‘You told load of lies to get re­venge on Nóirín’

Irish Daily Mail - - News - By He­len Bruce he­len.bruce@dai­ly­mail.ie

EX-GARDA Press Of­fi­cer David Tay­lor told whistle­blower Mau­rice McCabe ‘a load of lies’ be­cause he was fix­ated on gain­ing re­venge on then Com­mis­sioner Nóirín O’Sullivan and her hus­band, the Dis­clo­sures Tri­bunal has heard.

In a dra­matic day of ev­i­dence in Dublin Cas­tle yes­ter­day, Supt Tay­lor, who was grilled for three and a half days, de­nied the claim.

At the close of his cross-ex­am­i­na­tion, Micheál O’Hig­gins SC, said: ‘You have aban­doned much of what you told Sgt McCabe, [jour­nal­ist] Mick Clif­ford, Deputies Mick Wal­lace and Clare Daly, and pos­si­bly oth­ers. You have aban­doned much of that for fear your ac­count would be ex­posed.

‘I am sug­gest­ing there’s a rea­son that not a sin­gle per­son is of­fer­ing di­rect ev­i­dence to sup­port your story of an or­ches­trated smear campaign.

‘Re­gret­tably, I must put to you that, in the predica­ment in which you found your­self, with your world clos­ing in, un­der pres­sure at home, fi­nances in dis­ar­ray, and above all else, a strong griev­ance that you were be­ing un­fairly tar­geted in a crim­i­nal and dis­ci­plinary pro­ce­dure – I am sug­gest­ing to you that you be­came fix­ated with Nóirín O’Sullivan and her hus­band, and came up with a plan to ex­act re­venge.’

He said Supt Tay­lor came up with the plan to shield him­self, painted him­self as a vic­tim and sought to align him­self with Sgt McCabe.

Mr O’Hig­gins added: ‘As part of this, you at­tempted to sell Sgt McCabe what were a load of lies.

‘I am sug­gest­ing you hawked around those lies to politi­cians, jour­nal­ists, who­ever would lis­ten... in Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber 2016, just af­ter you made your pro­tected dis­clo­sure. The pur­pose of this was to un­der­mine Nóirín O’Sullivan and as part of that you felt you had to also at­tach Martin Cal­li­nan and de­cided to ex­tend it to [Garda Di­rec­tor of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions] Andrew McLin­don.’

Mr O’Hig­gins, who rep­re­sents se­nior gar­daí in­clud­ing the two for­mer com­mis­sion­ers, Mr Cal­li­nan and Ms O’Sullivan, said Sgt McCabe’s own pro­tected dis­clo­sure was based on what he had been told by Supt Tay­lor about the al­leged smear campaign.

He con­cluded: ‘This tri­bunal is in sig­nif­i­cant mea­sure about your al­le­ga­tions in your pro­tected dis­clo­sure. This is a pro­tected dis­clo­sure tri­bunal. And it is not the truth.’

Supt Tay­lor replied: ‘I don’t ac­cept that.’

Ear­lier, the tri­bunal heard that a highly ag­i­tated Supt Tay­lor called to the house of the then re­tired Mr Cal­li­nan, to ‘vent’ about Ms O’Sullivan. Mr O’Hig­gins said his client, Mr Cal­li­nan, has stated that Supt Tay­lor called to his house in May 2015, af­ter his ar­rest. ‘Martin Cal­li­nan said you told him you were ac­cused of leak­ing to the me­dia, and you said you had done noth­ing wrong,’ said coun­sel.

‘He’s clear that you were blam­ing the com­mis­sioner for your ar­rest, and you said that you would bring her down be­cause of what she had done to you.’

Supt Tay­lor, who claims he had been or­dered by Mr Cal­li­nan to smear Sgt McCabe fol­low­ing his whistle­blow­ing about penalty points, replied: ‘Ab­so­lutely not. I wouldn’t say that to her clos­est col­league. Com­mis­sioner Cal­li­nan and Nóirín O’Sullivan were very close and I wouldn’t say any­thing like that.’

Mr O’Hig­gins con­tin­ued: ‘I am sug­gest­ing you were highly ag­i­tated and giv­ing out about Nóirín O’Sullivan. At that point I would sug­gest you had lost bal­ance and were mak­ing wild ac­cu­sa­tions and were giv­ing out se­verely about Nóirín O’Sullivan.’

The wit­ness replied: ‘I don’t ac­cept that.’

Coun­sel then asked if Supt Tay­lor had called to Mr Cal­li­nan’s home be­cause he wanted the for­mer com­mis­sioner to ‘ad­vo­cate’ for him.

‘I wouldn’t ask him. I wouldn’t put him in that po­si­tion,’ he said.

‘You were dis­ap­pointed that his re­sponse was: knuckle down, get on with it and do your best,’ Mr O’Hig­gins said.

‘I never sought help from Martin Cal­li­nan,’ in­sisted Supt Tay­lor.

Ques­tion­ing Supt Tay­lor him­self, Judge Peter Charleton asked if Mr Cal­li­nan had sug­gested a ‘Plan B’, af­ter the ini­tial smear campaign failed to gain trac­tion in the me­dia. Supt Tay­lor said he did not. The judge also asked why Supt Tay­lor had been so bit­ter about his trans­fer out of the press of­fice by Ms O’Sullivan.

He asked why the pro­file of the job had mat­tered to him.

And he asked if Supt Tay­lor now fully ac­cepted that, af­ter leav­ing the press of­fice, he had con­tin­ued to leak de­tails to the me­dia about mur­ders, rapes, bur­glar­ies, ex­tra­di­tions and other cases.

‘I ac­cept my cul­pa­bil­ity and I re­gret that tremen­dously,’ Supt Tay­lor said.

Tay­lor grilled for three days

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