Disclosures Tribunal: McCabe stands over claim that O’Sullivan orchestrated RTÉ coverage

Separately, the editor of the Irish Independent has accused the former editor of the Sunday Independent of ‘headline hunting’

Disclosures Tribunal: McCabe stands over claim that O’Sullivan orchestrated RTÉ coverage

Maurice McCabe. Photo: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

The Disclosures Tribunal has heard that Maurice McCabe stands over his claim that Nóirín O’Sullivan orchestrated the RTÉ coverage of the O’Higgins Tribunal report in May 2016.

Counsel for Sergeant McCabe says he’s not in a position to withdraw anything – and says he’s faithfully reported to the Tribunal what he was told by John Barrett.

The Head of Garda Human Resources, who’s scheduled to be recalled this afternoon, says he did not tell Sgt McCabe that Nóirín O’Sullivan had leaked information to crime correspondent Paul Reynolds.

One term of reference, term K, that’s before the Disclosures Tribunal is that Nóirín O'Sullivan influenced or sought to influence RTÉ broadcasts on May 9th 2016 – on the leaked O’Higgins Commission report.

Yesterday, counsel for the Garda Commissioners asked for it to be clarified whether Maurice McCabe still maintained the allegation that the RTÉ reports came from Garda headquarters.

Counsel for Sgt McCabe said he was not withdrawing anything – and that he faithfully reported to the Tribunal what he was told by John Barrett, that the information came from Commissioner O’Sullivan’s office.

Mr Barrett says this did not happen.

Paul Reynolds' evidence

Mr Reynolds has told the Tribunal he was not influenced by Garda Headquarters – and that Nóirín O’Sullivan was not happy with his reports.

Tribunal Chairman Peter Charleton said Mr Reynolds’ evidence is that term of reference K – is completely refuted – because he based his broadcasts on the leaked report.

Counsel for Nóirín O’Sullivan said the conspiracy theory that she directed a series of reports on RTÉ is untrue – which Mr Reynolds agreed with, saying he was not involved in any conspiracy.

Meanwhile, the editor of the Irish Independent has accused the former editor of the Sunday Independent of ‘headline hunting’ by telling the Disclosures Tribunal he called Maurice McCabe a paedophile.

Fionnan Sheahan has rejected the account given by Anne Harris, saying she must be confused because he never made the comment, and his actions at the paper show he was supportive of Sgt McCabe.

Mr Sheahan says Ms Harris was disgruntled at the way she left the Sunday Independent.