Disclosures Tribunal: Superintendent had 11,000 contacts with journalists after he left Garda Press Office

Around 70% of the text messages on Dave Taylor's phone had been deleted

Disclosures Tribunal: Superintendent had 11,000 contacts with journalists after he left Garda Press Office

File photo. Photo: Sam Boal/ RollingNews.ie

The Disclosures Tribunal has heard that Superintendent Dave Taylor had 11,000 contacts with journalists over four months in 2014 after he left the Garda Press Office.

Chief Superintendent Francis Clerkin has been giving evidence about his investigation into how information was leaked to the media about the removal of two Roma children from their families.

Chief Superintendent Clerkin said around 70% of the text messages on Superintendent Taylor's phone had been deleted when the device was analysed.

The Disclosures Tribunal is examining whether there was a campaign to smear Maurice McCabe orchestrated by garda management via Dave Taylor.

Chief Superintendent Frances Clerkin was appointed to investigate the leaking of information to journalists about the removal of two Roma children from their families in Tallaght and Athlone in October 2013.

Superintendent Francis Clerkin arriving at the Disclosures Tribunal in Dublin Castle | Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Superintendent Taylor was interviewed as part of this and later had his phone seized - which showed 11,000 contacts with journalists between September and December 2014 when he was no longer garda press officer, causing the investigation to be widened to take account of this.

Chief Superintendent Clerkin said about 70% of the text messages on Superintendent Taylor's phone had been deleted, and e-mails on his laptop were being continuously deleted.

Superintendent Taylor was later arrested and suspended from duty - but no charges followed.

Asked if there was a targeted criminal investigation against Superintendent Taylor, Chief Superintendent Clerkin said all he ever did was follow evidence, and it led him to Superintendent Taylor, denying there was any other motive.