Updated: 27/02/17 : 06:21:20
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Garda 'whistleblower' tribunal opens today

The tribunal set up to investigate an alleged smear campaign against the Garda whistleblower, Sergeant Maurice McCabe, is to hold its first public sittings at Dublin Castle.

RTÉ reports that 'The Disclosures Tribunal', as it has been officially named will be chaired by Supreme Court Judge Peter Charleton, and will examine allegations that senior gardaí were involved in a smear campaign against Sgt McCabe, among other issues.

Judge Charleton will make an opening statement before adjourning the tribunal.

It is expected to be some time before the tribunal begins to hear testimony from witnesses.

Today's opening statement from the Chairman of the Tribunal comes sooner than had been expected - less than a fortnight after its terms of reference were published.

The tribunal was set up after Sgt McCabe rejected plans for a Commission of Investigation, calling instead for the inquiry to be held in public.

The terms of reference say the tribunal will report in nine months time and provide an interim report to Government in three months.

Judge Charleton will make his opening statement at 9.30am this morning. The public session at Dublin Castle is scheduled to last an hour, after which the tribunal is expected to adjourn.

It is as yet unclear how long it will be before public sessions to hear testimony from witnesses will begin.

There will be live coverage of the Tribunal on RTÉ News Now from 9.30am.