Irish Sun journalist tells Tribunal Dave Taylor never briefed her negatively on Maurice McCabe

Eavan Murray during The Disclosures Tribunal at Dublin Castle, Dublin. Photo Gareth Chaney Collins.

Update - 15.09pm: A journalist with the Irish Sun has told the Disclosures Tribunal that she believes Superintendent Dave Taylor named her as someone he briefed negatively to bolster his story.

Eavan Murray says she was never negatively briefed by Supt Taylor or any garda about Sgt McCabe.

The former Garda Press Officer claims he was ordered by garda management to smear Maurice McCabe to journalists.

Ms Murray originally refused to tell the Tribunal about her news-gathering activities, citing journalistic privilege, but says she regrets not coming forward earlier.

Earlier: Sunday Times investigative journalist John Mooney has told the Charleton Tribunal he was not negatively briefed about garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe.

The tribunal is looking at allegations by former garda press officer Supt David Taylor that he was directed to smear Sgt McCabe. Former commissioners Martin Callinan and Nóirín O'Sullivan deny there was any smear campaign.

"I personally was never briefed negatively by Supt Taylor or any member of An Garda Síochana who attempted to suggest Sgt McCabe was involved in child abuse or something like that. That did not happen," Mr Mooney said.

The DPP directed no prosecution after a garda investigation into allegations by Miss D in 2006, stating that there was no evidence of a crime being disclosed.

Mr Mooney said that both former commissioners had threatened to sue him at various times over articles he had written. "I don't think they would have been passing me confidential information with a view to undermining anyone," he said.

I don't think myself or the Sunday Times would have made suitable targets for that kind of information - John Mooney

"Most of the communications I had with David Taylor when he was press officer involved legal threats against me. I don't think I would have been suitable fodder for a smear campaign," Mr Mooney said.

Mr Mooney said that on one occasion, "someone made a very fleeting reference to an allegation against Sgt McCabe", and he subsequently made an inquiry and was told there wasn't anything to it.

Mr Mooney said the person who made this reference was a civilian, not a garda officer.

Mr Mooney said that the fact that Sgt McCabe was still serving and not suspended was also an indication that the rumour was without substance.

"I treated such matters as gossip and noise," Mr Mooney said.

Mr Mooney said that the allegations were dealt with by a system, and he believed in the system.

Mr Mooney said that he felt the allegations against Sgt McCabe "weren't fit for public consumption", and there were serious privacy issues involved. He said that he recognised that articles written by Paul Williams who interviewed Miss D in April 2014 referred to the allegations against Sgt McCabe.

"To be perfectly honest, it wouldn't have been material that would be published in the Sunday Times,” said Mr Mooney.

John Mooney.

Following an RTÉ Prime Time report in 2017, Mr Mooney said he made efforts to approach Miss D on Facebook.

"I think I identified her thorough her father. She was linked in as a friend to her fathers' Facebook account," Mr Mooney said.

"When Prime Time broadcast the documentary, it was my job to try to establish accurate information on what happened," Mr Mooney said.

Mr Mooney said that no other journalist came to him to say they were negatively briefed about Sgt McCabe.

The tribunal continues this afternoon.

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