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Wednesday 21 February 2018

McCabe issued legal threat to RTE over reporting of the O'Higgins inquiry

Whistleblower Maurice McCabe Photo: Tom Burke
Whistleblower Maurice McCabe Photo: Tom Burke
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe issued a legal threat to RTE after the State broadcaster first reported on the unpublished findings of the O'Higgins Commission of Investigation.

RTE aired reports on its flagship radio programme Morning Ireland two days before Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald released the entire 360-page report.

The report focused on allegations of corruption made by Sgt McCabeagainst former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, which were found to be untrue by Justice Kevin O'Higgins.

It also highlighted the fact that some of the garda sergeant's claims were found to be "overstated", "exaggerated", "unfounded" and "withdrawn".

Sgt McCabe's legal team contacted the station, complaining about what they believed to be unfair coverage of the report, which was not yet published at that time.

An RTE spokesperson said yesterday that the broadcaster did not wish to comment.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fail TD John McGuinness is calling on former garda commissioner Martin Callinan to address the revelation that they met in a car park on the Naas Road in Dublin to discuss Sgt McCabe ahead of his appearance at the Oireachtas Public Account Committee (PAC).

Sgt McCabe appeared before the PAC to give details of wrongly quashed penalty points.

Mr McGuinness said "vile and disturbing allegations" made against Sgt McCabe were relayed to him by Mr Callinan during a meeting organised at the then commissioner's request.

"I think the question now is who else knew within the gardai about these allegations made against Maurice McCabe and why were these allegations being promoted," he told the Sunday Independent.

"Now that nothing has transpired out of those allegations, it is clear to me they were being used for one purpose and one purpose only," he added.

The Carlow-Kilkenny TD said he spoke with Sgt McCabe about the allegations and he was satisfied by his denials. Mr McGuinness said Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan also should address whether she knew about these allegations.

Sunday Independent

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