Garda Commissioner Noriin O’Sullivan and former Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald
At the Disclosures Tribunal.
Legal counsel for Sgt Maurice McCabe Michael McDowell SC, while questioning Fiona Ward – a director of counselling with RIAN – claimed he was of the understanding that the former Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald was informed of “the whole situation” pertaining to Sgt McCabe in 2015.
Mr McDowell made the point as he was asking Ms Ward why “nobody bothered” to tell Sgt McCabe about the allegations that he said led to his reputation being “shredded in private”.
When this was queried by Supreme Court judge Peter Charleton, Mr McDowell said he could be wrong but repeated it was his recollection that Ms Fitzgerald was informed in 2015.
Readers will recall that Sgt McCabe was not made aware of the matters until December 29, 2015.
In February of this year, Ms Fitzgerald said she was not aware of the Tusla error and released a statement saying the Minister for Children Katherine Zappone had informed her in January, 2017, that she intended to meet with Sgt McCabe but that Ms Zappone did not inform Ms Fitzgerald of any details in relation to Tusla.
At the same time, Taoiseach Enda Kenny also said that he was also aware of Ms Zappone’s meeting with the McCabes and was also not made aware of the details of their meeting.
Readers will also recall how two protected disclosures were made to Ms Fitzgerald by Sgt McCabe and former head of the Garda Press Office Superintendent Dave Taylor, in relation to the same matter, in October 2016.
Ms Fitzgerald later appointed Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill to investigate the disclosures and Justice O’Neill’s report was given to Ms Fitzgerald in December 2016.
Ms Fitzgerald then announced that it was establishing the current Disclosures Tribunal on February 7, 2017.