McCabe says smear campaign was 'an astonishing finding' and 'hard to take'

Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe has said he is "delighted" that the Charleton report has been published today, but admitted that some parts of it were "hard to take".

Maurice McCabe

"It has been a very long way, 12 years nearly, and we are delighted that it's out today," he said on Prime Time on RTE 1.

"We haven't read all [of the report] yet but we're reading through pieces and we're so thrilled it's out because it means it's finished for us now. I can get back to my normal job hopefully."

The third interim report from the Disclosures Tribunal, which was chaired by Mr Justice Peter Charleton, found that Mr McCabe was "repulsively denigrated for being no more than a good citizen and police officer".

Sgt McCabe was found to be a "genuine person who at all times has had the interests of the people of Ireland uppermost in his mind", and that he regarded those interests as "superior to any loyalty" which he had to the police force of the State.

The Tribunal found former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and former press officer Dave Taylor engaged in a campaign to harm Sgt McCabe's reputation.

It said that Superintendent Taylor was part of a "campaign of calumny" against Maurice McCabe.

Asked about this aspect of the report, Sgt McCabe said it was "an astonishing finding", and despite him knowing from the beginning of the inquiry that Mr Callinan and Supt Taylor worked together to smear him, he said it was "hard to take".

"I see that finding and it's an astonishing finding, but I suppose from the very start of the inquiry I knew that they were involved in it, so it didn't come as a major surprise to me. But it's hard to take."

In terms of then Deputy Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan, the report found there is no credible evidence that she played any hand, act or part in any campaign against Maurice McCabe.

Sgt McCabe said he accepts that finding, but said it was "a pity" that she didn't say that to him during the O'Higgins Commission or meet with him at the outset.

He also said that, while he hasn't read the full report, he accepts it in its entirety.

"I haven't read it all yet but on the bits and pieces that I have, yes, I accept it all," he said.

He also said that he was very happy for himself, his wife, kids and extended family.

Digital Desk

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