Cases brought by McCabe family struck out after successful mediation talks

Lorraine and Maurice McCabe.

The High Court has struck out proceedings by retired garda sergeant Maurice McCabe and his family against the State, the HSE and the Tusla/Child and Family Agency (CFA) following successful mediation talks last week.

Mr Justice Seamus Noonan also approved an offer from the HSE and the CFA to settle the action brought on behalf of the McCabe's youngest child, Alison, who at 14 years of age is a minor and whose case was brought by her mother Lorraine on her behalf.

Mr McCabe was found by the Disclosures Tribunal to have been the victim of a smear campaign by former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and garda press officer, David Taylor, in order to damage his reputation while he was raising concerns about malpractice in the force.

That campaign included use of false sexual allegations against Mr McCabe which were wrongly generated in a CFA file and which the social worker involved later admitted were false.

Mr McCabe brought proceedings against the Garda Commissioner, the Minister for Justice and Equality and the State and against the HSE and the CFA.

His wife Lorraine McCabe, and their children, Robert, Niamh, Hannah and Alison (through her mother) sued the HSE and the CFA.

Mr McCabe brought a number of cases against all the defendants claiming a variety of reliefs including personal injuries. The rest of the family claimed negligence, infliction of emotional suffering, misfeasance in public office and breach of privacy, among other things.

In an affidavit by Mrs McCabe, on behalf of Alison, she said the HSE and CFA, but particularly the CFA, acted in "a gravely irresponsible manner" in the handling and management of the false complaints against her husband.

The allegations were proved to be utterly false and her husband was found to be a person of impeccable character who provided a very significant service to the Irish State, she said.

Today, Paul McGarry SC, for the family, asked the court to strike out most of the proceedings following mediation with an order for costs to his clients. He also asked the court to rule on an offer to Alison who the court heard was the only minor in the case and was around eight years of age at the time of the false allegations against Mr McCabe.

Mr McGarry, in a written opinion to the court, said the offer to Alison, together with legal costs, was a good one and he wholeheartedly recommended it.

Counsel said the agreement following mediation was confidential and the offer to Alison was "relatively small in the context of the overall settlement of the proceedings".

Mr Justice Noonan said it seemed an excellent result and he had no hesitation in approving it. He directed the money be brought into court until Alison reaches 18.

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