Attacks on McCabe smack of complete, premeditated evil
GERALD Kean is not the only celebrity asked to sign autographs ever to grace Dublin Castle. But he was the first lawyer to appear at the Charleton Tribunal who is better known to the public for his colourful private life than his professional calling.
Kean told the Disclosures Tribunal this week that former commissioner Martin Callinan told him that Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe ‘had not co-operated in any shape or form’ with an internal Garda inquiry into his complaints.
His testimony about conversations with the former Garda commissioner and libelled whistleblower Sgt McCabe fascinated the public gallery when it damned Callinan.
He had only met the former commissioner once, at a charity event in Cork, but they had spoken for 57 minutes and 49 seconds in a series of phone calls – ‘a very long time’, as the tribunal chairman noted.
It was after talking to the thencommissioner that Kean told Marian Finucane on her RTÉ radio show that McCabe was not cooperating with an internal Garda inquiry and had breached the Data Protection Act.
NEITHER claim was true but that’s what the former Garda commissioner had told him to say and, said Kean, Callinan was someone he believed at the time was ‘beyond reproach’. The tribunal was told that Callinan asked Kean not to say he had spoken to him before the radio programme where he libelled McCabe. And although the litigation against Kean was dropped, RTÉ had to pay more than €180,000 to settle it.
Later, Kean sent the letter containing McCabe’s complaints to Callinan but he had not disclosed that letter to the tribunal; he has since apologised for this error.
Kean’s parting line to the tribunal – ‘I believe in hindsight that he [Callinan] used me to promote a position that supported his stance in the matter and that in my opinion is incorrect and I ended up in the firing line’ – was the third setback for the former Garda commissioner last week.
The former chairman of the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee, Fianna Fáil’s John McGuinness TD, seriously challenged Callinan’s credibility.
He told the tribunal that the former Garda commissioner had told him that McCabe ‘fiddles with kids’. McGuinness said Callinan told him that McCabe had sexually abused his family, was not to be trusted; that there was a file and that action would be taken against McCabe.
All of the allegations (which Callinan denies making) were demonstrably untrue. The next day Fine Gael TD John Deasy, pictured, who was also a member of the PAC, told the tribunal that the former Garda commissioner made derogatory remarks about McCabe before his appearance at the PAC. ‘The only person I remember being in proximity [at that time Mr Callinan made the remarks] would be the former Garda commissioner, Nóirín O’Sullivan,’ said Mr Deasy. Both former Garda commissioners vehemently deny any involvement in a smear campaign to denigrate McCabe. But the number of witnesses accusing Callinan of smearing McCabe is growing, and Judge Peter Charleton will soon have to make findings about who is telling the truth.
Many people in and around Irish public life had heard the rumours about McCabe committing crimes that many believe are fouler than murder.
A great wrong has been done to an innocent man if people who circulated those scurrilous rumours linking McCabe to child abuse believed them to be true.
But if cynics circulated those vile rumours knowing them to be lies, it elevates the crime perpetrated against McCabe to a different plane – pure, premeditated evil. ANOTHER prominent Arabist, movie star Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, spoke last week about his upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia: ‘I’ll be sure to bring my finest tequila to share with his Royal Highness and family,’ he said, without irony. MANY things make me proud to make Dublin my home – but nothing embarrasses me more than the current lord mayor of the city.
I was repulsed by Mícheál Mac Donncha manoeuvring against Bob Geldof, a native-born champion of the poor in the Third World, over his having the freedom of the city.
And I was repelled this week at his self-importance in the West Bank city of Ramallah, attending a conference on the status of the city of Jerusalem as lord mayor of Dublin.
Not many citizens of Dublin are aware that their city council does not have the authority to redirect traffic – nor do they know it has a foreign policy.
On April 9, Sinn Féin councillor Mac Donncha led a vote of the city council calling on the Government to expel Israel’s ambassador to Ireland and last week he passed through Israel on his way to Ramallah.
If the current lord mayor ever had the authority of the city’s unelected chief executive Owen Keegan, I really would have think about relocating.
I WENT to Belfast last Tuesday for the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement and found myself studying the central figures and how they had aged – some better than others. But the fate of paramilitary leaders was more intriguing. I wrote...