‘IT’S AN ALMIGHTY COCK-UP,’ FATHER TOLD HIS BOSS

Irish Daily Mail - - News -

‘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.

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