Former press officer sues Garda commissioner

The former Garda press spokesman recently reinstated after being suspended over alleged leaks has begun a legal action against Garda commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan and the State.

Superintendent David Taylor recently returned to work after confirmation that the director of public prosecutions would not be taking a prosecution against him for alleged wrongdoing around a case that involved the wrongful removal of Roma children by gardaí from their families.

Supt Taylor had been under formal Garda investigation for almost two years, which he described as “an incredibly stressful and difficult time”. He also said last month that he has been vindicated and will be returning to work.

It emerged yesterday that he has begun a High Court legal action seeking damages. It is understood the action refers to reduced pay while he was suspended and the fact that he was arrested at one stage of the Garda investigation and was detained in a Garda station for 21 hours.

While on suspension Supt Taylor made a protected disclosure to the Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald, in which he alleged that he was directed by senior gardaí to spread smears about garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe.

He also alleged that Ms O’Sullivan knew of the smear campaign, which she has denied.

It is understood that two legal actions were lodged on Supt Taylor’s behalf this week by ME Hanahoe Solicitors, and that one is a personal injury claim seeking damages, and the other is seeking a number of declarations, with the justice minister named as an additional defendant.

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