The Taoiseach has admitted that he gave inaccurate information about what he had been told by Minister for Children Katherine Zappone.

Enda Kenny said that Minister Zappone told him before the Cabinet meeting last Tuesday that she had met Garda Sergeant Maurice McCabe and she had discussed allegations that were false in respect of what was given to Tusla.

"I might say 'mea culpa' here, because I did say, and I'm guilty here of not giving accurate information," Mr Kenny told the Dáil.

"It actually was her office that consulted with my officials, who told me," he added.

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Mr Kenny said: "She is very clear that she did not tell me that she intended to meet Sgt McCabe, but she did tell her official to tell my office, so I regret that.

"She didn't tell me herself that she was meeting Sgt McCabe.

"She did tell me before the Cabinet meeting last Tuesday that she had met with him and they had discussed allegations that were false in respect of what had been given to Tusla," the Taoiseach added.

This evening Ms Zappone acknowledged that perhaps she was "overly cautious in protecting the information" she had about the McCabes and not raising it at Cabinet.

She has outlined to the Dáil that she met Maurice and Lorraine McCabe on 25 January. 

She said they have spoken clearly of the devastating impact events have had on them with the information.

She said that the McCabes recalled how the information they received through the Freedom of Information process from Tusla was "worse than anything else that had already happened to them."

She said "I was deeply conscious since then that it was the State that has almost destroyed this family." 

She was determined not to inadvertently cause them additional hurt, she said. 

"They told me what was contained in the file. It is shocking. It showed an unacceptable breakdown in procedures. This translated in human terms into the most vile, graphic and false allegations made against Maurice."

She said that at her request to Tusla provided an chronology of their case on Friday, 27January and she brought that information to the McCabes.

She reiterated that an independent statutory review into Tusla must take place and that she has asked HIQA to undertake that investigation.

The Minister said it would be "focused and timely" and spoke of the need to restore public confidence in Tusla.

Politically she said that three interactions took place.

She said, "My adviser met with an adviser from the Taoiseach's office on Tuesday 24th, the day before I was due to meet the McCabes, and told him about the upcoming meeting.

"She told him that it was in relation to a complaint that the McCabes had about Tusla. Before meeting the McCabes I told the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, that I was meeting them.

"I also spoke with the Taoiseach prior to the Cabinet meeting last week. Just to be clear this was after my meeting with the McCabes. I told him that I had met with the McCabes and we had discussed false allegations of sexual abuse made against Sgt McCabe.

She said she did not go into the detail of any of the allegations that she was aware of but she did indicate to him that was the nature of the allegation.

On not telling the Cabinet meeting about what she knew, she said that "perhaps I was overly cautious in protecting the information that I had and if that is the case I accept that.

"But lets be clear that incorrect information circulating about the McCabes is at the root of the horrendous damage done to the couple and their family. I for one did not want to risk spreading these allegations further."

She said that she now accepts that some colleagues believe that she should have brought the issues to Cabinet. She said she will learn from that.

Ms Zappone said that on Friday she got correspondence from a garda whistleblower in another part of the country in relation to gardaí and Tusla interaction.

She has told the Dáil that she would meet garda whistleblower Keith Harrison.