Friday 18 August 2017

Allegations Callinan attacked character of whistleblower 'supported by witnesses'

Former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan. Photo: Tom Burke
Former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan. Photo: Tom Burke
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

Allegations former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan attacked the character of whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe have been supported by witnesses who have come forward to the Disclosures Tribunal.

Counsel for the tribunal Diarmaid McGuinness SC said "allegations of the systematic destruction of the character of Sgt McCabe" were "to some extent" supported by a number of witnesses who had come forward to disclose conversations they had with Mr Callinan.

These included journalists, he told a sitting of the tribunal.

Mr McGuinness said these accounts had been “vehemently denied” by Mr Callinan.

The barrister also said there had been no direct evidence from potential witness that current Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan was involved in spreading “unpleasant or nasty comments” about Sgt McCabe.

He also said Ms O’Sullivan appeared not to know about a meeting between Mr Callinan and John McGuinness, the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), in the car park of Bewley’s Hotel in Dublin on January 24, 2014.

Counsel for the tribunal said that PAC chairman’s account was accepted the conversation included “inappropriate comment” from which it could be inferred Mr Callinan had the “motivation and emotional charge” to attack the character of Sgt McCabe and perhaps direct his press officer to do likewise.

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