‘That’s Not True, Chairman’

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From top: Garda whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe with his wife Lorraine; Journalist Paul Williams (centre) arriving at the Disclosures Tribunal this morning

This morning.

At the Disclosures Tribunal in Dublin Castle.

Following on from the evidence that Ms D gave yesterday about how she had given an interview – part of which was videoed – to journalist and broadcaster Paul Williams in March 2014.

And how this interview led to a series of articles written by Mr Williams in the Irish Independent in April and May 2014.

The series of articles pertained to Ms D’s 2006 allegations but did not identify Sgt Mcabe.

At the beginning of his evidence, Mr Williams said he wasn’t aware of the rape allegation that was wrongly attributed to Sgt McCabe until February of this year.

He said he read it in the media and he didn’t see RTE’s Prime Time – which outlined the sequence of events  in February 2017 after the matter was raised in the Dáil – as he was out of the country at the time.

The tribunal heard that after Mr Williams’ interview with Ms D he was in telephone contact with the then head of the Garda Press Office Supt Dave Taylor.

Mr Williams told the tribunal that he asked Supt Taylor several questions, including:

Did this investigation take place?

Who was involved?

What was the decision of the DPP?

Was there an arrest?

Can you confirm if it was Inspector Noel Cunningham who was involved?

Was the allegation placed on PULSE?

Mr Williams explained that the question referring to Insp Cunningham was “one of the problems Ms D had”.

Mr Williams told the tribunal that Supt Taylor confirmed to him that an allegation had been made against Sgt McCabe seven years previously, an investigation had taken place and that the DPP said there was no case to answer.

Michael McDowell, SC, for Sgt McCabe, asked Mr Williams: “Did he come back to you and say the allegations didn’t constitute a sexual assault and indeed an assault at all?”

Mr Williams said: “No.”

The tribunal was then referred to a letter sent by Liz Howlin in the DPP’s office to Rory Hayden, the State Solicitor for Cavan.

The tribunal heard the letter stated:

Dear Sir,

I acknowledge receipt of your letter dates 1st March 2007 together with copy Grda investigation file.

I agree with you and the Guards, that the evidence does no warrant a prosecution There was no admission. The incident as described by the injured party is vague. It appears that it was only when she was eleven/twelve that she decided that whatever occurred was sexual in nature.

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.

Further, the account given to her cousin [redacted] differs in a a number of respects to that given to her parents and the Guards.

There is no basis for a prosecution.

Yours faithfully.

Asked if he had seen this letter would it have had an affect on him, Mr Williams told the tribunal:

“It would have given a different view.”

Just before the tribunal broke for lunch.

Judge Peter Charleton – who is overseeing the proceedings – asked the legal representatives to clarify with Supt Taylor the claims made by Mr Williams.

Specifically:

1) How many calls Paul Williams and Supt Taylor shared and when?

2) What did Supt Taylor actually say to Mr Williams?

3) Why did he say what he said to Mr Williams?

After lunch, Mr Williams returned to give evidence.

And, in response to Judge Charleton’s questions, Supt Taylor’s legal representative John Ferry BL said:

“It is our instructions that, to the best of our client’s recollection, there was only one phone call, which occurred on the Saturday Mr Williams attended at Ms D’s house.”

“Mr Williams telephoned our client and told him that he was at Ms D’s house and had interviewed her, that Maurice McCabe had destroyed this person and that he was going to write an article that was going to be very damaging to Maurice McCabe.

On the claim that he only made one phone call to Supt Tyalor on the matter, Mr Williams said:

“That’s not true.”

On the claim that he told Supt Taylor he had interview Ms D, that Sgt McCabe destroyed that person and that he was going to write a damaging article, Mr Williams said:

“That’s completely untrue.”

Judge Charleton intervened and asked Mr Williams if there had been any discussion at all about Sgt McCabe destroying anybody’s lives? Mr Williams said:

“No, there was not, chairman.”

Asked if there was anything in that ballpark, Mr Williams replied:

“No.”

Mr Ferry also told the tribunal that, according to Supt Taylor, the nature of the call was that Mr Williams was informing him of what happened and that Mr Williams did not ask Supt Taylor to confirm anything specific or confirm or deny any facts.

Mr Williams said that that was “totally untrue”.

Judge Charleton then asked Supt Taylor’s legal counsel if the instructions from Supt Taylor were that he didn’t say anything to Mr Williams?

Mr Ferry said:

Well, that Superintendent Taylor will say that he took note of what you had told him and that he passed on to his superior, who was then-Commissioner Martin Callinan, and also Deputy Commissioner O’Sullivan, by way of text message.

He added:

“The instructions are that he [Paul Williams] was providing information and that information was relayed on to a superior.”

Mr Williams said he did not call Supt Williams on the same day that he met Ms D and that he had regular conversations with him after he started to make inquiries. He added:

“He suggests there that I rang him up and made a declaration or a statement to him that Maurice McCabe allegedly destroyed somebody’s life. I don’t see any logic in saying that to anybody, especially a press officer. I rang him to clarify details with him, and that’s it.”

Mr Ferry also said that Supt Taylor maintains he received no further calls from Mr Williams on the matter before an article was published on April 2 or 3 [sic].

Readers will note Mr Williams’s first article on Ms D was published on April 12, 2014.

Mr Williams said: That’s not true, chairman.”

The tribunal continues.

Earlier: Tearing The Garda Family Apart

Meanwhile…

This morning.

Eamon Dunphy (top) and Vincent Browne (above) attending this morning’s session at the Disclosures Tribunal.

Leon Farrell/Rollingnews

31 thoughts on “‘That’s Not True, Chairman’

  1. mildred st. meadowlark

    Lads, your coverage of this has been excellent. Keep up the good work.

    1. Liam Deliverance

      Yes indeed, a speciality of Broadsheet.ie, well done Bodger and co.

      Swamped in work and at home this week and last week, if ye not too busy could you post the links for all the Disclosures Tribunal articles in chronological order, that would be great thanks. I need to catch up on this.

      1. maccers

        They are really good, but some are very long so I’m trying to keep on top of them every day. If you search for all articles tagged “disclosures tribunal”, they come up in reverse chronological order (newest first)
        “https://www.broadsheet.ie/tag/disclosures-tribunal/”

    1. theo kretschmar schuldorff

      Not Garda Paul Reynolds surely?
      Although I expect we was not particularly happy to be so publicly duped after the O’Higgins findings ‘leak’.

  2. phil

    Ahh the witnesses are starting to contradict each other , we are getting close to the truth ….

    the whole thing is very sinister, but he its Ireland, the corrupt are especially incompetent…

  3. Joe Small

    Normally I’d be sympathetic to the journalist but when its Paul Williams I feel a bit hesitant.
    Phil, do you really think we’re getting to the truth? How will we know the truth when we hear it? And can’t several witnesses actually honestly believe conflicting truths?
    I’m just skeptical of any closure here.

    1. curmudgeon

      “…a finding by the interim report of the Fennelly Commission that the former commissioner destroyed “possibly 8 – 10 bags” of documents after announcing his resignation from the role on March 25th last. ”

      The evidence (and lots more besides) was destroyed as soon as Callinan got the boot.

      irishtimes.com/news/politics/creighton-calls-for-inquiry-into-callinan-shredding-documents-1.2366587

  4. dav

    Great to hear Williams getting a tough time in the dock – he was employed to do a hatchet job on McCabe by the cops and has been found out..

  5. Kolyn

    the ‘i don’t recalls’ are a sign that questions are getting a bit close to something uncomfortable but the ‘that’s not true, chairman’ are very encouraging. He didn’t fudge and say “that’s not how I remember” or “my recollection is different”, he’s very definitive – “that’s not true.” So essentially he’s calling Taylor a liar. “Taylor is lying to you chairman.”

    If Taylor has records and notes – and being that he was a Garda press officer he really ought to be in the practice of keeping good notes – then his testimony is going to be explosive.

    1. Topsy

      He never even gave McCabe the courtesy of a phone to find his side of the story? An objectionable dreg.

  6. John flavin

    Q. Is this williams fellow a member of the Gardai ?. All future photographs of him should show him in full uniform. Just to clarify his lack of impartiality..

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