Garda Sergent Maurice McCabe and his wife Lorraine have sensationally rejected the planned Commission of Investigation, putting the future of the inquiry into doubt.
In a statement on Monday evening, the couple say they and their five children have been “systematically attacked in a number of ways” by State agencies and people working for the State.
Significantly, the family say any future inquiry into the alleged smear campaign by garda management should be held in public.
The statement quotes the Republic's Health Minister Simon Harris as saying the family are entitled to truth and justice.
“We wish to make it clear that we are definitely not agreeable to that entitlement being wholly postponed so that another Commission of Inquiry can conduct a secret investigation behind closed doors and make a report, into which we have no input as of right, in nine or 18 months time.”
“We are entitled to the truth - justice can follow in its wake,” the statement says.
It adds: “Now that the truth has emerged of the false and shocking campaign to vilify us and discredit us, there is no reason to have any secret or private inquiry under the 2004 Act.”
The move by the McCabe family comes as Cabinet prepares to agreed an expanded version of the terms of reference for the inquiry that was due to be led by judge Peter Charleton.
However, the statement released through the McCabe family’s lawyers, makes clear their opposition to such an inquiry due to it being held in private.
The family refer to the recent O’Higgins Commission, which was held behind closed doors.
They say the experience is “too fresh in our minds to allow for a repetition.”
The statement says because the process was held in private, the public were not given an insight into Sgt McCabe’s experience. It follows reports - that have since been denied - that Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan directed her legal team to discredit Sgt McCabe.