Wednesday 28 September 2016

DPP seeks more detail from gardaí as probe into leaks nears end

Published 11/06/2016 | 02:30

Superintendent David Taylor (left) with then Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and then Deputy Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan in 2014. Photo: Damien Eagers
Superintendent David Taylor (left) with then Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and then Deputy Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan in 2014. Photo: Damien Eagers

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has sought additional information from An Garda Síochána before making its final decision on the alleged leaking of data by the force's former chief press officer.

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Superintendent David Taylor has been suspended on a severely reduced salary for more than 12 months after being placed under investigation by a special unit.

He was arrested in May of last year in connection with the alleged leaking of material relating to a case involving two Roma children and their feared abduction.

As head of the garda press office, Mr Taylor was authorised to speak to the media.

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

The Irish Independent understands the DPP will shortly make its decision on the case and has recently sought "clarification" from the force on a number of matters.

If Mr Taylor is cleared of any wrongdoing, it will heap further pressure on the embattled Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan.

Mr Taylor was closely aligned to Ms O'Sullivan's predecessor Martin Callinan prior to his reirement from the force.

The manner behind Mr Taylor's suspension and the fact that it has lasted for over 12 months 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 Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan's husband, Chief Superintendent Jim McGowan.

Mr McGowan was one of several high-ranking officers promoted just weeks before responsibility for such appointments switches to the new independent Policing Authority.

A former officer with the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI), Mr McGowan went through the official interview process like dozens of his colleagues who were also promoted.

Mr Taylor, a married father who lives in north Dublin, denies any wrongdoing.

He has brought a high court challenge aimed at halting the inquiry.

Under the 2005 Garda Síochána Act, any individual can be imprisoned for up to seven years and hit with a "substantial fine" for the "unlawful disclosure" of information.

Irish Independent

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