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Disclosures Tribunal finds Martin Callinan and former press officer ran 'campaign' against Maurice McCabe

Journal.ie logo Journal.ie 11/10/2018 Sean Murray
A false sex abuse allegation was circulated about Sergeant Maurice McCabe (Niall Carson/PA) © Provided by The Press Association A false sex abuse allegation was circulated about Sergeant Maurice McCabe (Niall Carson/PA)

    The Disclosures Tribunal is “convinced” there was a “campaign of calumny” by former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan against Maurice McCabe.

  • It found that this was “actively aided” by former garda press officer Superintendent Dave Taylor.
  • Callinan and Taylor were “in it together”, the Tribunal found. 
  • Maurice McCabe was “repulsively denigrated for being no more than a good citizen and police officer”.
  • There is “no credible evidence” that Nóirín O’Sullivan played any hand act or part in any campaign conducted by Commissioner Martin Callinan and by Superintendent David Taylor against Maurice McCabe.
a group of people in front of a crowd posing for the camera © Rollingnews.ie

THE DISCLOSURES TRIBUNAL has found that there was a “campaign of calumny” against Maurice McCabe by former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, that was “actively aided” by his press officer Superintendent David Taylor.

The Tribunal was tasked with looking into allegations that there had been a smear campaign against McCabe, orchestrated by senior gardaí.

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It found that Martin Callinan told Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness that McCabe had sexually abused members of his own family.

Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe © Brian Lawless/PA Images via Getty Images Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe John McGuinness – who formerly headed the Public Accounts Committee – told the Tribunal that Martin Callinan had made a comment about the “other fella fiddles with kids” in reference to Sergeant Maurice McCabe.

He also said that Callinan told him in the infamous car park meeting that McCabe had sexually abused members of his own family.

Judge Charleton said: “The conversations as described by John McGuinness TD took place.”

Dave Taylor

Mr Justice Peter Charleton savages David Taylor in the report.

Taylor had alleged that he conducted a smear campaign against Maurice McCabe on the say-so of Martin Callinan.

Clockwise from top left Maurice McCabe Naoirain O'Sullivan Martin Callinan David Taylor © Rollingnews.ie Clockwise from top left Maurice McCabe Naoirain O'Sullivan Martin Callinan David Taylor The judge wrote: “It is an utter mystery as to why Commissioner Martin Callinan could have decided to choose Superintendent David Taylor as his press officer. Both of them have given explanations for this decision: that David Taylor was talented, experienced, articulate and so on. He is not. All of this is just plain untrue.”

In one section, the judge accuses Taylor of “daft” evidence. He said:

The Tribunal is convinced that Superintendent David Taylor did more than merely inform some journalists that in the past there had been an investigation into Maurice McCabe and that the Director of Public Prosecutions had decided that there should be no prosecution and that he was consequently embittered. That is all he claims to have done. That is untrue.

A false allegation from an unrelated case was put on the file of Maurice McCabe in 2013. © Laura Hutton Rollingnews.ie A false allegation from an unrelated case was put on the file of Maurice McCabe in 2013. Mr Justice Charleton said that he was convinced that Taylor gave a list of journalist “who were never briefed in order to mislead the Tribunal”.

He added: “While the tribunal cannot but regard it as probable that there are other journalists who have decided not to come forward and assist the public inquiry that the tribunal represents, despite having been briefed negatively by him, his attitude to his superior was likely to have been one of bluster and spoof which was eventually seen through.”

In another section, regarding an alleged interaction involving RTÉ journalist Philip Boucher Hayes and Martin Callinan, the Tribunal accuses Taylor of an “obvious deceit” in his evidence. 

Maurice McCabe at the tribunal last week © Leah Farrell RollingNews.ie Maurice McCabe at the tribunal last week On the issue of phones that would show evidence of smears against McCabe, Charleton said that Taylor “chose to present a public lie to the people of Ireland”.

“It was enthusiastically taken up,” he wrote. “Furthermore, it cast a pall of pretended deceit over the entire police force. Then no one knew better. Now, they do.”

Maurice McCabe

“What has been unnerving about more than 100 days of hearings in this tribunal is that a person who stood up for better standards in our national police force, Sergeant Maurice McCabe, and who exemplified hard work in his own calling, was repulsively denigrated for being no more than a good citizen and police officer,” Charleton wrote in his conclusion. 

Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe © Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe In investigating the calumny against him, other aspects of our national life have been laid bare. Within the pages of this report are detailed those women and men who have done their work well and who try every day, as police officers, social workers and administrators, to do their best. But not all. Not every person seeks either to uphold the highest standards or to strive for them through daily work.

“The question has to be asked as to why what is best, what demands hard work, is not the calling of every single person who takes on the job of service to Ireland. Worse still is the question of how it is that decent people, of whom Maurice McCabe emerges as a paradigm, are so shamefully treated when rightly they demand that we do better.”

More to follow…

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