Health Care

Charleton tribunal rules evidence from 'Ms D' will not be public

Charleton tribunal rules evidence from 'Ms D' will not be public”

The Tribunal is examining whether false sexual abuse claims were used to smear and discredit the garda whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe.

A Tusla file on whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe was opened when the woman, identified as Ms D, sought counselling in 2013 about a previously reported allegation which was investigated by gardaí in 2006.

The DPP decided not to prosecute the allegation because of a lack of evidence, but years later it resurfaced and was confused with a digital rape allegation.

Members of the press will be allowed to attend the hearing but must not publish any material that would reveal Ms D's identity.

Mr Justice Peter Charleton (pictured below) said he would make his ruling in due course.

The chairman of the Disclosures Tribunal is to rule on whether evidence from a certain witness known as "Ms D" should be heard in private.

Nevertheless he was going to exclude the public on Monday when "Ms D" and her family were due to give evidence.

The chairman said the courts have ruled that in cases where circumstances made it hard for a person to come to court and give evidence, courts needed to mindful of titrating their orders so as to facilitate the role of the press as "watchdog".

He also wanted restrictions on any testimony that might not be relevant to the terms of reference.

However he said bona fide members of the press could report on her evidence.

The Tribunal's already heard the allegation was completely false and had been made because of a copy and paste mistake by a counsellor.

Michael McDowell SC, on behalf of Sgt McCabe, said that nobody had to be excluded from the hearings, and evidence should be heard in public.

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