Callinan disputes claim by RTÉ reporter that he called McCabe a ‘troubled individual’

Philip Boucher Hayes told tribunal Martin Callinan said McCabe had ‘psychiatric issues’

Former Garda commissioner Martin Callinan arrives in Dublin Castle on Friday to give evidence to the Charleton tribunal. Photograph: Collins

Former Garda commissioner Martin Callinan arrives in Dublin Castle on Friday to give evidence to the Charleton tribunal. Photograph: Collins

 

The former Garda commissioner Martin Callinan has disputed a claim from an RTÉ journalist that he said Sgt Maurice McCabe was a “troubled individual” who had a lot of psychiatric issues.

Philip Boucher Hayes, in a statement to the Charleton tribunal, has given details of a conversation he said occurred between him and Mr Callinan in the RTÉ studios in Dublin in December 2013.

Patrick Marrinan SC, for the tribunal, said Mr Boucher Hayes said he met the then Garda commissioner during the filming of a Crimecall programme.

The journalist said Mr Callinan had spoken at length about Sgt McCabe and said the sergeant was “a troubled individual and that he had a lot of psychological issues and psychiatric issues.”

Mr Callinan said he had “absolutely not” said that to the journalist. “I wouldn’t talk about any member of An Garda Síochána like that. Certainly not.”

He said it was also not the case, as alleged by Mr Boucher Hayes, that he had said Sgt McCabe was motivated by grievances against Garda management in making disclosures about the penalty points system, and was famous within the force for this.

Mr Boucher Hayes also said in his statement that Mr Callinan had said Sgt McCabe was not to be trusted and there were things he could tell the journalist, “horrific things, the worst kind of thing” but did not elaborate further. Mr Callinan said he did not say this.

The tribunal is investigating a claim made by Supt Taylor in 2016, in a protected disclosure, that he was ordered by Mr Callinan, when he was head of the Garda Press Office, to conduct a smear campaign against Sgt McCabe. Mr Callinan has said the claim is untrue.

Mr Callinan said it was not the case he had asked solicitor Gerald Kean not to disclose that they had spoken on the day before and morning of Mr Kean’s appearance on the Marian Finucane Show on RTÉ Radio 1 in January 2014.

During the show Mr Kean spoke about an inquiry into the penalty points system, a system which was in the news because of disclosures by Sgt McCabe.

Phone calls

Mr Callinan said the information he gave Mr Kean over the phone was already in the public domain. He had not discussed the personality of Sgt McCabe. It was not the case, he said, as claimed by Mr Kean in evidence, that he said Sgt McCabe was “troublesome, difficult and obstructive.”

He said while the two men had a lengthy telephone call on the evening prior to the radio show, most of the conversation had to do with “parties, celebrities and gardaí in Cork.”

Mr Kean, who is from Cork, is well known in Irish social circles. “The man is an extensive talker,” Mr Callinan said.

Mr Callinan said he did not know why Mr Kean said some of the things he had when giving evidence to the tribunal.

The former Garda commissioner will continue giving evidence on Monday.