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#DisclosuresTribunal Former Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan is giving evidence. She's being asked about period before her predecessor Martin Callinan's appearance before PAC on Jan 23 2014 (where he made the 'disgusting' remark)
#DisclosuresTribunal NOS said, at the time, Callinan had concerns about the data re: penalty points given to the chair of the PAC John McGuinness. NOS said there were concerns as it was unprecedented that sensitive, personal data would potentially go into public domain.
#DisclosuresTribunal Kathleen Leader, for tribunal, going through the correspondence between McGuinness and Callinan - they both got different legal advice - McG repeatedly told Callinan the data was anonymised, Callinan repeatedly raised concerns about the data going into public
#DisclosuresTribunal NOS says the concern was that people would be potentially identified in PAC (as having points quashed).
#DisclosuresTribunal Asked about Call's attitude to whistleblowers at the time. NOS: My impression was Call was very concerend about the issues that were being put into public and about impact on AGS and potential members of the public/individuals being named even inadvertently
#DisclosuresTribunal Leader asking about pre-PAC meeting on Jan 6, 9, 14, 16, 21 and 22. NOS says she didn't take any notes of meetings. NOS told Justice O'Neill: "At no point during the meetings I attended was there any ref to any campaign or direction to undermind Sgt McC"
#DisclosuresTribunal sees that tribunal investigators asked NOS if, at these pre-PAC meetings, if "loose talk, gossip, or disparaging views were expressed" at those meetings. NOS told investigators: "No.. meetings were professional in nature and focused on organisational issues"
#DisclosuresTribunal has already seen that Sgt McCabe and the Ms D allegation were included in minutes of some of the meetings. NOS tells tribunal: "I have no memory and I don't believe the Ms D allegation was ever mentioned in my presence" [at those meetings]
#DIsclosuresTribunal Leader, for tribunal, draws NOS attention to another minute of a pre-PAC meeting which states: "Start Sgt McCabe 2006" NOS repeats: "I've no memory of the Ms D allegation every being mentioned" [Ms D allegation was made in 2006]
#DisclosuresTribunal Leader, for tribunal, also draws NOS attention to another minute by Asst Comm Nolan which states "motivation of whistleblowers?" NOS again repeats she has no recollection of this being discussed at the pre-PAC meetings
#DisclosuresTribunal Leader suggests the meetings were "topped and tailed" by discussions about Sgt McCabe's motivation and the Ms D allegation. Leader recalls how this came up in O'Higgins. NOS repeats she has no recollection of Ms D allegation being discussed at those meetings
#DisclosuresTribunal Leader draws NOS attention to director of comms at AGS Andrew McLindon's minute on Jan 21/2014 meeting "2006 first incident Sgt serving". Judge points out there were NO concerns raised about AGS by McCabe pertaining to 2006 so it must've been Ms D matter
#DisclosuresTribunal NOS repeats again the matter wasn't discussed in her presence at the pre-PAC meetings. Asked if it was discussed so much that she had just switched off, NOS says this wasn't the case.
#DisclosuresTribunal Tribunal hears note NOS passed to Callinan during PAC meeting was to effect of asking him to "withdraw/clarify" the 'disgusting' remark. NOS said the atmosphere was palpable in there room as soon as Call said it. Note hasn't been retrieved for the tribunal.
#DisclosuresTribunal Leader puts to NOS that, according to Callinan's, the Ms D allegation was being discussed at pre-PAC meeting, along with motivation. L puts to NOS that it's a bit "unrealistic" that she didn't hear it discussed until just before O'Higgins Commission of Invest
#DisclosuresTrbiunal NOS repeats: I have no recollection of having heard anything to do with Ms D allegation at that time.
#DisclosuresTribunal NOS now going through with what occurred immediately after the PAC meeting of Jan 23 2014 - ie. discussions among NOS, Callinan and senior gardai to engage with Sgt McCabe. A proposal was discussed and draft letter was written.
#DIsclosuresTribunal This draft letter chair to PAC John McG was never sent (it outlined concerns about McC & PAC). Instead Call met McG in the carpark. This is where Call claims he put draft letter concerns to McG. McG says this was not the case and Call said McCabe abused kids
#DisclosuresTribunal Carpark meeting took place on Fri, Jan 24, 2014. Tribunal sees there were following calls btw NOS and Call on this day:
C to NOS at 2.15pm - 3 seconds
C to NOS 3.30pm - 7.12min
C to NOS 5.30pm - 6min
NOS to C at 9.55pm 16 sconds
NOS to MC at 6.37pm 9.37min
#DisclosuresTribunal Callinan has already told the tribunal these calls were about security matters.
#DisclosuresTirbunal Leader raises claim made to the tribunal by Alison O'Reilly, of the Mail, that Debbie McCann, also of Mail group, that McCann told AOR that NOS gave McCann information about Ms D. This was repeated by Labour leader Brendan Howlin in Feb 2017 {though unamed]
#DisclosuresTribunal NOS says she's aware of the allegations and says first time she became aware of them was when Howlin made claim in Dail. NOS: "I most certainly did not give Ms McCann or anyone else information about Ms D"
#DisclosuresTribunal NOS says she would know McCann's father, a retired senior guard, John McCann. NOS says first time she would have met McCann face to face would have been at a book launch around mid November 2013
#DisclosuresTribunal NOS says at this book launch she was introduced to McCann and after that, and after she became Commissioner, McCann asked if she could do a profile piece on NOS. McCann gave her a series of questions and NOS answered them over the phone.
#DisclosuresTribunal Tribunal has already heard that Paul Williams interviewed Ms D on Sat, March 8, 2014, after visiting her parents on Thurs, March 6, 2014. It's Taylor's evidence that PW called him when he was at Ms D's house and that it was a Saturday.
#DisclosuresTribunal Taylor claims the purpose of the call was for Taylor to pass on the info to both Callinan and NOS. PW denies this allegation. Leader goes through billing records and says they don't show that Taylor contacted PW on Sat, March 8, 2014
#DisclosruesTribunal Leader points out there WAS a phonecall from NOS to Talor on March 8 at 8.38pm which last four minutes. Asked about her recollection of what Taylor and NOS spoke about in this call, NOS says she doesn't and it may have been to do with operational matters
#DisclosuresTribunal NOS is asked if she can recall any time Taylor discussed PW's i/v with Ms D with her [NOS], NOS says: Absolutely not, no. L repeats it would appear from PW billing records, he didn't call Taylor on March 8. NOS categorical T never spoke to her about PW arts
#DisclosuresTribunal sees that, after becoming Commissioner, NOS had management meetings on April 8 and April 11, 2014. In minutes, NOS noted as saying AGS had to be ready for forthcoming reports. Note: 'No of reports over next 12 months, none will be good, John Cooke report..'
#DisclosuresTribunal [cntd]'...Roma report. Agenda to racial profiling in the meda, Sean Guerin report - need to be ready for this. manage bad news and build on good news'
#DisclosuresTribunal Leader points out day after April 11, 2014 mngmt meeting, Williams' first article about Ms D appears in Irish Indep on Apr 12. Leader goes to NOS billing records which show she texted PW on April 12 at 7.11pm. Asked if this was about his article, NOS: No.
#DisclosuresTribunal [Hears that according to billing records there was a gap of about a year of communications between PW and NOS. There's no record of them having been in contact - as per NOS phone - from April 28 2013 until February 21, 2014]
#DisclosuresTribunal As for NOS contact with PW in Feb/Mar/Apr 2014, NOS says she's mindful of Paul Williams' privacy but says there were personal security matters to be discussed at that time and a lot of their interactions at that time were in relation to that.
#DisclosuresTribunal Leader now going to May 2014 and points out that NOS got the false rape referral from senior guard Kieran Kenny - a WEEK after a management meeting (where Kenny was in attendance) in which "reaching out" to Sgt McCabe was discussed in light of Guerin report
#DisclosuresTribunal [NOTE: More about the journey of this false fake rape allegation here: broadsheet.ie/2017/07/24/who… ]
#DisclosuresTribunal [NOTE: More here about Kieran Kenny's involvement in this journey here: broadsheet.ie/2017/07/25/i-d…]
#DisclosuresTribunal Tribunal has already heard evidence from NOS former private secretary that NOS did read the false referral but did not respond. NOS accepts this but she can't recall reading it. Charleton steps in to lay out details of the false referral.
#DisclosuresTribunal NOS: "I have no memory of seeing this document"
#DisclosuresTribunal [NOTE: This false rape referral against Sgt McCabe sat in Commissioner's office until start of the tribunal in 2017]
#DisclosuresTribunal [NOTE: This false referral was given to NOS in May 2014. Sgt McCabe had no knowledge of it until Jan 2016]
#DisclosuresTribunal Leader puts to NOS that it's "slightly incredible" to think that this false rape referral wouldn't immediately jump out at her. NOS repeats she accepts Frank Walsh's evidence that she read it but she has no recollection.
#DisclosuresTribunal Leader mentions the four articles by Paul Williams in Apri/May 2014. Leader: Whatever about overlooking it in the normal event, you went on to meet Sgt McCabe with Kieran Kenny in August 2014 in a "reaching out" exercise. NOS agrees.
#DisclosuresTribunal NOS has told the tribunal that if she had read the false rape referal "in detail", she would have directed a different action and contacted the HSE and made sure the matter was clarified immediately.
#DisclosuresTribunal Leader now going to the O'Higgins Commission of Investigation (May 2015 - Dec 2015 NOTE: the rape referral was sitting in NOS office during this whole time and Sgt McCabe didn't know about it). L points out Kieran Kenny was the first liaison officer for O'H
#DisclosuresTribunal Leader puts to NOS it's "inconceivable" that NOS and Assistant Commissioner Kieran Kenny didn't discuss the false rape referral. NOS is categorical: Assistant Comm Kenny never mentioned it to me and we never discussed it at all."
#DisclosuresTribunal Leader suggests that people were "dealing with things on different spheres". L suggests with everything that was going on, Guerin/O'Higgins, it "can't be credible" that they didn't discuss the matter. NOS repeats it wasn't.
#DisclosuresTribunal Leader recalls how NOS doesn't recall Ms D being discussed at pre-PAC meetings either. NOS also says she never discussed the matter with Martin Callinan either
#DisclosuresTribunal Leader now asking NOS about the May 9 RTE reports by Paul Reynolds in relation to the O'Higgins Commission of Investigation. (PR reported on the report before it was published)
#DisclosuresTribunal Asked if she ever discussed with Reynolds, NOS: No, chairman, never. Asked if she ever handed him the report, NOS: No, chairman, never
#DisclosuresTribunal [NOTE: On May 9, 2016, Paul Reynolds reported twice that Sgt McCabe had lied. Sgt McCabe took legal action on foot of the reports]
#DisclosuresTribunal sees text from November 5, 2016 - after Supt Taylor made protected disclosure in Sept 2016. It's from Andrew McLindon to Ken Ruane, legal AGS, saying: "I have no record of any queries received by myself or by the Press Office on 8 or 9 May from..."
#DisclosuresTribunal [cntd].. "...Mr Paul Reynolds of RTE on the O'Higgins Report. It would be worth checking with Supt Gerry Murphy, press office at the time, to see if he recieved any calls or emails from Mr Reynolds on this matter. Regards, Andrew." This text was fwded o NOS
#DisclosuresTribunal Leader asks NOS if she sought to influence RTE in their coverage of the O'Higgins report. NOS says she never sought to influence RTE of anything at all and never sought to influence RTE in their coverage of O'Higgins report.
#DisclosuresTribunal Leader has finished questioning NOS. Michael McDowell now asking questions. Asks NOS when she first became aware of Ms D allegation. NOS says she first became aware in 2008 (she said this when she previously gave evidence)
#DisclosuresTribunal McDowell asking NOS about her attitude to the Ms D allegation. [Tribunal sees the doc NOS would have seen in 2008 stated the DPP directed "there was no basis for prosecution" in relation to the Ms D allegation]
#DisclosuresTribunal [NOTE: At this time (2008) NOS was in human resources and she was there until 2009 when she transferred to Crime and Security]
#DisclosuresTribunal McD pressing NOS on her claim she never discussed Ms D alleg with anyone or that it was never discussed in her presence in 2013 - despite other witnesses having said it was, widely. NOS repeats she didn't discuss it and it wasn't discussed in her presence
#DisclosuresTribunal McDowell now asking NOS about Asst Comm John O'Mahoney report - about which it had been claimed that Sgt McCabe hadn't cooperated with it.
#DisclosuresTribunal McDowell asking NOS if Callinan ever discussed with her anything about the penalty points investigation by O'Mahoney in 2013, NOS: No.
#DisclosuresTribunal Asked if Callinan told her about a journalist calling to his house in early 2013 (Gemma O'Doherty), NOS: "No chairman, I wasn't aware of that until much later, after the fact."
#DisclosuresTribunal McDowell: When did you first become aware that McCabe had been in contact with PAC and that there would be an issue about him being a witness. NOS: Some time end of 2013, we were informed C&AG report into pp would be discussed at PAC
#DisclosuresTribunal NOS confirms to McDowell the first time Ms D alleg came back under radar was in preparation of the O'Higgins Comm of Investigation (which began in May 2015). She agrees with McD she didn't mention it to anyone and nobody mentioned it to her up until then
#DisclosuresTribunal McD asks if 'disgusting' remark at PAC shocked her. NOS says she felt it was misconstrued which is why she gave Callinan note to "withdraw/clarify" the comment. McD asks if NOS attended a meeting in Garda HQ after the PAC. NOS agrees she would have.
#DisclosuresTribunal NOS says she would have told Callinan that his comment was a "mistake" and "needed to be clarified"
#DisclosuresTribunal McDowell puts it to NOS that she was in complete dark of Taylor's interactions with PW about Ms D. NOS agrees. McD puts to her that it's her evidence that Callinan never mentioned it to her either. NOS agrees.
#DisclosuresTribunal McD asks NOS if she's surprised Taylor isn't tell her. NOS "Well, he didn't tell me chairman".
#DisclosuresTribunal NOS agrees that Taylor would have sent duplicate texts to her and Callinan. McD: And if he notified Callinan about interview, can you explain why you were left out of the loop? NOS: No.
#DisclosuresTribunal McDowell is asking NOS about reports on RTE on Feb 24 2014 (Paul Reynolds reported about Sgt McCabe's cooperation with O'Mahoney investigation online and on radio...Sgt McCabe subsequently gave statement to Prime Time that evening in response to PR's report)
#DisclosuresTribunal McDowell explains the early PR reports said McCabe had got a written direction and that AGS was a disciplinary force, etc...Last week Charleton said that this "instruction" was more like an invitation to dinner.
#DisclosuresTribunal McD: Did you discuss the Prime Time report with Callinan?
NOS: Yes, but I can't recall when..but we certainly would have discussed it, yes
#DisclosuresTribunal McDowell asks if they discussed that - on foot of Prime Time's report - that an injustice had been done to Sgt McCabe in so much as it had been suggested he had failed to cooperate with O'Mahoney investigation. NOS: I can't recall
#DisclosuresTribunal McD says it's his understanding that PR's first report on that day (Feb 24, 2104) went up at 2pm. McDowell shows that there was as text btw PR and NOS and two calls on Feb 24, 2014. One was 12 mins at 2.46pm. Asked if this was about his report, NOS says no
#DisclosuresTribunal see text sent on October 10, 2016 (about a week after Taylor made protected disclosure) to Terry Prone at 3.24am (she had just landed in US). NOS confirms that Prone's function to NOS was to provide advice re: media and press in relation to strategic comms
#DisclosuresTribunal Text said: "Why are you not in bed! I will check precisely this morning. I took up on the 26th March 2014 and moved him on first available opportinetly which I believed was the 9th June 2014". Asked if this is ref to Taylor, NOS agrees.
#DisclosuresTribunal McD: Is it fair to say you took first available opportunity to remove him [Taylor]? NOS: Yes. Asked what motivated her to get rid of him (and after Judge asked her to speak in plain language) NOS says she didn't trust T and felt uncomfortable in his company
#DisclosuresTribunal Second part of text to Terry Prone was: "Also some very interesting tweets form Michael O'Toole of the Star last night wondering when someone will blow the whistle on the mysognisitic and vile smear campaign that went on against me. N"
#DisclosuresTribunal See NOS sent a text to Terry Prone on the same day (10/10/2016 at 6.24pm): "Any news about whether or not whistle blowing is gonna surface?"
#DisclosuresTribunal McD going back to 2013 and putting to NOS that previous witnesses have given evidence that rumours were circulating. MCD: I'm at a loss to understand..how it was that you were the only person who wasn't aware of these rumours, nobody ever imparted them..
#DIsclosuresTribunal NOS says anybody who knows her knows she wouldn't engage in idle gossip. But McD says she was aware of Ms D allegation since 2008 and if it was to resurface, it was bound to have a dramatic effect on public opinion. NOS: It's not something I even considered
#DisclosuresTribunal McDowell going to Williams' articles in 2014. McD: You say you had no idea that PW went to Ms D's house. NOS: That's correct. McD: As I understand it, when you saw the first article that PW published..not using McCabe's name..you didn't know it was McCabe?
#DisclosuresTribunal NOS: I would have read article amongst other articles.. I can't remember when I became aware of the various articles.. NOS says she remembers reading the (first) article) but she can't remember if she consciously knew it referred to McCabe or if it was later
#DisclosuresTribunal Judge steps in to read out part of Sgt Molloy's evidence (of the Garda Press Office) - see attached. NOS said this was never said to her.
#DisclosuresTirbunal McDowell asks NOS if she thinks Taylor would have been "capable" of spreading D allegation to journalists. NOS says he accepts there are things she knows now she didn't know then. But says she's still not aware of any facts re: Taylor's claim of a campaign
#DisclosuresTribunal McDowell draws NOS attention to Paul Williams' first article. NOS repeats she would have been reading many articles. "I don't recall talking to anybody about this article"
#DisclosuresTribunal Charleton steps in to point out that the term 'whistleblower' was mentioned in the article. Says there were only 2 at the time and that that could only be Sgt McCabe as there had been no such allegation against John Wilson.
#DisclosuresTribunal McDowell now going through Paul Williams' other articles - one says "Enda Kenny was expected to order and investigation tint allegations that a young woman was sexually abused by a serving garda"
#DisclosuresTribunal Asked when she came to the conclusion that this matter was going to be reinvestigated - NOS says: at some stage in reading the sequence of articles. [NOTE: PW's articles were published April/May 2014 - the false rape referral went to NOS mid-May 2014]
#DisclosuresTribunal McDowell points out how Asst Comm Kieran Kenny sent NOS the false rape referral mid-May 2014. McD: Surely you began to see that a number of separate strands were coming together in a strange way in 2014? NOS repeats KK never spoke to her about the matter
#DisclosuresTribunal NOS repeats: Asst Comm Kieran Kenny never spoke to me in relation to that matter, we never had a conversation about it...I have no memory of ever seeing it.
#DisclosuresTribunal Judge steps into remind NOS that Frank Walsh's (NOS then private secretary) evidence is that NOS made no comment when the fake rape referral was put to her. Judge has read out the graphic details of the rape allegation.
#DisclosuresTribunal NOS repeats she can't recall reading it (but accepts Walsh's evidence) and says if she did, she would have implemented a different response, would have contacted HSE, etc.
#DisclosuresTribunal [NOTE tribunal has already heard Kieran Kenny and Jim Sheridan had meeting that summer in which they decide they WOULD contact HSE and head of legal in AGS about it- but neither occurred. Meanwhile, Walsh was writing, on behalf of NOS, to KK about the matter]
#DisclosuresTribunal Tribunal has also heard that NOS had a face-to-face meeting with Sgt McCabe in August 2014 (and Kieran Kenny was also in attendance) but McCabe wasn't told about the false referral. (McCabe wasn't told until Jan 2016)
#DisclosuresTribunal Judge Charleton reads out what Frank Walsh told the tribunal - that he drew NOS attention to the "digital" aspects of the false rape referral. NOS repeats she can't recall this.
#DisclosuresTribunal McDowell now asking NOS about her phones. Suggest there's a high attrition rate: NOS had 6 Garda phones during 2 years and five of them have been lost. NOS says some phones were intermittent phones and she just got rid of them when she got a new one
#DisclosuresTribunal McD asks if she had use of more than one phone at one time. NOS says no and that was "physically impossible" She responds to McD: They "didn't disappear", they were "no longer useable" She says it was probably cheaper to replace than repair
#DisclosuresTribunal NOS doesn't think 6 phones in 2 years is a lot.
#DisclosuresTribunal McD asking about Ass Comm Michael Finn, on Dec 15, 2016,“was tasked with meeting Bernard McCabe” - uncle of Sgt McCabe (whom he didn't get on with) who made "utterly bogus" claims to AGS that McC had helped to get 2ppl off drink driving charges.
#DisclosuresTribunal McD points out this was 2nd time v senior gardai met with Bernard McCabe (other time was during O'Mahoney investigation). NOS says ppl involved in second meeting with Bernard McC wouldn't have been aware of the first. [NOS didn't task Finn with that meeting]
#DIsclosuresTribunal McDowell now asking about the "compendium of bad news" which the tribunal has heard was created by Supt Frank Walsh in 2013. More on this here: broadsheet.ie/2018/05/22/ope…
#DisclosuresTribunal McD ask NOS if she can think of any other reason to make that file in 2013 "other than to damage Sgt McCabe" NOS says FW created it to help track Sgt McCabe "very voluminous" file. McD: So it was like an index or digest? NOS agrees and fleshes out that point
#DisclosuresTribunal Asked if she ever saw this file in the pre-PAC meetings of Jan 2014, NOS says no. [Tribunal has heard it was prepared for Jan 6, 2014 pre-PAC meeting which NOS wasn't at]
#DisclosuresTribunal McDowell points out that this "compendium of bad news" was found by the Forensic Services Northern Ireland. McD now finished asking. Taylor's counsel Michael O'Higgins now asking questions.
#DisclosuresTribunal O'Higgins recalling how NOS said she had concerns about Taylor re: leaks, strategy, civililan complaints, some complaints from the judiciary. O'H puts to NOS she was an upfront person, NOS: yes. O'H now asking NOS about her time working in AGS human resources
#DisclosuresTribunal OH asks NOS: If you were dissatisfied iwth DT why didn't you set out to him what your complaint was? NOS says she did meet Taylor and told him his skills would be better suited to Traffic.
#DisclosuresTribunal OH: You were taking him away from a job he had been doing and you weren't drawing to his attention that you thought he wasn't working competently.
#DisclosuresTribunal OH suggests NOS made it appear to Taylor that his transfer it was like a promotion and that was misleading him. NOS says this isn't the case and it was a lateral transfer.
#DisclosuresTribunal OH puts to NOS reason she wanted him out of GPO was because one of his last acts was to leak doc to Dept of Justice (on day of Callinan's retirement). NOS says this wasn't the case. But she says the leak was a complete breach of trust and absolutely wrong
#DisclosuresTribunal [NOTE: More on this leaked letter rte.ie/news/2014/0325… ]
#DisclosuresTribunal OH asking about her working relationship with Martin Callinan. OH: Were instances where he held things back from you? NOS: I'm sure there were...we had different styles. OH asks again. NOS: Call's style was to direct ppl to do things (eg O'Mahoney invest)
#DisclosuresTribunal OH now asking about the pre-PAC meetings of Jan 2014. NOS has already told the tribunal nothing about Ms D allegation was discussed in her presence but minutes of meetings have shown Ms D, Sgt McCabe and "motivation" were discussed.
#DisclosuresTribunal OH puts to NOS that she did hear the matters being discussed but she's not admitting it because to do so would cause other difficulties for her. NOS: "That is not correct, chairman." NOS says if she had she would tell the tribunal.
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