The Disclosures Tribunal has heard from the social worker who dealt with the original complaint of child sexual abuse made against Sgt Maurice McCabe in 2006.

The tribunal, chaired by Supreme Court Justice Peter Charleton, is examining allegations that senior gardaí were involved in a smear campaign against Sgt McCabe, among other issues.

This month, it will look at whether or not files in certain State agencies were created or distributed or otherwise used by senior members of An Garda Síochána, in inventing, or furthering a false allegation of sexual abuse against Sgt McCabe.

The first witnesses are drawn from the Health Service Executive, the Child and Family Agency, Tusla, and the Rian Counselling service.

In 2006, an allegation of child sexual abuse was made against Sgt McCabe. He denied this and it was dismissed by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

In 2013, the allegation resurfaced and was incorrectly inflated to a more serious one.

The tribunal will examine the HSE and Tusla's claims that this was a genuine mistake which was compounded and repeated by a series of errors, and passed on to the Garda.

Warning: Some readers may find details of this report disturbing

This morning, social worker Rhona Murphy said she was dealing with the case of a Miss D who had been referred to the HSE.

Miss D's parents were finding it difficult to cope with her behaviour relating to self harming, running away from home and engaging in sexual activity and she was referred to the HSE for this.

Ms Murphy said she was told in a phone call with the child's mother that the girl alleged that during a 1998 visit to a man's house, a game was carried out and during the game, the man held the child, identified as Miss D, over the sofa while both were fully clothed and what was described as "humping" motions were carried out.

During a follow-up home visit, Miss D's father identified Sgt McCabe as the alleged perpetrator. The father was also a garda and a colleague of Sgt Mccabe's.

Sgt McCabe's wife and children's names were recorded during this visit.

The girl had also referred the complaint to the gardaí and it was being investigated by Insp Noel Cunningham and he was preparing a file for the DPP.

Ms Murphy said she had no recollection of sending particular documents to Noel Cunningham although a file said "FAO Noel Cunningham".

She said the fax number on it was of another HSE team.

The case was closed in November 2007.

Ms Murphy put on the case review form "inconclusive" on  allegation of inappropriate touching.

She also wrote to her superiors saying Sgt McCabe had not been met by child sexual abuse team as per procedures and suggesting this be done.

She closed the case following the HSE's Child Sexual Abuse team intervention in 2007.

Rhona Murphy said Sgt McCabe was the designated garda liaison person for the HSE in the area and she had met him in Bailieborough station occasionally but she said these all took place before Miss D's referral were received and she said she had never discussed the Miss D case with him.

She said she had not discussed the case with any gardaí.

She said that while she knew Miss D's father in a professional capacity she had never discussed the case with him other than the home visit in 2006.

Under cross-examination by SC Michael McDowell for Sgt McCabe, Ms Murphy confirmed that she had closed the file on the instruction of the HSE Child Sexual Abuse team although a credibility assessment of the accuser had not been undertaken.

She said that it would be unfair to a child to go over the allegation again and again.

Mr McDowell said it was a breach that Sgt McCabe had not been approached by the HSE at all on the allegation.

She also confirmed that the original HSE referral had nothing to do with Sgt McCabe but was in relation to the girl’s behaviour and her engagement in sexual activity.

Conor Dignam SC for An Garda Síochána said that gardai have told the tribunal that Sgt McCabe was not the appointed Garda liaison officer at the time but he may have stood in on occasion. Ms Murphy agreed that was possible.

He also said that the HSE knew by 21 April 2007 that the DPP had directed no prosecution and Ms Murphy agreed.

Mr Justice Charleton asked about the lack of a credibility assessment.

He also asked about the fact that a letter notifying Sgt McCabe of the allegation was not sent to him until 2015 which he said was nine years after it should have happened.

Ms Murphy said she did not know why this was not done originally but it should have been done.

Senior social worker says guidelines not strong enough

A senior HSE social worker later told the tribunal that guidelines at the time were not robust enough to deal with allegations of child sexual abuse made against a colleague or member of staff. 

Mary O'Reilly, to whom Ms Murphy reported, said the Miss D case was difficult because most of them knew Sgt McCabe as the go-to officer for Bailieborough. 

She said a credibility assessment was not undertaken in keeping with practice at the time, particularly in relation to adolescents. 

She said no file was opened on Sgt McCabe and the only files were a social worker file on Miss D and her CSA team file. 

She said Sgt McCabe was not told about the allegation by the HSE. She said it just fell off the radar and that was not unusual. 

Psychologist gives evidence on mistaken template

A psychologist told the Tribunal she felt a great panic when she realised a mistake had been made but she cannot definitely say how a historical allegation of child sexual abuse against Sgt McCabe was incorrectly inflated by her to a much more serious allegation.

Laura Brophy, of the HSE's Rian Counselling service, said she thought she had used a previous template containing an unrelated, more serious, allegation which was made by a different client. 

Miss D had referred herself to the service in 2013 for coping and emotional problems and met Ms Brophy on 24 July 2013 when she mentioned a historic allegation against Sgt McCabe alleged to have taken place in 1998.

Ms Brophy said that Miss D said an incident of "molesting" or "dry humping" and taken place in Sgt McCabes home and it did not come back to her until around seven years later.

Ms Brophy said she could not find a file on this and was obliged to refer it to social services in Cavan, which she did in August. 

However, when drawing up the file, she believes she used a previous template belonging to a separate client called Miss Y which contained a more serious allegation.

This did not come to her attention until May 2014 when Miss D contacted her. 

She said Miss D was emotional and upset and said that there was a report in Bailieborough Garda Station that she had been raped.

Ms Brophy said she recognised the mistake as hers, apologised and immediately agreed to rectify it.

She detailed her repeated efforts to alert her supervisors and the gardaí to the error during May 2014. 

She hand-delivered a letter to the head of social services in Cavan, Eileen Argue.

 She said Ms Argue later told her in a phone call that Ms Argue had spoken to Chief Superintendent Sheridan in Bailieborough telling him what happened and that a new file would be made. 

Ms Argue told Ms Brophy that while she requested the return of the old file, she could not guaranteed that the Chief Superintendent would do so.

Ms Brophy also said she got a phone call from Superintendent Leo McGinn who said he had not received an update but the case in question had been transferred out of the region to be investigated by a commissioner. 

Cross-examination by counsel for Sgt McCabe and other lawyers will take place tomorrow.