Tag Archives: Noirin O’Sullivan

From top: Terry Prone, Frances Fitzgerald and Norin O’Sullivan; an email sent from Ken Foxe to the gardai last year

Last night.

Frustrated Freedom of Information sleuth Ken Foxe posed the following question on Twitter about his attempts to secure emails between Terry Prone of the Communications Clinic and the former Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan under the FOI Act:

“What is it about emails between Terry Prone and very important public officials that makes them so difficult to find?”

A series of emails between the pair were put into evidence at the Disclosures Tribunal last year.

And yet.

Mr Foxe cannot secure these under FOI.

Last year Mr Foxe revealed that the Office of the Information Commissioner had discovered 68 records of correspondence between former Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald and Ms Prone between May 8, 2014 and March 11, 2017.

These were records which the Department of Justice previously said never existed.

Last night, Mr Foxe went on to explain his journey to date…

From 2014 to 2017, Ms Prone wasn’t only advising Ms Fitzgerald. She was also advising the then Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan.

As Ms Fitzgerald was the Justice Minister at the time, Ms O’Sullivan was, on paper, answerable to Ms Fitzgerald.

The Disclosures Tribunal saw how statements or draft speeches were written with the help of Ms Prone by Ms O’Sullivan for Ms Fitzgerald concerning issues about Ms O’Sullivan.

Mr Justice Peter Charleton described this sequence of events worthy of Myles na Gopaleen’s satire.

Previously: Frances, Nóirín and Tess

Front page of the Irish Examiner on October 4, 2016 and former Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan

RTE reports:

The High Court has dismissed an application by former garda commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan for an order allowing her to bring a defamation action against the Irish Examiner newspaper.

Ms O’Sullivan, who served as commissioner between 2014 and 2017, had claimed she was defamed by the Cork-based Irish Examiner newspaper in an article that appeared on the front page of the publication on 4 October 2016 entitled “Senior Garda tried to ‘destroy’ source.”

The newspaper denied the article was defamatory.

…In a judgment today, Ms Justice Teresa Pilkington refused to grant Ms O’Sullivan an order allowing her to issue defamation proceedings outside the statutory limit of one year.

The Judge said that Ms O’Sullivan had said she did not bring the proceedings any earlier than she did because the former commissioner did not believe herself to be in a position to consider the matter from the date of publication until the conclusion of the Disclosures Tribunal.

Ms Justice Pilkington said that those reasons, while sincerely and genuinely held, are “insufficient to disapply the one-year statutory limit.

O’Sullivan’s legal action against newspaper is dismissed (RTE)

This afternoon

Via The United Nations:

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced today the appointment of Nóirín O’Sullivan of Ireland as the Assistant Secretary-General for Safety and Security.

Ms. O’Sullivan succeeds Fadzai Gwaradzimba of Zimbabwe, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for her commitment and dedicated service to the Organization.

As deputy to the Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security (USG/DSS), the Assistant Secretary-General will be responsible for the day-to-day overall management of the Department and supporting the USG in the overall leadership and management of the Department.

Ms. O’Sullivan has over 36 years of experience in the international law enforcement and security environment, and most recently held the position of Garda Commissioner of An Garda Síochána in Ireland.

Prior to that, she was the Interim Acting Commissioner of An Garda Síochána, responsible for advising the Minister of Justice and the Government of Ireland on all matters pertaining to national security and policing.

Ms. O’Sullivan began her career with An Garda Síochána in Ireland in June 1981 and progressed through the ranks, holding various operational and managerial positions since then.

Ms. O’Sullivan brings to the role her extensive experience in international safety and security management, strategic management and leadership.

She is a leader in partnership building, leading teams and able to manage complexity and to drive strategic change. She also brings an in-depth knowledge of international security, crisis management, strategic and institutional leadership and gender issues to the position.

Ms. Nóirín O’Sullivan of Ireland – Assistant Secretary-General for Safety and Security (United Nations)

Meanwhile…

‘Charleton takes the view that she [Noirin O’Sullivan]  was not involved in a campaign to smear Maurice McCabe, regarding Dave Taylor’s allegations against her as motivated by malice. However he does indicate that in some respects he doesn’t believe O’Sullivan’s evidence:-

“She reached out to Maurice McCabe and attempted to solve the workplace-related issues which surrounded him.

These efforts were successful at first, but were undermined by what she felt was the necessity to test where he was coming from in the very serious allegations of corruption that he was making before the O’Higgins Commission.

Her decision in that regard involved talking at length to officials in the Department of Justice and Equality. She is likely to have remembered that, contrary to her evidence, because she realised what was at stake.

It is also improbable that she did not have an inkling at the very least about Commissioner Callinan’s views. At the very least,

it was more than improbable that nothing emerged in the car journey with him back to Garda Headquarters from the meeting of the Public Accounts Committee on 23 January 2014.

It was disappointing to hear her evidence on this.”

Effectively, what this is saying is that Noirin O’Sullivan, while not implicated in the smear of McCabe, was not truthful in her evidence – an extremely serious conclusion with regard to a former Garda Commissioner, and something which surely merits more than just disappointment.’

Legal Coffee Drinker: Charelton Report Conclusions

Meanwhile…

Some neck, in fairness.

Earlier: Full Closure

Former Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan

 

The Irish Times, reports:

The former Garda commissioner, Nóirín O’Sullivan, has sought all information held on her by a number of major media organisations under European Union data protection rules.

Faced with the request, RTÉ has told some of its journalists that all of their email records are being examined by the State broadcaster’s data protection officer….

…The former commissioner has also made the same request for data records to The Irish Times and the publisher of the Irish Mail and the Irish Mail on Sunday.

Anyone?

Nóirín O’Sullivan requests data held on her by key media bodies (The Irish Times)

Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews

Former Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald; Terry Prone, of the Communications Clinic

Last night.

Journalist, director with Right To Know and Dublin Institute of Technology lecturer Ken Foxe tweeted that he had received word back from the Department of Justice yesterday.

This follows his attempts to obtain records of correspondence between the former Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald and PR advisor Terry Prone between May 8, 2014 and March 11, 2017 – a time when Ms Prone was also advising the then Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan.

Mr Foxe had initially been told there were no such records.

After appealing the matter to the Office of the Information Commissioner, the OIC discovered 68 such records of correspondence.

Last night, Mr Foxe said the Department of Justice informed him there were more than 190 such records.

He has yet to receive the documents.

But last night, Mr Foxe explained:

Previously: Frances, Nóirín and Tess

From top: Sgt Maurice McCabe and Former Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan  (right) arriving at Dublin Castle this morning

This morning.

Dublin Castle, Dublin 2

The Disclosures Tribunal resumes this morning with former Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan returning to give evidence into her role in  the alleged smearing of whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe.

Olga Cronin will be live tweeting from the Castle and can be followed here.

More as we get it.

Rollingnews

UDPATE:

NOTE: In one of the tweets above, we stated that Sgt McCabe took legal action over Mr Reynolds’ reports of May 9, 2016.

To clarify, Sgt McCabe sent a legal letter to RTE over the reports.

In one of the tweets above, we stated Ms O’Sullivan met Ms McCann in mid-November 2013 – this should be 2014.

Apologies.

From top: Anne Harris; yesterday’s Sunday Times

The Disclosures Tribunal – which is examining allegations of a smear campaign against whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe – is to resume next Monday, April 30.

The evidence set to be given over the following couple of months is understood to largely involve journalists and media outlets.

Last June, the tribunal released a statement outlining some details of what certain people had told it at that point.

At the time, the tribunal said the former editor of the Sunday Independent Anne Harris told its investigators:

“In the years 2013 and 2014, matters raised by whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe, such as the termination by senior gardaí of fixed penalty points, as well as allegations of murder and abductions not properly investigated, came to prominence.

From the first instance that the Sunday Independent began to report on these matters, certain journalists came to my office to warn me off Sergeant McCabe.

I was given varying accounts of an alleged case of child sex abuse by him, which was apparently being investigated.

This was repeated several times by a very reputable journalist, one who had shown great courage in exposing incidents of corruption and terrorism. I made enquiries and was satisfied that the matter had been investigated by the DPP, and the complaint found to be without grounds.

“The Sunday Independent continued to report on Sergeant McCabe’s concerns and the consequent treatment of him.

In 2013, the allegation that Sergeant McCabe as a “paedophile” was stated in my office by senior executive from the wider “Group” editorial hierarchy of Independent Newspapers.

“I am certain that a whispering smear campaign was being conducted and that the media were being used.

“The pressure on me was less about publishing the sex abuse allegation – it would have been difficult within the laws of libel – but had the clear purpose of discrediting him, and therefore censoring the issues he was raising.”

Further to this…

In yesterday’s Sunday Times and in relation to Ms Harris’s statement to the tribunal…

Mark Tighe and John Mooney reported:

The INM editorial executive, who still works at one of the group’s newspapers, has told the tribunal that he does not recall making such a comment. He has attacked Harris’s motivation and accused her of being a disgruntled former editor.

…Harris told The Sunday Times she decided to name the editorial executive to Peter Charleton’s inquiry because its investigators had asked her to identify those who had passed on information about McCabe.

“When I subsequently considered the timing of the remark, I actually thought the editorial executive himself might be willing to provide useful information to the tribunal. He made this comment in late 2014. I have never shown any animosity towards this editorial executive. I genuinely thought he might have been willing to help the tribunal,” said Harris.

I believe the protection of journalistic sources is paramount, except when they are being used to detract from a good man’s character. I believe that abuse of journalist privilege inspires no confidence in journalism.”

Meanwhile…

Former Garda press Officer Dave Taylor (left) with former Garda Commissioner Nóirin O’Sullivan in 2014

In yesterday’s Sunday Business Post

Francesca Comyn reported:

“Former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan claims whistleblower David Taylor blamed Nóirín O’Sullivan for having him arrested and said he would “bring her down” because of what she had done to him.

“Callinan has made the claim in a statement to the Disclosures Tribunal. He alleges that after he retired as head of the force in May 2014, Supt Taylor visited him at home on several occasions and expressed anger and disappointment that O’Sullivan, who was commissioner at the time, transferred him from the Garda press office to the traffic division.

“…Billing records from her [former Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan’s] mobile phone will show numerous contacts between her and well-known crime and security journalists between July 2012 and May 2014 when she was deputy commissioner.

“She made 33 phone calls to well-known reporter Paul Williams including conversations lasting up to 20 minutes. The tribunal is expected to ask her to explain ten contacts made with Williams in February, March and April 2014.

“In March that year, Williams wrote two articles after interviewing Ms D, the daughter of the garda who made the sexual allegation against McCabe in 2006, later found by the DPP to be groundless.

“…The former commissioner’s phone records for the same time period show further media contacts. Over the 23-month period, she called RTÉ’s crime correspondent Paul Reynolds 20 times and Tom Brady, security editor with the Irish Independent, 74 times.”

Ex-INM editor Anne Harris was ‘warned’ about whistleblower Maurice McCabe (The Sunday Times, Mark Tighe and John Mooney)

Whistleblower: ‘I will bring her down’ (Sunday Business Post, Francesca Comyn)

Previously: Disclosures And Non-Disclosures

Sgt Maurice McCabe (foreground) on the third day of the Disclosures Tribunal on January 24.

From 10am in Dublin Castle.

The legal teams for the various witnesses to the Disclosures Tribunal will give their submissions to chairman of the tribunal Supreme Court Judge Peter Charleton in respect of the evidence heard since January.

Olga Cronin will be tweeting live here.

The evidence has primarily focussed on the O’Higgins Commission of Inquiry.

This is because Judge Charleton is tasked with deciding whether the former Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan inappropriately relied upon false allegations of sexual abuse or any other unjustified grounds to discredit Sergeant Maurice McCabe at the O’Higgins commission.

Readers will recall the O’Higgins inquiry looked at allegations of poor policing in the Cavan/Monaghan area made by Sgt McCabe, with Judge Kevin O’Higgins overseeing 34 days of privately held hearings from May 14, 2015 until December 17, 2015.

At the outset of the commission, on May 15, 2015, Colm Smyth SC, for Ms O’Sullivan, retired Chief Supt Colm Rooney, Supt Michael Clancy and Supt Noel Cunningham told Judge O’Higgins that it was his instructions – as re-confirmed twice that afternoon by Ms O’Sullivan – to challenge the integrity, motivation and credibility of Sgt McCabe.

Mr Smyth would later – in November 2015 – tell the commission that in respect of him having previously stated it was his instructions to challenge Sgt McCabe’s “integrity” – this was an error on his part.

But he maintained it was his instructions to challenge Sgt McCabe’s motivation and credibility – as a means to “test the evidence” of Sgt McCabe.

It should be noted that, during the entire time of the commission, Sgt McCabe was never made aware that a wholly false allegation of child rape was sitting in a file in the then Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan’s office.

This false allegation of rape came about in August 2013, after a woman referred to as Ms D – who made an allegation against Sgt McCabe in 2006 which was found to have no foundation by the DPP – spoke to a HSE counsellor in 2013 about the matter.

The 2006 complaint referred to an allegation of ‘dry humping’ which she told gardai happened in 1998, when she was around six, during a game of hide and seek.

When the complaint was made, in December 2006, it was 11 months after Ms D’s father, a Garda colleague of Sgt McCabe, was disciplined for arriving at the scene of a suicide drunk and whom Sgt McCabe told to leave the scene.

After Ms D spoke to the counsellor in August 2013, the matter was erroneously sent to Tusla – erroneous because the matter had already been investigated by the gardai and was found to have no foundation – but it was conflated with a rape allegation wholly unrelated to either Ms D or Sgt McCabe and it sat there until May 2014, when it was further conflated and sent to An Garda Siochana shortly after articles appeared in the Irish Independent about Ms D and her 2006 allegation against Sgt McCabe.

The articles didn’t contain the names of those involved or the geography but when Sgt McCabe gave evidence to the tribunal he said he knew the articles written by Paul Williams were about him and he said he got texts and calls from people who also knew they were about him.

After the false allegation was sent from Tusla to the gardai and travelled up to Ms O’Sullivan in May 2014, it sat in a file in Ms O’Sullivan’s office up until the start of the tribunal last year.

During the closing submissions of the Tusla module at the tribunal last month, Judge Peter Charleton referred to the false allegation as “horrible” and he posed the following to the counsel for An Garda Siochana:

“I’m told, on the one hand, that the Commissioner simply read through it making absolutely no comment and not in any way reacting to it, and secondly, I am expected to accept that she has absolutely no recollection of reading it.”

In his response to Judge Charleton, Mícheál O’Higgins SC, for Ms O’Sullivan, said:

“…the relevance of the letter was not evident to her when it was brought to her attention…”

It should be noted that Ms O’Sullivan has told the tribunal that, although she can’t recall reading the false rape allegation, she was never corrected on it and that she was never told that the material sent to her contained a major error.

And yet, she also told the tribunal that back in 2008/2009 – when she was an assistant commissioner in Human Resource Management – she knew of Ms D’s allegation against Sgt McCabe. Continue reading

The Disclosures Tribunal heard claims that Supt Dave Taylor (above) told Sgt Maurcie McCabe (top) that a ‘spiritual person’ had told him to confess his role smearing the whistleblower

This week.

At the Disclosures Tribunal…

Which is examining allegations of a smear campaign being orchestrated by former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, with the knowledge of fellow former Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan, against Sgt Maurice McCabe…

Sgt Maurice McCabe told the tribunal details of information relayed to him during a meeting Fianna Fail TD John McGuinness in Dublin’s Merrion Hotel in May 2016 and, separately, Supt Dave Taylor on September 20 2016, at Supt Taylor’s home.

While giving evidence about both of these meetings, Sgt McCabe became very upset.

Readers should note, the tribunal has heard Mr McGuinness agrees with everything Sgt McCabe has told the tribunal about their meeting, save for one minor detail.

In contrast, it’s heard Supt Taylor’s account of his meeting with Sgt McCabe differs greatly.

However, the tribunal has also heard that Supt Taylor’s own evidence to the tribunal has also changed over time with chairman Judge Peter Charleton noting:

“…there has been perhaps a somewhat, look, one could say a softening or a vagueness in relation to the three statements made by David Taylor, particularly to our investigators, in relation to Nóirín O’Sullivan and what she knew…”

In any event.

Of his meeting with Mr McGuinness – the date of which is unclear other than it was May 2016 – Sgt McCabe told the tribunal on Monday that Mr McGuinness, who was then chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), told him that he had met Martin Callinan in a car park on the Naas Road on January 24.

This would have been a day after Mr Callinan made his “disgusting” remark to PAC about Garda whistleblowers and days before Sgt McCabe was due to appear before the committee to talk about the quashing of penalty points.

Sgt McCabe told the tribunal:

“He told me that he met the former Commissioner Martin Callinan at the Red Cow Inn, or that pub, and he said that I wasn’t to be trusted and he said that I had sexually abused all my children and my nieces. He said to me, I didn’t like to tell you before — you know, up to this point.

“At times I’m glad that he actually didn’t. But I asked him what was the circumstances about it, and he said he was asked to meet him at the Red Cow and he said this is what he said. And he also said that he grabbed his arm as he was getting out of the car and said, ‘it’s very serious, it’s very serious’.

Yesterday, JohnMcGuinness’ legal representative Daren Lehane BL said his client’s evidence will be the same as Sgt McCabe – except he will say he told Sgt McCabe Mr Callinan told him that Sgt McCabe had abused “your children” and nieces, as opposed to “all” your children and nieces.

Readers should note on May 26, 2016, during a speech in the Dail about the death of Shane O’Farrell in Monaghan, Mr McGuinness mentioned this meeting with Mr Callinan in the Dail.

He told the Dáil

Every effort was made by those within the Garda Síochána at senior level to discredit Garda Maurice McCabe.

The Garda Commissioner confided in me in a car park on the Naas Road that Garda McCabe was not to be trusted and there were serious issues about him.

The vile stories that circulated about Garda McCabe, which were promoted by senior officers in the Garda, were absolutely appalling. Because they attempted to discredit him, he had to bring forward various pieces of strong evidence to protect his integrity.

Continue reading

Kathleen O’Toole and Noirin O’Sullivan

Last May, Kathleen O’Toole, Seattle Police Chief and formerly of the Garda Siochana Inspectorate, was appointed to lead the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland.

This was to be a root and branch review in the wake of  scandals on several fronts within the force.

Criticism was made at the time that Ms O’Toole had, in her previous role in Phoenix Park, helped select Noirin O’Sullivan as Garda Commissioner in 2014.

But the appointment went ahead.

Last September, Noirin O’Sullivan stood down as commissioner amid pressure over the slow rate of Garda reform and her own role in the Sgt Maurice McCabe saga.

In October, Ms O’Sullivan was appointed as director of strategic partnerships for Europe with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).

The IACP is based in Virginia, United States, and has among its executive committee…head of the Commission on Future Policing in Ireland, Kathleen O’Toole.

Anyone?

Previously: The Future Of An GardSiochana

Rollingnews