A chief superintendent has denied at the Disclosures Tribunal that he deliberately passed on a false allegation about Sgt Maurice McCabe without saying it was incorrect in order to "do him down".
The tribunal is investigating allegations of a senior garda smear campaign against Sgt McCabe.
Retired Chief Superintendent James Sheridan was questioned about his forwarding of the false allegation to Assistant Commissioner Kieran Kenny in May 2014.
He said he knew the allegation was not true because another officer, Superintendent Leo McGinn, had told him.
His correspondence to the Assistant Commissioner outlined that the allegation had been investigated and the Director of Public Prosecutions had directed no prosecution.
However, his letter did not refer to his knowledge that the allegation was false.
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Counsel for the tribunal Kathleen Leader suggested to him that it would support the theory that the allegation was deployed to more senior officers at a time when his district was more than likely to become the subject of a commission of inquiry.
She suggested the referral presented an opportunity to put new life into the old allegation and "do him down".
Chief Supt Sheridan said nothing could be further from the truth and there was no malice.
He said he was trying to understand how the error had been made.
He said that, in hindsight, he probably should have said the allegation was incorrect.
He said it was ludicrous to suggest that he would use the allegation to stop a future inquiry into his district.
Chief Supt Sheridan also confirmed that he sent the original garda investigation file on Sgt McCabe to barrister Sean Guerin, who was carrying out a scoping report into allegations of malpractice in Cavan-Monaghan made by Sgt McCabe.
Chief Supt Sheridan was the liaison officer from the district and had a role in sending on documentation.
He said he considered the investigation report was relevant and he had not discussed his action in sending it on, with either Assistant Commissioner Kenny or the Garda Commissioner.
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.
On 3 July 2014, Chief Supt Sheridan sent an update to Assistant Commissioner Kenny. He said the referral was not new and related to a different client and a different alleged perpetrator.
SC Mícheál O'Higgins for An Garda Síochána said the garda point of view was "nothing to see here".
The tribunal also heard today that Sgt McCabe was bullied by fellow gardaí and was called a rat on social media.
Michael McDowell SC, for Sgt McCabe, said the whistleblower was the subject of hostility and enmity in certain quarters in Cavan Monaghan and the subject of discussion.
Chief Supt Sheridan said he never undermined Sgt McCabe in any way but he did know Sgt McCabe was being bullied.