Chair of Garda whistleblower inquiry to make public statement

Launch of tribunal proceedings by Justice Peter Charleton due for Dublin Castle on Monday

The official launch of public proceedings comes less than a fortnight after the tribunal was established and Mr Justice Peter Charleton of the Supreme Court appointed as its chair. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The official launch of public proceedings comes less than a fortnight after the tribunal was established and Mr Justice Peter Charleton of the Supreme Court appointed as its chair. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

A statement from the chairman of the tribunal investigating the alleged smear campaign against Garda whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe is to be delivered on Monday morning in Dublin Castle.

The official launch of public proceedings is unexpectedly early and comes less than a fortnight after the tribunal was established and Mr Justice Peter Charleton of the Supreme Court appointed as its chair.

It is understood that television cameras and press photographers are to be allowed record the opening statement but that this provision is unlikely to apply when witnesses are called to give evidence.

The collection of evidence has yet to begin. In a statement the Department of Justice said Monday’s sitting is not for applications for representation by interested parties.

“Applications for representation will be taken after the tribunal has gathered relevant material.”

A detailed opening statement of counsel will follow later and then hearings will begin.

The “disclosures tribunal” has been asked to look, amongst other matters, at claims made in a protected disclosure by Superintendent David Taylor, formerly of the Garda Press Office, that “ he was instructed or directed by former Commissioner Martin Callinan and/or Deputy Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan, to contact the media to brief them negatively against Sergeant Maurice McCabe”.

It is also to look at allegations that the media and others may have been briefed that there were allegations of “criminal misconduct” against Sergeant McCabe, and that confidential files from the child protection agency, Tusla, may have been misused.

The tribunal is to investigate the creation, distribution and use by Tusla of a file “containing false allegations of sexual abuse against Sergeant Maurice McCabe that was allegedly sent to gardaí in 2013, and whether these false allegations and/or the file were knowingly used by senior members of An Garda Síochána to discredit Sergeant McCabe.”