Monday 18 February 2019

State seeks to resolve McCabe actions for damages through mediation

Ex sergeant and whistleblower Maurice McCabe. Picture: Collins
Ex sergeant and whistleblower Maurice McCabe. Picture: Collins

Tim Healy

The State wants to mediate several damages actions brought against it by retired Garda sergeant and whistleblower Maurice McCabe.

The High Court heard that the State is to write "an open letter" to Mr McCabe's solicitors in an effort to see if several actions brought by him against parties, including the Garda Commissioner, can be resolved through mediation.

The mediation offer was mentioned when one set of proceedings brought by Mr McCabe against parties including the Commissioner, the Justice Minister, the Attorney General, and former Garda commissioner Martin Callinan was mentioned before the court.

Mr McCabe's lawyers had filed a motion seeking a judgment against the parties over their alleged failure to file a defence to his claim.

Gerald Meehan, for the State defendants, said his clients had not filed a defence as it would not help bring the sides together in a bid to see if a "conciliatory mediation" could take place.

Counsel said the proposed mediation would involve all cases taken against the State by Mr McCabe.

Counsel said the State will write to Mr McCabe's solicitors Sean Costello & Co to see if mediation was possible.

Emily Maloney, for Mr McCabe, expressed her client's concerns about any further delays in the cases. Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds adjourned the case against the State for three weeks.

The Judge said she understood Mr McCabe's concerns about delays, but in the circumstances was prepared to adjourn the matter.

Separately, a number of pretrial motions in actions taken by the retired sergeant, his wife, and their four children, against the HSE and Tusla, the Child and Family Agency (CFA), were also mentioned before the court.

The McCabes had brought applications seeking judgments against the HSE and the CFA over an alleged failure to file defences to their claims.

The applications in those cases, where the McCabes seek damages over the false sexual abuse allegations made against him, were struck out with the consent of the parties. It was also agreed that defendants could have an additional four weeks to file their defences to the claims.

Previously, the State admitted liability in personal injuries claims and a defamation action brought by Mr McCabe.

Last October, Mr McCabe retired from An Garda Síochána, following 30 years service, weeks after the publication of the Disclosures Tribunal report in which Mr Justice Peter Charleton described the Cavan-based sergeant as a genuine person who had done the State "considerable service".

Irish Independent

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