Disclosures Tribunal hears details of emails from Noirín O’Sullivan to Frances Fitzgerald

The former head of the Department of Justice has told the Disclosures Tribunal he doesn’t remember emails or phone-calls outlining a Garda strategy to attack the motivation of Maurice McCabe at the O’Higgins Commission.

Noel Waters faced a long day of questioning at the Tribunal, but could not recall correspondence from 2015 or 2016. New e-mails have also surfaced in which the former Garda Commissioner asked the then Justice Minister to defend her in the Dail.

This module of the Disclosures Tribunal is examining if Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan relied on false allegations of abuse to smear Maurice McCabe at the O’Higgins Commission into policing matters in Cavan. The Tribunal heard that in the opening stages of that Commission, the then head of the Department of Justice spoke to the Garda Commissioner for 15 minutes during a recess.

Noel Waters does not remember the phonecall he had with Noirin O’Sullivan, nor does she, but he admits the phone number in Ms O’Sullivan’s records was his. At the time of the phone call, the Commission was on a break as Counsel for Noirin O’Sullivan confirmed his instruction from the Commissioner to attack the motivation of
Sergeant McCabe.The Tribunal also saw emails from Noirin O’Sullivan to Frances Fitzgerald in which the former asked the Minister to defend her during Leaders Questions in the Dail, and say she had full confidence in the Commissioner.

Minister Fitzgerald did not make the statement as requested.