Tag Archives: Paul Williams

Mmf.

Rollingnews

From top: Crime journalist Paul Williams (centre), of the Irish Independent, and Det Supt John O’Reilly attending the Disclosures Tribunal last Summer

Further to the release of the Disclosures Tribunal report yesterday,

Justice Peter Charleton took time in his report to concentrate on the work of journalist Paul Williams, of the Irish Independent.

Mr Williams wrote several articles about Ms D and her 2006 “dry humping” allegation against Sgt Maurice McCabe in April and May 2014 – after interviewing Ms D in March 2014.

The central focus of the series of articles was Ms D’s unhappiness with the Garda investigation into her 2006 complaint, which was carried out by Supt Noel Cunningham.

In 2007, the DPP ruled that there was no basis for any prosecution in regards to Ms D’s complaint and Judge Charleton, having read Supt Cunningham’s investigation report, repeatedly told the tribunal that his investigation was “a model of efficiency and fairness”.

Mr Williams didn’t name Sgt McCabe or Ms D but many witnesses at the tribunal said they knew the articles were about Sgt McCabe.

Sgt McCabe himself told the tribunal he knew they were about him and received phone calls from people relaying the same.

The provenance of Mr Williams’ articles came about via Det Supt John O’Reilly, a friend of Mr Williams, who was the conduit for contact between Mr D and Mr Williams.

Det Supt O’Reilly knew Mr Williams through work as Mr Williams, Judge Charleton noted, “had spent a considerable time under police protection”.

Det Supt O’Reilly was a family friend of the D family for many years.

The tribunal heard differing evidence from Mr D and Det Supt O’Reilly as to who suggested to whom that Ms D talk to Mr Williams – after Irish Mail on Sunday journalist Debbie McCann and Irish Sun journalist Eavan Murray had called to the D house – but the judge found:

“The tribunal does not accept that any idea about talking to the media or any idea as to a suitable person within the media came from anyone other than Mr D.”

Det Supt O’Reilly told the tribunal in evidence that he subsequently believed that his setting up of contact between Mr Williams and Mr D was “unwise”.

But Judge Charleton went further, finding:

“It did no service to anyone. It caused further and completely unjustified pain to Maurice McCabe and to his family. The right advice from Detective Superintendent O’Reilly would have been to leave matters that belong in the past to the past; that is even supposing that some event had occurred.

“It should be remembered that he was a policeman. Why did Detective Superintendent O’Reilly not support the integrity and thoroughness of his honest police inquiries? Why did he imagine that there could be anything wrong with the investigation?

“Given that a thorough investigation had been undertaken, and that over fifteen years had passed since the time of the alleged event, nothing positive could have come out of this. Nothing positive did come of it.”

Paul Williams eventually interviewed Ms D on March 8, 2014.

The tribunal accepted Mr Williams’ evidence that when he met Ms D in March 2014, he had not heard about the false rape allegation which had been erroneously created back in August 2013 and was, in March 2014, sitting in a cabinet file in TUSLA.

He only knew what Ms D told him which was the original 2006 allegation.

Mr Williams’ first article published on April 12, 2014, headlined “Girl wants new probe into alleged sex assault by Garda” detailed Ms D’s dissatisfaction with the 2006/2007 investigation, as she saw it.

Judge Charleton criticised Mr Williams for not including input or seeking any response from either Sgt McCabe or Supt Noel Cunningham, who investigated the 2006 complaint, for the article.

Judge Charleton found:

“Given the widespread nature of the rumours, it was clear to people who knew about the allegation that it referred to Maurice McCabe and alleged a poor investigation. Certainly, almost everyone who actually read these articles, whether in journalism or police work, put two and two together. There would also have been a not insignificant number of them in Garda Headquarters.”

On April 15, 2014, Ms Williams published a second article about Ms D.

Headlined “Alleged Garda sex victim wants to meet Martin”, it was about how Ms D wanted to meet Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin.

After this article, Mr Williams facilitated this meeting between Ms D and Mr Martin.

On April 16, 2014, his third artlcle headlined “FF leader to meet woman at centre of claims she was abused by Garda” was published.

And on April 30, 2014, Mr Williams collected Ms D from a train station and drove her to the Dáil where she met Mr Martin.

On May 3, 2014, a fourth article appeared headlined “Kenny to set up probe into Garda sex abuse claims”.

Mr Williams said this was based on him getting confirmation from Mr Martin’s office that a letter in relation to his meeting with Ms D had been passed on to the office of An Taoiseach.

Judge Charleton found:

“While it had been, this did not mean that An Taoiseach was proposing to do anything about it and so the article could, be described as speculative.”

And, again, Judge Charleton stated Mr Williams should have contacted either Sgt McCabe or those who were involved in the investigation of Ms D’s complaint in 2006/2007, saying:

“They would have constituted unwelcome attention in the shape of a clear identification of Maurice McCabe by those who were aware of the Ms D matter and the return of an allegation long since dealt with.”

Although Mr Williams did not make contact with either Sgt McCabe or Supt Cunningham before writing his series of articles, Mr Williams did speak with the then Garda press officer Supt Dave Taylor.

There was conflicting evidence given to the tribunal about their interaction.

Supt Taylor told the tribunal that Mr Williams, in March 2014, rang him up and said “guess where I am?” before telling Supt Taylor he was at the D household, that Sgt McCabe had ruined Ms D’s life and that he was going to write a damaging article about Sgt McCabe.

Supt Taylor claimed he passed this information on to then Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and then Deputy Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan.

Mr Williams had denied this when he gave evidence and said he had asked Supt Taylor a set of questions about the Ms D case and was told by Supt Taylor that “the investigation had taken place, a file has been sent to the DPP and there were no charges”.

Judge Charleton accepted Mr Williams’ evidence and rejected that of Supt Taylor, saying:

There would not be the slightest reason for Paul Williams to curry some kind of favour with the Garda Press Office by gleefully announcing the news that bad news was imminent for Maurice McCabe. That does not fit with the evidence, or with the character, of Paul Williams.”

Ms D made a complaint about the investigation into her 2006/2007 allegation to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission on April 29, 2014 – days before, unbeknownst to Ms D, the false rape allegation which was sitting in a cabinet file in TUSLA was randomly plucked out and circulated to An Garda Síochána and eventually presented as a true allegation to the then Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan.

It remained in Garda HQ until February 2017.

The tribunal heard that the idea of making a complaint to GSOC was something Ms D had discussed with Mr Williams during their interview in March 2014.

But, Judge Charleton found “he [Williams] did not in any way or at all lead her into making this further complaint”.

Mr Williams was one of the 12 journalists whom Supt Taylor claimed he “negatively briefed” against Sgt McCabe.

As mentioned above, Judge Charleton accepted Mr Williams evidence – that Supt Taylor told him that a complaint had been made, a file went to the DPP and there were no charges – but did not find that Supt Taylor “negatively briefed” Mr Williams.

Judge Charleton found:

“While Superintendent Taylor claims, in typically laconic form used in relation to any evidence that might have supported his claims, that he briefed Paul Williams negatively against Maurice McCabe, no details of this, as usual, were supplied and the tribunal does not believe him.”

Meanwhile…

Dublin City University professor Colum Kenny

On March 2, 2014 – just over a month before Mr Williams’ first article on Ms D and days before Mr Williams first met Ms D – journalist and Dublin City University professor Colum Kenny wrote an article in the Sunday Independent about Sgt McCabe and how he had been wrongly blamed for the disappearance of a seized computer central to a sex abuse case.

In the article, he made the following reference to the Ms D allegation:

“It is understood that Sgt McCabe has also been subjected to a serious accusation by a senior garda that was subsequently referred by gardai to the DPP, who found no basis on which to pursue the matter.”

When Mr Kenny gave evidence to the tribunal, he indicated that when sending the March 2 article for publication to the Sunday Independent, he had sent a document to INM’s lawyers outlining the DPP’s full directions against Sgt McCabe in order to verify what he was writing.

The tribunal didn’t specifically hear what this document was or specifically to whom it was sent or even specifically when it was sent.

Mr Kenny wasn’t asked these details.

Judge Charleton made no comment on this document in his report.

The report can be read in full here

Yesterday: Legal Coffee Drinker: Charleton Report – Conclusions

Justice Charleton On...

Previously: Maurice McCabe And INM: Part 1

Maurice McCabe And INM: Part 2

I Told INM Maurice Was Innocent

Rollingnews

INM’s Paul Williams and Dearbhail McDonald at the Dublin Castle this week

Independent News and Media Group Business Editor Dearbhail McDonald gave evidence on Tuesday at the Disclosures Tribunal in Dublin Castle.

Ms McDonald was asked about her involvement in the editorial process ahead of the publication of Irish Independent journalist Paul Williams’s first article about Ms D and Sgt Maurice McCabe which was published on April 12, 2014.

Ms McDonald, who would have been Legal Editor at INM at the time, was tasked with “stress-testing” and “fact-checking” Mr Williams’ first article about Sgt McCabe and Ms D.

Ultimately, she told the tribunal, she advised against Mr Williams’ first draft being published.

She also told Micheál Ó Higgins SC, for An Garda Síochána, that her advice led to Sgt McCabe’s reputation being “protected”, saying:

“I believe that the advices that I gave and the role that I played actually went to ensure that Mr McCabe’s reputation was protected. I gave advices, I’m not going to go into the specific advices that I gave. But the ultimate decision of an editor is final. And perhaps I wouldn’t — well, I know I advised against publication.”

Ms McDonald told Judge Peter Charleton:

“For reasons of confidentiality and privilege, I don’t want to go into the specific advices that I gave, but certainly there were material changes between the draft I saw and the article that was ultimately published.”

The tribunal has since asked Mr Williams if he can furnish the tribunal with the first draft of his first story on Ms D.

Both Ms McDonald and Mr Williams have both told the tribunal that they never spoke to each other about her “stress-testing” of his article – with Mr Williams saying he only learned last month of what she did through statements given to the tribunal.

The tribunal is examining a claim by the former head of the Garda Press Office Supt Dave Taylor that he was instructed by former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan – with the knowledge of Mr Callinan’s successor Nóirín O’Sullivan – to negatively brief journalists about Sgt McCabe by telling them about the Ms D allegation made against Sgt McCabe in 2006.

In December 2006, the daughter of a Garda colleague of Sgt McCabe’s, referred to as Ms D, made an allegation of ‘dry humping’ against Sgt McCabe to gardai.

The matter was investigated by then Inspector Noel Cunningham, his investigation went to the DPP and, in April 2007, the DPP unequivocally ruled there was no basis for a prosecution.

Supt Taylor alleges that he was instructed to tell journalists about Ms D’s 2006 allegation and to tell them that, while the DPP ruled against a prosecution, the investigation was still the “root cause” of Sgt McCabe’s complaints about malpractice within An Garda Siochana.

The tribunal has already heard that three journalists called to the D family home in early 2014 – Debbie McCann, of the Irish Mail on Sunday; Eavan Murray, of The Irish Sun; and Mr Williams.

However, only Mr Williams – who interviewed Ms D and part-videoed an interview with Ms D on March 8, 2014 – wrote about Ms D in 2014.

He wrote four articles about Ms D which were published April and May 2014.

Mr Williams has told the tribunal he was not negatively briefed by either Supt Taylor, Ms O’Sullivan or Mr Callinan.

Ms O’Sullivan and Mr Callinan both deny Supt Taylor’s claims.

Ms McDonald explained to the tribunal that in March 2014 – at a time when she was covering the Anglo trial of Pat Whelan, Willie McAteer and Sean FitzPatrick in the Criminal Courts of Justice – she was asked by then INM Group Editor Stephen Rae to “stress-test” Mr Williams’ first article about Ms D.

Ms McDonald said she was asked to:

“…essentially stress-test a story that had been written by a colleague that they were considering for a publication, and I was tasked with that by my editor and asked to go off and make my own inquiries and to come back and see was it fit for publication, in my view, in terms of both being legally and factually robust…”

She further explained that she did know the article was about Sgt McCabe, saying:

“Yeah, at that stage it was fairly evident that it was, and I undertook my own inquiries and
reported back to my editor, Stephen Rae, to our group head of news, Ian Mallon, and, as the Tribunal is aware from my statement, I did compose a memo over which I’ve raised confidentiality and privilege, outlining some of my observations, concerns and the risks as I perceived them, and that was the end of the matter for me.”

Ms McDonald told the tribunal that she was given both the article and the video interview to consider before she made her own “inquiries”.

She also said that in/or around March 14 she would have watched the video in the company of Mr Rae and Mr Mallon.

[Mr Mallon can’t recall any meeting about the article or seeing the video]

Ms McDonald said she wrote up a memo, with her notes, as part of her inquiries and:

“It was quite a discrete function, task that I had been assigned. I did that. I had no — I wasn’t apprised of anything that happened before that, or how it came about, and I had no interaction thereafter with it. I went back to the CCJ [Criminal Courts of Justice] after that.”

Ms McDonald was asked by the counsel for An Garda Síochána if she was aware of the criticism that has been levelled against Mr Williams for him not contacting Sgt McCabe ahead of the publication of his series of articles.

[Mr Williams has already told the tribunal that he didn’t feel he needed to contact Sgt McCabe because Sgt McCabe wasn’t identified in the articles – though Sgt McCabe, and many witnesses have already told the tribunal they believed the articles were about him when they read them]

In response to this, Ms McDonald said:

“I have no knowledge of that because I was brought in specifically to assess or give my views or opinions, I have no absolutely no carriage or knowledge of what the company otherwise did in terms of liaising with Mr. McCabe or any of the relevant parties.”

However.

Yesterday, Mr Ó Higgins SC, for An Garda Síochána, asked Mr Williams if he was aware that Ms McDonald, as part of her fact-checking exercise, contacted Michael McDowell SC, for Sgt McCabe, in March 2014.

Mr Williams said he wasn’t aware of this until April of this year – via the tirbunal.

Judge Charleton said there was nothing wrong with this contact between Ms McDonald and Mr McDowell, saying it was “a perfectly legitimate exercise as opposed to taking sides” while Mr Ó Higgins SC, for the gardaí, saying he wasn’t suggesting otherwise.

Separately.

The tribunal has heard intermittently about a ‘poison pen’ letter, dated February 26, 2014, about Sgt McCabe which was sent to RTÉ and INM.

On Tuesday, Ms McDonald was asked about this letter and her knowledge, if any, of it.

She told Kathleen Leader SC, for the tribunal:

“It was the Tribunal through — or my lawyer, our lawyers, through the Tribunal, that brought attention to it, and I have no knowledge of it, no receipt of it, haven’t had it in my possession, did not see it until it was provided by the Tribunal.

And just even in terms of my own general practice, I do maintain a readers’ correspondence file where it’s suitable to hold on to material, and, if I had received that, I would have brought it to the attention of the relevant news editor or person that was working on it.

But I certainly, if it had been in possession, would not have given it away. I have a practice of retaining important correspondence when I receive it, including unsolicited and anonymous correspondence.”

Later, it was put to Ms McDonald by Mr Ó Higgins SC, for the gardaí, that, according to a statement of Sgt McCabe, Ms McDonald had “a role in relation to the issuance or the production of that letter and it coming to the attention of Sergeant McCabe’s side of the house?

Ms McDonald said this was incorrect.

She said:

“And I just have to take issue and disagree with that because I am quite emphatic about my knowledge. The first time I saw or received the letter, had knowledge of the so-called foxtrot bravo letter, when it was brought to my attention courtesy of the Tribunal.”

She added:

He [Sgt McCabe] says, “it was my understanding”, namely Mr McCabe’s understanding at the time, that the document had been given to a person. That was — that is not the case.”

Diarmaid McGuinness SC, for the tribunal, yesterday asked Mr Williams about this letter.

They had the following exchange:

McGuinness: “…just one final matter. The investigators asked you about this and you were shown a document… This is a letter dated — purported to be dated the 26th February of 2014, and Sergeant McCabe, when being interviewed by Mr [Sean] Guerin, read a fragment of it to Mr Guerin in connection with an allegation of sexual assault of a minor.”

Williams: “I’m aware of this, yeah.”

McGuinness: “So that was on the 1st April. And he told Mr. Guerin that his counsel had got it from the Irish Independent…”

Williams: “I read the statement…”

McGuinness: “…a couple of weeks earlier than that?”

Williams:He told Mr Guerin that he got it — that his counsel, Mr McDowell, got it from Dearbhail McDonald in the Irish Independent. I read that. In 2014, this was?”

McGuinness:Yes.”

Williams: “I saw that, yeah.”

McGuinness: “And Sergeant McCabe then made a statement explaining his understanding of it…We’ve also been informed that Prime Time received this at the end of February. And we belatedly received a copy of that, a version of that letter from them since.”

Williams: “Prime Time received it when?”

McGuinness: “In February 2014.”

Williams: “Is this the same document?”

McGuinness: “Yes.”

Williams: “Oh, right, okay.”

McGuinness: “But just in the context of this issue as to whether it came to the Independent, did you ever see this letter before?”

Williams: “The first time I ever heard about this document was in April when the Tribunal contacted my solicitor, and I saw it then the next day. I had no knowledge of it, never saw it before in my life.”

McGuinness: “And you heard no talk of it, about having been received or…”

Williams: “Never heard of it.”

McGuinness: “…going the rounds…”

Williams: “No.”

McGuinness: “… or going to any other news organisations…”

Williams: “No.”

McGuinness: “… or chitchat. Ms [Katie] Hannon referred to it in a broadcast in July 2016 on a Prime Time programme.”

Williams: “No.”

McGuinness: “Did you pick up the reference from that at any stage?”

Williams: “No.”

McGuinness: “In any event, this played no part in your knowledge or
information or decision-making?”

Williams: “No, and I also am very cognisant that my colleague Dearbhail McDonald made a very unambiguous statement stating that she never saw this document and never gave it to Mr McDowell.”

McGuinness: “No, I understand that, but I am just…”

Williams: “So I don’t know the provenance of it, I don’t know where it came from.”

McGuinness: “I’m just anxious to get your evidence on the matter to advance matters. Thank you very much, Mr Williams.”

Sgt McCabe’s legal team didn’t ask any questions of either Ms McDonald or Mr Williams – who gave evidence about his articles last summer.

The tribunal resumes.

Rollingnews

Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking, the Theoretical physicist who made revolutionary contributions to our understanding of the nature of the universe, has died.

Any thoughts, Newstalk?

Oh.

Mind over matter’: Stephen Hawking – obituary by Roger Penrose (Guardian)

Clockwise from top left: Supt Leo McGinn; Chief Superintendent James (Jim) Sheridan and journalist Paul Williams

At the Disclosures Tribunal.

Journalist Paul Williams last week gave evidence about four articles he wrote pertaining to Ms D and the allegation she had made against Sgt Maurice McCabe in 2006 – without naming either Ms D or Sgt McCabe.

Readers will recall a letter sent from the DPP’s office to the then State solicitor for Cavan Rory Hayden on April 5, 2007, in relation to Ms D’s complaint stated:

“The incident as described by the injured party is vague… 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.”

Mr Williams’ articles were published on April 12, 15, 16 and May 3, 2014.

Readers will note that, during the timespan of these articles, on April 29, 2014, Ms D emailed the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) claiming her allegation of sexual assault was not properly investigated and, a day later, on April 30, 2014, she met Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin in the Dáil.

Mr William flagged Ms D’s desire to make a complaint to GSOC and to meet Mr Martin in his earlier articles.

Readers may wish to note that when Ms D did eventually give a statement to GSOC, on July 3, 2014, Ms D told GSOC that Mr Williams told her senior members of An Garda Siochana and in the Government were aware of her allegations.

When asked about this, Mr Williams said it was a “throwaway remark” that the then head of the Garda Press Office Supt Dave Taylor said to him and that he later relayed it to Ms D.

Under cross-examination from Michael McDowell SC, for Sgt McCabe, it was put to Mr Williams that he was going as close as he possibly could “to identifying Sergeant McCabe without using his name as the alleged perpetrator of this abuse” and that that was what he intended to do.

Mr William rejected the claim.

Further to this…

May 2014 saw a significant amount of activity surrounding a Tusla referral which contained an incorrect claim that a daughter of a sergeant, referred to as Ms D, was accusing Sgt Maurice McCabe of rape.

And, bizarrely, as the incorrect claim of rape was being passed further and further up the chain of command in An Garda Siochana – and, critically, being presented as a real allegation – the allegation wrongly attached to Ms D’s Tusla file was simultaneously being uncovered as being utterly unrelated to Ms D or Sgt McCabe elsewhere.

And yet it continued to climb upwards.

In the background, the Department of Justice and An Garda Siochana were in something of a crisis.

The then Justice Minister Alan Shatter was resigning and Sean Guerin SC was recommending that a Commission of Investigation be established to examine allegations of Garda misconduct in the Cavan/Monaghan area, allegations made by Sgt McCabe.

The activity started on Wednesday, April 30, 2014, when Tusla social worker Laura Connolly randomly plucked a contaminated file on Sgt McCabe from a filing cabinet in Tusla’s offices in Cavan.

Ms Connolly, unknowingly, breathed new life into the false rape allegation when she combined a 2006 allegation of “humping” during a game of hide and seek and a 2013 allegation of rape wholly unrelated to either Ms D or Sgt McCabe, and had a referral containing the rape allegation sent to Baileboro Garda Station on Friday, May 2, 2014.

The false allegation of rape was originally created, also unknowingly, by RIAN counsellor Laura Brophy when Ms Brophy, after counselling sessions with Ms D, sent what she thought was the 2006 claim to Tusla in August 2013.

Readers will recall the 2006 complaint had already been sent to Tusla back in 2006/2007. It had been investigated by Superintendent Noel Cunningham, sent to the DPP and the DPP, as mentioned above, found it had no foundation in April 2007.

On Wednesday, May 7, 2014, Supt Leo McGinn, the district officer in Bailieboro, then took up the baton from Ms Connolly when he, also unknowingly, kept the rape allegation alive by, immediately on receipt of Ms Connolly’s referral, writing a letter to Chief Superintendent James (Jim) Sheridan with Ms Connolly’s referral attached.

It was May 6, 2014, a day before Supt McGinn received Ms Connolly’s referral, when Mr Guerin SC made his recommendation of a Commission of Investigation while it was May 7, 2014, that Minister Alan Shatter resigned.

In his letter to Chief Supt Sheridan, which didn’t actually leave Supt McGinn’s office until the following day, Thursday, May 8, 2014, Supt McGinn wrote:

“In light of the referral received on foot of Ms. D’s disclosure to a professional, I feel it is appropriate to have the [2006/2007] investigation reviewed.”

I suggest that the file and investigation in its entirety be reviewed at officer level within An Garda Síochána or that it be referred to the Cold Case Unit, NBCI. In any case, if a review of the case is to be conducted, I suggest it be conducted external of personnel within Cavan-Monaghan division.”

Supt McGinn said, once he got the referral, he acted swiftly without consulting anyone about his actions or even examining the investigation file.

He sent the original referral to Chief Supt Sheridan but also made and kept a copy of the referral.

When giving evidence to the tribunal, Supt McGinn was asked about his understanding of the 2006 investigation at this time. He said:

“Nothing other than a sexual assault. I didn’t know the gravity of it, the extent of the investigation. I knew that an allegation had been made that it had been investigated by Noel Cunningham, a file to the DPP, no prosecution, and I took it that was it.”

Supt McGinn said he had two reasons for recommending to Chief Supt Sheridan that the matter be reviewed.

The first reason was because he believed it was inappropriate that Supt Cunningham carried out the 2006 investigation. Supt McGinn – who started working in Baileboro in May 2013 – didn’t approve of Supt Cunningham’s involvement as Supt Cunningham knew both Sgt McCabe and Mr D at the time of the 2006 investigation.

Supt McGinn told the tribunal:

“…it came to my ears in Bailieboro that it had been investigated by a local officer… Even what came to my ears was, it would have been better had it been investigated by somebody totally independent of the division.”

Asked who “put it to” his ears, Supt McGinn said:

“Just, look, around Bailieboro station. Some said — I was told Noel Cunningham was investigating it. Who — I don’t know who told me that, or who mentioned it to me. Even the commonly-held view in Bailieboro was, by Bailieboro Gardaí, it should have been investigated from outside the division or to speak of the district.”

Under cross-examination from Michael McDowell SC, for Sgt McCabe, Supt McGinn was asked if it came to his ears via the mouth of Mr D.

Supt McGinn admitted it was possible but that he didn’t think it was the case and had no recollection of having a conversation about Mr Cunningham investigating his daughter’s complaint.

As for the second reason for Supt McGinn’s decision to refer the matter, he said:

“The second reason was, at that time, the media, Sergeant McCabe was being mentioned, and the Guerin, I don’t know if he had completed it at that stage, but the Guerin Inquiry was ongoing, files were being reviewed. I thought, if that be the case, it was attracting so much attention, if we were going to a tribunal down the road, to have all matters concerning the Gardaí reviewed.”

Asked if he was aware of Mr Guerin’s recommendation of a Commission of Investigation on May 6, 2014, Supt McGinn told the tribunal:

“I may have known at that stage. I don’t know.”

Asked if he was aware of Minister Shatter’s resignation on May 7 – the day he wrote his letter to Chief Supt Sheridan, Supt McGinn said:

“I am sure I would have watched the nine o’clock news. But when I was writing that, was I aware of Mr. Shatter resigning? I don’t know. Possibly unlikely, for the simple reason I don’t have a radio in my office.”

In any event.

A few days later, it was then Chief Supt Sheridan’s turn to keep the rape allegation alive when he forwarded Supt McGinn’s correspondence on to Assistant Commissioner Kieran Kenny on Wednesday, May 14, 2014.

Except this time, Chief Supt Sheridan knew the referral contained a wrong allegation of rape and chose not to inform the Asst Commissioner of this fact.

Readers should note that Chief Supt Sheridan was the liaison officer with responsibility for giving documents to Sean Guerin SC pertaining to the Cavan/Monaghan area and so had read the file regarding the investigation into Ms D’s 2006 – before he made the decision to give that file to Mr Guerin in March 2014, a decision, he told they tribunal, that he made without speaking to any of his superiors.

In addition, Chief Supt Sheridan told they tribunal that Supt McGinn had told him that Mr D said the rape allegation was incorrect before he wrote his letter on May 14, 2014. Chief Supt Sheridan told the tribunal that he believed Supt McGinn imparted to Chief Supt Sheridan the information he got from Mr D on May 13, 2014.

In contrast, Supt McGinn told they tribunal he had no recollection of speaking to Chief Supt Sheridan about the referral.

In any event.

While giving evidence last week, Chief Supt Sheridan repeatedly said that, in hindsight, perhaps he should have made it clear to Asst Comm Kenny that the rape allegation was incorrect but, he insisted, he was trying to establish how the error got in there in the first place.

In his letter Mr Sheridan attached the referral with the unrelated digital penetration error and said the “the allegations contained in the attached referral have been the subject of a previous Garda investigation” which resulted in the DPP directing that there be no prosecution against Sgt Maurice McCabe.

This was untrue as the allegations contained in the referral didn’t pertain to either Sgt McCabe or Ms D.

He also stated that it was his understanding that Ms D had made complaints, based on the allegations set out in the attached referral, to Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin and GSOC.

This was also untrue as, again, the allegations contained in the referral didn’t pertain to either Sgt McCabe or Ms D.

Asked about his knowledge of Ms D’s complaint to GSOC, and if he had received an official notification of the same, Supt Sheridan told the tribunal he knew of the complaints based on media reports and he couldn’t recollect any official notification from GSOC.

This would indicate that Mr McDowell was correct in asserting that some people, namely gardai, did identify Ms D and Sgt McCabe as the people whom Mr Williams was writing about.

Meanwhile, in a case of bizarre symmetry, Wednesday, May 14, 2014 was not just the day that the false rape allegation reached the upper echelons of An Garda Siochana, it was also the very same day that Ms D contacted RIAN counsellor Laura Brophy to tell her she had made an error in her referral to Tusla in August 2013.

Readers will recall how Ms D has told the tribunal that, after she was notified of the incorrect referral by her father, Ms D believes she rang Ms Brophy to inform her of the error but said she doesn’t have “full recollection” of that call.

She said she knows she told the tribunal’s investigators that she didn’t have contact with Ms Brophy but that she’s seen documentation and notes by Ms Brophy with details of phone calls that they shared after Ms D informed her of the error.

Readers will recall that the tribunal has already heard evidence from Ms Brophy that she had two phone calls with Ms D on May 14, 2014 and then another phonecall on May 16, 2014

The May 16 phone call was in respect of the stated knowledge of the superintendent in Baileboro Garda Station – Supt Leo McGinn.

Ms D said:

“I’m not saying I didn’t but I don’t remember those calls. I don’t recall speaking with her. She said she has notes. I can’t say I didn’t but I don’t recall making those calls myself. I don’t disagree with her but I don’t recall what was said.”

Readers may wish to note that, after Supt McGinn got Ms Connolly’s referral on May 7, 2014 he told the tribunal that it’s “most likely” he showed a copy of the referral to Ms D’s father, Mr D, the following day, on May 8, 2014.

Supt McGinn and Mr D’s offices were next to each other in Baileboro Garda Station at the time and, according to Mr D, he would have been in Supt McGinn’s office “half a dozen times a day” at the time.

Last week at the tribunal, Diarmuid McGuinness SC, for the tribunal, asked Supt McGinn if he also showed Mr D the letter he was sending to, or had already sent, to Chief Supt Sheridan in which he recommended that a review of the matter be carried out.

Supt McGinn said:

I don’t know if it was attached to that statement. Look at, it would have been the one file, we’ll call it, referral, plus my minute would be on it, probably stapled to it at that stage. I have absolutely no difficulty in him seeing what I had set out in my minute.”

Readers will recall that Mr D has already given evidence of how Supt McGinn showed him the referral, containing the rape allegation, in “early May”. Mr D said he was shocked by the rape allegation contained in the referral but didn’t say anything to Supt McGinn about it at that point as he wanted to speak to Ms D about it.

Mr D told the tribunal that he couldn’t recall if he spoke to Ms D that evening or the next morning about the allegation of rape but that, when he did speak to her, he was relieved when she told him it was untrue.

However, Mr D couldn’t give the tribunal a date as to when he went back to Supt McGinn and told him the referral was wrong. He said:

“I don’t remember. I recall I would have contacted Supt McGinn and told him it was incorrect.”

Asked again when he told Supt McGinn this, Mr D said: “I don’t remember.” However, he said: “I remember speaking to Leo McGinn and saying it’s an almighty cock-up.”

Similarly, Supt McGinn also has difficulty in remembering when Mr D came back to him and told him that the referral contained a wrong allegation of rape.

Supt McGinn referred to his journal and told the tribunal that Mr D was on annual leave on May 7 and that he was in the station on May 8 and May 9.

Mr D was on “rest days” on May 10 and May 11 and was then back in the station on Monday, May 12.

Supt McGinn was in the station all day on May 12 and, on this day, he and Mr D would have attended a weekly accountability meeting.

Supt McGinn told Mr McGuinness:

I’m not sure of specific day or date, but he returned to me and said, what I remember was, he said spoken to Ms. D, and that — I don’t know his exact words, but certainly there was a dispute that, perhaps we could call it the inflated version, was wholly incorrect.”

Asked if, upon telling him it was incorrect, if Mr D asked Supt McGinn to “do anything about it”, Supt McGinn said:

“No. I think before he had a chance to ask me, I used an expletive and said I would ring them [Tusla or the HSE].”

Supt McGinn told the tribunal that he did ring but “to this day” he doesn’t know who he spoke to when he rang to say the referral was incorrect.

Supt McGinn took no note of the phonecall.

The tribunal has already heard that RIAN counsellor Laura Brophy made a note of the two phone calls she says she received from Ms D on May 14, 2014.

The first was at around 10.40am and Ms Brophy noted:

“Client contacted me to inform me that there was an error on the retrospective report I had submitted to the social services in Cavan. I saw the error and agreed to contact social service to resolve the error.”

Following the second phonecall, Ms Brophy noted:

Ms D. Client contacted me to inform me that the superintendent in Bailieboro had not yet been informed of the error and requested I contact him.

The tribunal has also heard of an email Ms Brophy sent to her superior Fiona Ward, on Friday, May 16, 2014, in which she again stated that the superintendent still had not been told of the error.

She wrote:

“Just a quick update, I tried Eileen Argue again but unfortunately she’s out of the office today so I sent her an email to update her. I received a call back from the superintendent and he informed me that he had not been told about the error. So I explained the issue to him. He told me that the matter is now being given over to the Commissioner and a separate team to investigate the case outside the region. However, I agreed to send him a copy of the amended report by registered post today and he will contact those with a current copy of the erroneous report to inform them. I have sent the amended report and he will have it by Monday morning and will copy it to the relevant parties.”

Mr McGuinness put it to Supt McGinn:

If Ms Brophy’s email recording the conversation with you is correct, he [Mr D] mustn’t have brought it to your attention until after the phone call with the 16th?

But.

Supt McGinn said: “When I spoke to Laura Brophy, I was aware of the error.”

Mr McGuinness continued:

“It’s just I am at a loss to understand how she could be recording the fact that you hadn’t been told about the error if you’re clear in your recollection and in your statement that Mr D told you about it and you phoned Tusla?

Supt McGinn said:

“It may be, again I can only say it may be, that misunderstanding either on her part or perhaps my part, that I was unaware of the original allegation, that I think I said, possibly my words would be, I know nothing about it. I think has that arisen at some stage in the Tribunal here? In other words, that I was unaware of the original allegation, but that the second allegation, or that the referral contained an inflation of what had earlier been alleged.”

Readers may also recall that when Ms D was asked if she would presumably have had to have spoken to her father, in order to know what Supt McGinn did or did not know, Ms D said: “It would have been, yes”

But when Mr D was asked about this, Mr D said he did not pass on information pertaining to Supt McGinn’s stated knowledge of the wrong referral to his daughter.

Mr D told the tribunal:

Chairman, I’m under oath here. I did not — I do not recall ever saying that to Ms. D about Superintendent McGinn’s state of knowledge or otherwise. 

And what of Supt McGinn informing Chief Superintendent Sheridan of the error?

The tribunal heard that Chief Supt Sheridan passed on the fake allegation to Assistant Commissioner Kieran Kenny on May 14, in the full knowledge it was wrong but not stating so.

In any event, the tribunal heard Ms Brophy’s amended referral arrived on May 16 and Supt McGinn forwarded this to Chief Supt Sheridan on May 20.

Asked by Mr McGuinness if he could account for the four-day delay to contact Chief Supt Sheridan, Supt McGinn said:

“The 16th May was a Friday and it arrived the 20th, is it, arrived — 16th is a Friday, and Monday was the 19th, therefore… So that may explain it. Post, what time it was posted Friday? I don’t know.”

Chief Supt Sheridan then wrote back to Supt McGinn on May 22. It was actually a letter for the Assistant Commissioner Kieran Kenny but it was cc-ed to Supt McGinn.

Chief Supt Sheridan wrote:

“This is a referral made by Tusla relating to an incident which was reported to and investigated by An Garda Síochána in 2006/7. The Director of Public Prosecutions directed there should not be a prosecution in the case.

“The attached referral does not disclose any new information/evidence in regard to these matters and therefore at this time does not require any further action by An Garda Síochána. It is my understanding that Ms. D has made a complaint based on the allegations set out in the attached referral form to the following parties: Micheál Martin TD, and that he subsequently referred the matter to An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD and An Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission. A full copy of the Garda investigation file is available at this office. I also wish to advise that a complete copy of the Garda investigation file was disclosed to the Guerin inquiry.”

Readers will recall Ms D didn’t make an actual statement to GSOC, following her email on April 29, 2014, until July 3, 2014.

Supt McGinn said the first time he knew of Ms D’s case going to GSOC was upon reading this letter from Chief Supt Sheridan.

The tribunal heard that on July 16, 2014, there was a meeting with Assistant Commissioner Kieran Kenny in Mullingar.

Those in attendance were: Assistant Commissioner Kenny, Chief Supt Sheridan, Supt
McGinn and Sergeant Karen Duffy, who was taking notes, among other duties.

Supt Cunningham – who carried out the original investigation in 2006 – was not there.

The tribunal heard minutes of the meeting:

They included:

“Superintendent McGinn raised the issue that the suspect has access to kids in relation to his job, etcetera. Is there a risk? Assistant Commissioner Kenny stated that he agreed and this matter needed to be dealt with properly. Superintendent L. McGinn outlined that the Garda investigation has been completed.”

“Superintendent L. McGinn outlined that the suspected offender was not arrested at the time of the investigation and this may be an issue, and also the fact that the matter was investigated by members with the Cavan-Monaghan division.”

“Assistant Commissioner Kenny suggested a meeting needs to be arranged with Ken Ruane, Head of Legal Affairs. Chief Superintendent Sheridan was in agreement. Assistant Commissioner Kenny outlined that An Garda Síochána has accepted that it was an error on the part of the HSE. Chief Superintendent Sheridan outlined that he would liaise with the HSE to establish what their intention/strategy is. Assistant Commissioner outlined that advice needed — the matter needed to be dealt with correctly.”

Supt McGinn told the tribunal:

“If it had — as far as we were concerned on that day, this — a Tusla referral had not been submitted. It was still, even at that late juncture, incumbent on us to submit that referral.

At that meeting, it was decided that legal advice would be sought while contact would be made with the HSE to get a further explanation as to how the error had occurred.

But neither of these things happened.

Readers will recall how Sgt McCabe was first notified of the false rape allegation when Tusla wrote to him on December 29, 2015 stating it was investigating him for the rape.

Inspector Pat O’Connell, Jim Gibson, Cormac Quinlan, Evelyn Waters, Rosalie Smith-Lynch and
Dermot Monaghan are scheduled to give evidence today.

Retired Asst Commissioner Kieran Kenny is scheduled to give evidence tomorrow, along with Mark McConnell, Forensic Science Northern Ireland, Sergeant Duffy and Superintendent Frank Walsh.

Previously: Disclosures, Discrepancies And Paul Williams

UPDATE:

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In an interview with Eamon Dunphy, on Mr Dunphy’s podcast The Stand…

Irish Examiner journalist Mick Clifford spoke to Mr Dunphy about the past week’s proceedings.

During the interview, Mr Clifford drew attention to the claim made by Ms D that she started to go to counselling in July 2013 because hearing Sgt McCabe’s name in the media was upsetting her.

Mr Clifford said:

“She [Ms D] said she went back because Maurice McCabe was being in the media and this brought up old feelings for her. I would make one point in that regard. In July 2013, when she went back, Maurice McCabe’s name, I know for example, might have been on a couple of websites online. It was not broadcast in the media, it was not in the print media for the general public his name was not around at all. Now, she may well have seen it – that’s just the context for that…”

Readers will note Broadsheet has also previously highlighted this here

Related: The Stand (Eamon Dunphy)

From top; Maurice McCabe, Journalist Paul Williams, Detective Superintendent John O’Reilly, counsellor Laura Brophy

Today.

Is day 14 of the Disclosures Tribunal.

Earlier this week, it heard evidence from Ms D – the woman who made a complaint to gardaí against Sgt Maurice McCabe in December 2006 which was investigated by the DPP – and her parents Mr and Mrs D.

Readers will recall how the tribunal has already heard that Ms D’s complaint in December 2006 came 11 months after Mr D “lost his position and was reverted to other duties” after Sgt McCabe “caused the institution of serious disciplinary procedure against” Mr D in January 2006.

After the DPP investigated Ms D’s complaint, a letter from the DPP’s office was sent to the State solicitor for Cavan Rory Hayden on April 5, 2007, which 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 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.

Readers will recall how Ms D’s 2006 allegation resurfaced during a counselling session seven years later in the summer 2013, in Cavan, with RIAN counsellor Laura Brophy.

An erroneous allegation of rape against Sgt McCabe ended up being attributed to Ms D when Ms Brophy sent a botched referral to Tusla in August 2013.

The tribunal is not re-examining Ms D’s allegation of 2006 but it is examining how her allegation became conflated with the allegation of rape and how, and if, this was circulated between RIAN, Tusla and An Garda Siochana.

The examination of this matter is part of a wider investigation into allegations of a smear campaign orchestrated by former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan with the knowledge of the current Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan – as alleged by the former head of the Garda Press Office Supt Dave Taylor.

Journalist Paul Williams – who wrote four articles about Ms D and her 2006 allegation in April and May 2014 – also gave evidence.

Mr Williams was the only journalist to write about Ms D and her then eight-year-old allegation before it became publicly known in February of this year that a counsellor [Laura Brophy] had made the error of adding an unrelated allegation of rape in a referral to Tusla.

Readers may wish to note that Mr Williams, Ms D, and Independent News and Media (INM) share the same solicitor for the tribunal – Kieran Kelly. Mr Williams told the tribunal that he suggested Mr Kelly to the D family in February of this year.

It’s also worth recalling that Ms D claimed the 2006 allegation would have been known in the Bailieboro, Virginia area while Mr D claimed it was an open secret in the gardaí.

Others to give evidence this week included Detective Superintendent John O’Reilly, who helped put Mr D and Paul Williams in touch with each other in 2014; Superintendent Noel Cunningham, who originally investigated the 2006 allegation; and Supt Leo McGinn, who inadvertently informed Mr D of the false rape allegation attached to Laura Brophy’s incorrect referral in 2013 when he showed Mr D the referral.

Further to this…

Readers may wish to note the following discrepancies – some minor, some not so minor – and some points of interest…

The tribunal has heard how Ms D took up counselling on July 24, 2013. She explained she went as her mother encouraged her to go before she returned to college in September 2013. This, she and Mr D claimed, was because she was hearing a lot about Sgt Maurice McCabe in the media around that time.

Specifically, Ms D said:

It would have been probably around May/June [2013] time that I would have began to hear Maurice McCabe’s name being mentioned. And yes, it did, it rattled me. It was upsetting me and I do believe my mother could see that it was affecting me. She was the one who asked me if I would attend counselling again, and very reluctantly, but to keep her happy, I had agreed.

Ms D’s father said:

I know the O’Mahony report into the penalty points issue was released in May or June of ’13, so there would have been mention of — Maurice McCabe’s name would have sort of come up in the media every so often, and I noticed, and especially her mum noticed, any time Ms. D would have heard it, it made her — she got upset, she got annoyed, and I remember her mother speaking to me and saying this and saying that she would like Ms. D to go maybe to see a counsellor to make sure she had dealt with all these issues before she went back in September, back to the southeast, back to college. “

But: Sgt Maurice McCabe was not named in the national press as a Garda whistleblower until January 2014.

Ms Brophy said Ms D had two counselling sessions – on July 24, 2013 and August 8, 2013, with the purpose of the second to obtain Sgt McCabe’s identity. Ms Brophy didn’t take any notes of the second session and merely added Sgt McCabe’s identity to a form she had filled out during the first session.

But: Ms D couldn’t really recall a second session.

Laura Brophy said when she met with Ms D on July 24, 2013, she gave Ms D a Confidentiality in Counselling form, which Ms D signed on that date. Ms Brophy told the tribunal that she would usually go through that document with her clients.

She said:

“I would generally go through that document. So, I’d kind of — I would explain it and then offer it to them to read through and then ask them to sign it and then I would sign it.”

Specifically, in regards to Ms D, Ms Brophy said:

“When the issue came up that there was a possible reporting issue I would have again spoken about my need, if identifying information came up, to report [an alleged abuser to Tusla].”

But: Ms D told the tribunal:

“I honestly don’t recall it being explained to me in depth. I do know I signed the confidentiality form, but no, I don’t recall it being discussed in depth with me.”

Laura Brophy said she referred the matter to Tusla in August 2013  (without realising she had included an unrelated rape allegation) because she believed there was no Tusla referral from 2006.

But: Ms D said she told Ms Brophy that the matter had already been investigated, that the DPP had ordered that there was to be no prosecution, and that Tusla were made aware of the matter in 2006. Ms D also said she couldn’t recall Ms Brophy telling her that Tusla did not have a referral from the matter in 2006.

Mr D spoke with Detective Superintendent John O’Reilly, who knew about the 2006 allegation, about journalist Paul Williams before Ms D met Mr Williams.

In a statement to the tribunal, Mr D said:

I met John and he asked me how Ms. D was getting on with all the publicity surrounding McCabe at the time. I told him she wasn’t getting on well and I told him that we had been approached by journalists but I was cautious of them.

John said to me would she talk to a journalist that was prominent in the media, such as Paul Williams. I said I wasn’t sure but it was Ms. D’s decision, I would talk to her. I ran it by Ms. D and she knew who Paul Williams was from the media and she said she didn’t want publicity, but just to give her story.”

But: Of the same meeting, Det Supt O’Reilly told the tribunal:

And at that time there was quite a lot of newspaper articles around Sergeant McCabe, and in the course of conversation I asked Mr. D how Ms. D was, and he described how she was not in good shape, and then he went on to outline that a number of journalists had called to their home….

He then asked me did I know Paul Williams — no, sorry, Chairman, he said that Ms. D wanted to give her account but she didn’t want to go public. And I — it was kind of — it was a bit of contradictory statement of sorts, I thought, but he said that they were talking about Paul Williams, and then he said to me, do you know him? And I said, I do. He said, what do you think of him? I said, any dealings that I had with him, I found him okay. He then asked me did I have a contact number for him. I checked the phone and obviously I did. He says, can I take it from you? And I gave him the number…

Paul Williams met Ms D on March 8, 2014 and interviewed her, part of which was recorded on video. During the interview recorded on video, they discussed GSOC.

The tribunal has heard that, in the video, Paul Williams said to Ms D:

“Would this involve GSOC or the Guards themselves or who would you like to investigate this? What body are you going to complain to?”

While giving evidence, Mr Williams was asked if he spoke to Ms D about GSOC before videoing the interview and he said: No.

But: Ms D told tribunal:

I recall speaking to Paul Williams and telling him that I was very unhappy with how the investigation of my complaint was handled in 2006. There was a couple of valid reasons I had for this belief, and having explained these reasons to Paul Williams he did suggest to me, and advised me, that if I had a complaint that I wished to follow that GSOC was an avenue I could go down, yes.

After his interview with Ms D, Paul Williams told the tribunal that he shared several phone calls back and forth with the then head of the Garda Press Office Supt Dave Taylor.

Mr Williams told the tribunal he asked Supt Taylor the following questions:

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 told the tribunal that Supt Taylor told him the matter had been investigated, it went to the DPP and there were no charges. He later added: “I was told there was insufficient evidence.”

But: John Ferry BL, for Supt Taylor, told the tribunal 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 Ferry 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.

Asked if Supt Taylor didn’t say anything during the call, 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.

Paul Williams’ articles are published in the Irish Independent in April/May 2014.

Mr Williams’ first article is published in the Irish Independent, dated April 12, 2014, headlined: “Girl wants new probe into alleged sex assault by Garda“.

In this article, Ms D was claiming that 2006 investigation was a farce, that it was brushed under the carpet; that she wanted it included in the cases being reviewed by Sean Guerin SC, on foot of a dossier of alleged garda malpractice compiled by whistleblowers Maurice McCabe and John Wilson; and that she wanted a meeting with Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin.

It also said that a Garda spokesman said he could not comment.

Mr Williams’ second article is published in the Irish Independent, dated April 15, 2014, headlined: “Alleged Garda sex victim wants to meet Martin.”

A line from the article stated:

“Yesterday, contact was made with Mr. Martin’s office in order to set up a meeting with him, and she is awaiting a response.”

It also stated that a Garda spokesman had refused to comment on the woman’s claims.

But: During the tribunal, Michael McDowell, for Sgt McCabe argued:

“So on 12th you’d said that she would be seeking a meeting, and on the 15th you publish another article increasing the pressure on Mr Martin, isn’t that right, by saying that yesterday contact was made with his office and that she was awaiting a response? Do you think that is normal journalistic activity?

“It was deceiving the reader into believing that you were a journalist reporting on events when in fact you were orchestrating events, isn’t that right?”

Mr Williams said he wasn’t orchestrating events.

On April 16, 2014, Mr Williams wrote a third article, headlined: “FF leader to meet woman at centre of claims she was abused by Garda

The article claimed Ms D had been on a downward spiral that resulted in two suicide attempts and, in describing her allegation, the article stated:

“He (the garda) was playing hide-and-seek with us, including his own children. He caught me hiding in the sitting room on my own. He closed the door and sexually assaulted me for what seemed like a long time before anyone else came into the room.”

But: The original allegation didn’t allege the closing of a door or that the sexual assualt went on for a long time.

Under cross examination, Mr McDowell put it to Sgt McCabe that gardai in the area would have known who this article was referring to; Supt Taylor would have known; members of the Government whom Mr Williams claimed were aware would have known; Detective Superintendent John O’Reilly would have known; Superintendent Leo McGinn would have known; and the station party in Bailieboro would have known.

Mr Williams argued that the article was “anonymised” but conceded: “Perhaps people close to it worked it out.”

On April 29, 2014, Ms D emailed the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) claiming her allegation of sexual assault was not properly investigated.

In her follow-up statement to GSOC on July 3, Ms D said:

“Paul Williams told me that my case had been known by a few people in senior ranks in the Gardaí and Government for some time.”

In relation to this comment, Mr Williams told the tribunal:

That, that comment came from the fact, I would have been talking to — when after I interviewed her [Ms D] I contacted Dave Taylor, told him what I was looking at, asked him questions. He made a throwaway remark that it was known in the Park, as in the Phoenix Park, and he suggested it was known in government. But it was — it was a passing comment, and I actually reported that back to her, I told her what he told me.

But: As mentioned previously, Supt Taylor has claimed there was only one phone call in relation to Ms D and the purpose of the call was for Mr Williams to inform Supt Taylor.

In addiiton, Ms D told GSOC two unsubstantiated rumours about Sgt McCabe, namely that Sgt McCabe would “hang around the girls’ secondary school in suspicious circumstances” – something Ms D told GSOC Dept Supt O’Reilly told her father, Mr D; and that a girl from Clones, Co Monaghan had made a similar allegation to Ms D, something which was told to her by Mr D.

Mr D confirmed the Clones rumour – which he said he heard from a retired garda who wasn’t named and that he “mentioned it in passing”.

But: A day after Ms D and Mr D gave evidence, Det Supt O’Reilly told the tribunal:

The first time I was aware of this was yesterday evening, and I was absolutely flabbergasted. I neither said it nor have any knowledge about it, on a personal or any other level. I have no reason to have ever said that, because as far as I’m concerned that is not true.”

Ms D met Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin in the Dáil on April 30, 2014 – a day after Ms D emailed GSOC and the same day Sgt McCabe’s file was “randomly” plucked from a filing cabinet in Tusla in Cavan and Laura Connolly sent a Garda notification with a false rape allegation mixed up with Ms D’s retrospective claim from 2006.

On that same day, Ms Connolly opened intake forms on four of Sgt McCabe’s children – two of whom were over the age of 18 at the time so were no longer children.

Mr Williams told the tribunal Ms D asked him to organise this meeting with Mr Martin. At different stages, he said:

“She [Ms D] asked me to make contact with Micheál Martin’s office.”

“I was asked to make the initial contact.”

“…she asked me would I set it up, and I did.”

But: Ms D told the tribunal that, while Mr Williams didn’t put her up to anything, it was Mr Williams who suggested or advised she meet Mr Martin. She said:

Paul Williams informed me that it was Micheál Martin who brought the dossier of cases that Maurice McCabe was complaining about to the attention of the Dáil, so I felt, I felt that my case was not investigated properly and I feel my case was more serious than some of the cases that were brought to the Dáil’s attention and therefore I could not understand why my case could not be included in this dossier of cases. And I was advised to meet with Micheál Martin and explain my situation with Micheál Martin and see could he perhaps get my case to be included.”

“…he said to me that it was Micheál Martin who brought Maurice McCabe’s cases to the attention of the Dáil and it would be good if you could meet with him and explain why you want your case to be included.”

“…Absolutely nobody prompted me. And I would just like to clarify that Paul did not put me up to going to speak with anyone. He suggested that it may be something that would help as I was very, very frustrated at how my case had been handled and that these were possible people that may be able to get my case to be included in the dossier of cases that were being re-examined.”

Mr Williams told the tribunal that he gave Ms D a lift from the train station to the Dail, where she met Mr Martin, and then dropped her back to the train station. He said they didn’t discuss what she would say before the interview.

But: Ms D, in her evidence, couldn’t remember Mr Williams giving her a lift.

Paul Williams’s fourth article on Ms D was published on May 3, 2014, headlined: “Kenny to set up probe into Garda sex abuse claims?”

It claimed that then Taoiseach Enda Kenny was expected to order an investigation into Ms D’s allegations.

But: Under cross examination, Mr McDowell asked Mr Williams: “Had any Taoiseach spokesman or any person told you that he was going to carry out an investigation into Ms. D’s — or an investigation into Ms. D’s allegation?”

Mr Williams replied: “Ms D was convinced from Mr Martin’s response that Enda Kenny would order an investigation into her allegations.”

On June 17, 2014, Ms D met with Fine Gael TD Alan Shatter, who had just recently stepped down from his role as Minister for Justice over the Garda controversies at the time. Readers will recall the rape error on Sgt McCabe’s file was discovered in May 2014.

Of this meeting, Paul Williams told the tribunal:

“I think in June Ms D asked me would I get in touch with Mr. Shatter. At this stage he was gone from justice, he had resigned. “

Asked why he was organising this meeting, he said:

“Because she asked me.”

But: Ms D told the tribunal:

It was Paul Williams contacted me and told me that he had been in touch with him and that he was aware of the situation and aware that I wanted my case to be included in the Guerin Report and that he wanted to speak with me about the matter.”

And in a statement to GSOC, she said:

Within the last two weeks Paul Williams contacted me and said that Alan Shatter had asked to meet me. Paul Williams told me that my case had been known by a few people in senior ranks in the Gardaí and Government for some time. I met Alan Shatter in the Merrion Hotel on Tuesday 17th June. He wanted to speak about my case and told me he was speaking before the Dáil on Thursday and wanted to mention my case to see if it could be fitted into the new investigation that had been conducted in cases in the Cavan-Monaghan area.”

Similar to when Ms D met Micheal Martin, the tribunal heard Mr Williams also met Ms D on the day she met Mr Shatter. Mr Williams said he couldn’t recall him and Ms D having a conversation about the matter.

On May 14, 2014: Ms D informs Laura Brophy of the mistake she made in regards to the rape allegation being added to her referral.

Laura Brophy tells the tribunal of notes of telephone calls that they shared after Ms D made her aware of the rape mistake

But: Ms D has no recollection of any phonecalls

Laura Brophy wrote a letter of apology to Ms D on May 16, 2014

But: Ms D told the tribunal she never got the letter and didn’t see it until the tribunal investigation.

Readers will recall how the tribunal has already heard how Mr D was shown the incorrect Tusla referral by Supt Leo McGinn in “early May”. He couldn’t recall the specific date.

This was his statement he gave the tribunal:

“Early May, my superintendent, Leo McGinn, asked me did I have a minute. I went into his office. He handed me a HSE referral form and asked ‘is that your lassie? I said ‘yeah, that is her’. I saw the detail of the allegation, digital penetration. I couldn’t believe it. I got a fierce shock. I couldn’t think straight. I felt had she told the counsellor this and not told us. Had this actually happened. She had maybe told the counsellor but had not told us. I was sick to my stomach. I couldn’t wait to get out of the office.”

I didn’t say anything to Leo McGinn as I didn’t know what was going on.”

Meanwhile…

Yesterday Supt McGinn told the tribunal that when he received a notification from Tusla, on May 7, 2014, that a woman known as ‘Ms D’ had made an allegation to counsellor Laura Brophy about Sgt McCabe, he decided that the original investigation should be reviewed by someone outside the Cavan-Monaghan division.

This botched notification – with the unrelated allegation of rape – was sent by Laura Connolly after she randomly selected it from a filing cabinet on April 30, 2014.

The tribunal heard that Supt McGinn didn’t realise that the 2013 allegation was different to the 2006 allegation and that he sent a note to Chief Supt James Sheridan on the same day he received the referral.

The Irish Times reports:

He [McGinn] said he took no directions from anyone before writing his recommendation. He told Mr McGuinness [for the tribunal] that he thought it was the day afterwards that he showed the notification to the complainant’s father, ‘Mr D’.

Readers will recall that Ms Brophy made a note of a phone call that Ms D apparently made to her on May 16, 2014.

Ms D told the tribunal:

In the documents I received I can see there was a note made by her that a call was placed I believe on 16th of May, in which I informed her that Superintendent Leo McGinn had still not been informed of the error.

And Mr D told the tribunal – in response to a question about if or when he informed Supt McGinn of the mistake:

Chairman, at the time — my feelings at the time, I was so relieved that she told me that it wasn’t her and we’d said obviously this has been a mistake. Now, I don’t remember — what I recollect was that I — I would have contacted Leo McGinn and told him that this was incorrect, this referral was incorrect…

I don’t remember [when he told McGinn], and I have seen — I have seen documentation since from Laura Brophy to say that Ms. D rang her. Now, I asked Ms. D and Ms. D says she doesn’t recall it. I don’t recall saying that to Ms. D.

The tribunal also heard that on May 22, the Chief Supt Sheridan wrote a letter to Assistant Commissioner Kieran Kenny, copied to Supt McGinn, in which he said the May 7th referral contained incorrect information and that the corrected version contained no new information and therefore did not require any further action.

Yet.

On July 16, 2016 a meeting took place in Mullingar to discuss the May referral and the Tusla error. At the meeting were Assistant Commissioner Kieran Kenny, Chief Supt Sheridan and Supt Leo McGinn, from Baileboro.

Supt Noel Cunningham – who investigated the 2006 allegation at the time and who worked in same office as Chief Supt Sheridan – was not there.

At the meeting it was decided that contact with the HSE would be made and that legal advice would be taken.

Minutes of the meeting were sent to the Garda Commissioner’s office at Garda headquarters in Phoenix Park.

Today Chief Superintendent James Sheridan (retired); Inspector Pat O’Connell; Assistant Commissioner Kieran Kenny (retired); Sergeant Duffy; and Superintendent Frank Walsh will give evidence.

Related: Was whistleblower status the real reason for meeting of top brass? (Michael Clifford, Irish Examiner)

Previously: ‘That’s Not True Chairman’

‘Tearing The Garda Family Apart’

No Recollection

Another Day, Another Error

Disclosures Tribunal: At A Glance

‘There Isn’t An Error In His Favour’

Meanwhile, At Dublin Castle

DIsclosures Tribunal: Day Two

Rollingnews

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

This morning.

On Newstalk FM.

Paul Williams broadcast a pre-recorded interview with the former former president of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) (above) after the OCI claimed the ticketing scandal, and Mr Hickey’s arrest, has cost the OCI €1.5million to date (top).

In the interview, Mr Hickey outlines what €763,000 of that €1.5million has been spent on, while he’s scathing of how the Minister for Sport Shane Ross and the Irish Government handled, or didn’t handle, his arrest.

In addition, Mr Hickey admits that he has tried to block the publication of the Government’s report into the controversy – by Justice Carroll Moran – which was given to Mr Ross on June 12. Mr Ross has given the report to the Attorney General and is awaiting his advice in regards to publishing it.

Mr Hickey said:

“I saw a draft of the report and my legal team have advised Judge Moran and the minister and the attorney general that this report should not be published until after the court case is heard in Rio. Because anything coming out of it could prejudice my fair trial but even worse still any media reports can also be used by the prosecutor in Brazil against me in the case.”

From the interview…

“I would like to, first of all, say to you Paul that I cannot go into the actual court case in Rio because the case is still in front of the courts so we’re forbidden to go into detail on that but I would be very happy to answer what you said there. The impression has been given that, in the media, that I was the cause of a spend of €1.5million by the OCI [Olympic Council of Ireland].

“Now I can categorically tell you that is not the case because I have been able to check figures and what I’m aware of is as follows, how that €1.5million is made up: the Olympic Council of Ireland got legal advice from Arthur Cox and Co solicitors, which cost them €400,000; they embarked on the Grant Thornton report which cost €214,000; they employed a technology company Espion which was nearly €40,000; they engaged with the Communications Clinic which was €80,000; and the report from Deloitte’s which was €18,000; and Wilson Hartnell, WHPR, €11,000. And that’s the bulk [€763,000] of that €1.5million.”

“Now I can tell you that my legal costs today in Brazil amount to €280,000 and there is an insurance policy in place, that I put in place, over 15 years ago. It’s called directors and officers’ liability and it’s particularly for the something like what happened to me.

“The cover on that policy is €1million, that’s the cap on it so my fees have been taken out of that €1million.

“And can I say, in addition to that, before I left Dublin on the plane for Rio, I left the OCI in a very clean state of health. There was €3million surplus in the bank and a property out in Howth that’s valued at €3million.

“Now I’d like to just emphasise that I am totally innocent of all these charges and I will be proven innocent and my legal team in Brazil are working flat out.”

Listen back to the interview in full here

Previously: How Much?

UPDATE:

latelate-1-1024x543

RTÉ’s Ryan Tubridy and Irish Independent crime correspondent Paul Williams on The Late Late Show earlier this year

You may recall Irish Independent Crime Correspondent Paul Williams’s appearance on The Late Late Show on February 19 of this year, just a week before the general election on February 26.

Yesterday, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland rejected two complaints made about Mr Williams’s interview with presenter Ryan Tubridy.

In it’s decision, the BAI noted that, although live, the interview had been previously rehearsed and Mr Williams had unexpectedly raised the Special Criminal Court, Sinn Féin and Sinn Féin voters.

In the first instance, the complainant was John Flynn.

The BAI explained:

[Mr Flynn] objects to an interview with the journalist, Mr Paul Williams, who he claims was freely allowed to malign Sinn Féin voters as criminals.

The complainant believes that in the initial reply he received from RTÉ, the Producer relied on the weak intervention of the presenter and on the hazards of live TV to excuse the failure of the broadcaster to distance itself from Mr Williams’ claim.

The complainant maintains that Mr Williams stated that only people/organisations
opposed to the Special Criminal Court were Sinn Féin members of criminal enterprises.

The complainant states that RTÉ chose not to repudiate the remarks both on the night
and later in reply to the complainant. This was especially repugnant during an election campaign.

In response, the executive producer of The Late Late told Mr Flynn:

RTÉ state that this was a wide ranging and lengthy item that told the story of two criminal families and their vast wealth over a number of years.

The broadcaster states that towards the end of the item, which, for legal and editorial reasons, had been strictly rehearsed and planned in advance, Mr Williams unexpectedly started discussing the Special Criminal Court and his support for its ongoing existence.

The broadcaster states that the presenter attempted to cut him off but Mr Williams continued and made the accusation that the complainant and several others have found offensive. The interview continued about the feuding families thereafter.

RTÉ state that while it is worth noting that Mr Williams did not say that anyone who votes for Sinn Féin is a drug dealer or killer, he did say that the only people who support that part of their manifesto are.

This was unplanned, unscripted and the opinion solely of Mr Williams.

In rejecting the complaint, the BAI concluded:

…Mr Williams’ comments about the position of Sinn Féin in respect of the Special Criminal Court and their proposal to abolish it were factually correct.

From a review of the programme, it was evident that the comments made by the guest concerned the response of some segments of the electorate, in particular those engaging in criminal activities, to this aspect of the election manifesto of Sinn Féin.

While the comments could be reasonably seen as an implied criticism of that aspect of the Sinn Féin manifesto, the Committee did not agree that it amounted to a
comment on supporters of this party as a whole
, as stated by the complainant.

While audiences would have benefited from a more forthright response from the presenter to the remarks of his guest, it noted that the presenter quickly stated that the proposals of Sinn Féin in respect of the Special Criminal Court were not relevant to the discussion and also noted that the party, had it been in studio, would disagree with Mr Williams’ analysis.

Given the focus of the discussion, the factual nature of some of the comments in respect of the Special Criminal Court, the response of the presenter, and having also had regard to the right to free expression, the Committee was of the view that, on balance, the programme did not infringe the fairness, objectivity or impartiality requirements of the Broadcasting Act 2009 or the BAI Code of Fairness, Objectivity and Impartiality in News and Current Affairs in the manner stated by the complainant. Accordingly, the complaint has been rejected.

The second complaint was made by Enda Fanning who claimed Mr Williams’ comments were an attempt to harm Sinn Féin in the then forthcoming General Election. He said Sinn Fein was the only political party referred to by Mr Williams in his comments.

RTÉ sent the same response to Mr Fanning as it did to Mr Flynn.

And, in rejecting Mr Fanning’s complaint, the BAI made the same conclusions in its rejection of Mr Flynn’s complaint.

Read the BAI decisions in full here

Previously: Passing Stools

90423478

 

Newstalk reports:

Newstalk’s political Editor Shane Coleman will be joined by TV3 news broadcaster Colette Fitzpatrick, INM’s Paul Williams and former Irish Rugby star Alan Quinlan to anchor the station’s new Breakfast Show.

…Current Breakfast presenter Chris Donoghue will now co-anchor a new Drive show, where he will be joined by Sarah McInerney, political correspondent with The Sunday Times. The duo will be on air daily from 4pm and listeners can expect an exciting and lively debate on the day’s news, with everything from business and technology to entertainment and sports on the table.

FIGHT!

From top, from left: Alan Quinlan, Colette Fitzpatrick,  Sarah McInerney and Paul Williams

Newstalk welcomes four new prime time presenters (Newstalk)