Faith healer tells Disclosures Tribunal of call he got after Garda Harrison had 'bit of a tiff' with partner

A self-employed counsellor and faith healer has told the Charleton Tribunal of the night he was called to the home of a garda whistleblower in Churchill, Co Donegal in April 2013.

The tribunal is looking at contacts between gardaí and Tusla in relation to Garda Keith Harrison.

Jim Quinn said he had been at the Golden Grill in Letterkenny, dealing with a young man who was intoxicated, when he got a call from Garda Keith Harrison saying he had had "a bit of a tiff" with his partner, Marisa Simms.

In a statement to gardaí in October 2013, Marisa Simms said Keith Harrison had been "roaring and shouting" and banged the car dashboard with his fist as they drove home after a night out.

She said she "was frightened of him at this stage and he was in a complete out-of-control rage."

Later, after Ms Simms went to bed, she said Garda Harrison "pulled the quilt off me and grabbed my arm and pulled me out of the bed and told me to get out of the house. I tried to reason and said I wouldn't get a taxi."

Ms Simms said in her statement that she had pleaded with Garda Harrison that she was in her pyjamas, but that he pushed her out the door "all the time shouting and roaring".

She then rang her mother, who was in Mayo, and subsequently rang Mr Quinn, who came to collect her outside the door.

Jim Quinn today. Pic: Collins

Mr Quinn said he did not recall this, and said the phone call he had received was from Garda Harrison.

"I can't recall any of that, I swear on my oath I can't recall that," he said. "I understand what you're telling me, but nothing like that happened."

Mr Quinn said when he arrived in Churchill, Garda Harrison met him at the front door, shook his hand, and thanked him for coming to take Marisa back to her mother's home in Raphoe.

He said Ms Simms had been dressed in pyjamas.

"She wasn't distressed, she had alcohol taken, she had a glass of red wine in her hand, Keith had a drink," Mr Quinn said.

"Marisa was quite willing to stay on that night, but she was under instructions, her mother wanted her to go home that night," he said. "She had her pyjamas on her, she was set to go home on the instructions of her mother."

Mr Quinn said no Garda or social worker had contacted him about the incident until the tribunal investigators spoke to him earlier this year.

Tribunal chairman Mr Justice Peter Charleton asked lawyers for Ms Simms to seek instructions as to why Ms Simms had later withdrawn her statement, and what had happened on the night in question. Mr Quinn will be recalled to give further evidence this afternoon.


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