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Saturday 15 December 2018

Disgraced ex-Garda press officer applies to retire from force

Former Garda press officer Supt Dave Taylor has been told he will be suspended. Photo: Frank McGrath
Former Garda press officer Supt Dave Taylor has been told he will be suspended. Photo: Frank McGrath

Tom Brady and Conor Feehan

Disgraced former Garda press officer Supt Dave Taylor is retiring early from the force.

Supt Taylor, who has been working in the Garda Traffic Section since his transfer out of the press office, yesterday applied for retirement.

He lodged the application 24 hours after he was officially informed that he was being suspended from the organisation.

His move comes in the wake of the publication of the Charleton Tribunal report, which was highly critical of his actions in relation to whistleblower Maurice McCabe.

In last week's damning report, Mr Justice Charleton said he had the gravest difficulty in accepting Supt Taylor's evidence as anything approximating the truth.

Supt Taylor was told that he was being suspended on the grounds that he had brought the organisations into disrepute and by his actions he had damaged public confidence in the force.

He made his retirement application yesterday to his chief superintendent, Aidan Reid, who will forward it today to the assistant commissioner in charge of traffic, Dave Sheahan.

The application will then be passed on to the Garda human resources section at the force headquarters in the Phoenix Park and ultimately end up on the desk of Commissioner Drew Harris, who will make a final decision on whether to sanction his retirement.

But it is expected that it will be approved as Supt Taylor has completed the 30 years' service necessary to seek retirement and it would be difficult for the Garda authorities to refuse it.

The move means that he will no longer be subject to disciplinary action if he leaves the force and will also protect his pension.

Supt Taylor must give three months' notice of his intention to retire, but it is likely that he has built up a considerable amount of leave and would be entitled to retire shortly.

It was not clear last night whether he would be entitled to attend a pre-retirement course if one is being held between now and Christmas at the Garda College in Templemore because of his suspension and the likelihood of disciplinary proceedings.

Last week the Disclosures Tribunal report found that Supt Taylor had been part of a campaign to smear Sgt Maurice McCabe and tribunal chairman, Mr Justice Peter Charleton found that he had lied several times in his evidence and also in a High Court affidavit.

Disciplinary proceedings could not be taken against Supt Taylor directly on the basis of the tribunal findings.

But, instead, they were being brought on charges of disrepute and damaging public confidence in the force, arising out of his actions, which were disclosed at the tribunal.

The report also said that after being moved from the press office by then commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan, Supt Taylor was bitter and acted with viciousness.

Claims by Supt Taylor that Ms O'Sullivan knew about a smear campaign against Sgt McCabe have been strongly rejected by the tribunal.

Irish Independent

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