Disgraced garda superintendent who was heavily criticised by Disclosures Tribunal retires on full pension

Dave Taylor Picture: Damien Eagers

Shane Phelan

A disgraced garda superintendent heavily criticised by the Disclosures Tribunal for his role in a campaign to smear whistleblower Maurice McCabe has retired from the force.

Former Garda press officer Dave Taylor ceased being a member of An Garda Síochána as of midnight last night after a retirement request was approved by Garda Commissioner Drew Harris.

He will receive a full pension and will not now face a disciplinary investigation over the tribunal’s findings.

It is understood the decision to allow his retirement was made some time last week after the commissioner received legal advice.

It was thought the commissioner could refuse to approve the request, thus allowing a disciplinary inquiry to get underway.

However, it is understood he received advice that there was no legal basis to block the request as Taylor had completed 30 years service, which made him eligible for retirement on a full pension.

Last month tribunal chair Mr Justice Peter Charleton found Taylor aided former Garda commissioner Martin Callinan in a campaign of false and defamatory statements against Sgt McCabe.

Two days after the judge’s report was published, Taylor was informed he was being suspended on the grounds that he had brought the organisation into disrepute.

The following day he submitted a request for retirement.

In his report, Mr Justice Charleton found that Callinan went on “a frontal attack” against Sgt McCabe, telling a TD the whistleblower had sexually abused his own children.

The false claim was made at a time Callinan was seeking to stop the Dáil Public Accounts Committee from calling Sgt McCabe as a witness.

Callinan denied making the remarks and other derogatory comments about Sgt McCabe, but the tribunal did not believe him.

The judge found Callinan engaged in a “campaign of calumny” against Sgt McCabe, aided by Taylor, who was his press officer.

The judge said they had a plan to spread a historic and unfounded sexual abuse allegation about Sgt McCabe.

The scheme “somehow evolved out of his cheek-by-jowl working relationship” Taylor enjoyed with Callinan.

The judge also found that when Taylor later came under Garda investigation over the unauthorised disclosure of information to journalists, he swore an affidavit that was “almost entirely made up of nothing but lies”.

The retirement of Taylor comes just days after it emerged Sgt McCabe was retiring.

Sgt McCabe came to prominence after blowing the whistle on penalty points abuses and other failings within An Garda Síochána.

He said last week that after Mr Justice Charleton’s report was published he discussed things with his family and decided retirement was the best thing to do.

The judge’s report paid tribute to Sgt McCabe, saying he had “done the State considerable service”.