Wednesday 20 November 2019

Charleton Tribunal: McCabe bullied and called a 'rat' on social media

Sergeant Maurice McCabe. Photo: Collins
Sergeant Maurice McCabe. Photo: Collins

Gerard Cunningham

Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe was the subject of "hostility and enmity" within the gardai, the Charleton tribunal has heard.

Sgt McCabe's barrister Michael McDowell said that while evidence had been given that garda witnesses never discussed Sgt McCabe, he was the subject of "a good deal of hostility and enmity from certain sources in the Cavan Monaghan division".

The tribunal was also told Sgt McCabe was bullied, and called a "rat" on social media, Mr McDowell said.

Retired Chief Supt James Sheridan said he had never undermined Sgt McCabe in any way but he did know Sgt McCabe was being bullied.

Mr McDowell said the tribunal had been given a picture by some witnesses that there was no animus whatsoever to Sgt McCabe, and he was dealt with the same as any other guard. He said that he was trying to establish that this was not the case.

Mr Sheridan said that a HSE notification containing incorrect allegations of sexual abuse against Sgt McCabe was "a disastrous error", but he said it was caused by the HSE and was not the fault of the gardaí.

"In my view it would be grossly unfair to hold the Garda Siochana responsible for the catastrophe that was perpetrated by the HSE," Mr Sheridan said.

Mr Sheridan said he never spoke to Ms D or to her father Mr D, a garda officer, about the allegation Ms D had made in 2006, on which the DPP directed no prosecution.

Questioned by Micheál P O'Higgins on behalf of the garda commissioner, Mr Sheridan said that garda press officer Supt David Taylor played no role in the manner in which he dealt with notifications from the HSE and Tusla.

"Were you party to any conspiracy to sully or besmirch the reputation of Sgt Maurice McCabe," Mr O;'Higgins asked.

"Absolutely not," Mr Sheridan said. To his knowledge nobody in senior garda management was party to any such conspiracy, he said.

The tribunal continues on Monday next.

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