Latest: Callinan denies telling Philip Boucher-Hayes 'horrific things' about Maurice McCabe

Update 2.58pm: Former Commissioner Martin Callinan has denied telling Philip Boucher-Hayes that Maurice McCabe had psychological and psychiatric issues and was motivated by a set of grievances against the Gardaí.

The RTE journalist has provided a statement to the Disclosures Tribunal in which he says the then Garda Commissioner told him he could tell him "horrific things, the worst kind of thing" about Sgt McCabe.

Mr Callinan says he certainly did not say these things to Mr Boucher-Hayes, and if someone else did, it was not on his instruction.

He described the alleged comments as very strong accusations which are untrue.

Update 1.35pm: Former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has denied telling solicitor Gerald Kean that Maurice McCabe was troublesome, obstructive and difficult.

Mr Kean told the Tribunal that he spoke to the then Garda Commissioner prior to discussing the penalty points controversy on the radio.

Mr Callinan has accepted that a draft letter he wrote to Mr Kean following the show was wholly inappropriate but says it was not sent.

Last month Gerald Kean told the Disclosures Tribunal that he felt used by the former Garda Commissioner to promote a position that was incorrect on the Marian Finucane show in January 2014.

Gerald Kean at Disclosures Tribunal.

Martin Callinan spent almost an hour on the phone with the well-known solicitor but denies telling him that Maurice McCabe was troublesome, obstructive and difficult.

Sergeant McCabe began defamation proceedings against Mr Kean and RTÉ on foot of the broadcast.

Mr Callinan says he accepts that a draft letter giving advice to Mr Kean on the legal proceedings was wholly inappropriate – but says the letter was not sent.

Counsel for the Tribunal said it was a matter of concern that Mr Callinan did not advise the Tribunal of his interactions with Mr Kean and that the draft letter was buried in thousands – maybe hundreds of thousands of documents given to the tribunal.

Mr Callinan said he had forgotten the letter – and he denied asking Mr Kean to keep their conversations private.

Former Garda Press Officer, Dave Taylor.

Update 11.20am: Dave Taylor made 'vile allegations' and directed a smear campaign, says Callinan

A former Garda commissioner has told a tribunal that claims he orchestrated a smear campaign against a whistleblower were made up by a superintendent with a grudge.

Martin Callinan, who retired as commissioner in 2014, told the Disclosures Tribunal on Friday that former press officer Superintendent David Taylor was angry with his successor, now-retired commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan, because he believed she was responsible for having him arrested as part of an investigation into media leaks.

Earlier in the week Mr Taylor told the hearing, in Dublin Castle, Mr Callinan had ordered him to brief journalists negatively about Sergeant Maurice McCabe – a whistleblower who made allegations including that penalty points were quashed by gardai – and Ms O’Sullivan was aware of it.

Mr Callinan said: “I’m of the view and belief that Superintendent Taylor, because of the grudge he bore against Commissioner O’Sullivan, that he embarked on this story.

David Taylor arrives at the Disclosures Tribunal (Niall Carson/PA)

“Because he had said to me when he called to my home following his arrest and prior to that, that he had a huge grievance about being shifted from the press office to the traffic department which he saw as a sideways move.

“He was extremely disappointed and angry that the commissioner had moved him and subsequently, after his arrest and suspension, he told me that he believed Commissioner O’Sullivan was the person who was responsible for having him arrested and that he would bring her down, that was the expression he used.

“So on that basis I believe the superintendent decided in order for this story to work that he had to involve me in the process. That’s my belief, because there is no other explanation why he would say what he was saying.”

Mr Taylor has claimed Mr Callinan told him Sgt McCabe was investigated for a sexual offence in 2006 and it was fully investigated but the DPP decided not to prosecute.

He said the then commissioner told him Sgt McCabe was motivated by maliciousness and revenge following the investigation.

Garda Sergeant Maurice McCabe was also at the hearing on Friday (Niall Carson/PA)

The tribunal was shown a letter from the DPP following the allegation which said the incident described was vague and did not constitute an assault.

Mr Callinan told the tribunal: “I had no intention of doing down Sgt McCabe.”

He confirmed he told then Minister for Justice Alan Shatter, who gave evidence to the tribunal on Thursday, about the allegation after he asked for background information on Sgt McCabe.

He said: “All I was doing was placing facts in front of the minister at the time as I knew them, it’s a matter of interpretation as to what precisely that meant.”

Sgt McCabe, who was at the hearing on Friday, has made specific claims of bad policing which have prompted a number of government-ordered inquiries, but the most explosive aspect of the furore is how he was allegedly treated by senior gardai in the decade after he first blew the whistle.

The tribunal, chaired by Mr Justice Peter Charleton, is examining claims of an orchestrated smear campaign against Sgt McCabe, made in a 2016 protected disclosure by Mr Taylor.

Earlier: Martin Callinan to begin giving evidence at the Disclosures Tribunal

Martin Callinan will begin giving evidence at the Disclosures Tribunal this morning.

The former Garda Commissioner has denied directing a smear campaign against Maurice McCabe.

Former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.

He will also face questions on whether he referred to Sergeant McCabe as a child abuser after a Public Accounts Committee hearing in January 2014.

Martin Callinan retired from the force in March 2014 after months of controversy around the penalty points system.

The Disclosures Tribunal is investigating claims by Dave Taylor that Mr Callinan directed the former Garda Press Officer to smear Maurice McCabe.

Counsel for the former Commissioners said Mr Callinan will say that Dave Taylor told him he would ‘bring down’ Nóirín O’Sullivan.

Nóirín O'Sullivan and Muarice McCabe.

Mr Callinan will also face questions about a comment he is alleged to have made after a PAC meeting when its chairman John McGuinness and Dave Taylor say he called Maurice McCabe a "kiddie fiddler."

Other witnesses to the tribunal have also said Mr Callinan referred to Maurice McCabe as a child abuser.

Mr Callinan denies the claims; he is scheduled to give evidence over four days.

- Digital Desk and Press Association


Related Articles

Sean Ryan appointed as member of Disclosures for next phase tribunal

Even if Taylor claims are discredited, gardaí were hostile to Sgt McCabe

Comment: Disclosures Tribunal judge has no easy task as he compiles report after 13 months of hearings

Disclosures Tribunal: Roll away the stone

More in this Section

Pope Francis 'should visit Tuam, imagine the message that would’ve sent'

Co Cork road closed after two-car collision

Video: Woman (50s) arrested after car crashes into gates of Government Buildings

Gardaí appeal for witnesses after double stabbing in Limerick


More From The Irish Examiner