Monday 10 December 2018

Disgraced Garda Supt David Taylor set to retire on full pension

  • Suspended in the wake of Disclosures Tribunal report
  • Martin Callinan and Supt Dave Taylor 'ran campaign' against whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe - report
  • Sgt McCabe 'had the interests of the people of Ireland uppermost in his mind' - judge
  • Supt Taylor will no longer be subject to disciplinary action if he retires
  • Pension will also be protected if he leaves the force
Dave Taylor Picture: Damien Eagers
Dave Taylor Picture: Damien Eagers
Former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan
The Disclosures Tribunal report praised Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe. Photo: RollingNews.ie

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.

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 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 onto 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 in those circumstances. 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 against him.

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.

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

In the report, Mr Justice Charleton found former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan engaged, with the aid of Supt Taylor, in a campaign of false and defamatory statements against the whistleblower.

It said Sgt McCabe was a genuine person who had the interests of the people of Ireland uppermost in his mind when he highlighted penalty points abuses and other policing shortcomings.

But instead of being lauded by his then commissioner, he was targeted by "a frontal attack" during 2013 and 2014 to "head off" what Mr Callinan saw as "the undermining of standards of duty and loyalty to which he had devoted his career".

Mr Callinan felt his rights as he saw them, both as data controller of Garda information and as commander of his subordinates, would be breached if Sgt McCabe appeared at the Dáil Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

In particular, the plan followed by Mr Callinan and Supt Taylor was to spread information about a historic allegation of child sexual assault the report said. 

The DPP found no offence of any kind had been disclosed against Sgt McCabe and that there was no basis for any prosecution.

The garda press office has confirmed this afternoon that a garda officer has been suspended, but it would not verify the identity of that person.

"A garda officer has been suspended from duty. As this is an employment matter An Garda Siochana will not comment further on the identity of that particular individual," said a garda spokesman.

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