HSE issue apology to Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe

The HSE has apologised to Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe.

The health authority's National Counselling Service referred a baseless allegation of abuse to the Child Protection Services in August 2013.

In a statement issued this afternoon the HSE says this was due to an administrative error made by a staff member of the HSE's National Counselling Service - now known as Tusla.

It says the administrative error was corrected and brought to the attention of Gardai and Tusla in May 2014.

The HSE says it is making arrangements to offer an apology formally to Mr. McCabe as soon as possible.

A Commission of investigation has been ordered into the treatment of Garda whistleblowers.

Sinn Féin's Justice spokesman Jonathan O'Brien told us what he wants it to cover:

Statement from HSE:

In July 2013 there was an allegation of retrospective abuse made against Garda Sgt. Maurice McCabe. In line with process, the HSE's National Counselling Service referred this allegation to HSE's Child Protection Services (now Tusla). This matter has been reported quite extensively in the media over the past 48 hours.

The HSE wishes to confirm that there was an administrative error made by a staff member of the HSE's National Counselling Service in the referral made at that time (August 2013).

This administrative error was brought to the attention of the National Counselling Service in May 2014.

The National Counselling Service responded immediately in May 2014 by bringing this error and a corrected report to the attention of Tusla and an Garda Siochana. In line with usual process, the error was brought to the attention of the HSE's Regional Manager for Data Protection and Consumer Affairs. The National Counselling Service would have had no further involvement in this matter once the corrected report was provided to Tusla and an Garda.

The HSE is satisfied that correct procedure was followed once this error was brought to the attention of the National Counselling Service.

An immediate internal review of guidelines, practices and protocols was undertaken within the National Counselling Service to ensure that such an error would not reoccur. Appropriate training was also undertaken. Additional supervisory procedures were put in place by the National Counselling Service in relation to the staff member concerned.

The HSE apologises unreservedly to Mr. McCabe and his family for the distress caused on foot of this error. The HSE is making arrangements to offer this apology formally to Mr. McCabe as soon as possible.

The HSE will fully co-operate with any Inquiry or Investigation into this matter.