McCabe was no saint, accuser tells tribunal
GARDA Sergeant Maurice McCabe was not a hero and a saint, and there was another side to him, the woman who accused him of touching her inappropriately as a child has told the Charleton Tribunal.
Miss D, who claims the garda touched her during a game of hide-and-seek in 1998, said through frequent tears that she had wanted to bury the alleged abuse in the past.
But she said the media attention given to Mr McCabe in early 2013 as a whistleblower caused her to become upset and angry, and to want to tell her story to a journalist. She said: ‘Obviously I had a personal grievance against him for what had occurred in 1998, and the complaint I made in 2006.
‘I had tried to deal with it, and I was trying to cope with it until he became a public figure.
‘His face was everywhere. He was being described as a hero. It resurrected feelings for me.
‘I was very upset, very angry, and yes, I wanted people to know there was another side to him.
‘I wanted people to know he was not the saint he was being portrayed as, and so yes, I wanted to talk to someone, to have my side of the story put out.’
Judge Peter Charleton, who is leading the Disclosures Tribunal, has ruled that her identity cannot be revealed.
The tribunal is trying to establish if there was a smear campaign conducted by high-ranking gardaí against Mr McCabe, who had blown the whistle on penalty points being wiped and other allegations of Garda malpractice.
The tribunal has heard that Miss D had first made her allegation to social workers when she was a teenager, in 2006. It concerned an alleged sexual assault during a game at his family home when she was aged six or seven.
Gardaí investigated the claim at that time, and the DPP decided not to prosecute due to insufficient evidence, which Miss D said she respected. She then repeated the allegation as a young adult to Laura Brophy, a counsellor with Rian, in Cavan, some years later.
Miss D explained that she had gone for counselling in 2013 on the advice of her mother, who was concerned the publicity around Mr McCabe was causing her emotional distress. Miss D hoped the counselling would help her but vehemently stressed that she had not wanted to make any fresh complaint against Mr McCabe, or have anything referred to the Child and Family Agency, Tusla.
When Ms Brophy suggested a referral might be necessary, she said it ‘got my back up’. ‘I said this case had already been investigated... I could not understand why it needed to be referred. That was not my intention,’ she said.
During cross-examination, Michael McDowell SC, for Mr McCabe, asked if Miss D was aware that following an intervention by his client, disciplinary action was taken against her father, who was then moved from his role in crime investigation.
‘That was 11 months before you first made an allegation against Maurice McCabe,’ he said. She replied: ‘That is correct, yes.’
Miss D went on to say her 2013 meetings with Ms Brophy had ‘dragged up feelings’. ‘It brought up feelings of injustice about how my case had been handled,’ she said, adding that she walked out of a lecture because Mr McCabe’s name came up in the context of publicity around whistleblowers.
The tribunal has already heard that Ms Brophy admitted then making a ‘catastrophic’ administrative error, in which she accidentally cut and pasted an accusation made by a separate client against a different perpetrator into a report she sent to social workers in August 2013 detailing the alleged abuse by Mr McCabe.
This more serious claim was included in a notification of suspected child abuse sent by the social workers to gardaí at Baileboro, Co. Cavan, where Mr McCabe worked, in May 2014.
Miss D said the first she knew of this was when her father, also a garda at Baileboro, called her that month. She said he was ‘agitated’ and asked what she had told her counsellor. Her father told her he had seen a HSE referral form, which alleged that she had been digitally raped by Mr McCabe. ‘I was livid, upset. I stressed I had never used those words. I never made that allegation,’ she said.
Mr McDowell said that due to the tribunal’s terms of the reference he was unable to cross-examine Miss D about the credibility of her 1998 allegation, which he said his client ‘explicitly denies’.
‘I was very upset, very angry’ Miss D walked out of a lecture upset
Tribunal: Maurice McCabe and his wife Lorraine yesterday