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Dublin: 5 °C Monday 21 October, 2019

Government seeks advice on pursuing Callinan and Taylor for legal damages

The Taoiseach said he would like to see this case taken by Maurice McCabe settled.


THE GOVERNMENT IS considering pursuing former garda commissioner Callinan and former garda press officer David Taylor for a contribution to damages that will be paid to whistleblower Maurice McCabe. 

It was reported at the weekend at the State had previously agreed to cover Callinan’s legal costs in action being taken against him by McCabe. 

The case is also being taken against the Department of Justice, the office of the garda commissioner and the attorney general. Garda Commissioner Drew Harris is seeking legal advice on whether the State can reverse the decision to provide legal counsel for Callinan in light of the Disclosure Tribunal findings against him. 

In the Dáil today Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the fact that the State is providing legal representation does not mean there will be a defence in the case:

“It’s important to say the fact that the State is offering legal representation and is providing legal representation to former Commissioner Callinan does not mean that the State will pay for the defence or even necessarily that there will be a defence.

“I would like to see this case settled and I hope it can be settled to the satisfaction of Maurice McCabe and Lorraine, sooner rather than later.”

Varadkar said he has also asked the attorney general to advise the government on whether it can “pursue both former Commissioner Callinan and also Mr Taylor for a contribution to any damages that may be paid”.

“And you’ll also be aware that it is open to Justice Charleton as head of the Tribunal to pursue a similar process in relation to Tribunal costs should he feel that those witnesses or any witnesses did not fully cooperate with the Tribunal.”

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