Maurice McCabe says former Garda commissioner alleged he abused his own children
Whistleblower tells tribunal a former Garda press officer sent ‘hundreds’ of text messages in smear campaign
Sgt Maurice McCabe, after giving evidence at the Disclosures Tribunal at Dublin Castle, with his wife, Lorraine. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
Sgt Maurice McCabe has told the Charleton tribunal he was informed that in 2016 the then Garda commissioner, Martin Callinan, alleged the whistleblower had abused his own children.
In his first day of evidence to a tribunal that is investigating whether Garda HQ conducted a smear campaign against him, Sgt McCabe said he was told in May 2016 by John McGuinness of Fianna Fáil that the then Garda commissioner had said Sgt McCabe had abused his own children, and his nieces.
He said Mr McGuinness told him of a conversation the politician said had occurred some months earlier and during which Mr Callinan said Sgt McCabe was not to be trusted.
Sgt McCabe also told the tribunal that during a meeting on September 20th, 2016, the former head of the Garda Press Office, Supt David Taylor, said he had been ordered by Mr Callinan to conduct a smear campaign against him and Mr Callinan’s successor, Nóirín O’Sullivan, had been aware of what was happening.
Both Mr Callinan and Ms O’Sullivan have rejected Supt Taylor’s claims, the tribunal heard.
Sgt McCabe said he was told by Supt Taylor, during a meeting in the officer’s home, that he had sent “hundreds” of text messages to senior officers and journalists as part of the smear campaign.
He said a stressed and emotional Supt Taylor told him he had “destroyed” him on the instructions of Mr Callinan.
Sgt McCabe told Patrick Marrinan SC, for the tribunal, he was told senior officers, journalists and some politicians were told by Supt Taylor of an allegation of child sex abuse made against the sergeant in 2006. The allegation was dismissed at the time by the director of public prosecutions.
Sgt McCabe said he was told Supt Taylor had confessed to a “spiritual adviser” and was told to tell Sgt McCabe what he had been doing. He said he was asked by Supt Taylor to forgive him. “I couldn’t.”
Supt Taylor would make contact with people over the phone or send them text messages, he said.
Sgt McCabe said he was told Mr Callinan wrote all the texts which Supt Taylor sent out. He was told Supt Taylor would “always” send a copy of the texts to Ms O’Sullivan, who would always reply: “Perfect.”
He said he went back to Supt Taylor the next day and asked if it could really have been hundreds of text. “He said it could have been thousands.”
The sergeant is to be cross-examined by a number of barristers today, including lawyers representing Garda HQ.