Wednesday 13 December 2017

Charleton Tribunal into treatment of whistleblowers begins

Claire Murphy

Claire Murphy

The Charleton Tribunal of Inquiry into alleged mistreatment of Garda whistleblowers opens this morning for the first of the public hearings.

Mr Justice Peter Charleton started to deliver his opening statement of the Disclosures Tribunal at 9.30am sharp.

Sergeant Maurice McCabe. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Sergeant Maurice McCabe. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

It's expected that Justice Charleton will lay out the timeline of the proceedings.

But there will be no applications for representation and it is expected that the tribunal will return several weeks later.

The inquiry will investigate whether a smear campaign was orchestrated by senior gardaí against whistleblower Maurice McCabe.

Former Garda press officer Superintendent David Taylor claimed in a protected disclosure there was an orchestrated campaign to discredit Sgt McCabe and that Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan was aware of it.

But the Commissioner has insisted she was not aware of any such campaign. She has also rejected suggestions she should step aside either permanently or temporarily.

It's reported that the Charleton Tribunal will be asked to examine texts and other data extracted from phones assigned to Supt Taylor.

The contents of communications recovered from at least three mobile phones and sim cards assigned to Supt Taylor by Garda HQ are likely to come before the tribunal.

The event is open to members of the public and is not solely a media event.

Cameras will be permitted in the room, but must be silent and in a fixed position.

But Justice Charleton will not take questions from the media or the public.

It's understood that fees for lawyers acting for the Charleton Tribunal of inquiry, which opens in Dublin Castle tomorrow, are still being negotiated by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

Irish Independent

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