Sunday 20 October 2019

Garda whistleblower to seek ruling on damages as State admits liability

Maurice McCabe has been pressing his claims for years. Picture: Collins
Maurice McCabe has been pressing his claims for years. Picture: Collins

Aodhan O'Faolain

Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe is seeking a ruling on damages after the State admitted liability in two of his claims against it.

The High Court heard yesterday that Mr McCabe, a former sergeant who exposed abuses of the motoring penalty points system within the force, was looking for a hearing date to assess the level of damages he is entitled to.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told liability had been admitted in a personal injuries claim brought by Mr McCabe in 2009 against the Garda Commissioner, Ireland and the Attorney General.

Paul McGarry SC, for Mr McCabe, said while liability had been admitted in this particular case, his client was seeking a hearing date when the level of damages can be assessed by a judge.

Counsel said the hearing of the assessment of damages should take two to three days.

Liability had also been admitted in another case also against the same defendants, which was lodged in 2011.

The case, in which Mr McCabe claims that he was defamed, is due to be mentioned before the High Court, counsel added.

Marguerite Bolger SC, for the State defendants, said while liability in the two cases had been "conceded in full", it was her clients' hope that the amount of damages could be mediated between the parties.

Mr McGarry said that while a previous mediation had not been successful, his side was ready to listen to what the State has to say.

Mr Justice Cross said the court was happy to give the prospect of a successful mediation "every blessing" and agreed to fix the hearing of the assessment of damages in the personal injuries action for early April.

The actions are two of a number of cases Mr McCabe has brought.

At the end of October, he retired after 30 years' service, weeks after the publication of a Disclosures Tribunal report in which Mr Justice Peter Charleton described him as having done the State "considerable service".

The tribunal found former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and then press officer Supt David Taylor ran a smear campaign against him.

The report concluded that Mr McCabe was a genuine person who had the interests of the people of Ireland in his mind at all times.

Irish Independent

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