Sunday 26 January 2020

Profile: Supt David Taylor

Superintendent David Taylor Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Superintendent David Taylor Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Niall O'Connor

Superintendent David Taylor keeps in his possession letters of commendation written by a serving and former Head of State.

President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina, as well as former President Mary McAleese, penned personal letters in which they praised the officer for his professionalism and work ethic while deployed at Áras an Uachtaráin.

Now in the eye of a storm, the married father of two is hoping the words of the presidents will stand him in good stead.

Supt Taylor was promoted to head of the Garda Press Office in July 2012 by the then Commissioner Martin Callinan, having previously served in the Special Detective Unit.

He adopted a more open approach towards the media than some of his predecessors, expressing the view that regular communication with journalists was beneficial to both the force and the public.

Supt Taylor, pictured, was investigated in June 2014 for allegedly leaking sensitive data to the media relating to a case involving a childcare matter.

He was transferred out of the press office and moved to the traffic division.

He was subsequently arrested in May 2015 and suspended from duty on significantly reduced pay.

During his arrest, Mr Taylor was questioned for 20 hours straight and held in a cell in Balbriggan Garda Station.

He has now been under investigation for over 16 months by a special unit that was headed up by Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan's husband, Chief Supt Jim McGowan.

Supt Taylor has always denied the allegations levelled against him - which are being examined by the DPP - and has instigated High Court proceedings aimed at halting the inquiry.

In recent weeks, Supt Taylor met Sgt Maurice McCabe.

The pair's legal team also met before Supt Taylor decided to submit a file under the State's protected disclosure laws.

Irish Independent

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