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#DisclosuresTribunal John Mooney, of the Sunday Times, is just starting to give evidence
#DisclosuresTribunal JM tells tribunal he started out in journalism as a freelance photographer in 1993 before he started to specialise in crime, terrorism and ntl security. He's been working at Sunday Times since 2007
#DisclosuresTribunal sees that, on March 24, 2017, in response to letter from tribunal, JM wrote: "It is my practice not to comment on news gathering activities and/or sources of information..."
#DisclosuresTribunal Diarmaid MGuinness SC, for tribunal, said this has been JM's position since. McG has referred to the waiver of Supt Taylor and now referring to the questions that were put to JM. [This is list of questions sent to many journalists after trib was set up]
#DisclosuresTribunal This list of 16 questions can be read here:…
#DIsclosuresTribunal JM he adopted a particular approach to the tribunal because of the work he's involved in - informants, etc - as he felt this could give rise to difficulties. He's now saying he's given the matter some thought and thinks it's appropriate to assist the tribunal
#DisclosuresTribunal JM tells the tribunal: I personally wasn't negatively briefed by Supt Taylor or any member of An Garda Siochana who attempted possibly to suggest Sgt McCabe was involved in child abuse or something like that. "That didn't happen with me."
#DisclosuresTribunal McGuinness shows that Mooney was fourth on Supt Taylor's list of journalists whom he claims he neg briefed. JM: That is incorrect, Chairman
#DisclosuresTribunal JM says both former Garda commissioners have threatened to sue him so he doesn't think they'd be giving him any information to undermine anyone.
#DisclosuresTribunal Mooney's article from Nov 2010 in Sunday Times is drawn up on screen. Mooney says he was aware of rumour about Sgt McCabe at this time. This is the article:…
#DisclosuresTribunal This is the article
#DisclosuresTribunal JM says he heard fleeting reference to the rumour about Sgt McCabe around that time, he said he made an inquiry and didn't pursue it any further. He said he doesn't think it's appropriate for journalists to try and second guess any proper investigation taken
#DisclosuresTribunal McGuinness raises an article by Colum Kenny on March 2 2014 in which [pre-dating Paul Williams' articles] he reported:
#DisclosuresTribunal JM has told the tirbunal he doesn't deal with gossip and noise. Says he parked that issue. Also says the matter wouldn't have met the threshold of the Sunday Times to write about it.
#DisclosuresTribunal McDowell, for McCabe, asks if by time of Paul Williams' stories in April/May 2014, he was satisfied that there was nothing in that story? Mooney: Correct. JM says at the time, he suspected they were about McCabe and he thinks he was aware of Ms D's identity
#DisclosuresTribunal McDowell suggests that after 2017 - after Prime Time - he was able to contact Ms D. JM says yes, he did try to contact her on Facebook. Asked how, JM said he thinks he identified her through her father (via his Facebook account)
#DisclosuresTribunal JM is being asked when he became aware of identity of Ms D's dad. McD: Would you've been aware at time of Williams' articles, would you have been aware of Ms D's identity at that stage. JM I don't think I had her name but I assumed these arts were about that
#DisclosuresTribunal JM says when Prime Time did his report in Feb 2017, he set to contact who he needed to contact [he contacted Ms D via Facebook] Said he couldn't contact the wrong person about the matter. JM said he needed to get accurate info for the Sunday Times
#DIsclosuresTribunal Asked about an interview JM gave to the Northern Sound about the O'Higgins report (ahead of publication), JM wouldn't reveal who his source for this was
#DIsclosuresTribunal McDowell raising a transcript of an interview Mooney gave to Today with Sean O'Rourke in February 2017 about a term of reference in tribunal which is looking at Paul Reynolds' report on O'Higgins based on a leaked report
#DisclosuresTribunal Tribunal is told this transcript was emailed by Amy Rose Harte, of the Communications Clinic, to unidentified person.
#DisclosuresTribunal McDowell is asking JM if he believes Taylor would be entitled to tell journalists the facts that an allegation was made against McCabe, that there was an investigation and that it was dismissed by DPP. JM: Honestly speaking, no.
#DisclosuresTribunal McDowell puts to Mooney that, it's his [McD's] belief, that to give that corroboration amounts to negatively briefing about Sgt McCabe. JM says he accepts McDowell's view.
#DisclosuresTribunal [NOTE: Tribunal has already heard Debbie McCann, of IMOS, say that she doesn't believe that giving out such facts constitutes a negative briefing]
#DIsclosuresTribunal hears that in his Northern Sound interview (ahead of the publication of the O'Higgins report) JM told the radio presenter Joe Finnegan that some of McCabe's allegations (which were looked at by O'Higgins) had no substance.
#DisclosuresTribunal McDowell puts to JM that he's not trying to blame JM for saying this but he says he wouldn't have said there was no substance to him unless he had been told there was no substance to them
#DisclosuresTribunal JM says that's correct but he said allegations were made and then more allegations were made. JM says McCabe was acting in the public interest. McDowell repeats that this was something which someone else led him to believe
#DisclosuresTribunal JM: I think the view of Garda management at that time was that Sgt McCabe had raised important issues but some of them were wrong...but the general feelings was that there was very bad policing in that division...
#DisclosuresTribunal Counsel for Taylor now asking JM questions. JM being asked about his contact with Supt Taylor. JM says he thinks they were first in contact in relation to a serious drug dealing case and GSOC
#DIsclosuresTribunal JM says in early 2014, there were many issues. He says there was Ian Bailey case, GSOC, collusion issues, "it was ten a penny". JM says if he wasn't getting information from the GPO, he'd have called Supt Dave Taylor
#DisclosuresTribunal Taylor's counsel goes to the time around the Public Accounts Committee in Jan 2014. He asks JM if he could see how an attack on McCabe could be entered into the mix at this time.
#DIsclosuresTribunal JM: I don't really want to engage in speculation. Sgt McCabe was 100% right on pen poitns..and we reflected that in our coverage in The Sunday Times.
#DisclosuresTribunal JM says he did hear catty remarks about Sgt McCabe but that was it. JM: Nobody briefed me negatively to effect that Sgt McCabe had committed an act of child abuse.
#DisclosuresTribunal JM has tells the tribunal that most of his contacts with Supt Taylor involved legal threats against him. JM is also asked if he has bat evidence of any journalists saying to him that they had been neg briefed by Taylor. JM: Not that I can recall
#DisclosuresTribunal JM has finished giving evidence.
#DIsclosuresTribunal Nobody asked JM about his article from July 16, 2017 (day before Ds gave evidence) in which he reported IMOS's Debbie McCann had told the tribunal her research into Ms D was prompted BY Paul Williams' articles in Apr/May 2014…
#DIsclosuresTribunal This is despite the tribunal hearing that McCann went to the D house before Paul Williams and was the first journalist to call to D house in 2014.
#DisclosuresTribunal After brief break, Judge has pointed out proper procedures dictate if a statement is made, it should be circulated to everyone. It appears a statement has been made and he's now adjourned the hearing until 1.30pm to allow for that statement to be circulated
#DIsclosuresTribunal The hearing has resumed and Eavan Murray, of The Irish Sun, is now about to give evidence
#DisclosuresTribunal Diarmaid McGuinness is now taking EM through her evidence. EM explains her career today - Sunday World in Belfast, News of the World, Irish Daily Mirror.. Says she's been full-time news reporter in Irish Sun since Nov 2013. Been on mat leave since last year.
#DisclosuresTribunal Asked if she was free to get her own stories, she says she'd get them and then run them by her editor/s and they'd say 'yay' or 'nay'
#DisclosuresTribunal EM says she first met Supt Dave Taylor very early 2014. EM says there was a week of 7 murders in 7 days and that was when she met him. EM said she had no dealings with him before that.
#DisclosuresTribunal EM said a helpful colleague told her to make herself known to him.
#DisclosuresTribunal Asked about her first phone contact with Taylor in Feb 2014, EM said Irish Sun's crime editor Stephen Breen was going on holiday and she had to step in for him them. EM says this was when she made her first phone call to Supt Taylor
#DIsclosuresTribunal McGuinness draws up phone billing records. He says there's 40 pages of texts and calls with 44 contacts per page. EM says the frequency of their contact didn't rise until later in year
#DIsclosuresTribunal McG draws up statement letter the tribunal solicitor sent to EM in March 2017 in which solicitor asked her to submit a statement if she had any info relevant to the terms of reference of the tribunal
#DisclosuresTribunal Asked if she thought she felt she had anything to disclose after getting that letter, EM says: "I believed then and I believe now I was never negatively member of guards ever told me Sgt McCabe was a child abuser"
#DisclosuresTribunal McGuinness: Having dealt with Supt Taylor, knowing that he didn't neg brief you, did you not think it was important to come forward and tell the tribunal when you got this letter. EM: In retrospect, perhaps I was counterintuitive..
#DisclosuresTribunal EM: I was deeply traumatised by everything that was going on... I was dragged into another situation...
#DisclosuresTribunal sees that in a letter on March 24, 2017, EM told the tribunal she was invoking journalistic privilege. McGuinness: If your position was you hadn't been neg briefed, telling the tribunal that wouldn't have infringed your jour privilege. EM: I do now.
#DisclosuresTribunal EM: At the time I didn't feel like that. Sorry chairmain, I didn't.
#DisclosuresTribunal EM is categorical that Supt Taylor did not brief her negatively about Sgt McCabe.
#DisclosuresTribunal In respect of the letter recieved from the tribunal, EM said: At the time I was very, very's hugely counterintiuitve to you when you're being asked questions about your sources...
#DisclosuresTribunal EM says: We did seek an opportunity to say it [to the tribunal] then - off the record - because we didn't want to infringe journalistic privilege
#DisclosuresTribunal McGuinness explains that the tribunal's investigators couldn't take an off-the-record information from her and this was relayed to her. She says this is correct.
#DisclosuresTribunal McG asks what were her reasons for going up to Ms D's house. EM tells the tribunal that the tribunal has been wrong on the timeline of events to date. EM says SHE was the third journalist to go to Ms D's house - not the second.
#DisclosuresTribunal [NOTE: To date, the tribunal was told the timeline of journalists visiting the D house was: 1) Debbie McCann, of IMOS 2) EM and 3) Paul Williams of Irish Independent. EM says she went AFTER Williams
#DisclosuresTribunal EM says the Irish Sun learned that the Irish Independent was going to publish a huge exclusive over a few days in a couple of days' time. EM says she was then tasked with going up to D house.
#DisclosuresTribunal Asked how she knows she was there AFTER Williams, EM says because the D family told her. EM says, at the time, the family were anxious that Ms D had done an interview to camera (with Williams).
#DisclosuresTribunal EM: When I got to the house, I felt guilty, they seemed quite weary..they were very, very, very nice but they seemed exhausted and I felt sorry for them.
#DisclosuresTribunal EM says she learned there had been an allegation against Sgt McCabe at some point in early Jan/Feb 2014. She said she wasn't told by a guard, she was told by a member of the media
#DisclosuresTribunal [NOTE: EM has also told the tribunal that the D family (during her visit to their house) also told her that Debbie McCann had been to the house before her]
#DisclosuresTribunal EM on her understanding of the allegation: There had been an allegation of sexual assault but it didn't go anywhere
#DisclosuresTribunal EM said she called the D family ahead of her visit by finding the number in directory inquires. She has told the tribunal she's never met Ms D. Says she did add Ms D on Facebook after visiting the house but never contacted her.
#DisclosuresTribunal McGuinness now going through Supt Taylor's statement to the tribunal. EM says she did tell Taylor she had been to the house (about a week after the visit) but she is largely denying everything Supt Taylor has claimed about their interactions over Ms D
#DisclosuresTribunal EM says when she phoned the D house (ahead of her visit) she spoke to Mr D and he mentioned Paul Williams as the preferred journalist. EM says she thinks he was "somewhat alarmed when I said I was from the Sun"
#DisclosuresTribunal McG recalls Mrs D evidence. Mrs D told the summer this about her conversation with EM:
#DIsclosuresTribunal EM says she didn't know the nature of the allegation at the time and she said she was surprised how minor it was. She said there was no way her newspaper could ever print anything about the matter. EM says the Irish Sun office had no interest in the story
#DisclosuresTribunal EM tells tribunal she told Taylor about her visit about a week later. EM said, at the time, Taylor was annoyed by comments made by Leo Varadkar (that the whistleblowers were 'distinguished')
#DisclosuresTribunal EM says when she told Taylor about her visit to Ds, she told him 'do you realise that was a very minor allegation'. EM says he didn't seem at all put out that she wasn't going to write about it. EM said the chat was brief and he moved on to something else
#DisclosuresTribunal McG points out that neither EM, McCann or Taylor told the tribunal about EM and McCann's visit to the D house. EM repeats it was counterintuitive to her...also she says she didn't think it was hugely important as she hadn't written any story
#DisclosuresTribunal EM: And I would never allow myself to be part of a smear, I would never let myself be used like that, I wouldn't...
#DisclosuresTribunal EM tells trib she heard about allegation and PW articles re: McCabe from Fergus O'Shea in Irish Sun. EM says he's no longer working there and she doesn't know where he works now. EM says it's not unusual for paper to learn of other paper's upcoming stories
#DisclosuresTribunal EM tells tribunal she doesn't know Paul Williams at all.
#DisclosuresTribunal McGuinness goes back to Taylor's phone records and his contacts with McCann, Williams and Murray in February and March 2014. EM repeats she didn't know Supt Taylor well at this stage.
#DisclosuresTribunal McGuinness: Do you recall any conversation with Taylor about the FACT Paul Williams was going to publish article about Ms D on April 12, 2014. EM: No.
#DisclosuresTribunal Asked if she can recollect PW's article being published on April 12, 2014, EM says she does. Asked if she spoke to Supt Taylor about it, EM says no
#DisclosuresTribunal hears that "out of the blue" a few months ago, EM was contacted by Taylor's wife Michelle and she had a present for her baby. EM says she thought it was unusual as her son was six months old at this point.
#DisclosuresTribunal EM said, at the time, she was curious about the tribunal and she had a naive hope she wouldn't be called to give evidence. She said she hadn't heard from the tribunal in a long time and she hoped it could just be a bad memory
#DisclosuresTribunal EM met Taylor in a coffee shop then in Dublin on February 14/15 of this year - she was in Dublin as her mother was in hospital. EM says her motivation to meet him was to find out if Taylor had named her as one of the journalists who was allegedly neg briefed
#DisclosuresTribunal EM: Even though he was sitting across from me in a coffee shop, he did not admit he gave my name to the tribunal. EM says she told Taylor she didn't hunk she'd be contacted. She says Tayor said she might be called.
#DisclosuresTribunal Asked if Taylor asked her to support him/his evidence, EM says this didn't happen. Soon after this coffee shop meeting, EM recieved letter from tribunal stating they knew she had been to D house.
#DisclosuresTribunal McGuinness asks EM why she was worried about being called to give evidence? EM: I had huge anxiety around it... as it has come closer and thankfully I'm more logical about it, but at the time, I was very overwhelmed..
#DisclosuresTribunal EM says the tribunal's investigators were very lovely but she found their coming to her in Galway - after she had only recently had a baby - a horrible experience. She says she found the whole thing very stressful.
#DIsclosuresTribunal EM is told that it's Taylor's evidence that they didn't discuss the tribunal when they met. EM says that's illogical and of course they discussed it.
#DisclosuresTribunal Michael McDowell SC, for Sgt McCabe, is asking EM questions
#DisclosuresTribunal EM says while her line editor at the time Fergus O'Shea told her about the big exclusive that was pending from the Irish Independent, EM says it was another journalist who then told her Mr D's name - which then allowed her to get the D home number
#DisclosuresTribunal EM, of this source, told the tribunal: This person was very good to me. I would have trusted his sources. EM says after this journalist gave her the name of Mr D, she informed her news editor
#DIsclosuresTribunal McDowell asking EM about what she said earlier - that she told Taylor 'do you realise this allegation is so minor'. Asked what preceded this, EM said Taylor was exercised by Leo Varadkar's 'distinguished' comment.
#DisclosuresTribunal McD asks how does the MS D allegation relate to Varadkar comment. EM shrugs and says "I suppose it's kind of..."
#DisclosuresTribunal McD pressing EM to explain how her conversation with Taylor went from Varadkar to Ms D
#DisclosuresTribunal EM said it's possible it came by way of their conversation talking about the 'distinguished' comment in terms of the 'disgusting' remark by Martin Callinan
#DisclosuresTribunal Counsel for Dave Taylor now asking EM questions. Counsel asks EM what exactly had she been told about McCabe in early 2014. EM says they were discussing penalty points and she was told: there's something in the past there.
#DisclosuresTribunal EM says the tone of the conversation was that the penalty point issue was "tiresome" and they were sick of hearing about it in the news.
#DisclosuresTribunal EM tells Taylor's counsel that she had a small interaction with someone who initially told her about Ms D/Sgt McCabe; then, later, she was directed by Fergus O'Shea to go to Cavan (on foot of him finding out about PW exclusive).
#DisclosuresTribunal EM says Fergus O'Shea didn't give her any further detail - other than PW had an exclusive pending. EM says she didn't know nature of allegation until she got to Cavan. EM is adamant she did NOT speak to Taylor before she went up to Ms D's home
#DisclosuresTribunal Taylor's counsel points out the date of Varadkar's distinguished comment was on March 20, 2014. Counsel says there were about 28 contacts btw her and Taylor between March 12 and 20. EM says that's the memory of when she spoke to him about it (after V comment)
#DisclosuresTribunal Taylor counsel (like McDowell before) now asking how EM's conversation with Taylor went from Varadkar's comment to Ms D - in which she told him 'do you realise that was really minor', etc..
#DisclosuresTribunal He suggests it's absurd that there was no discussion about Ms D prior to this. EM: "It's not absurd, it's the truth."
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