Sunday 18 August 2019

'Calumny' ex-garda gets 70pc of his legal costs from tribunal

Criticised: Former Garda superintendent David Taylor
Criticised: Former Garda superintendent David Taylor
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

Former Garda superintendent David Taylor has been awarded 70pc of his legal costs by the Disclosures Tribunal.

Both Mr Taylor and former Garda commissioner Martin Callinan were heavily criticised by the tribunal.

It concluded they engaged in "a campaign of calumny" against whistleblower Maurice McCabe by falsely linking him to allegations of sexual assault.

But while Mr Callinan's legal bill was paid by the taxpayer-funded Chief State Solicitor's Office, Mr Taylor had private legal representation and had to apply for his costs, which could run into tens of thousands of euro.

In a ruling yesterday, Mr Justice Peter Charleton said a refusal to award Mr Taylor costs on the basis of the evidence which was rejected would overlook the benefit of the cooperation he did give.

The judge said Mr Taylor stood alone in coming forward and "told some of the truth".

Mr Taylor's wife Michelle was awarded 50pc of her costs. Her evidence about a meeting with Sgt McCabe in September 2016 was not accepted.

An application on behalf of the 'Irish Examiner' and five of its journalists resulted in an 80pc award of costs.

The tribunal found journalists Cormac O'Keeffe, Juno McEnroe and Daniel McConnell refused to give evidence about their dealings with Mr Taylor, even though he waived claim to journalistic privilege.

The tribunal found this was "without justification" and frustrated its work.

Despite these criticisms, the judge said, the tribunal was able to come to some knowledge of where the truth lay and that it could be justified to make some award of costs.

He also said former 'Irish Examiner' editor Tim Vaughan and correspondent Michael Clifford were "as helpful as they could be".

In separate rulings, Garda head of human resources John Barrett was awarded 60pc of his costs, while Inspector Pat O'Connell was awarded 80pc of his costs.

The judge ruled Detective Garda John Kennedy could not be awarded more than a third of his costs.

Irish Independent

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