Charleton Tribunal to investigate contacts over Garda whistleblower
Garda Keith Harrison alleges contacts between Tusla and force on himself and partner
The Charleton Tribunal is to investigate contacts between the Garda and Tusla in relation to whistleblower Garda Keith Harrison. File photograph: Getty Images
The Charleton Tribunal is to resume hearings on Monday when it will investigate contacts between the Garda and the child and family agency, Tusla, in relation to whistleblower Garda Keith Harrison.
The module is scheduled to last for two weeks and a day and will be the second module held involving Tusla, following hearings prior to the summer about a Tusla file created in 2013 which contained false allegations against Sgt Maurice McCabe.
The Harrison allegation is that there were inappropriate contacts between Tusla and the Garda in relation to matters to do with Garda Harrison and his partner, Marisa Simms. He has said these mirrored in some regards what allegedly happened with Sgt McCabe.
Garda Harrison has said relations with his Garda colleagues in Donegal became strained for a number of reasons, including the fact that he was in a relationship with Ms Simms, whose brother had been in an incident which led to the death of a local garda.
Martin McDermott, Ms Simms’s brother, was convicted of the manslaughter of Garda Gary McLoughlin as well as driving while disqualified, without insurance, and when over the legal limit for alcohol. He was arrested following a high-speed chase.
Garda Harrison did not inform anyone in Garda management that he was in a relationship with the sister of a person who had been guilty of the homicide of a locally serving officer, prior to his move from Athlone to Donegal.
Garda Harrison has said that in Donegal his partner was brought to a Garda station and questioned about their relationship, and that there were inappropriate dealings with Tusla.
The module will also hear of an anonymous letter sent to the health services expressing concern over the wellbeing of Ms Simms’s children, allegations of domestic rows involving Garda Harrison and his partner, and anonymous death threats being made against Garda Harrison.