Thursday 17 October 2019

Timeline: How the Maurice McCabe scandal unfolded...

Maurice McCabe
Maurice McCabe
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

January 2006: Sergeant Maurice McCabe made a complaint about a colleague which led to the officer being disciplined.

December 2006

The girl made a complaint about Sgt McCabe. In the complaint she alleged he had tickled and behaved inappropriately towards her while she played hide and seek with his children a decade earlier.

A file was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions in which gardaí said there was no ground for prosecution.

January 2012

Sgt McCabe became a whistleblower alleging Garda misconduct.

Labour leader Brendan Howlin Photo: Tom Burke
Labour leader Brendan Howlin Photo: Tom Burke

Later in 2012 more allegations surface including that a number of well-known individuals had their penalty points wiped.

August 2013

The fallout from Sgt McCabe's case was again dominating news headlines but in the background rumours about the garda had surfaced.

During this time, a counsellor notified Tusla that a client had disclosed to her that she had been sexually abused in childhood. The client was mistakenly stated to be the same woman who had made the previous allegation in 2006.

May 2014

The counsellor contacted Tusla to say she had made an administrative error which meant the allegation was "pasted in error".

December 2015

A child protection social worker wrote to Maurice McCabe informing him an investigation was taking place into allegations he had sexually abused a child, allegedly involving digital penetration. This was the first time the garda had heard about the allegation.

June 2016

A social worker from Tusla said the agency was obliged to investigate the allegations - but said a mistake had been made in previous correspondence.

"I can confirm to you that no allegation of digital penetration has been made in relation to your client," the social worker said. Sgt McCabe requested of Tusla all copies of records made on him and his family be released to him.

January 18

Children's Minister Katherine Zappone's private secretary phones Maurice McCabe's wife on foot of inquiries she made to the Department of Health.

January 25

Ms Zappone meets with Sgt McCabe and his wife.

January 27

Department of Children officials meet Tusla and a review of the case is initiated.

February 7

Cabinet set up Commission of Investigation into an alleged smear campaign against Sgt McCabe.

February 8

Brendan Howlin alleges Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan was directly involved in a smear campaign - but the Government continues to stand by her.

February 9

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald says she was unaware of any Tusla link.

February 10

Ms Zappone says she informed "relevant Government colleagues" about the Tusla error. However, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald later denied having any knowledge of the Tusla case before it was reported in the media.

Irish Independent

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