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Friday 20 September 2019

Shamed Taylor to pick up pension of €40,000 per year

Cashing in: Former Garda press officer David Taylor – pictured in 2013 – is entitled to a €110,000 lump sum and a pension of €40,000 a year now he is retired. Photo: Colin Keegan/Collins
Cashing in: Former Garda press officer David Taylor – pictured in 2013 – is entitled to a €110,000 lump sum and a pension of €40,000 a year now he is retired. Photo: Colin Keegan/Collins
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

A Garda superintendent heavily criticised by the Disclosures Tribunal for smearing whistleblower Maurice McCabe will be entitled to a lump sum of around €110,000 after being allowed to retire.

Disgraced former Garda press officer Dave Taylor ceased being a member of An Garda Síochána as of midnight on Sunday after a retirement request was approved by Garda Commissioner Drew Harris.

The commissioner made the decision having sought legal advice on the matter.

Taylor had been under suspension and was facing a disciplinary inquiry in the wake of tribunal findings.

Tribunal chairman Mr Justice Peter Charleton concluded Taylor helped former commissioner Martin Callinan in "a campaign of calumny" against Sgt McCabe.

The judge said he had the gravest difficulty in accepting Taylor's evidence to the tribunal as anything approximating to the truth.

He also found that when Taylor 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".

Taylor's retirement means he will not now face any internal Garda inquiry and will receive a full pension, having completed 30 years' service.

In addition to the lump sum, he will be entitled to an annual pension of around €40,000.

Commissioner Harris had moved swiftly to suspend Mr Taylor following the tribunal's third interim report last month.

Two days after the report was published, Mr Taylor was informed he was being suspended on the grounds that he had brought the organisation into disrepute and had damaged public confidence in the force.

A day after this notification he submitted a request for retirement to his chief superintendent and this was forwarded up the ranks.

It was thought at the time Commissioner Harris might refuse to approve the request, so the disciplinary inquiry could proceed.

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

Mr Taylor had been working as a superintendent in the Garda Traffic Bureau at Dublin Castle for the past four years.

Prior to that he held the role of Garda press officer.

In a damning report, Mr Justice Charleton found Mr Callinan engaged - with the aid of Mr Taylor - in a campaign of false and defamatory statements against the whistleblower.

These occurred after Sgt McCabe raised concerns about penalty points abuses and poor policing practices.

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

The scheme "evolved out of his cheek-by-jowl working relationship" Mr Taylor enjoyed with Mr Callinan.

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

Sgt McCabe said last week that after Mr Justice Charleton's report was published he discussed things with his family and decided to retire.

The judge's report paid tribute to Sgt McCabe, saying he had "done the State considerable service".

Mr Justice Charleton said Sgt McCabe had been "repulsively denigrated for being no more than a good citizen and police officer".

Irish Independent

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