Disclosures Tribunal: former head of Garda Press Office claims Callinan directed smear campaign

Superintendent David Taylor says Nóirín O'Sullivan was aware of the campaign

Disclosures Tribunal: former head of Garda Press Office claims Callinan directed smear campaign

File photo of Superintendent David Taylor from the Garda Press Office. Image: Laura Hutton/RollingNews

The former Garda Press Officer has told the Disclosures Tribunal that former Commissioner Martin Callinan directed him to run a smear campaign against Maurice McCabe, in the knowledge of Nóirín O’Sullivan.

 

Five journalists have denied being negatively briefed about Maurice McCabe by the former Garda Press Officer.

Superintendent Dave Taylor’s told the Disclosures Tribunal that Commissioner Martin Callinan told him that Sergeant McCabe raised the penalty point issue, driven by revenge for being investigated for a sexual offence years ago.

Tribunal Chairman Peter Charleton put it to Superintendent Taylor that he couldn’t remember a thing about briefing journalists negatively.

 

The Disclosures Tribunal is investigating whether there was a smear campaign against Maurice McCabe directed by senior garda management.

Superintendent Dave Taylor says from mid 2013, Commissioner Martin Callinan was frustrated that the penalty point issue wasn’t going away and told him to tell the media that

Sgt McCabe was motivated by revenge after being investigated for a sexual offence allegation in 2006.

The Tribunal heard that Paul Williams, Paul Reynolds, John Burke, Juno McEnroe and Mick O’Toole have denied being briefed by Supt Taylor.

Five journalists are invoking journalistic privilege meaning they won’t confirm the identity of a source.

Asked repeatedly if he could recall a date or location when he briefed a journalist negatively, Supt Taylor could not do so.

Tribunal Chairman Peter Charleton asked him if he could remember a single reaction from a journalist when told the explosive information that the man who is a national hero is in fact a child abuser - to which Supt Taylor said no.