Contradictions arise at Disclosures Tribunal over alleged 'go after' McCabe comment

Garda HR head John Barrett says he has no doubt of what was said to him

Contradictions arise at Disclosures Tribunal over alleged 'go after' McCabe comment

John Barrett arriving at the Disclosures Tribunal in Dublin Castle | Image: Leah Farrell/

Updated 16:50

A number of contradictions have arisen at the Disclosures Tribunal over an alleged comment that senior gardai wanted to “go after” Maurice McCabe at the O’Higgins Commission.

The tribunal has heard that two diaries contradict the recollection of the head of Human Resources in the gardaí, John Barrett over the comment.

Mr Barrett believes his boss, Cyril Dunne, made the comment on May 13th 2015 on the eve of the Commission - but Mr Dunne has told the tribunal he did not make the comment.

In addition, the only person Mr Barrett told about the comment disputes being told about it.


Mr Barrett told the tribunal his reaction was visceral when his boss, Cyril Dunne told him ‘we are going after him in the commission’ – relating to Maurice McCabe.

But his recollection of being told that on the 13th of May 2015 was challenged by diary entries of both Cyril Dunne and Nóirín O’Sullivan – which appeared to contradict the date.

The tribunal has been shown the diaries of Nóirín O’Sullivan and Cyril Dunne from May 13th and they do not refer to meeting Mr Barrett on that date, as he has claimed.

John Barrett was asked to bring evidence to the tribunal this morning to show when he believes the comment 'We'll go after him at the Commission' was made by his boss Cyril Dunne about Maurice McCabe.


But despite being a scrupulous note-taker, Mr Barrett says he did not take a note of the date, nor the comment.

His recollection that the meeting took place on May 13th was contradicted by diary notes from Mr Dunne and Ms O’Sullivan, who was in London on the date in question.

He said he regretted not making a note, saying it was not his usual form - but he said he was on oath and this was the ugly truth, these matters were said to him and he did not note them formally.


Furthermore, the only person Mr Barrett says he told - a CS Tony McLoughlin - gave a statement to the Tribunal this morning that disputed ever being told about the comment.

Mr Barrett accepted the statement of CS McLoughlin and apologised to the Tribunal for misleading it in that regard, but said he had no doubt of what was said to him by Mr Dunne.

He also described a meeting with the McCabes a year later as extraordinary, and said it would remain with him for the rest of his life.