Tribunal hears Callinan told TD McCabe abused his own children

Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe has been giving evidence at the Disclosures Tribunal

Tribunal hears Callinan told TD McCabe abused his own children

Maurice McCabe. Image: RollingNews.ie

Updated 19.40

Maurice McCabe has told the Disclosures Tribunal the former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan told a TD that Sergeant McCabe had sexually abused all of his own children and his nieces.

Sgt McCabe became emotional when he was asked to recall what John McGuinness told him at a meeting in May 2016.

He said Deputy McGuinness also recalled being told by Commissioner Callinan that Sgt McCabe was not to be trusted and that it was very serious.

He said he couldn’t believe it and couldn’t recall how he got home that night.

Sgt McCabe also spoke of meeting the former head of Garda Press, Dave Taylor, who told him that he destroyed him.

He said Supt Taylor told him there was an orchestrated campaign to attack him – ordered on the authority of Commissioner Callinan – who composed hundreds or thousands of texts which Supt Taylor would forward to gardaí, journalists and TDs.

He said ex-Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan was also sent copies of the texts, to which she’d always reply 'perfect'. Both former Commissioners deny this.

The Tribunal later heard Dave Taylor says none of the information was given out by text or email, but it was all by word of mouth.

Breakdown in relations

Earlier, the Disclosures Tribunal has heard Maurice McCabe felt completely victimised as a result of making complaints to his Superintendent about the standard of policing in Bailieboro.

It’s the first time the Garda whistleblower has given evidence at the Tribunal, which has been hearing of the breakdown in relations between Sgt McCabe and his superiors.

Sgt McCabe says there is a culture within the gardaí where it is extremely hard to speak out, but he has received support from the public and some colleagues, particularly in Mullingar.

Maurice McCabe will only be giving evidence once at the Tribunal.

This morning he told Tribunal counsel that he was extremely happy when he was cleared by the DPP of an allegation of abusing the daughter of a colleague.

Sgt McCabe also said he got great support from management and colleagues at the time in April 2007.

But relations later soured, after McCabe raised a list of 21 problems with policing in Bailieboro with his superintendent, Michael Clancy.

After resigning his position as sergeant in charge, he told Supt Clancy he was disappointed that those issues were not dealt with, and he felt completely victimised as a result of making the complaints.

The Tribunal has heard of complaints made by Sgt McCabe against superiors all the way up to the Commissioner, Martin Callinan – which was later found to be unsubstantiated.

Sgt McCabe said there was a culture in the gardaí that it’s extremely hard to speak out, and he said several guards blanked him or didn’t speak to him.

However, he said he had received as many as 400 letters of support from the public, and his children were never picked on in school over the affair.

Tribunal

Sgt McCabe will only testify once before the Disclosures Tribunal, and lawyers for all parties will be given the opportunity to question him.

He will be questioned about an alleged Garda campaign to smear him, as well as his treatment at the O’Higgins Commission.

The Tribunal has already held hearings on the creation of a Tusla file which contained a false allegation of sexual abuse concerning Maurice McCabe, and on whether former Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan relied on inappropriate grounds to discredit Sgt McCabe at the O’Higgins Commission.

Lawyers for the gardaí will be able to cross examine Sgt McCabe about these modules, and about an alleged smear campaign conducted by senior gardaí.

Later this month the Tribunal will hear from the former head of the Garda Press Office Dave Taylor, who alleges that he was directed by former Commissioner Martin Callinan to brief negatively about Sgt McCabe.