‘IT’S AN ALMIGHTY COCK-UP,’ FATHER TOLD HIS BOSS
‘IT’S an almighty cock-up,’ Miss D’s father told his superintendent after he learned that a more serious and unfounded allegation of sexual assault had been included in his daughter’s case file, the Disclosures Tribunal heard yesterday.
Mr D said he contacted Superintendent Leo McGinn in May 2014 after speaking to his own daughter, Miss D, and establishing that the serious allegations made against his Garda colleague Sergeant Maurice McCabe were untrue.
‘I was so relieved when she told me it was not her,’ he recalled. ‘We said obviously this has been a mistake. I contacted Leo McGinn and told him the referral was incorrect. I remember the words I used, “It’s an almighty cock-up.”’
Mr D said his superintendent said he would immediately get on to Tusla regarding the erroneous allegation.
Mr D told how he had ‘almost collapsed’ after being shown the HSE referral form by Superintendent McGinn, which contained allegations of digital rape.
‘I was absolutely reeling,’ he said, adding that he was worried his daughter had not told them what had happened to her.
But after speaking to his daughter, he felt reassured that she had never made any such complaint to her counsellor. He said he believed the mistake would be swiftly rectified. ‘I presumed it would be fixed. I could not conceive it would not be, it was such a massive error,’ Mr D said.
He also said he had been alarmed to receive a letter from RTÉ, referring to a Prime Time special about the erroneous reports concerning Mr McCabe, in which he would be mentioned.
‘I felt the whole tone, the inference of the letter, was that McCabe was party to me being disciplined, that I had somehow put my daughter up to making these allegations as some sort of petty revenge – that was the tone of it.’
He said he contacted his solicitor, and was relieved when the programme said it would ‘tone down’ the contact. Mr D said he had never wanted his daughter to speak to the media, but that she was as adult, and was determined to speak out.
He said he made contact with journalist Paul Williams on behalf of his daughter, using a phone number obtained from a friend, Detective Superintendent John O’Reilly. Under cross-examination by Micheal O’Higgins SC, for the past and present Garda commissioners, Mr D said he did not believe Det Supt O’Reilly had given him a journalist’s number as part of a smear campaign. He said he was never negatively briefed against Mr McCabe by former and current Garda commissioners Martin Callinan or Nóirín O’Sullivan or any senior member of the Garda force.