Saturday 19 January 2019

'Callinan said that I sexually abused all of my children'

McCabe breaks down as he tells of allegations

Sergeant Maurice McCabe at the Disclosures Tribunal at Dublin Castle yesterday
Sergeant Maurice McCabe at the Disclosures Tribunal at Dublin Castle yesterday
Former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

Former Garda commissioner Martin Callinan is alleged to have told a prominent politician that whistleblower Maurice McCabe sexually abused his own children and nieces, the Disclosures Tribunal has heard.

Sgt McCabe broke down as he told the tribunal of an account of the alleged conversation given to him by Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness.

"He [Mr Callinan] said that I wasn't to be trusted and he said that I had sexually abused all my children and my nieces," Sgt McCabe said.

The comments were said to have been made during a meeting between the TD and the then commissioner in a hotel car park in January 2014.

At the time, Sgt McCabe was due to give evidence in private to the Dáil Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which Mr McGuinness chaired, about penalty points abuses.

Sgt McCabe said Mr McGuinness told him Mr Callinan grabbed the TD's arm as he got out of the car and said: "It's very serious. It's very serious."

It is understood Mr Callinan accepts he met Mr McGuinness but denies making the comments attributed to him.

The alleged conversation is said to have occurred just days after Mr Callinan himself appeared at the PAC and described the conduct of Sgt McCabe and another Garda whistleblower as "disgusting". This remark, Sgt McCabe said, opened "the floodgates" against him.

"It was at that stage I started to get all the hassle," he said.

Sgt McCabe spoke of feeling "isolated and alone" and being blanked by colleagues.

During tearful evidence, Sgt McCabe told of a meeting on September 20, 2016 at which former Garda press officer Supt David Taylor told him: "I destroyed you."

Sgt McCabe said Supt Taylor claimed Mr Callinan compiled text messages and instructed him to send them to senior gardaí, journalists and TDs.

He said Supt Taylor claimed he was encouraged by Mr Callinan to spread the rumour that Sgt McCabe was investigated for sexual assault.

"He said there was an orchestrated campaign to attack me. He said it was in the form of whispering, of phone calls, of texts," said Sgt McCabe.

Hundreds of text messages were sent, Supt Taylor is alleged to have said. Mr Callinan was said to have composed the texts before Supt Taylor sent them on. The recipients included ex-commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan, who would reply: "Perfect".

Sgt McCabe said Supt Taylor told him Ms O'Sullivan was "the pusher" and had known everything that was going on.

Both Mr Callinan and Ms O'Sullivan have denied allegations of a smear campaign against Sgt McCabe.

Tribunal counsel Patrick Marrinan SC put it to Sgt McCabe that Supt Taylor had a different account. He was claiming none of the information was given out by text or email, but by word of mouth. However, Sgt McCabe said he stood over his account of their conversation.

Sgt McCabe said he had been unable to forgive Supt Taylor, with whom he had been furious.

Mr Marrinan asked Sgt McCabe what his reaction had been to articles by journalist Paul Williams which appeared in the Irish Independent in 2014 in relation to Ms D, a young woman who accused him of sexually assaulting her as a child. The allegation was investigated and the DPP determined in 2007 no crime was described.

Sgt McCabe was not identified in the article, but said he knew it was about him and felt it was "payback".

"Sure, it was awful. I mean, I have been cleared, completely, and I should have been left alone," he said.

"I can't prove it, but I knew it was in relation to what I was doing, in relation to penalty points."

Mr Williams has previously given evidence that he was contacted directly by Ms D and was not negatively briefed about Sgt McCabe by Garda Headquarters.

Irish Independent

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