Supt David Taylor in line for €100,000 lump sum on retirement
Garda Commissioner expected to accept Supt Taylor’s retirement shortly
Supt David Taylor requested he be allowed retire the day after he was suspended from his duties. Photograph: Niall Carson/ PA Wire
Supt David Taylor will receive a lump sum of more than €100,000 and a yearly pension of about €34,000 on his retirement which is expected to be approved by the Garda Commissioner shortly.
The former head of the Garda Press Office was severely criticised in last week’s Disclosures Tribunal report for lying to the tribunal and the High Court, and for helping to smear Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe.
The tribunal chairman, Mr Justice Peter Charleton, said Supt Taylor worked “cheek by jowl” with former Garda commissioner Martin Callinan in a “campaign of calumny” against Sgt McCabe after the whistleblower went public with allegations of corruption in the force.
On Saturday, Garda management informed Supt Taylor he was suspended from the force pending an expected internal disciplinary inquiry into the report’s findings. The next day the superintendent requested he be allowed retire.
His retirement request must be signed off on by his chief superintendent, an assistance commissioner and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris. Garda sources said the request was expected to be approved within two weeks.
Supt Taylor currently works in the Garda Traffic Corp in Dublin Castle. Last year he unsuccessfully applied for promotion to chief superintendent.
Despite the report’s findings, there is little management can do that will affect Supt Taylor’s pension package which comprises a €103,000 lump sum and €34,400 a year thereafter.
It is technically within the Commissioner’s power to refuse a retirement request but legal sources say this would be legally problematic given that Supt Taylor has completed more than the required 30 years’ service. He became a garda in 1982.
If Commissioner Harris refuses to accept his retirement and presses on with an inquiry, there are several possible punishments Supt Taylor could be subject to including demotion in rank, a fine of up to four weeks’ pay and dismissal.
Again none of these punishments would affect his pension. While he could be demoted in rank, his pay cannot be reduced under Garda regulations.
Supt Taylor may also face a criminal investigation as to whether he perjured himself before the tribunal and High Court. However, legal sources say charges are unlikely.
Perjury is a notoriously difficult offence to prove as it requires the authorities to show that an accused both lied and knew they were lying. As a consequence, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has usually been very slow to prosecute it.
This is the second time Supt Taylor has been suspended from the Garda pending investigation. In 2015 he was suspended for two years during an investigation into the unauthorised disclosure of information to the press about the seizure of two Roma children from their parents.
The inquiry ended with no findings being made against him. The DPP also dropped charges in relation to the matter.
In his report Mr Justice Charleton echoed findings from the Morris tribunal reports, which were published over a decade ago, that the process for disciplining and firing errant gardaí is far too cumbersome.
“The system of garda discipline is not fit for purpose,” Mr Justice Charleton wrote.
“Turning an internal matter of who should or should not continue to be a policeman or policewoman into a complex series of steps, susceptible at every stage to judicial review and attendant delay, that ends in what is in effect a full criminal trial conducted internally with An Garda Síochána has been a disaster for the country.”