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Partner of Whistleblower Has No Issue with Tusla, Tribunal Hears

The partner of a Garda whistleblower cases accepts there is no basis for thinking gardaí controlled Tusla into examining her family and kids, the Charleton Tribunal has heard.

Marissa Simms informed the tribunal on Wednesday she had formerly thought there was an abuse of authority based upon that there was a “coincidence” where she was called by Tusla.

quickly after she withdrew a declaration making grievances versus her partner, Garda Keith Harrison, in January 2014.

The tribunal is analyzing whether Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe was the target of a character assassination on the instructions of senior Garda management.

It is also examining claims that there were unsuitable contacts in between Tusla, which was previously part of the Health Service Executive, and the Garda in relation to matters to do with Garda Harrison and Ms. Simms. Garda Harrison has stated these mirrored in some concerns what presumably occurred with Sgt McCabe.

” I have no issue with Tusla or the HSE,” Ms. Simms stated. “I expect I was suspicious. I had withdrawn my declaration, and a week and a half, later on, I get a letter.

” I have definitely no issue with Tusla, they had actually gotten a recommendation. Individuals we were handling were an expert, they were polite.”.

Lawyer Paul Anthony McDermott SC, representing Tusla, stated it was his understanding that the factor for the present module was to analyze accusations versus his customer, “and it appears it is not being pursued”.

Social Services

Ms. Simms stated that when she was withdrawing her grievance, Insp Goretti Sheridan of Letterkenny Garda station informed her a story about a couple who had had a row, as an outcome of which social services had become associated with their lives and their kids had actually been “eliminated”.

” As a mom, I will always remember what she stated to me. I felt ill to my stomach,” Ms. Simms stated.

She also stated that Sgt Brigid McGowan informed her to “think of her kids” when she was making her declaration about Garda Harrison in October 2013.

Ms. Simms stated that when withdrawing her declaration on January 11th, 2014, she verified that whatever in it held true because Insp Sheridan “wanted to make a danger to me about social services” and she wished to secure her kids.

Lawyer Desmond Dockery, representing the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors, Insp Sheridan, and Sgt McGowan, stated it was Sgt McGowan’s position that she had never ever informed Ms. Simms to “think of her kids”. He also stated Insp Sheridan had never ever narrated about a local couple and social services. Ms. Simms kept she had been informed these things.

Mr. Dockery stated his customers needed to endure harmful claims and a Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission questions following a 2016 problem by Ms. Simms.

Ms. Simms was asked by Mícheál P O’Higgins SC, on behalf of the Garda Commissioner, if it was “completely affordable for the guards to inform the HSE and to take seriously what you had actually informed them in your declaration”.

” If you were simply checking out all the details, without the context around it, they needed to take it seriously, yes,” Ms. Simms stated.