Charleton Tribunal: Garda never experienced any malevolence or malice towards Maurice McCabe

A garda sergeant has told the Charleton Tribunal that he never experienced any malevolence or malice towards garda whistle blower Sgt Maurice McCabe, reports Gerard Cunningham.

The tribunal is inquiring into claims that allegations of sexual abuse were used as part of a campaign to smear and undermine the reputation of Sgt McCabe.

On day ten of the tribunal Sgt Tony Byrne said he was one of five or six garda sergeants who arrived together in Bailieboro in 2010 from different divisions.

He said there was a a good working atmosphere in the station in the six and a half years he was there.

Asked by the tribunal chairman Mr Justice Peter Charelton if there was any "sense of malice" towards Sgt McCabe, he said that Sgt McCabe had left the area when he transferred in. He said he had never experienced it and had never met the sergeant until he saw him at the tribunal.

"I can’t say there was any malevolence or malice towards him, I never experienced it," he said.

Sgt Tony Byrne said he was aware of issues regarding complaints from Sgt McCabe "about the standards of policing" in Baileboro and that there were ongoing garda inquiries as a result.

He said there had been discussion about the penalty points allegations and pulse records and he had never heard discussion about the abuse allegation.

At the end of the day’s hearing tribunal Mr Justice Charleton made a ruling on an earlier application that the evidence of the woman, referred to as Ms D, who made allegations against Sgt McCabe should be held in public.

The woman and her family are due to give evidence next week and lawyers for them sought reporting restrictions. Lawyers for Sgt McCabe argued that her evidence should be held in public.

Mr Justice Charleton ordered that members of the public would be excluded from the tribunal next week when Ms D and her family gave evidence, and that her identity not be revealed. He said that photographers and video operators should "take the day off".

The chairman also said that in the event of evidence which was "irrelevant and an infringement of privacy" being heard he might order that particular pieces of evidence should not be reported.

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