This morning.

Following the second part of a two-part documentary on RTÉ 1 about Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe last night.

A petition calling for the State not to pay for the legal representation of former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan in an action taken against him by Maurice McCabe has reached more than 14,000 signatures.

At the Disclosures Tribunal Judge Peter Charleton accepted Fianna Fail TD John McGuinness’s evidence that Mr Callinan told him Sgt McCabe “fiddles with kids” and referred to both Sgt McCabe and former Garda John Wilson as “fucking headbangers” in January 2014.

He accepted that Mr Callinan told Mr McGuinness, during a meeting in a car park of Bewley’s Hotel on the Naas Road, Dublin, on Friday, January 24, 2014, that Sgt McCabe sexually abused his children and nieces.

And he accepted that Mr Callinan led him to believe there was a live investigation of some kind, causing Mr McGuinness to believe that charges against Sgt McCabe were imminent.

Judge Charleton accepted that Mr Callinan told Fine Gael TD John Deasy, on the way to a Public Accounts Committee meeting on Thursday, January 23, 2014, that Sgt McCabe was not to be believed or trusted with anything.

He also accepted the evidence of the Comptroller and Auditor General Seamus McCarthy – whose report into the quashing of penalty points was being discussed at that PAC meeting – that Mr Callinan told him Sgt McCabe was not to be trusted, that he had questions to answer, and that there were live allegations of sexual offences against him.

The judge also accepted that Mr Callinan told RTE journalist Philip Boucher-Hayes, before a broadcast of RTE’s Crimecall in December 2013, that Sgt McCabe was a “troubled individual” with a “lot of psychological issues and psychiatric issues”.

And the tribunal heard that Mr Callinan briefed celebrity solicitor Gerald Kean before Mr Kean went on the Marian Finucane Show in January 2014, during which Mr Kean alleged that Mr McCabe and Mr Wilson had not cooperated with an internal garda investigation into the penalty points controversy.

After Mr McCabe sent Mr Kean a legal letter about his comments threatening a defamation action, Mr Kean sent the letter on to Mr Callinan asking for his help in replying to Mr McCabe.

Mr Callinan, in turn, wrote up several paragraphs for Mr Kean to insert into this reply to Mr McCabe – which were inserted word for word.

Judge Peter Charleton wrote:

“So, the Garda Commissioner, by profession a criminal law enforcement officer, was drafting a letter for a solicitor on a legal problem, defamation, which the solicitor had. No comment is needed on this. Maurice McCabe subsequently took a defamation action against RTÉ and Gerald Kean. The case against Gerald Kean was not ultimately pursued, while a settlement was reached between Maurice McCabe and RTÉ.”

The petition can be signed here

Watch ‘Whistleblower’ Part 2 here.

Yesterday: How Was It For You?

20 thoughts on “The Bill

  1. rotide

    Regarding this whole legal costs thing.

    I take it that it’s the norm for the state to pay for legal costs in cases involving ex state employees being sued? Is it only for management level types? Like, if an ex bus driver was being sued for something he did while driving a dublin bus, would his bills be covered?

    1. The Bottler

      Interesting in the whole saga very little was heard from the Garda Representative Association the P J Stone types!

  2. Liam Deliverance

    Signed. In the fullness of time we may be be naming a street or a park after Mr Mc Cabe for his good character, his principles, his courage and his decorum in all of this. If anything is going to change the way AGS go about things, and in turn change society for the better, then this is it.

    1. Ron

      Or you know maybe instead of naming a focking park bench after him people could take more practical steps to support him like not voting for politicians and political parties that allowed it to get to the stage it got too. Politicians and parties that turned a blind eye to the rumours and what they knew in their heart of hearts was wrong!

      I find it incredulous that Varadkar and his band of incompetent Muppets are even entertaining the discussion of whether to pay for Callinans legal defense with tax payer money.

      The Irish electorate owe Maurice and family a huge apology for what we allowed and continue to allow them to do

      Thank you for your service Maurice Mc Cabe. It seems the powers in charge have learned nothing so all your work in exposing what you exposed was most likely done in vain and at an enormous price personally for yourself.

      I’m sorry that nothing has changed and nothing will change because the incompetent political filth have the support of a majority of people in this country and they excercise that faith in them by continuously relecting them. But that’s democracy I guess however fupped up it is. The whole thing is a disgusting enditement and reflection of who we are as a country and people.

  3. Eoin

    There is a legal practice on the part of some people, who shall remain nameless but you know them, that when they’re suing for defamation, they sue BOTH the company AND the journalist, so perhaps both RTE and its presenter. Vincent Browne has said such a practice is particularly heinous as a defamation case could bankrupt an individual journalist.

    In Maurice McCabe’s case, he’s suing the office of the Garda Commissioner AND Martin Callinan (and a couple of other parties in the same proceedings)

    If the likes of RTE isn’t legally required to indemnify its presenter, then why are the Gardai legally required to indemnify their former Commissioner. The Taoiseach says this is all covered by s48 of the 2005 Garda Siochana Act, but if it is, I can’t see it.

    Where a member of the Garda Síochána commits an actionable wrong in the course of performing the member’s functions under this Act—

    (a) the State is liable to an action for damages in respect of damage resulting from the wrong as if the State were the employer of the member, and

    (b) the member is, for the purposes of such liability, deemed to be the servant of the State in so far as the member was acting in the course of performing his or her functions under this Act

    1. millie st murderlark

      Thanks for that Eoin. I think it was your comment yesterday on the same topic that was very informative too.

    2. Ian-O

      But would the fact that Callinan was NOT performing his duties but going on essentially an illegal solo run not release the state from their liability and leave Callinan solely responsible or at the very least give them a way to claw back costs?

      Unless Callinan is financially penalized by this, essentially what we seeing is a situation where a state employee can do a lot without any sort of sanction?

      I note Flanagan on RTE this morning seemed incredibly eager to settle, saying the word ‘settlement’ several times in quick succession.

      1. Rob_G

        “But would the fact that Callinan was NOT performing his duties but going on essentially an illegal solo run not release the state from their liability and leave Callinan solely responsible or at the very least give them a way to claw back costs?”

        Arguably, yes. But I don’t see how that could be established without a court case.

        If the state were able to leave Callinan twisting in the wind, think of the precedent it would set: companies could get out of any liability by pinning the blame on some patsy. Like, if a bus crashed, maiming a number of people, and the injured people sued the bus company, the bus company could argue: “hey, our contract with the driver said that he was not to crash the bus, so this was him acting on his own – go sue him for your medical expenses”.

        1. Ian-O

          Read the part where I say it might give them a way to claw back costs and damages.

          McCabe sues all concerned parties, McCabe gets payout, state goes to Callinan and says we didn’t contract you to defame another state employee and they sue him for costs and damages and no precedents set.

          Callinan broke the terms of his contract deliberately. A bus driver who makes an in the moment error is not an accurate comparison.

          Unless Callinan is personally left out of pocket by his actions, the precedent being set is that you can do an awful lot of harm in the employ of the state and be protected from certain types of sanction and that’s a disturbing precedent and prospect.

          Oh and surely there is somewhere in law that would allow a criminal case if someone is operating a conspiracy to damage someones reputation, but I have never heard of such in Irish law.

          Perhaps McCabe should just pretend a USB stick ‘appeared’ on his desk. That might add more traction, surely?

    3. Rob_G

      In the case of RTÉ and its presenter: most of RTÉ’s presenters are self-employed, so are not employees.

      In any instance I can think of, the state is obliged to pay the legal costs if its employees if the employee is being sued for something that they did while carrying out their duties.

  4. Anne

    Martin Callinan should be charged and should be doing time, nevermind his legal costs being covered by the State.
    He also needs to be allocated a full team of psychiatrists working around the clock to figure out what the fupp is wrong with the man. “headbanger” isn’t an official diagnosis really ..

    He didn’t act alone in his smearing of McCabe.
    Tulsa’s file on McCabe gave Callihan’s claim some credibility.
    Certain journalists in the media were complicit in the smearing, as were Ministers for Justice and their very strange communications advisers

    This supporting of criminality and corruption has to stop. Callinan needs to suffer at least financially for his relentless pursuing of a man in the most obscene criminal way.

    The rot has to stop. None of us are safe is this is what they are allowed do to people. The golden handshakes and walking off with massive pensions with zero repercussions is just sickening.

    1. Blonto

      Spot on.
      A list should be made of those that helped McCabe, and those that helped Callinan spread the rumours.
      Then it should be put up on large billboards as a constant reminder to everyone. And McGuinness, Wallace, Daly Clifford, Doherty should be top of the list of those that helped.
      There’s a huge amount of band wagon jumping at the moment.
      I’m already sick of RTE getting plaudits for the whistleblower program. They were part of the problem. And they have a terrible track record with whistleblowers in general. Just ask Jonathan Sugarman.

  5. Iwerzon

    Fair play to Maurice Mc Cabe. For every one of him there are many others who didn’t have the will to pursue wrong doings against them or who were simply smeared and dismissed as disgruntled cranks or mental cases and broke under the pressure. You just have to see some of the poor craturs pacing outside Dail Éireann with a sign or sandwich-board as a last gasp attempt to be heard.

    1. Blonto

      This is something that needs to be pursued.
      Nobody should think for a second that this was the first time the “power” of the state was unleashed on individuals. Did Callinan think he could get away with this simply because he did get away with it before?

  6. Vanessa off the Telly

    Not wanting to post a slight

    But I would prefer if the Minister and AGS prioritise settling with Joanne Hayes and her family first
    They already had to wait 30 years for an apology

    As for the former Commissioner
    If AGS isn’t covering his costs etc
    The Garda Representative Bodies will

  7. Catherine costelloe

    There is no will nor efficiency nor fairness in Justice Dept in cases such as Joanne. Empty promises, kick into touch, year on year . No sincerity , humanity or thought of stress/ distress at giving them closure, an apology. Patrick Nugents tragic death from 1985 still casts a dark cloud over Sixmilebridge : his heartbroken parents have since died and his brothers are still fighting for justice. Victims are file numbers, gathering dust – look at the way Charlie Flanagan is treating Lucia o Farrell this very day 7 years on. An awful broken system .

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