Saturday 19 January 2019

'Sleepless nights' for accused officers

Stock photo
Stock photo
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

Unfounded allegations made by Sergeant Maurice McCabe caused "enormous stress" for a number of colleagues and their families, a lawyer who represented Nóirín O'Sullivan at the O'Higgins Commission has said.

The Disclosures Tribunal heard that while many of Sgt McCabe's claims were upheld by the commission, some were not.

Sgt McCabe had alleged Assistant Commissioner Derek Byrne failed to uncover and report serious derelictions of duty, falsification of Garda records and serious incidents not being investigated.

However, all of the allegations against Mr Byrne were withdrawn at the commission.

"It all crumbled and fell away as there was no evidence," said Annmarie Ryan, a solicitor from the Chief State Solicitor's Office.

She said the allegations Sgt McCabe had made had left some officers having difficulty sleeping at night.

"They were under enormous stress and I would hear how the stress affected them and their wives and children," she said.

The solicitor said she would have expected such serious allegations to have been backed up with proof.

The tribunal heard an allegation of corruption against former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan was rejected by the commission.

Michael McDowell SC, for Sgt McCabe, said he could make similar statements about sleepless nights on behalf of his client. He said the O'Higgins Commission had unreservedly accepted McCabe's bona fides, and called him "a man of integrity".

Irish Independent

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