Tuesday 25 April 2017

Callinan postponed murdered detective event to pass slurs to TD, says McCabe

Sgt Maurice McCabe claims Martin Callinan (pictured) delayed a press conference on the murder of Det Gda Adrian Donohoe in 2014. Photo: Caroline Quinn
Sgt Maurice McCabe claims Martin Callinan (pictured) delayed a press conference on the murder of Det Gda Adrian Donohoe in 2014. Photo: Caroline Quinn
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Sgt Maurice McCabe claims former Garda commissioner Martin Callinan delayed a press conference about murdered detective Adrian Donohoe so he could make accusations about the whistleblower to a TD.

Sgt McCabe claims former head of the Garda press office, Supt David Taylor, told him Mr Callinan asked him to postpone an event in Louth to mark the first anniversary of the murder so he could travel to Dublin to meet Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness.

Mr McGuinness, who was then the chair of the Public Accounts Committee, said the former commissioner made "vile" allegations against the whistleblower when they met in the car park at Bewley's Hotel on the Naas Road, Dublin, on January 24, 2014.

The previous year, Mr Donohoe was savagely murdered by criminals as he tried to stop a gang holding up a credit union in Dundalk, Co Louth.

Speaking in the Dáil last year, Mr McGuinness said: "The Garda commissioner confided in me in a car park on the Naas Road that Gda McCabe was not to be trusted and there were serious issues about him."

In a protected disclosure sent to Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, the whistleblower claims Supt Taylor told him the commissioner got a call from the TD on the day of the murdered garda's press conference.

Sgt. Maurice McCabe. Photo: Tom Burke
Sgt. Maurice McCabe. Photo: Tom Burke

"When commissioner Callinan finished the call he asked Superintendent Dave Taylor to postpone the press conference for an hour-and-a-half," Sgt McCabe said.

The former commissioner then drove to Dublin where he met Mr McGuinness and returned to Dundalk to do the press conference, he added.

Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe. Photo: Ciara Wilkinson
Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe. Photo: Ciara Wilkinson

The alleged secret meeting between former Garda commissioner Callinan and Mr McGuinness will be probed by the judge-led commission.

Mr McGuinness said he met Mr Callinan at the Garda chief's request three years ago in a hotel car park off the Naas Road.

The serving Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan has since claimed through her spokesman that she was not aware of the meeting between the two men.

Judge Peter Charleton will examine whether such a meeting took place and the circumstances around it.

He will also try to establish what was discussed at the meeting.

But in a further development last week, Waterford TD John Deasy revealed that he was approached by a senior member of An Garda Síochána in early 2014 - just days before Sgt McCabe was due to appear in front of the PAC.

The senior officer is alleged to have made derogatory comments about the whistleblower in his conversation with Mr Deasy.

The Fine Gael deputy claimed he approached Taoiseach Enda Kenny and told him that he believed Sgt McCabe would be vindicated in his opinion.

Mr Deasy, who was a PAC member at the time, followed up the conversation with a formal letter a few weeks later.

He did not specifically mention the remarks made by the garda in his correspondence with the Taoiseach.

Mr Deasy is the first Fine Gael politician to confirm that he saw evidence of a smear campaign against Sgt McCabe.

Irish Independent

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