Tuesday 19 September 2017

'I have waited a long time for this decision to be made' - Garda Whistleblower David Taylor cleared by DPP of leaking information and reinstated

Superintendent David Taylor Picture: Collins Dublin.
Superintendent David Taylor Picture: Collins Dublin.

Ken Foy, Kevin Doyle and Niall O'Connor

Garda whistleblower David Taylor has been cleared of leaking information after an investigation that has lasted over 18 months and has been reinstated to the garda force, Independent.ie can reveal.

Mr Taylor, who is the former head of the Garda Press Office, was arrested in May 2015 in connection with the alleged leaking of material relating to a case involving two Roma children and their feared abduction.

He has been on suspension from the force with a severely reduced salary but has now been reinstated to the garda force.

Mr Taylor was closely aligned to Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan’s predecessor Martin Callinan prior to his controversial retirement.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) today informed the Superintendent that he is no longer under investigation – in a move that is likely to heap pressure on Ms O’Sullivan.

In a statement to Independent.ie, Supt Taylor said he feels "vindicated".

"After almost two years under formal Garda investigation, I have been informed today that a decision has been made not to prosecute me. I awaiting a copy of the Director of Public Prosecution's letter," Supt Taylor said.

"I have waited a long time for this decision to be made. It has been an incredibly stressful and difficult time for my family and friends. I would like to thank my friends and colleagues who supported me through this time."

Mr Taylor is one of the two whistleblowers at the centre of the current crisis engulfing An Garda Siochana and the Government. The second in Sergeant Maurice McCabe.

It is understood that Mr Taylor has alleged that Ms O’Sullivan knew about a smear campaign against Mr McCabe.

The Commissioner has consistently denied this charge, including today when she issued a statement saying: “I have made it clear that I was not part of any campaign to spread rumours about Sergeant McCabe and didn't know it was happening at the time it was happening.

“I have repeatedly refuted that claim and do so again.”

As head of the Garda Press Office, Mr Taylor was authorised to speak to the media.

During his arrest, he was questioned for 20 hours straight and held in a cell in Balbriggan Garda Station.

The manner behind Mr Taylor's suspension and the fact that it has lasted for so long has caused serious disquiet within garda and political circles.

The special unit tasked with investigating the alleged leaking of material to the media is headed up by Ms O'Sullivan's husband, Chief Superintendent Jim McGowan.

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