Wednesday 13 December 2017

'I think the latest thing, with HSE and Tusla and the guards, has been just vile' - Sgt Maurice McCabe

It has been eight years of abuse ... I would not do it again' - McCabe

Sgt Maurice McCabe and his wife Lorraine. Photo: Barry Cronin
Sgt Maurice McCabe and his wife Lorraine. Photo: Barry Cronin
Gareth Morgan

Gareth Morgan

Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe has spoken of the "eight years of abuse" he has suffered and revealed that he would not be prepared to do it all over again.

Speaking for the first time since the Government was plunged into crisis over his treatment, Sgt McCabe said: "We just want it to finish and let us go back to live our lives, the way we did eight years ago."

His wife Lorraine McCabe added: "We want the truth."

The McCabes broke their silence in an interview with 'Anglo-Celt' senior journalist Sean McMahon, after the coalition Government led by Enda Kenny was rocked by revelations about an alleged smear campaign against the whistleblower.

Mr McMahon was invited into the McCabe family home in Mountnugent immediately after Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin had departed following a meeting earlier this week.

But while the political crisis has come to a head in recent days, the saga dates back as far as 2008 when Sgt McCabe first raised concerns with his superiors about senior gardaí quashing penalty points.

Since then, he has faced into an alleged smear campaign involving senior gardaí as well as a false allegation of sex abuse recorded by Tusla.

Read more: 'Casual and stumbling' - Angry scenes in the Dáil round off week of intense pressure for Enda Kenny, as Government win confidence motion

Asked whether he would do it all over again, he said: "Oh, probably not, probably not, because of what they did to me. I did not do anything to them, they did it to me."

Describing the impact on his family, Sgt McCabe said it was "eight years of abuse - eight years of constant abuse".

And he added: "We just want it to finish and let us go back to live our lives, the way we did eight years ago."

His comments will further diminish confidence in the ability of members of An Garda Síochána to become whistleblowers without fear of recrimination.

Asked which has caused An Garda Síochána more reputational damage, his original allegations or how he was dealt with in the aftermath, Sgt McCabe replied: "I think the latest thing, with HSE and Tusla and the guards, has been just vile."

Sgt McCabe had earlier released a statement alleging that lawyers for Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan sought to introduce the false allegation of rape at the O'Higgins Commission in a bid to "discredit" his motives and testimony.

It said the family had been "systematically attacked in a number of ways" by State agencies and people working for the State.

Pressure

The statement heaped pressure on the Government to establish a public inquiry into the allegations. The inquiry has subsequently been confirmed.

Ms O'Sullivan has insisted she played no role in the peddling of false rumours against Mr McCabe in order to blacken his name for exposing wrongdoing in the force.

Read more: Tribunal could be streamed online 'on the web, worldwide or whatever' - Taoiseach

The McCabes have also posed several questions for Garda management in relation to the events that followed the creation of the false contents of a Tusla file.

Sgt McCabe also welcomed the fact that there would be a public inquiry to find out if there was a smear campaign against him, and whether it was orchestrated by senior gardaí.

He said he did not mind whether an inquiry that was held in public would ultimately take longer, adding: "It does not really matter once it [the truth] is got at. We need a lot of answers to our questions."

However, he said that some of the questions the family had outlined could be answered without a tribunal, "within one hour".

Sgt McCabe added that following confirmation that there would be a public inquiry under a judge, he was confident it would finally get to the bottom of the issues that he and his wife wished to have addressed.

The full interview is published in this week's 'Anglo-Celt' newspaper.

Irish Independent

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