McCabe family issue legal proceedings over false allegations

Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe and his family are seeking damages over the creation of a file containing false sexual abuse allegations against him

McCabe family issue legal proceedings over false allegations

Maurice McCabe. Photo: Laura Hutton/RollingNews.ie

Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe has issued legal proceedings against the HSE and Tusla over the creation of a file containing false sexual abuse allegations against him.

Sergeant McCabe’s wife and four children have also initiated proceedings relating to both state institution’s alleged handling of the affair.

The McCabes are seeking damages under approximately ten separate headings – including a breach of constitutional rights, malicious falsehood and a breach of privacy.

The family's solicitor said the action is primarily focused on the damages claim – however, it will also seek orders compelling the state institutions to provide key yet-to-be released documents to the family.

The High Court proceedings were initiated on Wednesday.

It emerged last month that that the child and family agency Tusla mistakenly created a file containing the false allegations against Sergeant McCabe as a result of a “clerical error.”

The HSE confirmed the error was made by a staff member of the HSE’s National Counselling Service in 2013.

Both agencies have issued apologies to the McCabes, however the family rejected the HSE apology – and the statement that went along with it.

“The HSE statement is wrong and this is not good enough,” they said in a statement last month. "The file we have contradicts the statement and it is shocking that we have to again listen and deal with false information."

It is understood the family took particular issue with the HSE insistence that “correct procedure was followed” when the error was brought to their attention.

The family said they have documentary evidence – acquired under the Freeedom of Information act – which directly contradicts the HSE statement and highlights “serious questions to be answered.”

The new lawsuit was filed just two days after the Disclosures Tribunal – led by Supreme Court Justice Peter Charleton – opened in Dublin Castle.

Justice Charleton has called for any potential witnesses or those with information regarding the matters under investigation to come forward urgently.

Interested parties have until March 13th to make submissions and hand over any evidence to the tribunal.

The inquiry is to spend three months gathering evidence in private before cross-examining witnesses.