McCabe urges ministers to say if they were briefed about false abuse claims

Micheál Martin calls on Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan to assess her position

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan: insisted she would not stand aside because she was innocent of the claims levelled against her. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan: insisted she would not stand aside because she was innocent of the claims levelled against her. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

 

Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe has called on current and former ministers to say if they were briefed by gardaí about false child abuse allegations made against him.

Sgt McCabe said he and his family had been the subject of eight years of great suffering, public defamation and State vilification due to his decision to question the abuse of the penalty point system by some gardaí.

In a statement, the Garda whistleblower said another private inquiry into the matter would not be satisfactory to him and his family given a series of State investigations had already been held since he first made disclosures in 2008 about abuses of the driver penalty point system.

“Now that the truth has emerged of the false and shocking campaign to vilify us and discredit us, there is no reason to have any secret or private inquiry under the [Commissions of Investigation Act, 2004].”

It has been alleged that senior gardaí, including Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan, orchestrated a smear campaign against Sgt McCabe in an attempt to discredit him after his initial disclosures.

Robust defence

The commissioner’s position came under further threat yesterday as Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin urged her to assess her position. However, Ms O’Sullivan robustly defended herself and said she would not stand aside because she was innocent of the claims levelled against her.

She said she had been subjected to false allegations that had been multiplied and repeated and that presumed her guilt, and said she was unaware of any campaign to discredit Sgt McCabe.

Sgt McCabe claimed the commissioner instructed members of the force to challenge his motive and integrity before the O’Higgins Commission, which was investigating claims of Garda malpractice in the Cavan- Monaghan division. He alleged that other members of the force in 2015 sought to introduce false allegations of child sex abuse into evidence to the commission.

Allegations resurfaced

Director of Public Prosecutions

The first he became aware of the claims was in later 2015 when a social workers from Tusla contacted him.

The McCabe family has posed a number of questions it wants answered including whether gardaí briefed Ministers of the allegations of child sex abuse levelled against him. Sgt McCabe says there is nothing preventing senior Cabinet figures from this Government or previous ones from declaring that information.

Meanwhile, The Irish Times understands that mobile phone SIM cards in use by some senior Garda officers around the time of the alleged smear campaign against Sgt Maurice McCabe are no longer available.

Informed sources said SIM cards are routinely changed which means text messages would no longer be accessible as the old cards were destroyed.

The smear campaign dates back several years, outside that timeframe mobile phone providers must retain records of text traffic but not the contents of messages.