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Sunday 17 December 2017

Callinan admits telling Shatter of abuse allegation

Former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan. Photo: Tom Burke
Former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan. Photo: Tom Burke
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has said that he informed then Minister for Justice Alan Shatter about child sex abuse allegations concerning garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe.

Earlier this year it emerged that Sergeant McCabe had been wrongly labelled a child sex abuser, following a filing error by the child and family agency Tusla.

In a written submission to the Charleton Inquiry, Mr Callinan said that he spoke by telephone with then Minister Shatter about an internal Garda investigation into allegations that penalty points were being inappropriately quashed.

"During the course of the conversation Minister Shatter specifically asked me if there was anything in the background relating to Sergeant McCabe that he should be aware of," Mr Callinan said in his written submission.

"In response I told him that there had been an allegation of inappropriate contact by Sergeant McCabe with a child in 2006.

"I made it clear to him that the matter had been investigated and that a file had been sent to the DPP who had directed no prosecution," he added.

The Charleton Inquiry is investigating claims by former head of the Garda press office, Superintendent David Taylor that there was an orchestrated Garda headquarters campaign to discredit Sergeant McCabe.

Superintendent Taylor claimed he was instructed by former Garda Commissioner Callinan to brief the media about false allegations of child sex abuse against Sergeant McCabe.

Justice Peter Charleton is investigating whether these allegations were maliciously spread by senior members of the Force to discredit Sergeant McCabe after he raised serious concerns about Garda malpractice.

Mr Charleton's opening statement, which was published last week, also reveals he sought 15 phones used by Mr Callinan, Superintendent Taylor and current Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan during the period he is investigating.

However, gardai have so far only been able to locate four of the phones the judge has requested.

Sunday Independent

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