Garda whistleblower wasn't the saint he was described as, Ms D tells tribunal

The young woman who made sex abuse allegations against Sgt Maurice McCabe has told the Charleton tribunal she met with journalist Paul Williams about her case because she wanted people to know there was another side to the garda whistleblower.

"I wanted people to know there was another side to this man. I wanted people to know he wasn't the saint he was being described as," she told the tribunal.

Ms D said she was furious and "had a personal grievance against him because of what occurred."

The tribunal, chaired by Mr Justice Peter Charleton, is looking into the creation and distribution of files by Tusla and the HSE containing false allegations against Sgt McCabe and whether he was the target of a smear campaign.

A Tusla file on Sgt McCabe was opened when Ms D sought counselling in 2013 about a previously reported allegation investigated by gardaí in 2006. The DPP had decided in 2007 against pressing charges in the case due to lack of evidence.

Sergeant Maurice McCabe at the The Disclosures Tribunal in Dublin Castle. Picture: Collins Photos

Last week Mr Justice Charleton ordered that members of the public be excluded from the hearings involving Ms D and her family, in order to protect her privacy.

This morning Ms D told tribunal barrister Ms Kathleen Leader BL how on one occasion she had to walk out of a room in college when others were "discussing Maurice McCabe and what a wonderful man he was”.

She said that she reluctantly agreed to attend counselling in 2013 at her mother's request.

Ms D said she did not say anything different to counsellor Laura Brophy than she said in 2006.

The tribunal has heard that the counsellor later incorrectly added allegations of digital rape from an unrelated case to Ms D's file in error.

Ms D said she did not want the file to be referred for further investigation, she only wanted counselling.

"As far as I was concerned Tusla had my complaint on file from 2006 and obviously the Gardai did as I made the complaint to them"

The tribunal heard that the following year Sgt McCabe's name was in the papers and several journalists tried to make contact with Ms D.

His face was everywhere, he was being described as a great man," Ms D said. "I wanted people to know there was another side to this man, I wanted people to know he wasn't the saint he was being described as."

In March 2014, she met with journalist and broadcaster Paul Williams for an interview.

She said she wanted to speak for herself, and was not prompted by anyone else to do so.

Shortly after the interview, Ms D made a complaint to the Garda Ombudsman (GSOC).

"I felt that my case was not investigated properly and I felt that my case was more serious that cases the Dail was told about," she said.

She said that Mr Williams arranged for her to meet with Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and then justice minister Alan Shatter.

She also wrote to Sean Guerin SC, who was investigating Sgt McCabe's allegations at the time.

At the end of March 2014, Ms D was contacted by her father, a garda, who told her about the allegation of digital rape on a Tusla notification sent to gardai.

"I completely lost it. I said over and over that is not me, I never said that," Ms D said.

She said she then brought the error to the attention of the counsellor she had met.

"Once I brought the error to her attention I naturally assumed the error would be fixed," she said.

 

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