Disclosures Tribunal: Taylor denies calling O'Sullivan a liar with an agenda against him

The former head of garda press said he was disappointed when he was transferred to traffic

Disclosures Tribunal: Taylor denies calling O'Sullivan a liar with an agenda against him

Garda Superintendent David Taylor. Photo: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Updated: 17.20

It has been put to Superintendent Dave Taylor that he was anxious to do down former Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan.

The former garda press officer has denied calling Commissioner O'Sullivan a liar with an agenda against him.

Asked if Ms O’Sullivan had a deliberate vendetta against him, Superintendent Taylor said he could not be certain but it was probable.

The Disclosures Tribunal is currently investigating whether garda management ordered Dave Taylor to smear Maurice McCabe to journalists.

In 2015, Superintendent Taylor was suspended from duty as he was investigated for unauthorised leaks to journalists - one of the investigators was the husband of Noirin O'Sullivan, Jim McGowan.

Despite going to the High Court to try and stop the investigation, Superintendent Taylor says he now accepts it was legitimate, but he has admitted telling Independent TD Mick Wallace that Ms O'Sullivan’s husband was involved in the investigation.

Asked by Tribunal chairman Peter Charleton if he thought it was a campaign to annoy him or personalise things, or if Commissioner O’Sullivan had a deliberate vendetta, Superintendent Taylor said he could not say for certain - but accepted it was a probability.

Counsel for the commissioners put it to Superintendent Taylor that he was anxious to 'do down' Noirin O’Sullivan, and that he came up with an allegation about a smear campaign and included Martin Callinan in it.

Superintendent Taylor said he did not accept the point he was making.

Noirin O’Sullivan | File photo

O'Sullivan 'not his first choice' for Commissioner

Earlier Superintendent Taylor told the Disclosures Tribunal that Nóirín O'Sullivan would not have been his first choice as Garda Commissioner.

He said he was disappointed when he was transferred to traffic, but could not remember a text saying he was in the dungeon awaiting parole.

Superintendent Taylor has repeatedly failed to say when he realised that the smear campaign he waged against Maurice McCabe was wrong.

When Martin Callinan retired as Commissioner in March 2014, Superintendent Taylor says his negative briefings to journalists about Maurice McCabe stopped.

He says he never discussed the matter with then-Deputy Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan after that point.

Around three months later, Ms O'Sullivan moved him out of the press office to traffic.

Superintendent Taylor could not recall a text he sent to a colleague saying he was in the dungeon in Dublin Castle awaiting parole.

Superintendent Taylor said he was disappointed rather than angry at the move. The tribunal has previously heard that he felt he was shafted by Noirin O’Sullivan.

Upon her promotion to the role of commissioner, Superintendent Taylor sent Ms O’Sullivan a congratulatory text.

However, he accepted she would not have been his number one choice and could not recall telling a colleague he was gutted.

Asked repeatedly to say when he came to the realisation that the smear campaign against Maurice McCabe was wrong, Superintendent Taylor said his thoughts evolved, but he could not pinpoint when.