Key quotes from the Charleton report

The 406-page report released by Justice Peter Charleton contains some strong language, including that whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe was "repulsively denigrated for being no more than a good citizen and police officer".

We have extracted some key quotes to bring you a flavour of the main findings.

Compiled by Colette Keane

Justice Charleton on:

Tusla and the Gardaí: "If something goes wrong, there is an all-out effort to discover why and to learn from error. Regrettably, neither TUSLA nor the garda organisation currently displays that mentality."

On the Gardaí: "Our police force is a resource of brilliant men and women. While it is a single-level entry service, it regularly produces people of extraordinary devotion to duty and intelligence at the highest level. It is that police force that needs to be supported and fostered. How dispiriting it must be for them that all of what is detailed in this report happened. They are crying out for leadership."

On Maurice McCabe: "Maurice McCabe did a serious public service in bringing these and other matters to public attention. How his own organisation treated him is detailed in this report. That was not, of course, every person in the organisation. Yet, it was the leader of the police and the head of the press office; and all through his ordeal, nasty gossip about him was rampant."

On Maurice McCabe: "Maurice McCabe has done the State considerable service by bringing these matters to the attention of the wider public and he has done so not out of a desire to inflate his public profile, but out of a legitimate drive to ensure that the national police force serves the people through hard work and diligence. He is an exemplar of that kind of attitude. Notwithstanding everything that happened to him, he remains an officer of exemplary character and has shown himself in giving evidence to the tribunal as being a person of admirable fortitude."

On Maurice McCabe: "He is a fine police officer...He is also a genuinely public-spirited individual; a man of integrity.”

On PR spin: "It seems that our public life is now to be dominated by spin and that plain speaking is elided in favour of meaningless public relations speak. This is a hideous development in Irish public life."

On Supt Dave Taylor: "It is an utter mystery as to why Commissioner Martin Callinan could have decided to choose Superintendent David Taylor as his press officer. Both of them have given explanations for this decision: that David Taylor was talented, experienced, articulate and so on. He is not. All of this is just plain untrue.

On Supt Dave Taylor: "Superintendent David Taylor spun a deceit that his boss, Commissioner Martin Callinan, with whom he was on the best of terms for all his time in the press office of Garda Headquarters, and Nóirín O’Sullivan, who he decided for his own bitter reasons he didn’t like and was not up to the job, were on the one hand composing, and on the other approving, derogatory messages about Maurice McCabe."

On Supt Dave Taylor: "The tribunal is convinced that he pursued a scheme that somehow evolved out of his cheek-by-jowl working relationship with Commissioner Callinan. Their plan was that there was to be much nodding and winking and references to a historic claim of sexual abuse while, at the same time, saying that the Director of Public Prosecutions had ruled that even if the central allegation did not have credibility issues, what was described did not amount to an offence of sexual assault or even an assault."

On Supt Taylor: "What might be regarded as upsetting in all of this is the extent to which Superintendent Taylor was able to dress up lies in a legal syrup that cloyingly garnered public sympathy. He apparently succeeded in garnering public sympathy through the manipulation of the media and he also managed to hold on to his career through deceit."

On Supt Dave Taylor: "There is a plain reality to this. Superintendent David Taylor spun a deceit that his boss, Commissioner Martin Callinan, with whom he was on the best of terms for all his time in the press office of Garda Headquarters, and Nóirín O’Sullivan, who he decided for his own bitter reasons he didn’t like and was not up to the job, were on the one hand composing, and on the other approving, derogatory messages about Maurice McCabe. Hence, in his false reasoning, phones were important. Hence, in his false reasoning phones went missing, Hence, in his false reasoning, phones behaved mysteriously.

"Why? Because these phones had evidence implicating the highest levels of the national police force in a vicious campaign against a defenceless sergeant who wanted to see no more than an improvement in police standards. And the reality? This tale was spun about missing phones, telecommunications interference by Garda Headquarters, texts to politicians and journalists and a trail of evidence that never existed in order, specifically and deliberately, to destroy the investigation by Chief Superintendent Clerkin into the behaviour of Superintendent David Taylor. At risk through a perfectly legitimate and honest investigation by a police officer of high intelligence and of truly distinguished record, Superintendent Taylor chose to present a public lie to the people of Ireland. It was enthusiastically taken up. Furthermore, it cast a pall of pretended deceit over the entire police force.

"Then no one knew better. Now, they do."


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