Disclosures Tribunal: Sergeant  Maurice McCabe pleaded for name to be cleared

Maurice McCabe tried to have details of the DPP’s decision not to prosecute him on a sexual assault complaint released to colleagues and family of the complainant in order to clear his name but senior gardaí refused to support his efforts.

Sgt McCabe was accused of an offence against a colleague’s young daughter during a game of hide and seek. 

The colleague had been the subject of a complaint by Sgt McCabe which resulted in disciplinary proceedings.

Gardai investigated the assault claim but the DPP said there was no case to answer, noting the incident did not constitute a sexual assault, the complainant had not described it as such for some time and she had given varying accounts of it.

However, the only information given by the DPP’s office to the complainant’s family was that the case was not proceeding for lack of evidence. 

Sgt McCabe was subsequently confronted publicly over the issue, once by the complainant’s mother at Bailieboro Courthouse and once by the girl herself in the street.

The Disclosures Tribunal heard that Sgt McCabe wanted the family to know the full extent of the DPP’s findings but the DPP’s practice was not to provide such information and he could not persuade his superior, Supt Michael Clancy, to request the DPP to circulate the full decision.

Barrister for the tribunal, Kathleen Leader stressed that the tribunal had found no evidence that former commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan ever intended to raise the assault allegation at the O’Higgins Commission to discredit Sgt McCabe. 

It was only intended to raise his anger at senior gardaí’s failure to secure circulation of the DPP’s decision as evidence that his motivations in whistleblowing were questionable.

Ms Leader also pointed out a mistake in a letter from the Chief State Solicitor’s Office to the O’Higgins Commission setting out the issues the commissioner wished to challenge Sgt McCabe on.

The letter referred to Sgt McCabe making a complaint against Supt Clancy to try to force him to push the DPP to release details of his vindication. 

The letter should have stated he made a complaint to Supt Clancy.

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