‘Callinan told me of McCabe sex abuse claim,’ says Shatter
FORMER Justice Minister Alan Shatter said he was told by Garda commissioner Martin Callinan about the historic sexual abuse allegation made against Sgt Maurice McCabe.
Mr Shatter – who later resigned following criticism of his handling of whistleblowers – told the Disclosures Tribunal that dealing with Sgt McCabe’s multiple allegations, not only about penalty points but also about wider issues of corruption in the force, had been ‘like sinking in quicksand’.
And he said he had asked Mr Callinan, during a phone call in June 2013, if there was any background to Sgt McCabe’s complaints which he should know.
He recalled: ‘I said, “is there something in the background here that I should know, is there some other issue of concern?” His reaction was to say that the only issue that occurred to him was that some years ago – I’m not 100% certain he said 2006 – that allegation was made of a sexual nature in relation to Sgt McCabe, that it had been fully investigated and the DPP had directed there was no basis for prosecution.
Mr Shatter added: ‘He then speculated that Sgt McCabe was upset because of the manner in which the matter was dealt with.
‘I took that to mean that this had impacted on Sgt McCabe and on his perception of how he should engage with the gardaí.’
Mr Shatter said that the conversation was brief, and Mr Callinan ‘didn’t make a big deal of it – my perception was it wasn’t a major issue’.
He said he never discussed the issue with Mr Callinan again.
Witness: Alan Shatter and his wife Carol at the Disclosures Tribunal