Friday 14 December 2018

Judge believes crime reporter over 'frankly silly' evidence given by former press officer

Paul Williams. Picture: Collins
Paul Williams. Picture: Collins
Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

The Disclosures Tribunal said it believed crime journalist Paul Williams and not the then-Garda press officer Supt David Taylor in a dispute over a phone call between the two.

Mr Justice Charleton said Supt Taylor's evidence had been "frankly silly".

Mr Williams had said he called Supt Taylor in 2014 to ask questions about complaints made by "Ms D".

He told the tribunal Supt Taylor phoned him back and confirmed an investigation had taken place and there would be no charges.

However, in cross-examination, it was put to Mr Williams he called Supt Taylor from Ms D's house after interviewing her, saying: "Guess where I am?"

Mr Williams said this was "completely untrue".

"There would not be the slightest reason for Paul Williams to curry some kind of favour with the Garda press office by gleefully announcing the news that bad news was imminent for Maurice McCabe," Mr Justice Charleton found.

Articles were published in the Irish Independent in April and May 2014 arising from an interview with Ms D, in which she expressed dissatisfaction with the Garda inquiry into her claims.

The articles did not name Sgt McCabe.

Supt Taylor had claimed a number of other journalists were "negatively briefed" by him against Sgt McCabe.

The tribunal was not convinced that any of them were "ever egged on" and did not conclude that any journalist was negatively briefed.

Irish Independent

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