Saturday 24 February 2018

Ms D told journalist of sex assault to vent 'fury' at McCabe image as 'hero'

Woman tells of 'personal grievance' against whistleblower

Sgt Maurice McCabe with his wife Lorraine at the Disclosures Tribunal in Dublin Castle yesterday. Photo: Collins
Sgt Maurice McCabe with his wife Lorraine at the Disclosures Tribunal in Dublin Castle yesterday. Photo: Collins
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

The young woman who complained she was sexually assaulted as a child by Sergeant Maurice McCabe said she told her story to a journalist as she was "furious" the whistleblower was being portrayed as "a hero".

The woman, known as Ms D, told a private session of the Disclosures Tribunal how she became upset and had to walk out of a college lecture where Sgt McCabe, "and what an honourable man he was", was being discussed.

"I wanted to vent. I wanted someone to listen to me," she said of her decision to contact Irish Independent journalist Paul Williams. Ms D said she "had a personal grievance" against Sgt McCabe over what she alleged he had done.

"I simply wanted people to understand there was a different side to this man and he was not the saint he was being portrayed to be," she said. "He was being described as a hero. It resurrected feelings for me."

During emotional testimony, a tearful Ms D said that after she had decided she wanted to speak to a journalist, her father, a garda colleague of Sgt McCabe, had suggested she may wish to speak to Mr Williams.

Two articles appeared in the Irish Independent in April 2014, in which neither Ms D nor Sgt McCabe were identified, stating a young woman was unhappy with how a complaint she had made against an unnamed garda had been investigated.

The tribunal has previously heard how, as a teenager, Ms D complained to gardaí in 2006 she had been molested by Sgt McCabe when she was aged six or seven during a game of hide and seek. Sgt McCabe denies any such incident occurred.

Read More: Father denies part in campaign to discredit whistleblower

The complaint was investigated but the DPP directed there be no prosecution.

Ms D subsequently developed coping issues and went to the HSE's Rian counselling service in 2013. During two sessions with counsellor Laura Brophy, she mentioned her allegations against Sgt McCabe.

Ms Brophy subsequently erroneously sent a notification to HSE social services containing a totally inaccurate allegation of digital rape. A series of further errors led to this allegation being referred to Bailieborough garda station in Co Cavan.

During 2014, when Sgt McCabe was becoming a prominent figure, a number of journalists called to Ms D's parents' house seeking an interview. These reporters were rebuffed.

However, Ms D decided she wanted to tell her story, but only to a journalist she felt she could trust. She said she knew of Mr Williams from his books and articles and asked her father to make contact with him.

Ms D said Mr Williams advised her she may wish to complain to the Garda Ombudsman (GSOC) if she was unhappy with the investigation. Ms D made a statement to GSOC on July 3, 2014.

She told the tribunal Mr Williams arranged for her to meet Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Fine Gael TD Alan Shatter. Mr Shatter subsequently raised the case in the Dáil.

Irish Independent

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