocent.”

Noirin O’Sullivan talked yesterday of a campaign of false accusations against her. Is she saying that Maurice McCabe was lying? David Taylor? Keith Harrison? Nick Keogh? Sinead Killian? Eve Doherty? Dermot O’Connell? And others? Are they all liars?”

“If she genuinely didn’t know how whistleblowers were treated. If she genuinely didn’t, she’s not fit for the job anyway, if she didn’t know what was going on in the force.

“With the O’Higgins inquiry, she instructed her legal team to give false evidence to the inquiry until Maurice McCabe’s tape turned it upside down. If she was innocent, why didn’t she sanction or discipline the two guards involved? Why? It’s a long time ago?

“How can you explain how Nick Keogh – when he reports Garda involvement in the heroin trade in Athlone, how come he faced five internal investigations in that same year and none before that? Why?”

“And the superintendent that Nick Keogh accused of bullying and harassing him, why was he put on the promotion list? Why”

“In 2014, the Garda Commissioner appointed an Assistant Commissioner to look at Keith Harrison’s complaint and the Assistant Commissioner leaked information back to the Superintendent that the subject of the complaint.

“And then, on foot of a different complaint, involving the very same superintendent, the same Assistant Commissioner was asked to carry out an investigation.

“And, if all that wasn’t bad enough, when GSOC, following its investigation into the second matter, asked for disciplinary proceedings to be taken against  An Garda Siochana, who does Noirin appoint over it? You’d never guess: the same Assistant Commissioner.”

“A journalist contacted David Taylor in early 2014. He was press officer. The journalist told him that he’d been to the family of the girl at the centre of the sexual allegations of Maurice McCabe. He told her that he had a great story and that it was going to be really damaging for McCabe. Taylor texted [Martin] Callinan, texted [Noirin] O’Sullivan and told them the good news.”

Callinan texted him, to welcome it. Noirin decided to ring him and have a good chat about it. A good chat about it. Now minister, Taoiseach, this is the woman who said, a couple of weeks ago, on the Sean O’Rourke programme, ‘I’ve absolutely no knowledge, nor was I privy to any campaign to undermine any individual in An Garda Siochana’.”

“The press officer, David Taylor, who was given back his job yesterday, said, this is a quote, ‘everybody in headquarters knew about the campaign against Maurice McCabe’. Everybody, seemingly Taoiseach, except Noirin. What do you think?”

Earlier: Back To Work

Yesterday: Cleared

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Taoiseach Enda Kenny taking Leaders’ Questions this afternoon

“Now, I do, I do hope, I do hope – and I want to make this clear – as Minister Zappone pointed out, that when she informed me that she had spoken to the McCabes, that the discussion that she had with them was about allegations, false allegations, made to Tusla.

“She did not indicate to me any issue of the detail of the discussion she had with the McCabe family or, indeed, the existence of any content of a file which you mention. Obviously, this was, this was, this became very public knowledge on the relevant Prime Time programme.

“And Minister Zappone is very clear, that the discussions she had with Sgt McCabe were of a confidential nature, that she had to respect his privacy, that these things were not in the public domain at the time that she, that she met with him. And I say mea culpa here. Because I did say, I’m guilty here, of, of, of not giving accurate information.

“I understood, from thinking myself that I had, perhaps that she had asked me about meeting Sgt McCabe in the first place. It actually was her office that consulted with my officials, who told me. So, she, she is very clear that she did not tell me that she intended to meet Sgt McCabe. But she did tell her official to tell my office. So I regret that. I regret that. I regret that. I regret that… So, I didn’t actually, I didn’t actually… She didn’t tell me herself and she’s really sorry she did…She did tell me before the Cabinet meeting last Tuesday that she had met with him and they had discussed allegations that were false in respect of, given to Tusla.”

Taoiseach Enda Kenny speaking in the Dáil this afternoon – in response to questions from Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin.

However.

Later, in response to questions from Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy, Mr Kenny contradicts himself:

“When you come to the house of the people, in this position, and you actually tell the truth, that you get pilloried also. There are many people who’ve been here before me who, for many years, who’ve made mistakes. I stand here and I say the information about the minister’s meeting with McCabe family, that, that I had spoken to her about that, she notified my office. My office told me of that information. And I put that in the public domain and I regret that I shouldn’t have.”

The minister did not refer to any of the details of the discussion with the McCabes or the existence of a file in Tusla or the information contained in that file. It is not true to say that I had any information about the existence of that, prior to the Cabinet meeting in Government Buildings here.”

Readers will recall how on Sunday, Enda Kenny told Colm Ó Mongáin, of RTE’s This Week, that Ms Zappone told him she intended to meet Sgt McCabe and his wife Lorraine “in a private capacity”.

Mr Kenny said:

“That’s all I knew. I said to her, ‘well, if you do have a meeting, make sure you have a thorough account of it’. So, when we had our [Cabinet] meeting on Tuesday, I wouldn’t have been aware of any of the details of her discussions.”

Asked if he asked Ms Zappone what the meeting was about, he said: “No, because she was meeting him in a private capacity which she’s entitled to do.”

Dáil proceedings are under way and can be watched live here

Previously: ‘Why Are Nine Garda Whistleblowers Out Sick?’

‘Dealings With Tusla And Other Garda Whistleblowers’

‘Somebody Has To Go To Jail Over This’

Rollingnews

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Further to reports that Sgt Maurice McCabe met the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone on January 25, 2017

And Tusla chief executive Fred McBride telling Áine Lawlor on RTÉ’s News at One this afternoon that Tusla briefed Ms Zappone’s department about the matters concerning Tusla and Sgt Maurice McCabe “within days of us finding out, or certainly at my level, finding out what had happened here…I can’t get an exact date but within a couple of days”…

And Katie Hannon reporting on Prime Time last night that on January 27, 2017, the chief operations officer of Tusla wrote to the Secretary General of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs acknowledging that ‘mistakes were made in the management of this matter’ and saying that he had ‘instituted a case review internal to Tusla’…

And the terms of reference of a commission of investigation into Supt Dave Taylor and Sgt Maurice McCabe’s protected disclosures being published on Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Sarah Bardon, in The Irish Times, writes:

Ms Zappone met Sgt McCabe last month after receiving a letter from Tusla, the child and family agency, confirming it wrongly sent a file containing false allegations of child sex abuse made against Mr McCabe to gardaí.

Sources said Ms Zappone had not informed Cabinet of the matter when the proposed terms of reference for the commission of inquiry into the handling of garda whistleblowers were discussed this week.

…Neither Ms Zappone or her spokesman have responded to the claims yet.

Zappone urged to clarify handling of false claims against McCabe (Sarah Bardon, The Irish Times)

Earlier: Pasted In Error

Rollingnews

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From top: Sgt Maurice McCabe; Former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan

I’ve spoken to several people who were in attendance throughout, if not the entirety, most of the days that the Commission took evidence and they say that it was if Sgt McCabe was on trial. He said as much when he was under cross examination on several occasions and a serving member of the Gardai – that I’ve spoken to – who was present at several days of proceedings has told me:

‘They tried to blame Maurice for everything and it was bullshit.’

The ‘they’ in this case is the Garda HQ, and what that member of the force was referring to was either individual Gardaí or An Garda Siochana corporately claiming that Sgt McCabe was actually the person at fault in each of the cases that he blew the malpractice whistle on. When of course the judge found out that he wasn’t blamed at all.

You’re not going to find much reference to this in the completed report. Much of the process, the business of the commission revolved around Maurice McCabe having to prove that he wasn’t guilty of the very malpractices that he had highlighted in the first place by bringing them to the attention of the Confidential Recipient [Oliver Connolly] and to [Fianna Fáil leader] Micheál Martin.

In one case, to give example, he was accused by gardai of having given an instruction that was central to one of the cases of malpractice but, after scrutinising his diary from many, many years earlier, McCabe was actually able to offer the watertight alibi that he wasn’t on duty that particular day that he was accused of having done something because he was actually present at the birth of one of his children.

…Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan and many of the individual senior officers – be they retired or serving – were all represented by the Chief State Solicitor’s Office and acted for, at the commission, by Colm Smyth, senior counsel. So the legal strategy was, in most cases, centralised. The line of attack on McCabe was organised.

RTÉ’s Philip Boucher Hayes speaking on Drivetime last night.

Listen back to his report in full here

Earlier: Who is Misleading Whom

Previously: ‘Something For Everyone’

Clarifying Matters

Rollingnews

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Garda Commission Nóirín O’Sullivan

As previously stated, An Garda Síochána has fully accepted the findings and recommendations of the O’Higgins Commission. We will examine what lessons can be learnt and ensure the issues arising are fully addressed.

Our immediate concern, arising out of the O’Higgins Commission, must be with victims who believe – with justification, they were not dealt with properly by An Garda Síochána.

We are sorry the victims did not get the service they were entitled to, and we will seek to work with them.

A key element of our modernisation and renewal programme is ensuring victims are at the
heart of the Garda Service and they get the service they are entitled to.

In order to ensure a victim centred approach our first steps have been the setting-up of 28 Victim Service Offices throughout the country to keep victims up-to-date on the progress of their case through the justice system and the establishment of the National Protective Services Bureau, which among its work provides support for vulnerable victims.

These measures will help ensure we meet our obligations under the EU Victim Rights Directive.

We are learning from our past mistakes and following a number of reports in recent years, improvements in relation to how An Garda Síochána conducts investigations, manages incidents, trains its personnel, and liaises with victims of crime have been introduced or are in the process of being introduced as part of An Garda Síochána’s modernisation and renewal programme.

Every day, the men and women of An Garda Síochána do great work to protect and support
communities. In doing this, they consistently show great depth of character, resolve and commitment.

The initiatives we are undertaking as part of our modernisation and renewal programme are designed to ensure they have the necessary supports to provide the very best service to the communities we serve.

I have been asked to clarify certain matters in relation to the proceedings before the
O’Higgins Commission.

I am legally precluded from so doing under section 11 of the Commissions of Investigation Act 2004, which provides that it is a criminal offence to disclose or publish any evidence given or the contents of any document produced by a witness.

The witnesses who gave evidence before the Commission did so on the expectation that
their evidence, except as may be included in the final report, would remain private
.

Accordingly, I have been advised that I cannot discuss the details of any proceedings before the O’Higgins Commission.

I have consistently and without exception, within An Garda Síochána and in public, stated clearly that dissent is not disloyalty, that we must listen to our people at every level with respect and with trust, and that we stand to gain, rather than lose, when members bring to our attention practices they believe to be unacceptable.

Like every member of An Garda Síochána, Sergeant Maurice McCabe’s contribution is
valued and the service has changed for the better in response to the issues about which he complained.

I want to make it clear that I do not – and have never, regarded Sergeant McCabe as malicious.

Any member of An Garda Síochána who raises issues will be fully supported.

Each and every one of them must know they have the right and responsibility to raise their concerns and be confident that they will be listened to and addressed.

They won’t always be right and we in management won’t always be right either. But we are on a journey towards a markedly better policing service and we will learn from
every mistake we make.

A statement from Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan released tonight.

Previously: Nothing To Say Here

Nóirín’s Disgust

McCabe And Ms O’Sullivan

Rollingnews

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From top: Former Justice Minister Alan Shatter and former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan; former Garda Confidential Recipient Oliver Connolly; Sgt Maurice McCabe;

You may recall a post from February 18, 2014 containing a transcript of a conversation between former Garda Confidential Recipient, Oliver Connolly and Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe on February 9, 2012.

A day after the transcript was published, Mr Connolly was sacked.

The conversation between the two men came after Sgt McCabe had given Mr Connolly a report containing a number of allegations of Garda wrongdoing.

During the meeting Sgt McCabe was told that the then Justice Minister Alan Shatter had referred his complaints to Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and that no further action would be taken.

Mr Connolly told Sgt McCabe:

“I’ll tell you something Maurice and this is just personal advice to you. If Shatter thinks your screwing him, you’re finished… If Shatter thinks it’s you, if he thinks or is told by the Commissioner or the Gardaí here’s this guy again trying another route trying to put pressure on, he’ll go after you.”

He also told Sgt McCabe:

“What I’ll say to you is, [your report] went to the Department of Justice and that annoyed the Commissioner greatly. I’m sure it’s going to be an embarrassment for the Gardaí, a disaster for them and listen if your complaints are exposed to the print media it will make him an angry man.”

Broadsheet posted the full transcript after excerpts were read into the Dáil by both Independents 4 Change TD Mick Wallace and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin.

Readers may wish to note that this is what former High Court judge Kevin O’Higgins concluded in relation to that transcript, in his Commission of Investigation which was published yesterday:

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Seems legit.

Read the full O’Higgins report here

Previously: ‘The Truth Has Been Established’

Garda Confidential