Friday 6 December 2019

HR boss pushed on McCabe file

Official directive: An Garda Siochana HR head John Barrett
Official directive: An Garda Siochana HR head John Barrett
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

An Garda Siochana's head of human resources was forced to hand over sensitive details of a meeting with Maurice McCabe to Garda management despite objections from the whistleblower.

John Barrett initially resisted demands to give his superiors details of the meeting he held with Sgt McCabe and his wife Lorraine about a Tusla file which wrongly claimed the Garda whistleblower had sexually abused a colleague's daughter.

However, Mr Barrett was forced to provide a report of the meeting to his commanding officer after he was issued with an official directive.

Mr Barrett is understood to have told senior officers he did not want to breach the McCabes' confidence by acting against their wishes. But he was forced to relent to his line managers' demands after receiving oral and written directives to hand over the report he had made of the meeting.

Mr Barrett details his interaction with senior management in relation to the McCabe family in a protected disclosure he made to the Department of Justice last year.

The disclosure has also been given to Justice Peter Charleton's tribunal which is investigating allegations of a smear campaign orchestrated by Garda management against Mr McCabe.

On February 7, 2017, Mr Barrett met with the McCabes who told him about the Tusla file which showed he had been wrongly accused of sexually assaulting a colleague's daughter.

Mr McCabe told Mr Barrett how files he had obtained revealed that Tusla workers sent a file to gardai which falsely suggested he had committed child sex abuse.

Mr Barrett wrote a report of the meeting and the McCabes indicated they did not want the file given to the then Garda commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan.

However, when details of the Tusla files emerged in the media, Garda management demanded to see the official report of Mr Barrett's meeting with the McCabes.

Sources said senior gardai wanted to examine the details of Sgt McCabe's complaints to determine if a garda investigation was required. One source said management were also concerned that the allegations may have to be sent to the Garda Ombudsman or Department of Justice.

It is unclear if Mr Barrett will be questioned on this aspect of his protected disclosure when he appears before the Charleton Tribunal on Wednesday.

Sunday Independent

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