Counsel for former Garda Press Officer David Taylor has told the Disclosures Tribunal that adverse findings can’t be a factor for not allowing costs.
Michael O’Higgins SC also described the now retired Superintendent as a key witness at the tribunal, who had cooperated significantly.
David Taylor was among a number of parities who had submissions made to the tribunal chairman Mr Justice Peter Charleton today, regarding the matter of their costs for their appearance at the inquiry.
The tribunal was set up in 2017 to investigate protected disclosures from a number of Garda whistleblowers.
The submissions today, which were heard in the Four Courts, related to the inquiry into a smear campaign against Garda whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe, who has since retired from the force.
Counsel for the tribunal, Kathleen Leader SC, said the default position is that people who appeared before the inquiry are entitled to their costs, but she said the tribunal has discretion.
She said issues such as whether or not the person cooperated and whether or not they told the truth to the tribunal, should be taken into consideration.
David Taylor was heavily criticised in the Disclosures Tribunal report, which found he lied on a number of occasions including in a High Court affidavit.
Counsel for Mr Taylor told Justice Charleton today that "it is a matter of record that he was the only member of the Gardai to acknowledge there was wrongdoing and a campaign to smear Maurice McCabe."
Michael O’Higgins said his client had undergone a very public examination of areas of his work, gave access to his phone and emails, made admissions, was always available for examination and cross examination and also released journalists from any confidentiality that they owed to him.
And he told the chairman of the tribunal that if David Taylor is not given his full legal costs, then he believed a reduction of 10% would be appropriate and which "might involve an element of compassion."
A submission was also made on the part of David Taylor’s wife Michelle Taylor.
Felix McEnroy SC said his client was not directly a party to the subject matter of the investigation and her involvement in the work of the tribunal was extremely small.
He said while there is one significant adverse finding against her, that the tribunal rejected her evidence, she should be entitled to her full costs, as it did not mount to a finding of non-cooperation.
Counsel for John Barrett, who was suspended in October from his role as the Garda Head of Human Resources, said a case would have to be made that a person before the tribunal would be disentitled to their costs by virtue of their conduct.
John Rogers SC said there was "not a finding that his client gave deliberately false evidence" and "there is no statement to the effect that he was dishonest."
And he told the judge that while there is a very difficult balancing to be done on behalf of the State, he said with regard to his client, "this is not a case where there should be a contemplation of a reduction of costs."
Mr Rogers said "in my submission, no reduction should be made. It would defy the law."
A submission was also made on behalf of three Irish Examiner journalists, Juno McEnroe, Daniel McConnell and Cormac O’Keeffe, seeking their full costs.
Oisin Quinn SC said there was no finding that their decision to invoke journalistic privilege with regard to some questions during their appearance at Dublin Castle wasn’t bona fide.
And he said that position "can’t be equated to giving knowingly false or misleading information."
Mr Justice Peter Charleton said he will now need to carefully consider all the submissions that he has received, before he makes a decision on the matter of costs.