Claims that a former Garda commissioner spread false rumours about whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe have been dismissed today at the latest day of evidence at the Disclosures Tribunal.
Sergeant McCabe said the ex-Garda commissioner composed text messages circulating to other officers, journalists and politicians an unfounded sex abuse allegation.
That was described as hearsay by the Disclosures Tribunal chairman Judge Peter Charleton because it came from a disputed conversation between Sergeant McCabe and the former chief of the Garda press office David Taylor. Charleton said “I could not possibly rely on it at the present time, I appreciate that could change.”
Former Garda commissioner Martin Callinan has strongly denied the claims. The sergeant faced unfounded and false allegations of sexual assault on a child and a Facebook post described him as “Maurice the Rat” after he made claims of wrongdoing among officers including the quashing of penalty points.
Legal counsel for the former Garda press chief Superintendent David Taylor said her client did not accept that he passed on information from former Commissioner Callinan about “scurrilous” untrue rumours of sexual assault. McCabe said: “I am not saying that I have evidence against either of the commissioners.
“All I am saying is this is what he told me.” McCabe responded that it was his word against Superintendent Taylor’s and he stood by his account.
Sgt McCabe claimed he was harassed after making allegations of Garda wrongdoing. The row over how senior Garda figures and ministers handled his claims of negligence and corruption almost brought down the Government before Christmas.
Meanwhile Counsel for Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness backed up a claim made by Maurice McCabe that Martin Callinan told him that Sgt McCabe abused his children and his nieces.
The Disclosures Tribunal has heard that Deputy McGuinness will say the then Garda Commissioner told him that McCabe abused his children.
Earlier, the Tribunal heard a ‘chasm’ opened up between the evidence of Maurice McCabe and the Head of the Garda Press Office regarding a smear campaign by senior gardai.
Counsel for Dave Taylor says he denies that texts he sent related to a sexual abuse allegation made against Maurice McCabe, or that they were composed by Commissioner Callinan.