Disclosures Tribunal to decide if evidence should be in public

The hearing is in its eighth day of evidence

Disclosures Tribunal to decide if evidence should be in public

Sergeant Maurice McCabe arrives at Disclosures Tribunal. Image: Sean Defoe

The chairman of the Disclosures Tribunal is to rule on whether evidence from a certain witness known as 'Ms D' should be heard in private.

The tribunal is examining if false sexual abuse claims were used to smear and discredit the garda whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe.

The Tribunal has heard in 2006 a female - known only as 'Ms D' - made a complaint against Sergeant McCabe following a game of hide and seek in 1998.

'Ms D' was the daughter of a colleague of Sergeant McCabe.

The allegation was dismissed by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), but years later it resurfaced and was inflamed to a rape allegation.

This allegation against the garda whistleblower was completely false and had been made because a counsellor had made a copy and paste mistake.

'Ms D' had never made the more serious allegation and had been keen to correct the error.

She is due to give her evidence next week and this morning the tribunal discussed if her evidence should be heard in private or if the media should be allowed to attend.

The legal team for 'Ms D' said they did not mind if recognised media outlets attended but her identity should remain anonymous and the public should be excluded.

While lawyers for various media organisations said bonafide members of the press should be present to report on the evidence.

Sergeant McCabe's own counsel said he did not see why the public should be excluded and said he did not see any intimidation from Joe or Josephine soap.

Mr Justice Peter Charleton said he would make his ruling in due course.