A declaration in October 2013 by Marisa Simms, the partner of the Garda whistleblower Keith Harrison, included her words instead of those of the gardaí who took it, the Disclosures Tribunal has been informed.
The tribunal, which is chaired by Mr. Justice Peter Charleton, is checking out whether the Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe was the target of a negative campaign on the instructions of senior Garda management.

Garda Harrison has declared there was unsuitable contact in between Tusla, the State child and family company, and the Garda about him and his partner. He has stated this mirrored in some respects what supposedly occurred with Sgt McCabe.

At the tribunal on Monday, Insp Goretti Sheridan rejected that she had prepared the declaration then put it to Ms. Simms, who had contacted us to Letterkenny Garda station on October 6th, 2013. “If Marisa Simms wishes to make a declaration, she might make a declaration,” Insp Sheridan stated. “I would not require Marisa Simms or anyone else to make a declaration.”.

Ms. Simms’s lawyer, Hugh Hartnett SC, declared the inspector “set out as best you might to obtain a declaration using the wiles of an examining officer”. Insp Sheridan stated her job was “to speak to her and ask if she wishes to make a declaration”; “I’m not going to require her to take a seat and make a declaration.”.

The inspector also rejected that she had been “rather freezing” and “revealed annoyance” when Ms. Simms went back to the station to withdraw the declaration. Insp Sheridan stated exceptionally severe claims had been made about Garda Harrison by 3rd parties– Ms. Simms’s mom, sibling, uncle, and cousin– who had currently stepped forward.

Eight-Hour Declaration

Mr. Hartnett stated Ms. Simms was tired after making a declaration for 8 hours– an “extraordinary length of time”. “Even the very best of Donegal seanchaithe would find it hard to talk in a stream for 8 hours or more,” Mr. Hartnett stated, describing conventional writers.

Insp Sheridan stated that declarations about domestic violence, sexual assault or rape typically took a long period of time which Ms. Simms was “alert and understood what she was doing”. Insp Sheridan stated her essential issue was the well-being of Ms. Simms’ kids.

On January 11th, 2014, Ms. Simms contacted us to Letterkenny Garda station and withdrew her declaration.

Questioned by Mark Harty SC, for Garda Harrison, the inspector stated she had at first contacted us to Ms. Simms’s mom, Rita McDermott, at her home in Raphoe after being informed that Mrs. McDermott was fretted about her child.

Insp Sheridan stated after she took the declaration from Ms. Simms it was described Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission and she had no additional participation in the event.

The tribunal also heard that Garda Paul Wallace fulfilled Garda Harrison on October 7th, the day after Ms. Simms made her declaration. In a report to his superiors in October 2013, Garda Wallace stated Garda Harrison “appeared rather upset and worried” and thought Ms. Simms had misinterpreted a figure of speech when he informed her, “You will get burnt here,” and had translated it as an actual hazard.

Insp Sheridan informed the questions that there was not “a shadow of a doubt” the case would be described Tusla or the HSE once the declaration pointed out Ms. Simms’s kids which gardaí had no option in the matter.

The tribunal continues.