Clockwise from top left: Supt Eugene McGovern; Garda Keith Harrison, Marissa Simms; Chief Supt Terry McGinn; Judge Peter Charleton
At Dublin Castle.
After a week’s break, the Disclosures Tribunal, in respect of Garda Keith Harrison, will resume as four witnesses are recalled to give further evidence in light of new documentation which came to light in recent weeks.
The witnesses being recalled today are Chief Superintendent Terry McGinn; Gerry Hone, of Tusla; retired Chief Superintendent James Sheridan and Superintendent Eugene McGovern.
Readers will recall Garda Harrison claims his working life has been difficult since he raised concerns about a garda being involved in the distribution of drugs in Athlone in 2008, and subsequently arrested the same garda for drink-driving in 2009.
It is his contention that the gardai manipulated domestic incidents involving him and his partner Marissa Simms and this resulted in a referral being made to Tusla in February 2014.
This has been rejected by both An Garda Siochana and Tusla.
The decision to make a referral in respect of Garda Harrison to Tusla was made during a meeting on October 8, 2013 about a statement made by Ms Simms on October 6, 2013, following a row between her and Garda Harrison on September 28, 2013.
The tribunal has already heard that, after the meeting on October 8, 2013, Chief Supt Terry McGinn phoned the then Assistant Commissioner Kieran Kenny to keep him informed of events.
The four witnesses have been recalled today following the late emergence of documents which refer to minutes of separate meetings involving senior gardai.
The first is dated November 5, 2013, and refers to a regional divisional meeting held in Dundalk chaired by the then Assistant Commissioner Kieran Kenny.
Chief Supt McGinn and retired Chief Supt Sheridan were at this meeting.
In one line of the minutes, it states that Chief Superintendent McGinn updated the meeting on “the investigation concerning Garda Keith Harrison”.
The tribunal heard that the minutes don’t explicitly refer to any HSE referral.
The second document includes another minute relating to a divisional accountability meeting at Letterkenny Garda Station on November 29, 2013 at 10am.
Garda Keith Harrison isn’t mentioned in the minute but it’s recorded that Gerry Hone, from the HSE, addressed the meeting in relation to HSE referrals.
Chief Supt McGinn and Supt McGovern attended that meeting.
Readers will recall it was Supt McGovern who referred matters concerning Garda Harrison and Ms Simms to Gerry Hone, of Tusla, on October 10, 2013.
Previously: ‘You Don’t Just Stand Back And Do Nothing’