Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy has said the Garda Commissioner’s husband, Jim McGowan, had a role in handling text messages on the phones of Garda whistleblowers.
In the Dáil, Mr Murphy said that Mr McGowan “took control” of mobile phones on which he alleged there are texts which show Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan knew of the campaign to destroy Sergeant Maurice McCabe.
“The commissioner’s husband took control of his mobile phones, upon which, allegedly, there is a text from the commissioner saying “perfect” in response to the idea that a journalist was meeting the alleged victim of Maurice McCabe,” Mr Murphy asked Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
“How can the Taoiseach allow Commissioner O’Sullivan to remain in place? How does he know that she will not use her position to obstruct the inquiry?
“The questions that Maurice McCabe has posed do not need a tribunal. Mr McCabe has posed six simple questions that the Government and the ministers can get answers to from the Commissioner, Tusla, and the HSE. When will Mr McCabe have answers to those questions?”
Mr Kenny said that, as far as he is concerned, the Government was very anxious to decide in principle to have a tribunal which would be fair to everybody and draft terms of reference that will allow the tribunal to do its work.
“I hope that that can be concluded within the next 48 hours and that it can go through both the Dáil and the Seanad in order to let that commission and tribunal of inquiry get on with its work,” said Mr Kenny.
“The central issue is whether there was or was not a concerted smear campaign by senior gardaí against Sergeant Maurice McCabe.”
Meanwhile, Superintendent David Taylor, who says he was ordered to spread malicious rumours about Sgt McCabe, has said he wants to move on with his life after he returned to work following a 22-month suspension.
Supt Taylor was under investigation for leaking information relating to a separate Garda matter to the media when he worked as press officer. His suspension was lifted suddenly on Monday after the DPP said he had no case to answer.
Arriving for work at the Garda Traffic Corps in Dublin yesterday, Supt Taylor told 3 News Ireland he felt vindicated.
“I’m delighted to resume my life,” he said. “It’s been very difficult and stressful but I want to put that behind me and move on.”
The pending inquiry was sparked when Supt Taylor himself turned whistleblower and made claims under the Protected Disclosures Act that he was instructed by former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and/or current commissioner Ms O’Sullivan to brief the media negatively against Sgt McCabe.
READ MORE: Q&A: Commission of inquiry or tribunal
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