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20.21 30 Nov 2017


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The Disclosures Tribunal has rejected allegations made by Garda Keith Harrison and his partner Marisa Simms.

The tribunal, chaired by Mr Justice Peter Charleton, has published its second interim report.

It said "very serious allegations" were raised by the couple.

The report said: "While they presented themselves as being the victims of others, the reality that should not be forgotten is that to be wrongly accused is a deeply upsetting experience."

The couple essentially accused the gardaí in Donegal of interfering in their home and family life.

This was due, they claimed, to malice against Garda Harrison.

The couple had also alleged that Ms Simms was compelled by gardaí to make a statement against Garda Harrison, which had led to a Tusla referral.

Mr Justice Charleton said he did not accept the claim that Ms Simms was coerced into making allegations of domestic violence.

The Disclosures report found: "That statement, on analysis... is a repeat of several of the most serious allegations made by Marisa Simms in text messages to Garda Keith Harrison during the course of their relationship.

"These were sent to her before she had any contact with the gardaí as to the serious complaints that she proposed to make against him.

"These text messages were later voluntarily downloaded from the mobile phone of Marissa Simms. 

"The gardaí could have had nothing to do with these text messages".

Social services allegations

It was also claimed by Garda Harrison and Ms Simms that there was nothing in that statement which required the intervention of social services.

But the Disclosures report found: "The terms of the Children First guidelines... required the gardaí to involve the Health Service Executive, later called TUSLA, when fulfilling the relevant function."

"All of the allegations of Garda Keith Harrison and Marisa Simms examined by the tribunal are entirely without validity", the report added.

The judge says during the hearings, the allegations that social workers colluded with gardaí "simply collapsed".

He makes a point of exonerating everyone in social services and in policing accused by them of discreditable conduct.

The Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has welcomed the report's findings and thanked the tribunal for its work.

In a statement he said he welcomed the central conclusion of the report that the allegations against the gardaí and social services personnel were found to be without any validity.

Read the full report here


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