Tribunal hears former head of Garda Press was uncomplimentary about Maurice McCabe

Just one member of the Garda press office has admitted to discussing Sergeant McCabe

Tribunal hears former head of Garda Press was uncomplimentary about Maurice McCabe

Maurice McCabe at the Disclosures Tribunal in Dublin Castle, 08-02-2018. Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews

The Disclosures Tribunal has heard that the former head of Garda Press was uncomplimentary about Maurice McCabe and journalists and politicians who supported him.

The tribunal is investigating whether there was a smear campaign orchestrated by Garda management against the Garda whistleblower.

Just one out of 13 members of the press office has admitted to discussing Sergeant McCabe during the period relevant to the Tribunal.

Giving evidence today and yesterday, civilian and Garda members of the press office successively denied ever discussing Maurice McCabe amongst themselves - or hearing of a campaign to smear him from the head of Garda Press, Dave Taylor.

But this afternoon, Sergeant James Molloy said that Sgt McCabe was discussed when his case was on the radar, and that Superintendent Taylor would be uncomplimentary about Maurice McCabe, about journalists writing about him and about members of the Oireachtas who took his side.

But Sergeant Molloy said there was no evidence Supt Taylor was prompted by Garda Commissioners Noirin O’Sullivan and Martin Callinan to do so.

Earlier the tribunal heard from Sergeant Damian Hogan that he suspected Supt Taylor was passing on internal Garda Critical Incident Reports to a journalist – which he said would have been improper.

This evening the Tribunal heard that nine of 11 laptops given to Commissioners Martin Callinan and Noirin O’Sullivan over a long period of time were not returned - however the devices relating to Ms O’Sullivan pre-dated her time as Commissioner.