From left: Lorraine McCabe, Sgt Maurice McCabe, Supt Noel Cunningham and Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan
Readers will recall the Commission of Investigation into allegations of Garda misconduct by Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe, overseen by Judge Kevin O’Higgins, in 2015.
In the wake of the publication of the commission’s report, in May 2016, it emerged that it failed to report certain matters that happened during the commission.
Michael Clifford, in the Irish Examiner, reported that, at the beginning of the proceedings, Colm Smyth SC, for the Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan, said that evidence would be produced to show that Sgt McCabe had told two other gardai that he made the complaints out of malice at a meeting in Mullingar in August 2008.
This claim of intention on the part of An Garda Siochana was later dropped as Sgt McCabe went on to produce a recording of the meeting which proved this was untrue.
However, what hasn’t been reported is what the gardai alleged motivated Sgt McCabe to act out of malice. Today, we can reveal what this is.
Judge O’Higgins was told that Sgt McCabe acted out of malice because he wanted the DPP’s directions made in respect of Ms D’s 2006 “humping” allegation overturned.
However, these are the DPP’s directions:
I acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 1st March 2007 together with copy Garda investigation file.
I agree with you and the Guards, that the evidence does not 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 number of respects to that given to her parents and the Guards.
There is no basis for a prosecution.
An Garda Síochána made this claim to Judge O’Higgins on the basis that it didn’t know Sgt McCabe was fully aware of the DPP’s full, seemingly unequivocal directions.
And when he made this known at the O’Higgins investigation, this claim by An Garda Siochana was also dropped – and was also never mentioned in the report.
It now seems clear that knowledge of both the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation, which was carried out in private, and the Disclosures Tribunal, which is being carried out in public, are needed to understand what happened to Sgt McCabe.