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Maurice McCabe no longer trusted anybody after complaint against him, tribunal told

Erik G

GARDA WHISTLEBLOWER MAURICE McCabe no longer trusted anybody after a complaint of child sexual assault was made against him, the Charleton tribunal has heard.

The tribunal is looking into whether Sgt McCabe was the target of a smear campaign on the direction of senior garda management.

On day 14 of the tribunal, Superintendent Noel Cunningham gave evidence of conducting an investigation in late 2006 and early 2007 into a sex assault allegation made by the teenage daughter of a garda colleague of Sgt McCabe.

The girl, identified only as Ms D, alleged that Sgt McCabe had rubbed up against her when she was aged around six.

The tribunal has previously heard evidence that eleven months before Ms D made the allegation about Sgt McCabe, her father, Mr D, was disciplined as a result of a report by Sgt McCabe. Both officers were stationed in Bailieboro, Cavan.

In his report to the local state solicitor on the complaint, Supt Cunningham said in January 2006 Mr D had been to the funeral of a popular local figure and had gone to the pub afterwards with some colleagues.

While in the pub, the officers heard of the suicide of another young man known to Mr D and his colleagues. They went to the scene in a “highly emotional and intoxicated” state. Sgt McCabe was in charge of the scene and had to remove them from the scene. He later made a report on the incident and, as a result of this report, Mr D and another officer were “reverted to regular duties”.

In his report to the DPP, local state solicitor Rory Hayden said there were inconsistencies in the file on Ms D’s allegations, and that the “alleged victim’s credibility is strained in all these circumstances”. He said the alleged incident was unclear and even if true, amounted to “horseplay” and no more.

The DPP decided there would be no prosecution. When Supt Cunningham subsequently met with Sgt McCabe he told him only that there “insufficient evidence” for a prosecution.

Michael McDowell SC, acting for Sgt McCabe, said that it “left a question mark over Sgt McCabe” because his client didn’t know that the DPP had found there was no evidence any offence had been committed.

Supt Cunningham said he was limited he what he could tell the sergeant about the case.

“I can only apologise for acting in accordance with my instructions, judge. I didn’t go outside them,” Supt Cunningham said.

He said that following the 2006 investigation, Sgt McCabe had said the investigation had changed him and he no longer trusted anybody.

The tribunal continues.

Read: Paul Williams denies he was “puppet for the guards” when meeting woman who made McCabe allegations >
Read: Woman who made sex abuse allegations against Maurice McCabe tells tribunal: ‘He wasn’t a saint’ >

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