Who Knew What, When?


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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.”


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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.”


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


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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?

45 thoughts on “Who Knew What, When?

  1. Clampers Outside!

    “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.”

    This assertion assumes that Enda was paying attention.


    Paying attention.


    1. bisted

      …in fairness…even Enda could be excused for switching off when Howler is talking…hadn’t he years listening to him just rabitting what Noonan told him to say…

  2. Donal

    Bottom covering cowards the lot of them
    They all heard the smears
    None of them did anything as protecting their own political careers was more important
    The cheek of Pat Rabbitte to say he knew it was lies but did nothing to investigate who was spreading them
    Same with Deasy
    Admitting to these failures now would mean resignations if they had a shred of integrity

    1. classter

      Pretty harsh on Rabbite.

      He heard a rumour from a friend of his which he did nothing to spread on or support.

      Do you investigate every nasty rumour you’ve ever heard to find out if they are true or not?

      1. Donal

        He knew for 8 years prior that McCabe was a whistleblower and that the rumour was probably connected. He could have put pressure on a government colleague to probe this

        1. Kieran NYC

          Streisand effect.

          Then there’d be moaning about government ministers bringing up unfounded rumours in an attempt to smear McCabe.

  3. Frilly Keane

    they just weren’t able or capable to engage with Wallace and Daly

    so they turned their arses to it

    Howlin has some nerve tho

  4. nellyb

    Enda Kenny: “I became aware of it the same as most of the rest of the nation, which was after the Prime Time programme.” – at least he doesn’t watch fox news, like his counterpart

  5. Happy Molloy

    Not excusing Enda, but why does it matter whether or when he or others were aware of a Tusla file on allegations against McCabe?

    If anyone in government or elsewhere was aware of allegations, they had no way of knowing them to be true or untrue.

    Is the issue not the fact that members of the gardai were leaking details of the allegations to journalists in an effort to discredit McCabe or am I missing something?

          1. Happy Molloy

            yeah, that’s what I thought, think it was more of a case of didn’t know and not sure what it’s relevance was. but it will probably fast track his replacement.

          2. Seosamh

            FG’s “replacements” (O’Sullivan) have only compounded Mccabe’s terrible treatment to date. This gov cannot be trusted with fixing/replacing AGS

          3. classter

            ‘ This gov cannot be trusted with fixing/replacing AGS,

            Arguably not but the FF govt are responsible for most of the problems with AGS.

            And there aren’t many people who’d trust SF with AGS.

            And I don’t trust Wallace with anything.

            So who?

          4. Seosamh

            An election is needed and we’ll work from there. But whoever is in government needs to clear out the commissioner and all her deputies and assistants immediately.

          5. Seosamh

            You don’t think there’s a slight possibility the biggest scandal since Bertie at least might influence the result? Not to mention the host of mismanagements by Ross, Coveney et al in less than a year

          6. Seosamh

            Also the last election was in February 2016. It’s not too much in this age to ask for affirmation of public confidence a bit more regularly than once every five years

      1. classter


        When Enda found out is not that important to me, even if I hope this affair speeds up his departure as Taoiseach.

        The fact that Senior Gardai were going around repeating this allegation to Senior Ministers suggests that a culture of complete impunity exists amongst the Guards, even more than most of us suspected.

        There are Tulsa/Garda employees who should be looking at prison time, yet most of us assume that no such thing will happen.

        How we develop a system which appropriately deals with whistleblowers & appropriately deals with Garda malfeasance/incompetence/corruption should be the most important outcome of all this.

  6. Eoin

    I hope everyone realises that Marine LePen is surging in the polls and is now likely to win in France, in May. If that happens the Euro and Eurozone is in deep trouble. What happens with a Frexit? Euro may collapse in value. Greece is also looking like she’s not going to meet obligations and may Grexit. We got all that to face this summer….AND this whistle blower abuse mess AND the health care crisis AND Irish bloody Water is still in existence…for some reason….AND the potential of a general election (not to mention the fact that the weather is going to be garbage too)? I don’t know about y’all but I’m stocking up on tinned foods, tobacco and whiskey. Tobacco and whiskey will make good currency in the new dystopian Ireland.

      1. jusayinlike

        LePen might not win this time round, however she like trump is heavily backed by Israel, she will win soon..

        1. classter

          I don’t think Trump was backed by Israel.

          Even if Israel had the power you are attributing to her, Israel would likely have had a more reliable, trustworthy friend in Clinton than Trump.

        2. Rob_G

          … however she like trump is heavily backed by Israel…

          That’s strange that Israel would back Le Pen, given that she wants to abolish dual French-Israeli citizenship if elected.


          I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you just wildly-misinformed, rather than propagating anti-Semetic conspiracy theories.

        3. Nigel

          I THINK Netenyahu was known to favour Trump, though that was not necessarily a view shared by by many other Israelis and I’m not sure it amounted to ‘backing’ him in any meaningful sense, and I think there may well be buyer’s remorse. Hard to see support for a right-wing US candidate translating to support for a hard-right European candidate, especially with the Putin factor becoming more and more apparent.

      2. 15p

        how confidently did people say “trump won’t win, he can’t” and “Brexit will never happen”? .. don’t be so sure, the world is different now.

    1. Kieran NYC

      Leaked emails are starting to come out about her opponent too, alleging that he’s gay or some other such nonsense.

      Putin/Wikileaks in the tank for fascists again. I wonder when we can expect Bodger to jump on board.

  7. :-Joe

    Like rats running from a sinking ship….

    The scumbag liar pat rabbitte will say and do anything to avoid damaging his joke of a political reputation.

    All looking to cover their arses as usual, and watch for the next batch to come crawling out from under the rock as soon as possible….

    The only reason me-hole and fine to fail didn’t vote no confidence is that they are looking to time it right for the inevitable and clockwork-like power transfer.

    FG -to- FF -to- FG -to- FF -to- FG……

    Hello 60%, you need to Vote for something else next time round… or do you want to continue with this regressive binary insanity..?.


    1. rotide

      Like Labour?

      Wait, no they’re part of the regressive elite too.

      Green Party so.

      Nope, they’re also tainted your eyes for having the audacity to try and further their aims in government.

      OK If i vote for Renua then?

      Probably not.

    2. classter

      ‘Vote for something else next time round’
      But what? Realistically you need parties to form the mainstay of a parliamentary govt system.

      Anyway, and this is particularly true of our non-ideological parties, most politicians have very few fixed ideas or goals of their own. The question is not the polticians themselves but what their constituents demand from them.

      Garda whistleblower protection & garda accountability measures will likely be improved now becasue there has been such an outcry, especially if the pressure is kept up by the media & the public.

  8. 15p

    two of the weakest ‘rat trapped in a corner’ defenses were used a few times by kenny and frances. (1) i didn’t do anything? well why didn’t you do something? eg. no i didnt do anything, but neither did you. . . basically trying to out-inaction each other. “ok everyone, we are going to find the person who did the most amount of nothing”
    (2) discrediting. a good example, and particularily childish, was when Adams was roasting Kenny, kenny, obviously with ‘sex stuff’ in his mind about the case, dragged up the mariah cahill thing again.

    these two tactics are infantile, away from the point, and only used to deflect heat from ones self. we saw this happen in the US with Trump. and we saw how he ws never punished for it, or reprimanded. and continues to function how he pleases .. worryingly this seems to be the case here. everyone calling on resignations, but its ultimately down to the person, and as we can see, particually with noirin o sull.. they just will not do that. so we are now faced with our own powerlessness, watching on as these unqualified, overpaid, useless idiots do as they please with no reprocussions.

      1. 15p

        yes. and frustrated. to see our country ran by such selfish, incompetent people, whos actions and inactions have detrimental effects on so many people, does in fact, make me angry.. and frustrated.

  9. joak joke jik

    pretty obvious that Kenny & Fitzgerald’s ‘i only heard about it on Primetime’ defence is sprung out of their having known about McCabe’s sex abuse allegation for aaaaaages and most likely believing it to be true. Deasy is right – the smear campaign worked, right up to the Taoiseach, they

    Kenny et al were in no hurry to back McCabe because, despite all his whistleblowing, they thought his past as an abuser would come out eventually

    obviously Zappone told them she was meeting McCabe and they nodded sagely, knowing him to be a pedo and her to be a newbie, so they just let her go

    once it emerged that the file was dodgy (which they didn’t know about) they started back tracking

  10. Frilly Keane

    c’mere we need a seperate conversation on this

    Leo Dickie or Simon?

    Francie’s is out’ve it now

    Simon brings in the Big Ticket BlueShirts

    I think Leo is too Dublin for Fine Gael grass roots

    eff’it lads
    Dickie Brutal might be in with a shout ya know

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