Tom Brady: 'Superintendent not out of the woods after Charleton accused him of smear campaign'
The Garda authorities will seek legal advice on the options open to them to pursue disgraced press officer Supt Dave Taylor following his retirement from the force.
Supt Taylor applied for early retirement 24 hours after he was officially informed last month he was being suspended from the organisation on the grounds that he had brought the organisation into disrepute and by his actions he had damaged public confidence in the force.
He made his application on the basis that he had completed 30 years of service in the Garda and was entitled to leave on full pension.
The application eventually ended up on the desk of Commissioner Drew Harris, who was advised he had no alternative legally but to sanction the early retirement request as Supt Taylor's service ensured he was within his rights to seek to leave.
The decision means that he is no longer facing the threat of disciplinary action and it also protects his pension, worth an estimated €40,000 a year.
A member of the force must give three months' notice of an intention to retire but as Supt Taylor had built up a considerable amount of leave, he was entitled to retire much sooner. The decision came into effect at midnight on Sunday.
Earlier last month, the publication of the Disclosures Tribunal report revealed the chairman Mr Justice Peter Charleton had found Supt Taylor had been part of a campaign to smear Sgt Maurice McCabe.
The Garda authorities are now understood to be considering a number of options on whether they can legally take any further action.
The grounds for such action include: the determination by Mr Justice Charleton that Supt Taylor had lied several times in his evidence to the tribunal; the finding that he had knowingly lodged a false affidavit with the High Court by claiming his phone had been interfered with while he was on suspension previously; and the disclosure of information to others when he was no longer the press officer for the force.
However, the findings of the tribunal cannot be used as the basis for taking action against Supt Taylor.
The findings can only be used as grounds for initiating new proceedings, and an investigation would then be held separately to establish the facts and determine if there was a case against him.
Supt Taylor had previously been subjected to a criminal investigation after being transferred from the press office to the traffic section, arrested and held overnight in custody for questioning about "unauthorised disclosure" of information.
This culminated in the gardaí sending a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions, who decided there were no grounds for bringing a criminal charge against him.
A decision on possible new proceedings will be taken by the Garda authorities following consultation with lawyers.