Our Irish readers are probably familiar with a particularly disturbing case in which Sgt Maurice McCabe, a whistleblower against corruption in the Garda Siochána, was himself made the target of false allegations of sexual abuse in 2013.
According to the Irish Examiner,”(t)he allegation surfaced during a period when Sgt McCabe’s claims of malpractice were causing major political and Garda-related controversy”. The file containing the false allegation of sexual abuse was opened by Tusla, the Irish child and family agency, following disclosure by a young woman in August 2013. Her counsellor contacted Tusla and gardaí, but Sgt McCabe was neither contacted nor made aware of the allegations; nor was any investigation of the allegations carried out.
In 2014, Tusla admitted a mistake had been made—which it attributed to a “clerical error”—and withdrew the allegations.
However, although the allegations were widely circulated within the gardaí, Sgt McCabe was never made aware of their existence until last year.
Angie claims responsibility
In a blog post published 12 May 2015 on Charlotte Alton Ward’s now-defunct Hampstead Research blog (partially preserved as HROldblog on WordPress), Angela Power-Disney claimed responsibility for the false allegations against Sgt McCabe:
If Angela’s claim is true, she has caused untold misery to yet another innocent man and his family. Sgt McCabe told the Irish Examiner,
“They have destroyed us,” he said. “I find it hard to believe that it was an honest mistake.”
Even though the sex abuse allegation was on file in 2013 and 2014, Sgt McCabe was not contacted about either its existence or the discovery that the allegation was completely false.
“How can I and my family be on the system [in Tusla] since 2013 and not be told about it,” he said. “The first I knew about any of this was when I was contacted about that horrendous allegation last year.”
A Commission of Investigation has been set up to deal with allegations of a campaign by senior gardaí to discredit a whistleblower in the force. Questions have also arisen about how much the Irish Cabinet knew about the false allegations against Sgt McCabe; the case could have far-reaching implications for Tusla, the Garda Siochána, and a number of elected officials.
Is this why Angela was forced to move from her home in Oldcastle to Lanzarote, where she believes she cannot be extradited? If her claims of having “whistle-blown” against Sgt McCabe are found to be true, it’s unlikely she will be able to return to Ireland without facing very serious legal consequences.
We will continue to follow this story.