'Give Taylor job back, let him defend name' - FF
Fianna Fáil is pushing for the full reinstatement of Superintendent David Taylor, who has remained suspended from the force for 21 months.
For the first time, the party's justice spokesperson Jim O'Callaghan yesterday told the Dáil that the senior officer should never have been suspended from the force.
Fine Gael TD for Wexford Michael D'Arcy said it is wrong that Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan is remaining in place - while Supt Taylor is off work.
Supt Taylor was arrested in May 2015 and questioned for 20 hours at Balbriggan garda station for an allegation entirely unrelated to the alleged smear campaign against whistleblower Maurice McCabe.
The investigation in question centred around claims Supt Taylor leaked confidential information to the media surrounding a child protection-related case. Supt Taylor has always denied the allegations and has initiated legal action against his suspension.
The Garda investigation into the alleged leaks was led by Commissioner O'Sullivan's husband, Chief Supt Jim McGowan.
On several occasions over the past 21 months, Supt Taylor has received formal written notification through his solicitor that his suspension is being extended. The latest notification of a further one month extension was delivered in recent days.
His pay has been slashed significantly and his official phone has been confiscated.
Supt Taylor is yet to make any public comment on the events of recent days.
However, he is understood to be willing to co-operate fully with the Charleton Inquiry.
During yesterday's Dáil debate on the terms of reference for the Charleton Inquiry, Mr O'Callaghan raised Supt Taylor's suspension.
"He should not have been suspended from his post in An Garda Síochána. He was entitled to his good name and to defend himself," Mr O'Callaghan said.
During the same debate, Mr D'Arcy raised the fact Supt Taylor's mobile phone was confiscated.
"I do believe it appropriate ...that the Garda Commissioner step aside," he said.
"I do think in the interest of natural justice, the commissioner (should) step aside in the interest of An Garda Síochána. The interest of one individual cannot come in ahead of the police force."