Tusla 'apologising fully' to Maurice McCabe

The child and family agency said false allegations involving the Garda whistleblower were based on a 'clerical error'

Tusla 'apologising fully' to Maurice McCabe

Maurice McCabe. Photo: Laura Hutton/RollingNews.ie

Tusla has said it is in the 'process of apologising fully' to Sergeant Maurice McCabe.

Tusla issued a statement after it emerged the agency had created a file of false sexual abuse allegations around the Garda whistleblower "in error".

The untrue allegations were passed to Gardaí but Sergeant McCabe was never informed.

In a statement this morning, Tusla said: "Although we cannot comment on the details of this individual case, we can confirm that we are in the process of apologising fully to the individual involved.

"It appears there were some failures and these are the subject of our internal review, the conclusions of which will be made public."

The statement adds: "Tusla regrets that this situation has arisen and deeply apologises for distress caused. It does not reflect the high standards that we hold ourselves to and we want to assure the public that we will take whatever steps are required to ensure that nothing like this happens again."

The Irish Examiner reported this morning that Sergeant McCabe intends to take a legal case against Tusla.

Speaking to the paper, he said: "The first I knew about any of this was when I was contacted about that horrendous allegation last year."

Mick Clifford of the Irish Examiner spoke to Newstalk Breakfast about the latest revelations.

"Can you imagine when [Maurice McCabe] and his wife got eyes on this file, and realised what had been done," he said. "What had been done to them... the fact their children had been dragged into it.

"If they had not discovered this, those names would have remained on the file."

He added: "The whole thing is just inexplicable".

Earlier, Simon Harris had said Tusla did not need to wait until the Commission of Investigation into whistleblowers is underway to make a statement.

Minister Harris said the new allegations involving the agency are "concerning and disturbing".

"I think they should explain why an apology hasn't issued to Sergeant McCabe, when it was clearly their intention to do so," he added. "I think they should issue that apology forthwith."

Fianna Fáil's Expenditure and Reform Spokesperson, Dara Calleary, told Newstalk Breakfast his "stomach churned" over the revelations.

"There are questions for Tusla, for the guards, and for various Government ministers," he suggested.

It was announced earlier this week that a Commission of Investigation will examine whether or not Sergeant McCabe was the victim of a smear campaign, involving senior members of the force, following his attempts to bring information regarding alleged penalty points malpractice within the force into the public domain.

Following allegations made in the Dáil by Labour leader Brendan Howlin concerning Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan, the force said: "The Commissioner has no knowledge of the matters referred to by Deputy Howlin and refutes in the strongest terms the suggestion that she has engaged in the conduct alleged against a serving member of An Garda Síochána."

Sinn Féin TD Mary Lou McDonald wants the Commissioner O'Sullivan to step aside during the inquiry into the scandal: