Disclosures Tribunal hears from counsels for Maurice McCabe and Garda lawyers

Counsel for the whistleblower says Nóirín O’Sullivan must be held responsible for her lawyers’ actions at the inquiry

Disclosures Tribunal hears from counsels for Maurice McCabe and Garda lawyers

Photo: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Counsel for Maurice McCabe has asked whether anyone would blow the whistle if they knew the blizzard they were about to walk into.

Michael McDowell has suggested to the Disclosures Tribunal that the Garda whistleblower’s treatment at the O’Higgins Inquiry would not have been countenanced if it were held in public.

The Tribunal is hearing submissions on whether unjustified grounds were inappropriately relied on by former Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan to discredit Maurice McCabe at the O’Higgins Inquiry.

Mr McDowell says Nóirín O’Sullivan must be held responsible for her lawyers’ actions at the inquiry, where the motivation and credibility of Sgt McCabe were called into question.

Paul Sreenan, meanwhile, is representing the legal team instructed by Mrs O’Sullivan and other senior gardaí at the O’Higgins Inquiry into policing matters in Cavan-Monaghan.

He has told the Disclosures Tribunal that the strategy they employed to question Sgt McCabe’s motivation was simply to test his allegations.

Mr Sreenan said the question of challenging Sgt McCabe's integrity was not an instruction from the Commissioner, and the comment that his integrity would be challenged right the way through – which was later withdrawn – was done under intense pressure from the chairman of the inquiry.

He also said an error made in Maurice McCabe’s statement to the Tribunal, saying he was shouted at by Nóirín O’Sullivan’s legal team, was withdrawn very late in the day.

Mr Sreenan said that was typical of the fact that Sgt McCabe has been shown to make and float false allegations, which are often based on exaggerations and then withdrawn.