Tag Archives: Supt Dave Taylor

Former head of the Garda Press Office Supt Dave Taylor

Shane Phelan, in the Irish Independent, reports:

A disgraced garda superintendent heavily criticised by the Disclosures Tribunal for his role in a campaign to smear whistleblower Maurice McCabe has retired from the force.

Former Garda press officer Dave Taylor ceased being a member of An Garda Síochána as of midnight last night after a retirement request was approved by Garda Commissioner Drew Harris.

He will receive a full pension and will not now face a disciplinary investigation over the tribunal’s findings.

Disgraced garda superintendent who was heavily criticised by Disclosures Tribunal retires on full pension (Shane Phelan, Irish Independent)

Previously: A Free Man?


Former Garda Press Officer Supt Dave Taylor (above) and Michael McDowell (top), senior counsel for Sgt Maurice McCabe, at Dublin Castle during the Disclosures Tribunal

Last Thursday and Friday, the Disclosures Tribunal heard the final submissions from the various legal parties in which they summed up their client/clients’ case.

The tribunal, overseen by Supreme Court judge Peter Charleton, examined claims made by the former head of the Garda Press Office Supt Taylor that he was instructed by former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, with the knowledge of Deputy Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan, to negatively brief journalists about Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe.

He claimed that, at some point in the middle of 2013, he was instructed to convey to journalists that Sgt McCabe – who was raising concerns about poor policing in Cavan/Monaghan district at this time – was driven by maliciousness and motivated by revenge due to an allegation of sexual assault made against him in 2006.

This was the allegation made by a woman referred to as Ms D – the daughter of a former Garda colleague of Sgt McCabe’s – 11 months after the colleague (Mr D) was sanctioned after Sgt McCabe made a complaint on foot of him attending the scene of a suicide after drinking alcohol.

In April 2007, the DPP found Ms D’s allegation had no foundation.

Supt Taylor alleges that – as the penalty point controversy began to simmer in 2013/2014 – he was instructed to tell journalists about this allegation and to tell them that the DPP ruled against a prosecution, but that he was to convey that it was still the “root cause” of Sgt McCabe’s complaints about poor practices within An Garda Síochána.

Four journalists contacted the D family in early 2014 – Debbie McCann, of the Irish Mail on Sunday, Eavan Murray, of the Irish Sun, Paul Williams, of the Irish Independent, and Michael O’Toole, of the Irish Daily Star, via Facebook to Mr D – according to Mr D.

Mr O’Toole was never asked about this Facebook contact when he gave evidence.

[The only journalist to write about Ms D’s allegation against Sgt McCabe in 2014 was Mr Williams – in April and May 2014.]

The tribunal’s genesis was the submission of two protected disclosures in September 2016 by Sgt McCabe and Supt Taylor – following a meeting they had in Supt Taylor’s home.

When they met, Supt Taylor had just been through a very difficult family trauma and was very upset.

Supt Taylor’s wife Michelle Taylor told the tribunal what this family trauma was when she gave evidence but the judge immediately struck it from the record – presumably to protect those involved.

Sgt McCabe made his protected disclosure – based on what Supt Taylor told him – several days before Supt Taylor.

The main difference between Sgt McCabe and Supt Taylor’s accounts of their discussion, is that Sgt McCabe claims Supt Taylor told him that he sent “hundreds” of texts to journalists and other senior gardai as part of his alleged smear campaign.

Sgt McCabe says he returned to Supt Taylor the day after initially meeting with Supt Taylor, in order to double-check the matter of texts, and Supt Taylor said “thousands” of texts could have been sent.

Other witnesses – Fianna Fail TD John McGuinness, Independents 4 Change TD Clare Daly and Irish Examiner journalist Mick Clifford – have also told the tribunal that, at around the time of making his protected disclosure, Supt Taylor also led them to believe that texts were used as part of the alleged smear campaign.

Ms Daly spoke about this on radio in October 2014, while Mr Clifford wrote about this in his book The Maurice McCabe Story, A Force for Justice – after sending Supt Taylor the chapter containing this detail for the purpose of fact checking in May 2017 – and Supt Taylor never corrected either Ms Daly or Mr Clifford.

Furthermore, they told the tribunal they were led to believe that evidence of these texts were on phones seized as part of a criminal investigation into him (more on this below).

But Supt Taylor, when he gave evidence to the tribunal, was adamant that when he discussed the matter of texts with Sgt McCabe, he was referring to texts to Mr Callinan and Ms O’Sullivan concerning media updates.

[The tribunal heard that the Garda Press Office monitors the printed press daily while the tribunal saw radio transcripts concerning matters related to Ms O’Sullivan were emailed to Ms O’Sullivan from the Communications Clinic – which, the tribunal heard, is paid to work with the Garda Press Office]

At the time of their meeting, Supt Taylor was under criminal investigation for leaking material to the press.

This investigation first started out as an investigation into the leaking of details concerning Roma children in October 2013 – following on from a report by the Children’s Ombudsman Emily Logan into the matter.

Chief Supt Francis Clerkin was appointed by Assistant Commissioner John Twomey to carry out this investigation in July 2014 – a month after Supt Taylor was removed from the Garda Press Office and transferred to the Traffic Department, following the resignation of former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan in March 2014.

Chief Supt Clerkin appointed Det Supt Jim McGowan – the husband of the then Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan – Insp Dave Gallagher, Sgt Thelma Waters, Sgt Brian Kavanagh and Garda Ross Rowan to assist in this investigation.

Chief Supt Clerkin said the decision to appoint these gardai was entirely his and that Ms O’Sullivan had no part in it.

In the midst of this investigation, during 2014 and 2015, and after seeing extensive contacts Supt Taylor had with journalists after he was moved out of the Garda Press Office in June 2014, the tribunal was told the investigation somewhat morphed into an investigation into Supt Taylor, during which phones were seized from Supt Taylor.

[It should be noted that the tribunal saw a text sent from Ms O’Sullivan to Terry Prone, of the Communications Clinic, in October 2016 – after the protected disclosures were submitted – in which she told Ms Prone: “I took up on 26th March 2014 and moved him [Supt Taylor] on the first available opportunity, which I believe was 9th June 2014.”]

Supt Taylor was found to have had almost 11,000 contacts with journalists between September 2014 and December 2014 alone – 2,800 of which were with Irish Sun journalist Eavan Murray alone.

It was said on a number of occasions in the tribunal that Supt Taylor was running his own Garda Press Office despite no longer being a part of it.

[Notwithstanding that, it should be noted anyone could pick up any newspaper on any given day of the week and find Garda leaks are a complete norm in Irish journalism]

Supt Taylor was arrested and suspended in May 2015.

Chief Supt Clerkin told the tribunal that after he was released from custody, Chief Supt Clerkin discussed Supt Taylor’s suspension with Assistant Commissioner John Twomey and, subsequent to that, Supt Taylor was “suspended on a three-monthly period from Garda Headquarters at Phoenix Park, a decision made by an assistant commissioner”.

Either way, in August 2015, Chief Supt Francis Clerkin – after investigating Supt Taylor – recommended that he be prosecuted for disclosing information to numerous journalists between October 21, 2013 and February 19, 2015, contrary to Section 62(2) of the Garda Síochána Act 2005:

Section 62 is:

“A person who is or was a member of the Garda Síochána or of its civilian staff or who is or was engaged under contract or other engagement to work with or for the Garda Síochána, shall not disclose, in or outside the State, any information obtained in the course of carrying out duties of that person’s office, employment, contract or other arrangement if the person knows the disclosure of that information is likely to have a harmful effect.”

Section 62 (2) is:

For the purpose of this section (above), the disclosure of information referred to in subsection

(1) does not have a harmful effect unless it—

(a) facilitates the commission of an offence,

(b) prejudices the safekeeping of a person in legal custody,

(c) impedes the prevention, detection or investigation of an offence,

(d) impedes the apprehension or prosecution of a suspected offender,

(e) prejudices the security of any system of communication of the Garda Síochána,

(f) results in the identification of a person—

(i) who is a witness in a criminal proceeding or who has given information in confidence to a member of the Garda Síochána, and

(ii) whose identity is not at the time of the disclosure a matter of public knowledge,

(g) results in the publication of information that—

(i) relates to a person who is a witness to or a victim of an offence, and

(ii) is of such a nature that its publication would be likely to discourage the person to whom the information relates or any other person from giving evidence or reporting an offence,

(h) results in the publication of personal information and constitutes an unwarranted and serious infringement of a person’s right to privacy,

(i) reveals information provided in confidence by another state, an international organisation, another police service or an intelligence service, or

(j) affects adversely the international relations or interests abroad of the State, including those with Northern Ireland.

During this investigation, in early 2016 – and crucially before Supt Taylor spoke to Sgt McCabe in September 2016 – Supt Taylor made an application to the High Court to have the investigation into him stopped.

He claimed, in a sworn affidavit, that he was arrested only for the purpose of embarrassing and inflicting pain on him and holding him up to ridicule and contempt. He also claimed that, during his detention, investigators were tactless, oppressive, heavy handed, and unnecessarily autocratic.

His senior counsel Breiffne Gordon even told the court there was “a certain element of skullduggery taking place”.

On February 17, 2016, the DPP directed there be no prosecution.

A letter from the directing officer in the office of the DPP said:

“The problems are two-fold. In most cases it is not possible to prove that information was disclosed to the press by the suspect.

“Even in cases where there is an electronic trail of information being disclosed, it is impossible to establish the harm requirement of Section 62 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005.

“While highly suspicious, I do not think that it is possible to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the suspect disclosed confidential information. Therefore, I direct no prosecution.”

The gardai then wrote back to the DPP on February 22, 2016, and asked if the DPP would reconsider a prosecution against Supt Taylor in relation to disclosing personal data without the prior authority of the Data Controller.

The tribunal heard this letter of response to the DPP – requesting a prosecution under over personal data – was signed and submitted by Noirin O’Sullivan’s husband Det Supt McGowan as Chief Supt Clerkin was on holiday at that time.

Fast forward a year later to February 8, 2017 and Labour leader Brendan Howlin got up in the Dail during Leaders’ Questions, and told the Oireachtas:

“This morning a journalist contacted me and told me they had direct knowledge of calls made by the Garda Commissioner to journalists during 2013 and 2014 in the course of which the Commissioner made very serious allegations of sexual crimes having been committed by Sergeant Maurice McCabe. “

Mr Howlin was referring to what Irish Mail on Sunday journalist Alison O’Reilly told him her colleague Debbie McCann told her.

Mr Howlin did later clarify that he did not have “direct evidence” – he only knew what Ms O’Reilly told him and that Ms O’Reilly never told him she had “direct knowledge”.

He also clarified that he was mistaken when he said ‘journalists’ (plural).

[The tribunal has been told there are no phone records to show Ms McCann and Ms O’Sullivan were in phone contact during the relevant period. Ms O’Reilly claims that Ms McCann told her that she had Ms O’Sullivan’s phone number in 2014]

It should also be noted that in the same Dáil contribution, Mr Howlin specifically said:

“I do not know whether the charges that have been made against the Garda Commissioner are true or not.”

Seven days later, on February 13, 2017, the DPP ruled against prosecuting Supt Taylor for a second time.

In a letter from the directing officer in the office of the DPP to Chief Supt Clerkin, he was told:

“I refer to the above matter and, in particular, to my direction of the 17th February 2016 wherein the question of a prosecution for offences contrary to Section 62 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 was already considered.

“The question of a prosecution for breaches of the Data Protection Act 1988, as amended, has been considered.

“The advices of senior counsel were sought and I enclose herewith opinion from (redacted) in relation to the matter.

“The Director agrees with the advices of counsel, and accordingly, for the reasons set out in counsel’s advices, there should be no prosecution.”

Supt Taylor went back to work in the Traffic Department in Dublin Castle the following day, February 14, 2017.

The tribunal heard that, during the criminal investigation, Supt Taylor replied ‘no comment’ over Garda interviews amounting to 18 hours.

Yet, within minutes on his first day of giving evidence to the tribunal, Supt Taylor told Judge Charleton that he wasn’t contesting the claim that he did make all of the communications to journalists as outlined in the Clerkin report.

He later told the judge:

“I fully accept that I accept my culpability and I regret that immensely.”

He also, when giving evidence, fully accepted the bona fides of the Clerkin investigation, accepted Ms O’Sullivan had nothing to do with it and said there was nothing on his seized phones worth destroying in terms of the alleged smear campaign against Sgt McCabe – not least of all because the phone which was relevant to the period of the alleged smear campaign (mid-2013 to March/April 2014) was not seized.

Prior to Supt Taylor giving evidence, Chief Supt Clerkin told the tribunal that, as part of his criminal investigation into Supt Taylor, three of his phones were seized – on December 18, 2014, on Februrary 19, 2015 and May 2015.

Chief Supt Clerkin told the tribunal when he seized Supt Taylor’s phone on December 18, 2014, he sealed it and gave it to Det Supt McGowan with a view to examining it later.

Chief Supt Clerkin said the investigating team had hoped to see texts going back to October 2013 – when Supt Taylor was in the Garda Press Office and when the incident with the Roma children occurred – but no such information was on the phone as it had only been issued to Supt Taylor in September 2014 and Supt Taylor had taken the old 2013/3014 phone away with him at that time (in September 2014).

Essentially, Supt Taylor’s 2013/2014 phone is one of the 12 phones belong to Supt Taylor, Mr Callinan and Ms O’Sullivan which the tribunal never recovered.

And it was phones pertaining to a later period of time than when he was in the Garda Press Office which were seized from Supt Taylor and Supt Taylor accepted this when he gave evidence.

As for Supt Taylor’s previous claim that texts from the period relevant to the tribunal (July 2012 to June 2014) had been put to him during the Clerkin investigation – and should, he had previously argued, therefore be made available to the tribunal – Supt Taylor’s counsel told the tribunal that Supt Taylor had been mistaken and that it was billing records from that time which were put to him, not texts.

In addition, between the time of his protected disclosure in September 2016 and his evidence to the tribunal, disciplinary proceedings against Supt Taylor were also dropped.

Chief Supt Clerkin said he was told in February of this year [2018] by the Assistant Commissioner for Dublin [Pat Leahy] that he was to discontinue all discipline matters.

He also added that he suspects a second, separate disciplinary investigation – carried out by another chief superintendent – “met with [a] similar fate” but he couldn’t be sure.

On Friday, June 22, Judge Charleton specifically asked what happened to the disciplinary proceedings against Supt Taylor.

When Shane Murphy SC, for An Garda Siochana, made his submission last week, he answered this question by saying the following:

“In our view, Chairman, having regard to the terms of reference, we respectfully say it’s not necessary for the Tribunal to determine this question, and our clients would have a concern that anything that might be said as to why disciplinary proceedings have been discontinued may impact or compromise any steps An Garda Síochána wish to take in relation to the matter in the future. So I would prefer not to elaborate on that issue at this time, with the permission of the Chair.”

Following on from that…

At the outset of his submission Michael McDowell SC, for Sgt Maurice McCabe, pointed out two letters detailing the discontinuing of the disciplinary proceedings in respect of the Roma children and the other matters against Supt Taylor were both dated January 12, 2017.

Mr McDowell wondered if this was a misprint – because the tribunal was told the disciplinary proceedings were dropped in February 2018.

Diarmaid McGuinness SC, for the tribunal, pointed out that the date under the signature on one of the letters said ‘February 2018’.

Mr McDowell said it was important discrepancy and he recalled the evidence of former Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan when she asked why the disciplinary proceedings were dropped – and, Mr McDowell said, she said “it happened on somebody else’s watch and she couldn’t assist you [Judge Charleton] with it”.

Mr McDowell also raised questions as to why Supt Taylor’s evidence to the tribunal was “so milk and watery in so many respects”.

[Supt Taylor couldn’t recall any details – time or place – of any alleged briefing]

Mr McDowell also recounted how Supt Taylor backtracked on certain claims, as mentioned above, but also that when one journalist Cathal McMahon, formerly of the Irish Daily Mirror, finally told the tribunal that Supt Taylor confirmed the Ms D allegation to him, Supt Taylor curiously didn’t agree with everything Mr McMahon said – even though he was the only journalist to corroborate Supt Taylor’s claim.

It’s worth noting that the tribunal also heard that when he was interviewed by the tribunal’s investigators, Supt Taylor said he told journalists about the Ms D allegation to the effect there was ‘no smoke without fire’.

But when he gave evidence to the tribunal, he also backtracked on this claim.

In addition, Supt Taylor only actually attended the tribunal a handful of days – in contrast to Sgt McCabe who attended every single day.

Mr McDowell said:

“Cathal McMahon gave evidence here that he went to Superintendent Taylor to ask him to confirm the details of a story he had heard from a non-Garda source. And he says two things happened: Superintendent Taylor confirmed the fact that there had been an investigation, etcetera, etcetera, and directed him — sorry, pointed him in the direction of Cavan to look at the matter further.

“Superintendent Taylor, in his statements to this Tribunal’s investigators, told the investigators that he encouraged Ms [Debbie] McCann [of the Irish Mail on Sunday] and Ms [Eavan] Murray [of the Irish Sun] to go — to follow up the matter by going to Cavan to the Ds. That is negative briefing and that is participating in a story which is — participating in the dissemination of a story in circumstances which are wholly inappropriate.

“So you have four journalists – [Paul] Williams [of the Irish Independent], Murray, McCann and McMahon – two of whom admit that they were effectively negatively briefed, in the sense that they were given suggestions to go there or to — given a false account of the DPP’s direction in the matter and misled as to the nature of the DPP’s direction on the one hand, and two of whom have pleaded privilege in respect of these matters before you, Ms McCann and Ms Murray.

They have said that they were never negatively briefed, but they have invoked privilege as to whether they ever had a conversation with Superintendent Taylor. Now, when I made a submission to you, Chairman, about what implications can be drawn from a wrongful invocation of privilege, I did make the point, and I was careful to do so, that it depended on the circumstances that you could draw such inference as it was appropriate in the circumstance…”

“…in respect of Ms. Murray and Ms. McCann, whether or not they were right or wrong legally, and I say they were utterly wrong in the circumstances and in view of the waivers, to refuse to confirm to the Tribunal what had been said to them on or off the record, or off the record in particular, by Superintendent Taylor, whether or not they were legally entitled to do that, having regard to Article 10 of the ECHR, in the circumstance that they did travel to the D household, that they did make an attempt to interview Ms. D, and that they had, on Superintendent Taylor’s account given to the Tribunal’s investigators, discussions with them in which he would have encouraged them to follow up on the matter with the D family, that the inference that you should draw, in my respectful submission, is that they were so encouraged and that they were directed towards the D family in precisely the same way as Cathal McMahon was, and that it is quite likely in the circumstances that they were given the same background information in relation to the whole question of the D allegation, its investigation and the like, as Paul Williams claims he was given just for the asking by Superintendent Taylor.

“So those four journalists, Judge, are there. And I do agree with a number of the submissions that have been made here, but it is strange indeed that those four journalists are clear examples where there was a briefing, in my respectful submission, but that there were a number of other people in respect of whom there was no evidence that they were so briefed.

“And then on the same day as Cathal McMahon gives his evidence, you have the evidence of his editor, John Kierans, and he tells you that he was satisfied in early 2014 that this story was being hawked around the newsrooms of Dublin by Sergeant McCabe — sorry, by Superintendent Taylor.

“And if you wanted to find that, Judge, it’s page 203 to 206 on Day 94, it’s all set out there. So I’m asking the Tribunal, before it comes to the view that nothing Superintendent Taylor said could be true, not to leap into a simple binary choice of saying he’s either credible or he’s incredible. Clearly in respect of a number of issues he’s not credible.

“Clearly in respect of a number of issues he’s a witness whose evidence must be taken with circumspection. But those four instances that I referred the Tribunal to just now are clear instances of where the Press Officer of An Garda Síochána appears to have engaged in briefing of journalists, and it would be entirely reasonable to believe that this was designed to damage Sergeant McCabe in the circumstances.

“…I made a submission to you earlier, and I’m not going to repeat it at length, on an earlier occasion, that the Tribunal should look very clearly at the formulaic denial of negative briefing by a number of journalists here.

In respect of two of them at least [RTE’s] Paul Reynolds and Debbie McCann [of the Irish Mail on Sunday], when I inquired of them what they meant by ‘negative briefing’, under cross-examination they accepted that being told the truth about Sergeant McCabe, i.e. receiving detraction about him, was not negative briefing, but that negative briefing involved effectively some element of calumny, as long as they were being told the truth it wasn’t negative briefing.

“And as I submitted to you earlier, Chairman, ‘negative briefing’ is not a term of art, but it is a phrase which has clearly been used on a number of occasions by different witnesses here to mean quite different things, and I will put it no further than that.

“…I would have to say, Judge, that the attitude exhibited in the witness box here by Superintendent Taylor seems to have had about it an acquiescence and a willingness not to fight his corner but to rely on entirely formulaic statements of evidence in circumstances that must attract some degree of suspicion.

“And I instance the case of Cathal McMahon, Judge. He came in here and said I rang him up, I asked him for confirmation of the D allegation and the investigation, and he directed me or encouraged me to go up to Cavan and find out for myself.

“Now that should have suited his case, but he put it to the witness, through his counsel, that that was untrue, for some strange reason, and that all he had ever done was engage in this mantra of saying that he was motivated by revenge, blah-blah-blah, the usual thing.

“And there seems to be something very, very strange indeed about — and you will see that interaction, Mr. Ferry [counsel for Supt Taylor] was putting the questions, I have no doubt on close instructions from his client, putting questions to Mr McMahon suggesting that his testimony here was false, when in fact it tended to corroborate the underlying truth of what Superintendent Taylor had disclosed in his protected disclosure, and that was that he was engaged in the business of subverting Sergeant McCabe on the instructions of and with the acquiescence of the Commissioner.

“…In relation to Sergeant McCabe’s status as the maker of a protected disclosure, I think Mr [Shane] Murphy [SC for An Garda Siochana] has fairly conceded that Sergeant McCabe has acknowledged that in recounting what he was told by Superintendent Taylor that he was doing his best to be truthful and to be accurate in what he has said.

“And I think that it has been, it is certainly the case here that his version of what he was told, particularly in relation to the use of texts, has been corroborated, as the tribunal well
knows, by a number of things; two members of the Dáil [Mick Wallace and Clare Daly] who got the same impression from Superintendent Taylor and most importantly in terms of certainty is that what he said was put by Superintendent Taylor, by Michael Clifford [of the Irish Examiner] and that he was asked to check the correctness of the facts as stated and he failed to demure in any way from the version given by Sergeant McCabe and the version given to the two Dáil deputies.

“There are other aspects of it, Judge, I just want to remind the Tribunal there are other aspects which there are significant matters, one of which was Sergeant McCabe was told about the Oisin file, that is corroborated; another of which is that there was a file on him in Crime and Security, that has been established to be true – Crime and Security were involved in sending people to check out the infamous uncle Bernie McCabe’s groundless allegations against Sergeant McCabe; there is also the issue that he was, he gave evidence that the Taylors had said to him that they had been offered a way out.

“And Chairman, it is of significance that he was offered this way out by way of resignation.

“Sergeant McCabe duly recorded that in his protected disclosure. Interestingly, and strangely, Mrs Taylor confirmed that that offer had been made through lawyers by the relevant officer, senior officer of An Garda Síochána, but for some reason you find that Superintendent Taylor denied that.

“And that’s on day 76, Judge. Mrs Taylor agrees that the Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner Twomey had through lawyers made this offer to Superintendent Taylor, but strangely Superintendent Taylor himself denied this and contradicted Sergeant McCabe.

“Why is that Judge?

“And why is it that he has come here dissembling as to his dealings with An Garda Síochána? I raise this significant issue and I ask the tribunal to consider it: Has he come here as an entirely free man or has his reinstatement put him under an obligation to dilute his evidence and is it a good explanation as to why he was so milk and watery in so many respects?

“…I am just making the point that it is strange indeed that he comes to this tribunal and contradicts both his wife and Sergeant McCabe about Deputy Commissioner Twomey acting as kind of a peacemaker and offering him a way out of his dilemma by way of resignation, and at the same time we then hear later that we get this letter indicating that the disciplinary proceedings had been dropped against him.

“…There is one extraordinary feature though too, Judge. I mean, if you look at [director of communications] Mr [Andrew] McLindon’s evidence and former Commissioner [Noirin] O’Sullivan’s evidence, there was a remarkable unwillingness to explain to you at first hand, from both of them, why Superintendent Taylor was shifted in the first place. You will recall you had to stop former Commissioner O’Sullivan from speaking PR speak about his great promotional opportunities and his new talents down in the traffic department, which was manifestly plámás and evidence which was designed to conceal what really happened.

“And that was, as it emerged from a text [to Terry Prone] that Commissioner O’Sullivan was far from interested in developing his career but determined to get him out of the Press Office at the earliest available opportunity.

“I go back to the point that I made earlier: Why was his suspension lifted? Why was his suspicion lifted if he was so obviously leaking and behaving in a manner which would get any rank and file member of An Garda Síochána, if they were caught doing it, the door almost immediately?

“They would probably be lucky even to have an inquiry if the facts were proven against them to
that extent, they’d be shown the door for gross misbehaviour and yet this man is back in the force.”


Conor Dignam, for An Garda Siochana – in response to Mr McDowell – moved to address his point about Supt Taylor’s disciplinary investigation.

But he was interrupted by Judge Charleton, who laughed when he said:

“Yes, it may help you to know that I don’t think there is anything from which I can say, for instance, that seems to be the inference that was kind of floated out there, that the Gardaí did some kind of a deal with Superintendent Taylor. It’s just not there. As to whether you’re wise in relation to how you run your disciplinary process, well, that is another matter…”

Previously: Dave Taylor’s Disclosures


From top: Sgt Maurice McCabe and Lorraine McCabe; Former head of the Garda Press Office Supt Dave Taylor

This morning.

The Disclosures Tribunal will hear from Supt Dave Taylor.

Supt Taylor – who was head of the Garda Press Office from July 2012 until June 2014 – is scheduled to give evidence for the next three days.

Over the next two weeks, he’ll be followed by his wife Michelle Taylor, former Justice Minister Alan Shatter, and former Garda Commissioners Martin Callinan and Noirin O’Sullivan.

After that, it’s understood a number of journalists are scheduled to give evidence.

The tribunal is examining claims made by Supt Taylor that he was instructed by former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, with the knowledge of Deputy Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan, to negatively brief journalists about Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe.

He’s also since told the tribunal that the director of communications Andrew McLindon – who took up his role in September 2013 – was also aware of what was allegedly happening.

Mr Callinan, Ms O’Sullivan and Mr McLindon all deny the claims.

The tribunal has already heard Supt Taylor claimed in his disclosure that he was directed to draw journalists’ attention to a complaint of sexual assault made against Sgt McCabe in 2006 by the daughter of a Garda colleague, known as Ms D – which the DPP found had no foundation in April 2007 – to the effect that this was the “root cause” of Sgt McCabe’s complaints about malpractice within An Garda Siochana.

The tribunal’s chairman Supreme Court judge Peter Charleton has already told the tribunal that Supt Taylor has “softened” his position towards Ms O’Sullivan over the course of three statements he has made to the tribunal since he made his protected disclosure on September 30, 2016.

The tribunal hasn’t heard specific details of this “softening”.

A few days before Supt Taylor made his protected disclosure on September 30, 2016, Sgt McCabe made his own protected disclosure.

This, the tribunal has heard, came on foot of a discussion he had with Supt Taylor, and his wife Michelle, at the couple’s home on September 20, 2016.

In his evidence to the tribunal, Sgt McCabe said Supt Taylor was upset and told him he had recently spoken to a spiritual person and that he felt he had to confess to Sgt McCabe that he “destroyed” him.

Sgt McCabe told Judge Charleton that Supt Taylor said there had been an orchestrated campaign – ordered by the then Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan – to attack Sgt McCabe and the campaign was in the form of whispering, phone calls and text messages.

Mr Callinan denies this.

Sgt McCabe also said Supt Taylor told him that Mr Callinan always wrote the texts and that Supt Taylor was told to send them on to journalists, other senior gardai, and a number of TDs.

Sgt McCabe said Supt Taylor also told him that he would send one of these texts to Ms O’Sullivan.

Sgt McCabe said Supt Taylor told him he would have sent hundreds of text messages, if not thousands, and that he referred to Ms O’Sullivan as the “pusher”.

After Sgt McCabe gave his evidence, Tara Burns BL, for Supt Taylor, told the tribunal it’s Supt Taylor’s position that when he referred to ‘pusher’, he was telling Sgt McCabe that Ms O’Sullivan was pursuing a prosecution against him [Supt Taylor].

Sgt McCabe did not agree.

Ms Burns also contended that Supt Taylor never said Mr Callinan composed any texts and that he didn’t say he sent hundreds of texts relating to the alleged smear campaign or Ms D allegation but, instead, he sent text messages informing the recipients about any media reports concerning Sgt McCabe.

Sgt McCabe didn’t agree with these claims either.

It’s likely Supt Taylor will be asked what exactly he claims to have told journalists about Sgt McCabe, which journalists he told and when/how did he tell them.

It’s likely he’ll be asked about the run-up to the Public Accounts Committee meeting on Thursday, January 23, 2014 – in which the then Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan made his infamous “disgusting” remark” – and events of that day.

The tribunal has already heard that prior to this meeting there were a number of “pre-PAC” meetings to prepare for Mr Callinan’s appearance and that notes from these meetings show Sgt McCabe and the Ms D allegation were discussed.

Although RTE journalist and former Crimecall presenter Philip Boucher Hayes has yet to give evidence, the tribunal’s opening statement has already outlined Mr Hayes has told the tribunal, on December 17, 2013, in RTE, Mr Hayes had a private conversation with Mr Callinan in which Mr Callinan told him Sgt McCabe was not to be trusted and that he was a “troubled individual” with a “lot of psychological issues and psychiatric issues”.

This came about, according to Mr Hayes, after a row broke out between the gardai and the producers of Crimecall over whether they could ask Mr Callinan about the penalty points controversy at the time.

Mr Boucher Hayes claims Mr Callinan told him Sgt McCabe was famous in An Garda Siochana for a set of grievances he had against Garda management and that there were other things he could tell Mr Boucher Hayes about him – “horrific things, the worst kind of thing” – but he didn’t elaborate further.

The journalist also alleges that Mr Callinan told him that if he wanted to know about Sgt McCabe or the penalty points issue, to contact Supt Dave Taylor.

Mr Boucher Hayes claims, after this, Supt Taylor immediately “buttonholed” him and said: “Now do you understand what the problem with Maurice McCabe and the penalty points is?”

When Mr McLindon gave evidence, he told the tribunal he couldn’t recall penalty points ever having been raised by Mr Hayes that day but did say he saw the two men speak privately.

The tribunal has also already heard that Supt Taylor claims he heard Mr Callinan refer to Sgt McCabe as a “kiddie fiddler” to Fianna Fail TD John McGuinness after the meeting of the Public Accounts Committee on January 23, 2014.

Fine Gael TD John Deasy has told the tribunal that on the way to the same PAC meeting he had a brief conversation with Mr Callinan and that Mr Callinan told him Sgt McCabe was not to be believed or trusted with anything.

The Comptroller and Auditor General Seamus McCarthy – whose report into the quashing of penalty points was being discussed at that PAC meeting – has also told the tribunal that, on the same day, Mr Callinan told him Sgt McCabe was not to be trusted, that he had questions to answer, and that there were allegations of sexual offences against him.

Mr Callinan denies all these claims.

It’s also expected that Supt Taylor will be asked about his knowledge of the so-called carpark meeting at Bewley’s Hotel on the Naas Road, between Mr Callinan and Fianna Fail TD John McGuinness on Friday, January 24, 2014, during which Mr Callinan allegedly told Mr McGuinness Sgt McCabe sexually abused his children and nieces.

Mr Callinan denies saying this.

Supt Taylor will also likely be asked about his involvement, if any, in the briefing of solicitor Gerald Kean before he went on RTE’s Marian Finucane Show.

During the show, Mr Kean emphatically, and repeatedly, alleged that Sgt McCabe and former Garda John Wilson didn’t cooperate with an internal Garda investigation into the quashing of penalty points by Assistant Commissioner John O’Mahoney in 2013.

Sgt McCabe and Mr Wilson later sued over the comments.

In relation to the Garda phones used by Supt Taylor during his time in the Garda Press Office, the tribunal has already heard that he had the use of three phones during that period – from July 2012 to June 2014 – but none of these have been surrendered to the tribunal.

However, it’s understood billing records from these phones should be available.

The tribunal has also heard details of three phones seized from Supt Taylor – in December 2014, February 2015 and May 2015, during the course of the investigation into leaks.

During this time period, Supt Taylor was not working in the Garda Press Office.

After Ms O’Sullivan took over as Garda Commissioner, following Mr Callinan’s resignation in March 2014, Supt Taylor was transferred to the Traffic Department and, from June 2014, he was there until he was suspended and arrested in May 2015 for allegedly leaking material to journalists.

He didn’t return to work in the Traffic Department until February 14, 2017 – the day after the DPP ruled there was to be no prosecution for a second time with the previous similar ruling having been made in February 2016.

As mentioned above, Supt Taylor told Sgt McCabe about the alleged smear campaign in September 2016.

The tribunal heard evidence from Chief Supt Francis Clerkin last week about his criminal investigation into Supt Taylor.

Chief Supt Clerkin explained his criminal investigation into Supt Taylor was prompted by communications he discovered Supt Taylor had with journalists while he was separately investigating leaks to the media concerning two Roma children in October 2013.

CS Clerkin said Assistant Commissioner John Twomey appointed him to carry out the investigation into the leaking of information regarding the Roma children on July 2014 and, in turn, he chose Detective Superintendent Jim McGowan (Ms O’Sullivan’s husband), Inspector Dave Gallagher, Sergeant Thelma Waters, Sergeant Brian Kavanagh and Garda Ross Rowan to the investigation team.

In early or mid-December 2014, CS Clerkin obtained phone billing records – which An Garda Siochana can obtain as they pay for the phones.

They showed that the district officer in Tallaght had been in touch with Supt Taylor around the time of the Roma children being taken into care and that Supt Taylor had been in contact with the journalist who wrote the exclusive about the Roma children. This was after Supt Taylor told CS Clerkin that he first heard about the Roma children in the media.

CS Clerkin said the billing records also showed that Supt Taylor, while he was in Traffic, had 11,000 communications with journalists between September 2014 and December 2014 – a quarter (2,800) of which were with Eavan Murray, of the Irish Sun; while 190 were with John Mooney, of the Sunday Times, and 17 were with Juno McEnroe, of the Irish Examiner.

Three of Supt Taylor’s phones were subsequently seized – on December 18, 2014, on Februrary 19, 2015 and May 2015.

CS Clerkin has told the tribunal that when he seized Supt Taylor’s phone (SM3) on December 18, 2014, he sealed it and gave it to Det Supt McGowan with a view to examining it later.

CS Clerkin said the investigating team had hoped to see texts going back to October 2013 – when Supt Taylor was in the Garda Press Office and when the incident with the Roma children occurred – but no such information was on the phone as it had only been issued to Supt Taylor in September 2014 and Supt Taylor had taken the old (2013) phone away with him at that time.

After learning that Supt Taylor had been requesting information about incidents from other gardai, CS Clerkin said he seized Supt Taylor’s second phone (SM2) on February 19, 2015. He also had his laptop (SM5) also seized on this day.

He was later arrested in May 2015 and, the tribunal heard that, other than confirming his name, mobile number and email address, Supt Taylor replied ‘no comment’ for the duration of six interviews and being in custody for up to 18 hours.

It was around this time his third phone (SM4) was surrendered to CS Clerkin.

A file went to the DPP on August 4, 2015 and CS Clerkin recommended that he be prosecuted for disclosing information to numerous journalists between October 21, 2013 and February 19, 2015, contrary to Section 62(2) of the Garda Síochána Act 2005.

On February 17, 2016, the DPP recommended no prosecution. The DPP said:

“While highly suspicious, I do not think that it is possible to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the suspect disclosed confidential information. Therefore, I direct no prosecution.”

The gardai then asked a second time if the DPP would reconsider a prosecution against Supt Taylor in relation to disclosing personal data without the prior authority of the Data Controller.

This lead to a final direction being given by the DPP on February 13, 2017.

Supt Taylor went back to work the following day, February 14, 2017.

It’s likely that Supt Taylor will be asked about visits made by certain journalists to the home of Ms D in February/March 2014 – specifically that of Debbie McCann, of the Irish Mail on Sunday and Eavan Murray, of the Irish Sun, in February/March 2014.

Neither Ms McCann nor Ms Murray wrote about Ms D.

It’s also likely that Supt Taylor will also be asked his contact with Paul Williams, of the Irish Independent, who interviewed and did a video interview with Ms D in Marc h 2014 and subsequently wrote four articles about her in April and May 2014.

Meanwhile, Sgt McCabe has also told the tribunal that Supt Taylor told him Supt Noel Cunningham told him [Taylor] that Ms O’Sullivan was after “throwing me under a bus” when she referred a claim presented at the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation – which pertained to Supt Cunningham and another sergeant and their famous Mullingar meeting with Sgt McCabe in August 2008 – to GSOC in May 2016.

Ms O’Sullivan referred the matter to GSOC even though, at the same time, she told the tribunal she understood the matter to have just been a mistake.

Judge Charleton specifically said the decision to send the matter to GSOC – given it was understood to be an error – “..is something that I won’t understand until my dying day”.

The tribunal begins this morning at 11am.

Previously: ‘I Destroyed You,’ He Kept Saying, ‘I Destroyed You’

Lost Phones. Missing Laptops, Damaged iPads

The Mullingar Meeting

Disclosures Tribunal: Anomalies



The Disclosures Tribunal heard claims that Supt Dave Taylor (above) told Sgt Maurcie McCabe (top) that a ‘spiritual person’ had told him to confess his role smearing the whistleblower

This week.

At the Disclosures Tribunal…

Which is examining allegations of a smear campaign being orchestrated by former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, with the knowledge of fellow former Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan, against Sgt Maurice McCabe…

Sgt Maurice McCabe told the tribunal details of information relayed to him during a meeting Fianna Fail TD John McGuinness in Dublin’s Merrion Hotel in May 2016 and, separately, Supt Dave Taylor on September 20 2016, at Supt Taylor’s home.

While giving evidence about both of these meetings, Sgt McCabe became very upset.

Readers should note, the tribunal has heard Mr McGuinness agrees with everything Sgt McCabe has told the tribunal about their meeting, save for one minor detail.

In contrast, it’s heard Supt Taylor’s account of his meeting with Sgt McCabe differs greatly.

However, the tribunal has also heard that Supt Taylor’s own evidence to the tribunal has also changed over time with chairman Judge Peter Charleton noting:

“…there has been perhaps a somewhat, look, one could say a softening or a vagueness in relation to the three statements made by David Taylor, particularly to our investigators, in relation to Nóirín O’Sullivan and what she knew…”

In any event.

Of his meeting with Mr McGuinness – the date of which is unclear other than it was May 2016 – Sgt McCabe told the tribunal on Monday that Mr McGuinness, who was then chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), told him that he had met Martin Callinan in a car park on the Naas Road on January 24.

This would have been a day after Mr Callinan made his “disgusting” remark to PAC about Garda whistleblowers and days before Sgt McCabe was due to appear before the committee to talk about the quashing of penalty points.

Sgt McCabe told the tribunal:

“He told me that he met the former Commissioner Martin Callinan at the Red Cow Inn, or that pub, and he said that I wasn’t to be trusted and he said that I had sexually abused all my children and my nieces. He said to me, I didn’t like to tell you before — you know, up to this point.

“At times I’m glad that he actually didn’t. But I asked him what was the circumstances about it, and he said he was asked to meet him at the Red Cow and he said this is what he said. And he also said that he grabbed his arm as he was getting out of the car and said, ‘it’s very serious, it’s very serious’.

Yesterday, JohnMcGuinness’ legal representative Daren Lehane BL said his client’s evidence will be the same as Sgt McCabe – except he will say he told Sgt McCabe Mr Callinan told him that Sgt McCabe had abused “your children” and nieces, as opposed to “all” your children and nieces.

Readers should note on May 26, 2016, during a speech in the Dail about the death of Shane O’Farrell in Monaghan, Mr McGuinness mentioned this meeting with Mr Callinan in the Dail.

He told the Dáil

Every effort was made by those within the Garda Síochána at senior level to discredit Garda Maurice McCabe.

The Garda Commissioner confided in me in a car park on the Naas Road that Garda McCabe was not to be trusted and there were serious issues about him.

The vile stories that circulated about Garda McCabe, which were promoted by senior officers in the Garda, were absolutely appalling. Because they attempted to discredit him, he had to bring forward various pieces of strong evidence to protect his integrity.

Continue reading →

From top: Garda whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe with his wife Lorraine; Journalist Paul Williams (centre) arriving at the Disclosures Tribunal this morning

This morning.

At the Disclosures Tribunal in Dublin Castle.

Following on from the evidence that Ms D gave yesterday about how she had given an interview – part of which was videoed – to journalist and broadcaster Paul Williams in March 2014.

And how this interview led to a series of articles written by Mr Williams in the Irish Independent in April and May 2014.

The series of articles pertained to Ms D’s 2006 allegations but did not identify Sgt Mcabe.

At the beginning of his evidence, Mr Williams said he wasn’t aware of the rape allegation that was wrongly attributed to Sgt McCabe until February of this year.

He said he read it in the media and he didn’t see RTE’s Prime Time – which outlined the sequence of events  in February 2017 after the matter was raised in the Dáil – as he was out of the country at the time.

The tribunal heard that after Mr Williams’ interview with Ms D he was in telephone contact with the then head of the Garda Press Office Supt Dave Taylor.

Mr Williams told the tribunal that he asked Supt Taylor several questions, including:

Did this investigation take place?

Who was involved?

What was the decision of the DPP?

Was there an arrest?

Can you confirm if it was Inspector Noel Cunningham who was involved?

Was the allegation placed on PULSE?

Mr Williams explained that the question referring to Insp Cunningham was “one of the problems Ms D had”.

Mr Williams told the tribunal that Supt Taylor confirmed to him that an allegation had been made against Sgt McCabe seven years previously, an investigation had taken place and that the DPP said there was no case to answer.

Michael McDowell, SC, for Sgt McCabe, asked Mr Williams: “Did he come back to you and say the allegations didn’t constitute a sexual assault and indeed an assault at all?”

Mr Williams said: “No.”

The tribunal was then referred to a letter sent by Liz Howlin in the DPP’s office to Rory Hayden, the State Solicitor for Cavan.

The tribunal heard the letter stated:

Dear Sir,

I acknowledge receipt of your letter dates 1st March 2007 together with copy Grda investigation file.

I agree with you and the Guards, that the evidence does no warrant a prosecution There was no admission. The incident as described by the injured party is vague. It appears that it was only when she was eleven/twelve that she decided that whatever occurred was sexual in nature.

Even if there wasn’t a doubt over her credibility, the incident that she describes does not constitute a sexual assault or indeed an assault.

Further, the account given to her cousin [redacted] differs in a a number of respects to that given to her parents and the Guards.

There is no basis for a prosecution.

Yours faithfully.

Asked if he had seen this letter would it have had an affect on him, Mr Williams told the tribunal:

“It would have given a different view.”

Just before the tribunal broke for lunch.

Judge Peter Charleton – who is overseeing the proceedings – asked the legal representatives to clarify with Supt Taylor the claims made by Mr Williams.


1) How many calls Paul Williams and Supt Taylor shared and when?

2) What did Supt Taylor actually say to Mr Williams?

3) Why did he say what he said to Mr Williams?

After lunch, Mr Williams returned to give evidence.

And, in response to Judge Charleton’s questions, Supt Taylor’s legal representative John Ferry BL said:

“It is our instructions that, to the best of our client’s recollection, there was only one phone call, which occurred on the Saturday Mr Williams attended at Ms D’s house.”

“Mr Williams telephoned our client and told him that he was at Ms D’s house and had interviewed her, that Maurice McCabe had destroyed this person and that he was going to write an article that was going to be very damaging to Maurice McCabe.

On the claim that he only made one phone call to Supt Tyalor on the matter, Mr Williams said:

“That’s not true.”

On the claim that he told Supt Taylor he had interview Ms D, that Sgt McCabe destroyed that person and that he was going to write a damaging article, Mr Williams said:

“That’s completely untrue.”

Judge Charleton intervened and asked Mr Williams if there had been any discussion at all about Sgt McCabe destroying anybody’s lives? Mr Williams said:

“No, there was not, chairman.”

Asked if there was anything in that ballpark, Mr Williams replied:


Mr Ferry also told the tribunal that, according to Supt Taylor, the nature of the call was that Mr Williams was informing him of what happened and that Mr Williams did not ask Supt Taylor to confirm anything specific or confirm or deny any facts.

Mr Williams said that that was “totally untrue”.

Judge Charleton then asked Supt Taylor’s legal counsel if the instructions from Supt Taylor were that he didn’t say anything to Mr Williams?

Mr Ferry said:

Well, that Superintendent Taylor will say that he took note of what you had told him and that he passed on to his superior, who was then-Commissioner Martin Callinan, and also Deputy Commissioner O’Sullivan, by way of text message.

He added:

“The instructions are that he [Paul Williams] was providing information and that information was relayed on to a superior.”

Mr Williams said he did not call Supt Williams on the same day that he met Ms D and that he had regular conversations with him after he started to make inquiries. He added:

“He suggests there that I rang him up and made a declaration or a statement to him that Maurice McCabe allegedly destroyed somebody’s life. I don’t see any logic in saying that to anybody, especially a press officer. I rang him to clarify details with him, and that’s it.”

Mr Ferry also said that Supt Taylor maintains he received no further calls from Mr Williams on the matter before an article was published on April 2 or 3 [sic].

Readers will note Mr Williams’s first article on Ms D was published on April 12, 2014.

Mr Williams said: That’s not true, chairman.”

The tribunal continues.

Earlier: Tearing The Garda Family Apart


This morning.

Eamon Dunphy (top) and Vincent Browne (above) attending this morning’s session at the Disclosures Tribunal.

Leon Farrell/Rollingnews

Clockwise from top left: Sgt Maurice McCabe, Mr Justice Peter Charleton, Garda Keith Harrison, Superintendent David Taylor, and Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan 

Yesterday evening.

Supreme Court judge Peter Charleton published his first interim report on the Disclosures Tribunal.

In it, he loosely outlines when certain hearings pertaining to the tribunal will take place (more on this below)

In addition, he lists the parties – including journalists – who have been represented before the tribunal so far, and who represented them.

In relation to journalistic privilege, Mr Charleton writes:

Another privilege that is claimed is in respect of those who engage with journalists in the public interest to enable them to carry out the vital role of calling democratic and executive institutions to account. Some journalists have given witness statements in which they have helpfully specified conversations that have taken place outside of what they perceived to be the cloak of any such privilege, if it exists.

Others have refused to say whether there is any relevant testimony which they might offer. The extent of that privilege and the circumstances under which is arises are both likely to occupy time.

As for his appeal for cooperation from all interested parties, when he made his opening statement about the tribunal, on February 27, 2017, Mr Charleton said:

There were many useful pieces of correspondence received, including from concerned members of the public, though the general level of response was very disappointing.”

In addition:

“On 30 March 2017, the Tribunal sat to hear applications for representation from interested parties… On that day, several representatives of journalists indicated an intention to apply for representation but declined to answer any questions from the tribunal as to whether the individual or organisation seeking representation even had any relevant testimony to offer the tribunal.

It is important to record that not all journalists or media organisations took that approach. The full transcript of that hearing and the ruling of the tribunal as of 3 April 2017 are both available on the tribunal’s website.”

On the tribunal’s intended schedule, he writes:

The Tribunal is grateful for the co-operating of parties in its work to date and it is hoped the Tribunal will conclude hearing evidence before the end of this year.

It appears useful to the work of the Tribunal to divide its consideration of matters into about five substantial sections. What follows is only an outline.

Of pressing public concern is whether or not files in certain State agencies, who here might be identified as Rian, the Health Service Executive and the Child and Family Agency, otherwise Túsla, were created and distributed or otherwise used by senior members of our police force in inventing or furthering a false allegation of sexual abuse against Sergeant Maurice McCabe. 

This will be the first section of public hearings. It is hoped to engage in these and to complete them in July of this year. Progress on this matter has moved very far but the analysis of relevant computers is essential and there are further interviews to be conducted by our investigations.

Concerns in relation to Garda Keith Harrison and his family and the same State agencies might be regarded as being similar in kind, if not in detail, and it is hoped to engage in public hearings on that issue in September of this year. Again, considerable work has been done.

As to what may have been briefed to the then Garda Press Officer, Superintendent David Taylor for dissemination to journalists by former Commissioner Martin Callinan and then Deputy Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan, this is the subject of an inquiry in respect of which public hearings are hoped to be held, perhaps following a short break, in November.

Allied to this section are concerns in relation to an engagement between former Commissioner Martin Callinan and John McGuinness TD that is said to have taken place on 24 January 2014, in a very specific location, according to the terms of reference.

These sections do not seem to be divisible and evidence on one may be of assistance in the determination of what attitude was taken by those senior officers to Sergeant Maurice McCabe, if any, and as to how they responded or acted.

A specific, and it would seem relatively short inquiry, is to be made in relation to broadcasts on RTE of 9 May 2016. This, in fact, consisted of several broadcasts and commentaries, and as to whether Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan was influencing, or had dictated, the terms of these in some way.

The O’Higgins Commission was of course the subject of the commentary in relation to these broadcasts. It may be logical to consider that with the question as to whether false allegations of sexual abuse or any other unjustified grounds were inappropriately relied upon by the Commissioner during the hearings before Mr Justice Kevin O’Higgins.

It is hoped to dispose of these matters in December of this year. It is not within the terms of reference to re-run the O’Higgins Commission but, instead, that report is part of the evidence before the tribunal. It might usefully be read by all interested parties.

Read the interim report in full here

Disclosures Tribunal