Sunday 23 July 2017

History behind abuse claims detailed in file

'Justice Kevin O'Higgins, who oversaw the inquiry into claims of garda malpractice by Sgt McCabe, requested a detailed report on the abuse allegations and examined the file before eventually dismissing it as evidence' Stock photo: Getty Images
'Justice Kevin O'Higgins, who oversaw the inquiry into claims of garda malpractice by Sgt McCabe, requested a detailed report on the abuse allegations and examined the file before eventually dismissing it as evidence' Stock photo: Getty Images
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

A full account of the history surrounding the sex abuse allegations made against Sgt Maurice McCabe was submitted as evidence to a commission of investigation after his motivations were questioned by Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan's legal team, the Sunday Independent can reveal.

During the behind-closed-doors inquiry, it was alleged by barristers representing O'Sullivan and other senior gardai that Sgt McCabe's campaign to expose failings in the force was motivated by a sex abuse allegation levelled against him by the daughter of another garda.

The report raises serious questions over the extent of knowledge the commissioner had about the allegations which shocked the country. However, a source close to O'Sullivan this weekend said the commissioner has "only said" she was not aware of the smear campaign against Sgt McCabe.

"She has never said she was not aware of the original incident," the source said.

Justice Kevin O'Higgins, who oversaw the inquiry into claims of garda malpractice by Sgt McCabe, requested a detailed report on the abuse allegations and examined the file before eventually dismissing it as evidence.

The briefing document, which has been seen by this newspaper, was prepared by the Chief State Solicitor's Office and gives an in-depth account of the allegations made against the whistleblower.

The report reveals for the first time that Sgt McCabe turned down an opportunity to have the family who made allegations against him prosecuted by gardai.

"Sgt McCabe stated that he would forward a report indicating that he did not wish to have the colleague's family prosecuted," it said.

The document claims how a garda and his wife made a complaint against Sgt McCabe on behalf of their daughter in December 2006. The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) found there was "no ground" for criminal prosecution against Sgt McCabe and observed it was "doubtful that the allegations constituted a crime at all".

The allegation was made less than a year after Sgt McCabe made a complaint against the same colleague which resulted in disciplinary action. Both men had also applied for the same position in 2004 but Sgt McCabe was the successful applicant.

After it was ruled that there was insufficient evidence for sex abuse charges, Sgt McCabe asked senior officers to write to the DPP asking that he be fully exonerated of any wrongdoing.

"Sgt McCabe was unhappy with the outcome of the decision of the Director of Public Prosecutions, as he believed that the decision ought to have completely exonerated him rather than recording that there was no sufficient evidence to proceed against him," the document added.

Sunday Independent

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