Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan at a press conference in 2014, and whistleblower Supt Dave Taylor (left)
Sarah Bardon, in The Irish Times, reports:
The Government is to move to establish a commission of investigation into allegations that senior gardaí engaged in an orchestrated campaign to discredit a Garda whistleblower.
The Irish Times understands that retired high court judge Iarlaith O’Neill, who was asked last October to take a look at the allegations and report his findings within weeks, has recommended that further investigation is warranted into claims made by Supt David Taylor.
… In her 10-page submission to Mr O’Neill, seen by The Irish Times, the commissioner denies she was involved in any such campaign against Mr McCabe.
…Ms O’Sullivan told the judge she had an unblemished disciplinary and conduct record that she prided herself on.
Readers may recall how it was reported in The Sunday Times that retired High Court judge Iarfhlaith O’Neill – who has examined the protected disclosures made by Sgt Maurice McCabe and former head of the Garda Press Office Supt Dave Taylor – was given “conflicting accounts from key witnesses” including the Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan.
Mr Justice O’Neill’s review was received by the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald on December 7 but it has not yet been published.
Readers will recall how Supt Taylor has claimed there was an orchestrated campaign, within the gardai, to destroy the reputation of Sgt McCabe.
Supt Taylor has claimed he was following orders from senior gardaí and that both the former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and the current commissioner Ms O’Sullivan knew about the campaign.
Before Christmas, John Mooney, in The Sunday Times, reported that, as part of his protected disclosure, Mr Taylor claimed he sent a text to Ms O’Sullivan in which he told her a journalist had interviewed a person making allegations about McCabe.
Taylor claims O’Sullivan sent a one-word reply to his text: “perfect”.
In a statement to Mr Justice O’Neill, Ms O’Sullivan denied Taylor’s claims, and said she often responded to texts messages using the word “perfect” or “thanks”.
Yesterday: “Legacy Issues”