Timeline - how chaos and controversy were unleashed
Garda Sergeant Maurice McCabe Maurice Makes a complaint about a garda colleague which leads to the officer being disciplined.
On behalf of his six-year-old daughter, the colleague makes a complaint about Sgt McCabe - alleging that McCabe had behaved inappropriately towards his daughter while she played hide and seek with his children. An investigation is carried out into the allegation but the Director of Public Prosecutions finds that there are no grounds for prosecution.
Sgt McCabe becomes a whistleblower after becoming concerned about what he saw as shocking incompetence in the investigation of a serious assault. Later in 2012, Sgt McCabe makes more allegations, including claiming that a number of well-known individuals had had their penalty points wiped. Senior gardai restrict his access to the Gardai's Pulse database.
As the McCabe case dominates headlines (eventually leading to the departures of Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and Justice Minister Alan Shatter), in the background rumours surface about the garda sergeant.
A counsellor notifies Tusla that a client has disclosed to her that she had been sexually abused in childhood. The client is stated to be the same woman who had made the previous allegations in 2006. A few days later, the counsellor contacts a garda with the information. But the relevant superintendent in charge is not notified until May 2014.
Then Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan appears before the PAC and calls Sgt McCabe "disgusting". Sgt McCabe appears before the PAC, outlining concerns over abuse of the penalty points system.
Leo Varadkar, then Transport Minister, praises Sgt McCabe calling him "distinguished". Five days later Callinan resigns. Noirin O'Sullivan takes over.
The Child & Family Agency (precursor to Tusla) opens separate files for Sgt McCabe and for each of his children. The files all claim that he sexually abused a young woman
The counsellor contacts Tusla to say she had made an administrative error which meant the allegation was "pasted in error". Tusla notifies gardai of the error.
A child protection social worker writes to Sergeant McCabe informing him that an investigation is taking place into allegations that he had sexually abused a child, allegedly involving digital penetration. The garda whistleblower denies the claim. This was the first time he had heard about the allegation.
A social worker from Tusla says a mistake had been made in previous correspondence with Maurice McCabe.
"I can confirm to you that no allegation of digital penetration has been made in relation to your client," the social worker says. Sgt McCabe requests Tusla to release to him all copies of records made regarding him and his family.
Jan 18, 2017
Children's Minister Katherine Zappone's private secretary phones Maurice McCabe's wife on foot of enquiries she made to the Department of Health.
Jan 25, 2017
Minister Zappone meets Sgt McCabe and his wife and hears of the devastation caused to them by the false allegations.
Jan 27, 2017
Department of Children officials meet Tusla and a review of the case is initiated.
Feb 7, 2017
Cabinet sets up Commission of Investigation into an alleged smear campaign against Sgt McCabe.
Feb 8, 2017
Brendan Howlin alleges Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan was directly involved in a smear campaign - but the Government still stands by her.
Feb 9, 2017
Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald says she was unaware of any Tusla link.
Feb 10, 2017
Minister Zappone says she informed "relevant Government colleagues" about the Tusla error. She does not state who these "relevant colleagues" are and whether they are members of Cabinet. However, Enda Kenny and Frances Fitzgerald deny having had any knowledge of the Tusla case before it was reported in the media.