The Garda Executive Director of HR has said he accepts there is a conflict in relation to the date of a meeting after which he claims a comment was made to him by a senior colleague about "going after" whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe at the O'Higgins Commission.

However, John Barrett told the Disclosures Tribunal he is in absolutely no doubt that Cyril Dunne, the former Garda Head of Administration, made the comment that they were going to go after Sgt McCabe at the inquiry, following a meeting in Mr Dunne's office.

Mr Dunne has told the tribunal that he is certain he never made the remark attributed to him. He is due to give evidence next week.

Mr Barrett has told the tribunal he was attending a meeting with the former garda commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan and Mr Dunne, and that Mr Dunne asked him to stay back afterwards before making the remark to him.

Mr Barrett has placed the date of the meeting on 13 May 2015, a day before the O'Higgins Commission hearings began.

The tribunal heard today that there was no entry in Mr Barrett's electronic diary for a meeting on 13 May 2015.

Mr Barrett said the e-diary entries only showed meetings that were recurring items, and he had used his email records to reconstruct the events of that week.

The tribunal heard Ms O'Sullivan had given evidence that she was in London on 13 May 2015, and her diary entry for that day showed that to be the case.

Counsel for the tribunal Diarmaid McGuinness put it to Mr Barrett that it would appear she could not have been at a meeting with Mr Barrett on 13 May.

Mr Barrett acknowledged that there was a conflict.

The tribunal also heard there was no entry in Mr Dunne's diary for a meeting that day.

Counsel for Ms O'Sullivan and the gardaí, Conor Dignam, asked Mr Barrett why he did not provide the date in his statement to the tribunal, or in a further submission to the tribunal.

Mr Barrett acknowledged his statement could have been more complete.

He said he had been expecting the tribunal to make contact with him seeking further information.

He also said he had been expecting Mr Dunne to recall the conversation.

Mr Barrett also told the tribunal he was concerned about the focus on the date rather than the content of the discussion.

Barrett in 'no doubt' over comment

This afternoon, Mr Barrett said he was no doubt about the comment made to him, however he acknowledged at the Disclosures Tribunal that his "specificity" on the matter was a real issue.

Mr Barrett had told the Tribunal that he mentioned the comment to another colleague, Chief Superintendent Tony McLoughlin a number of weeks later, at a time when the O’Higgins hearings were going on.

Mr Barrett said during evidence that Chief Supt McLoughlin had come to him to remind him about the conversation in recent weeks ahead of Mr Barrett’s appearance at the tribunal.

In an interview with tribunal investigators this morning, Chief Supt McLoughlin said Mr Barrett had raised the matter with him before Christmas 2017.

Chief Supt McLoughlin said Mr Barrett had asked him if he remembered Mr Barrett telling him about the comment before.

Chief Supt McLoughlin said he did not raise the matter with Mr Barrett, Mr Barrett raised it with him.

The tribunal heard Chief Supt McLoughlin had said he had no recollection of it being said to him prior to November or December 2017.

Mr Barrett said he accepted Chief Supt McLoughlin’s version of events that Mr Barrett had come to him before Christmas about the matter, and not the other way around.

However, he said he held firmly to the view that he had a conversation during the currency of the O’Higgins Commission with Chief Supt McLoughlin about the matter.

Mr Dignam put it to Mr Barrett that he had shown himself to be a detailed note taker and conveyor of information, but he did not note or report the comment he said was made by Mr Dunne.

Mr Barrett agreed that his specificity on the matter was a real issue, but he said he had no doubt that this comment was said to him.

Tribunal hears of letter submitted to O'Higgins Commission

A retired Chief Superintendent has told the Disclosures Tribunal that he only certified parts of a letter submitted to the O'Higgins Commission which were relevant to him.

Chief Superintendent Colm Rooney said he was not responsible for the entire letter.

The tribunal has heard that the letter was submitted to the Commission on 18 May 2015.

It set out the basis for the garda challenge to Sgt McCabe's motivation at the inquiry.

Chief Supt Rooney said that when the letter was presented to him on the morning of 18 May to read and sign, Mr Justice O'Higgins came out at that time to start proceedings.

He said he certified only the paragraphs relevant to him and was not taking responsibility for the full document.

He said he understood the Garda Commissioner would set out in the letter what the issues were, but he said the information was clearly provided by him and as such "I participated".

On paragraph 19 which contained an error suggesting Sgt McCabe had made some complaints against a colleague in order to get something from him, Chief Supt Rooney said there were a number of contributors.

He said that paragraph was not his instructions and any review he had of the letter was in respect of paragraphs relevant to him.

Chief Supt Rooney has not waived his legal privilege in relation to his dealings with his legal team, who also represented Ms O'Sullivan at the Commission.

He said he could not recall if he was present during Sgt McCabe's evidence that day.

Counsel for the tribunal asked Chief Supt Rooney how he would have reacted, if he had heard a misstatement being put to Sgt McCabe.

Chief Supt Rooney said he would imagine he would have brought it to the notice of the Garda Liaison Officer, Chief Supt Fergus Healy.

He said he did not instruct his lawyers to challenge Sgt McCabe's motivation.

He also said he did not think he signed off on submissions made to the Commission in June which repeated the error.

Chief Supt Rooney was also asked about a circular he sent to garda stations in the Cavan-Monaghan area following an internal garda report into complaints about policing highlighted by Sgt McCabe.

He said the circular was not appropriate and his vindication of the high standards of policing in Cavan-Monaghan was not warranted.

Additional reporting by Sandra Hurley