Tuesday 24 April 2018

Fine Gael TD: A senior garda came to me with McCabe smears

Fine Gael TD John Deasy
Fine Gael TD John Deasy
Maurice and Lorraine McCabe
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

A second member of the Dáil's Public Accounts Committee has said that he was contacted by a senior member of An Garda Siochana shortly before garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe appeared before the committee and that that garda told him Mr McCabe "couldn't be trusted".

Fine Gael TD John Deasy made the revelations on Prime Time this evening.

He said that in January 2014 he was approached by an unnamed senior member of the force, who he clarified was not current Commissioner O'Sullivan, and was told a series of derogatory things about Mr McCabe.

Previously, John McGuinness, the former chairman of PAC, told the Dáil that he was approached before Mr McCabe's PAC appearance by then Commissioner Martin Callinan who allegedly tried to discredit Mr McCabe.

On the RTÉ show tonight Mr Deasy said:

"Before the meeting I was approached by a very senior guard and he proceeded to make some very derogatory comments about Maurice McCabe, the nature of which were that Maurice McCabe couldn't be believed and couldn't be trusted on anything," Mr Deasy said.

"They were very, very derogatory and it was a most serious attack and very strongly worded.

"Maurice McCabe was in the PAC the following Thursday and I thought he was credible, I made that judgement."

"I think I and others realised that there was a campaign against Maurice mcCabe to undermine his character," he added.

The campaign was being run by senior gardai he said.

"I had first hand contact of that," he said.

Mr Deasy went on to say he spoke to Taoiseach Enda Kenny privately a few weeks after the approach by the garda to discuss Mr McCabe and the "entire affair".

"At that meeting I sad to him that I believe Maurice McCabe would be vindicated that he was being treated extremely badly and that he was genuine and that this needed to be handled completely differently," he said.

He said Mr Kenny listened and acknowledged it and the meeting ended.

At the same time another Fine Gael member was making similar representations to a Cabinet member but was "dismissed" Mr Deasy said.

He also said the alleged smear campaign had worked to harden opinions against Mr McCabe.

"I think the campaign was extremely effective with hardening opinions with regard to his character," he said.

"I really can't defend anyone in Government when it comes to Maurice McCabe," he said.

Earlier on the programme former Minister Pat Rabbitte said that after making comments on a TV program in 2013 about Mr McCabes good character, he was also approached by a retired garda who made a serious of allegations against Mr McCabe which he deemed as gossip that he did not wish to "give to legs".

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