The former Garda press officer claims the alleged smear campaign was orchestrated by Garda management

Dave Taylor has apologised to Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe for his part in an alleged smear campaign he claims was orchestrated by Garda management.

The former Garda Press officer told the Disclosures Tribunal this afternoon that he apologised to Sergeant McCabe when he met him in September 2016 - and apologised again today.

He maintained, however, that he did not tell him that he smeared him by text message.

Supt Taylor has also denied telling Independent TD Mick Wallace that when former Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan moves, she’s lying.

In cross examination by lawyers for RTÉ – Supt Taylor said he is unable to give any details of when he negatively briefed journalists.

Earlier he told the tribunal that Sergeant McCabe would be spoken about "around the water cooler" in Garda HQ.

The former Garda Press officer agreed with a sergeant in the Press Office who said last week that Dave Taylor would not have been on Sgt McCabe’s side.

Under cross-examination by counsel for Maurice McCabe, Dave Taylor said he now accepts that Sgt McCabe was not motivated by revenge for being investigated for a sexual assault allegation when he blew the whistle on the quashing of penalty points by Gardaí.

The Disclosures Tribunal is investigating whether Garda management directed Superintendent Taylor to smear Maurice McCabe to journalists.

The former Press Officer has again said he never wrote down negative briefings – but that his instructions would be verbal.

Last week, a sergeant in the Press Office, James Molloy, said that it was clear that Supt Taylor was not on Maurice McCabe’s side.

Supt Taylor agreed that was the impression he gave to his staff, and said Sgt McCabe would’ve been spoken about around the water cooler in Garda Headquarters.

Asked by Michael McDowell if he felt he was revealing a huge secret about Maurice McCabe or fanning the flames of a current rumour, Supt Taylor said the rumour was already out there and he wasn’t always breaking new news.