Garda report said ‘evidence’ collected by McCabe indicated ‘paranoia’

McCabe statement in 2010 said ‘scurrilous’ sex abuse allegation had ruined his life

Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe gathered “evidence” against his colleagues and this indicated “a level of paranoia” on his part, an internal Garda report concluded in March 2010.

An extract from the report, known as the Byrne/McGinn report, was shown at the proceedings of the Charleton Tribunal on Friday.

The report, which examined complaints made by Sgt McCabe concerning policing matters at his former station in Bailieboro, Co Cavan, has never been seen by Sgt McCabe.

In the extract, which was part of the report’s introduction, it was stated “the fact that [Sgt McCabe] had started a campaign of gathering, what he perceived to be, evidence of other peoples’ culpability, would tend to indicate a level of paranoia on his part.”


The report outlined matters concerning a sex abuse allegation that was levelled against Sgt McCabe in late 2006 by the daughter [referred to at the tribunal as Ms D] of a colleague.

The allegation was dismissed by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in 2007 but Sgt McCabe's efforts to get the full nature of the decision released were unsuccessful.

‘Scurrilous’ allegation

The 2010 report contained a quote from a submission made by Sgt McCabe to then Supt Michael Clancy in February 2008 in which he made certain allegations against Mr D (the father of Ms D) as part of his plea that the full DPP decision be released.

In the submission Sgt McCabe said the “scurrilous” sex abuse allegation “has ruined my life forever. I am a completely changed person in that I don’t trust anyone anymore.”

The report said these comments “tend to suggest that Sgt McCabe was under an inordinate amount of stress. The fact that he didn’t trust anybody was corroborated by the fact that he started recording conversations with people, both within and outside the Garda organisation, without their knowledge.”

It was, the report said, “obvious that the Ms D allegation had an undermining impact on Sgt McCabe, regardless of the fact that the DPP directed no prosecution.” The extracts of the report were shown at the tribunal after they were submitted by the lawyers representing the Garda HQ legal team at the 2015 hearings of the O’Higgins Commission.

The extracts outlined the troubled history of the relationship between Sgt McCabe and Mr D. They said that Sgt McCabe alleged he was ridiculed and undermined by Mr D in the period from 2004, when they had both gone for the same position and Sgt McCabe was successful.

In January 2006 Sgt McCabe complained about Mr D and two colleagues turning up intoxicated at the scene of a suicide and Mr D was subsequently disciplined for this.


Sgt McCabe also alleged that Mr D was drunk at a Garda barbeque at which an alleged incident occurred involving Sgt McCabe’s wife, Lorraine, and other females, according to the report. In March 2008 Sgt McCabe “vacated” his position as sergeant-in-charge at Bailieboro.

Throughout the investigation that led to the report, it said, Sgt McCabe’s position was that his resignation as sergeant in charge was tantamount to constructive dismissal on the part of Supt Michael Clancy, and that Supt Clancy had failed to support him as sergeant in charge. “At no time has Sgt McCabe ever attributed the weakening of his position as sergeant in charge to the fact that an allegation had been made against him by [Ms D].

Notwithstanding the fact that the DPP directed no prosecution against Sgt McCabe, this report will show that he had effectively lost control of the station at that stage and his position as sergeant in charge was untenable.”

The report was drafted by Assistant Commissioner Derek Byrne and Chief Superintendent Terry McGinn and was given to the then Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan. The 2015 O'Higgins Commission investigated, amongst other matters, serious allegations by Sgt McCabe against former Commissioner Callinan, Assistant Commissioner Byrne, and Supt Clancy.

The allegations were dismissed as unfounded.

The Garda HQ legal team at commission inquiry represented then Commissioner O’Sullivan, as well as officers Callinan and Clancy.

A separate legal team represented Mr Byrne.

There were no complaints or allegations against Ms O’Sullivan.

The tribunal is investigating whether unjustified grounds were used at the commission to discredit Sgt McCabe. The DPP ruling on the 2006 sex abuse allegation observed that even if the claims, which were disputed, were correct, the events described would not constitute a crime.

Colm Keena

Colm Keena

Colm Keena is an Irish Times journalist. He was previously legal-affairs correspondent and public-affairs correspondent