McCabe knew he was finished in force after ‘disgusting’ comment by Callinan

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McCabe knew he was finished in force after ‘disgusting’ comment by Callinan

  • McCabe said he knew his career was over when former Garda commissioner described his actions as ‘disgusting’
  • Father of five said controversial remarks at Public Accounts Committee had caused irreversible damage
  • ‘It completely changed our family life. I wouldn’t even bathe or wash the kids’ – McCabe

Now retired sergeant Maurice McCabe and his wife Lorraine. Picture: Barry Cronin
Now retired sergeant Maurice McCabe and his wife Lorraine. Picture: Barry Cronin

WHISTLEBLOWER Maurice McCabe said he knew his career was over when former Garda commissioner Martin Callinan described his actions as “disgusting”.

The former garda sergeant, who retired from the force last month, recalled how he became ostracised and isolated within An Garda Síochána for simply doing what he saw as the right thing.

In a two-part RTÉ documentary entitled ‘Whistleblower: The Maurice McCabe Story’, the father of five said the controversial remarks made by Mr Callinan at the Public Accounts Committee in January 2013 had caused irreversible damage.

“‘Disgusting?’ Wow, I knew I was finished in the guards after that,” Mr McCabe told journalist Katie Hannon.

“Every guard in the country and every single officer heard this and that was the way they go. This man [Callinan] – what he did – was disgusting.”

The documentary – the second part of which will be broadcast tonight – marks the first time Mr McCabe and his wife Lorraine have spoken to the media, recalling various events and scandals which had a devastating impact on their lives.

During his appearance before the Public Accounts Committee, Mr Callinan said there was not “a whisper” anywhere else about corruption or malpractice in the force and other charges levelled against their fellow officers.

“Frankly, on a personal level I think it is quite disgusting.” Mr McCabe’s wife Lorraine said she was astonished by his comments.

“It was like a heat going through you. I was just astonished.

“The venom in what he was saying and his whole demeanour and the entourage around him all in their uniforms,” she said.

“To think, they were talking about my husband.”

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The Garda whistleblower also spoke of the social media abuse he was subjected to from some gardaí after he lifted the lid on corruption within the force.

He said photographs of a plastic rat which had been pierced with darts were posted online with his name written underneath.

Mr McCabe also recalled how he felt when Miss D – the daughter of a former colleague – made a devastating allegation against him which was found to be untrue.

This allegation was investigated by gardaí and a file sent to the DPP, which ruled that even if the allegation were true it was unlikely to constitute a criminal offence.

“I went into my superintendent and she told me that Miss D’s father had made a complaint of sexual assault in relation to his daughter,” said Mr McCabe.

“I sat down at that stage and she said ‘I felt I had to tell you’.

“I stayed in silence in her office for a few minutes and I left.”

Later on in the day, he told his wife Lorraine.

“We went home from Dublin and put all the kids in bed and I told her in the sitting room what went down. She hugged me and cried. That’s how I told her,” he added.

“It completely changed our family life. I wouldn’t even bathe or wash the kids.

“I was interviewed in January 2007, and heard the details.”

In the Disclosures Tribunal report, Mr Justice Peter Charleton ruled there had been a “campaign of calumny” against Mr McCabe conducted by Martin Callinan and former Garda press officer Superintendent David Taylor.

Mr Justice Charleton added that Mr McCabe had done the State “considerable service”.

The father of five, who joined An Garda Síochána in 1985, took up the role of sergeant-in-charge at Bailieborough in Co Cavan in 2004.

That was where he raised complaints about policing standards within the force.

Ultimately, it led to his resignation as sergeant-in-charge and it marked the beginning of a series of allegations being made against him.

Irish Independent

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