Evidence from ‘Mrs D’ to be heard in absence of the public on Monday to protect privacy
The woman who made an allegation of child sexual assault against Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe is to give evidence at the Charleton Tribunal today.
The evidence from ‘Mrs D’ is to be heard in the absence of the public, though “bona fide” members of the press are allowed attend with orders not to publish material that would serve to identify the witness.
The same applies to coverage of evidence from members of her close family.
Press photographers and TV crews that attend Dublin Castle for sittings of the tribunal have been told by Mr Justice Charleton to “take the day off”.
The chairman of the tribunal Mr Justice Peter Charleton said the courts have ruled that in cases where circumstances made it difficult 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 said the right of the public to attend tribunals was also an important right and that the holding of legal proceedings in private was “an obnoxious aspect of certain regimes that do not follow a Christian and democratic substratum to their proceedings”.
Nevertheless he was going to exclude the public on Monday when ‘Ms D’ and her family were due to give evidence.