Disclosures Tribunal: Only three out of 15 Garda mobile phones sought have been surrendered

Superintendent Michael Flynn said there was no evidence the 12 missing phones went to a charity

Disclosures Tribunal: Only three out of 15 Garda mobile phones sought have been surrendered

File photo. Photo: Sam Boal/ RollingNews.ie

Just three out of 15 Garda mobile phones sought by the Disclosures Tribunal have been surrendered, with the remaining 12 missing.

The tribunal is examining whether Garda management ordered Superintendent Dave Taylor to smear whistleblower Maurice McCabe to journalists.

Counsel for Superintendent Taylor also confirmed that the texts he received from former Garda commissioners never referred to a smear campaign.

Today, Superintendent Michael Flynn, the Head of Garda Telecommunications, gave evidence before the tribunal about phones belonging to the key players in the current module being investigated.

Supt Flynn was probed about the devices of former Commissioners Martin Callinan and Nóirín O’Sullivan, and the former head of Garda Press Dave Taylor.

The tribunal has sought 15 phones belonging to the three during the period in question - July 2012 to May 2014 - but just three of the phones were surrendered.

Counsel for the tribunal said that some might think it strange and unusual that phones go missing, to which Superintendent Flynn said that there was no requirement to hand back a phone at the time.

While it was suggested some phones went to the Jack and Jill Children's Foundation for recycling, Supt Flynn said there was no evidence the 12 missing phones went to the charity.

Counsel for Dave Taylor also confirmed that there was never any reference to sexual abuse allegations or any campaign against Maurice McCabe – but that the texts were mainly related to media monitoring in relation to the whistleblower.

Sgt McCabe previously told the tribunal that Supt Taylor told him there were hundreds of text messages about him sent on the authority of Commissioner Callinan, in the knowledge of Nóirín O’Sullivan – which both former commissioners deny.