A former garda press officer who took over the role from Superintendent David Taylor has told the Disclosures Tribunal he sensed that the Superintendent was bitter about being moved out of the role.
Retired superintendent Paul Moran was giving evidence about a conversation he had with Supt Taylor in the summer of 2014, after Supt Moran had taken over as head of the Garda Press Office.
The Tribunal is examining allegations contained in a protected disclosure made by Supt Taylor about an alleged garda smear campaign against the whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe.
Supt Moran said he thought Supt Taylor had been upset about being moved out of the Press Office.
Supt Moran told the tribunal that during the initial handover meeting when he took up the role in the Press Office he remembered Supt Taylor said he was not so much upset about his transfer out of the office as the way the move was done.
Asked about whether he believed Supt Taylor had expressed bitterness towards the former Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan specifically, Supt Moran said there had been no discussion of anyone in particular.
Counsel for Supt Taylor, Tara Burns, put it to Supt Moran that her client’s position was that he did not express anything specific in relation to his thoughts on his move when he met Supt Moran in the summer of 2014, after he had taken up the role.
Ms Burns put it to him that Supt Taylor’s feelings about it may have been deduced by Supt Moran from the conversation.
Supt Moran said he had deduced Supt Taylor’s views from the conversation and body language.
Earlier Supt Moran told the tribunal that he did not get any briefing from Supt Taylor about matters relating to Sgt McCabe when he took up the Press Office role, and that Supt Moran did not make any inquiry about the issue.
Superintendent John Ferris, of the Garda Office of Corporate Communications, told the tribunal that he was never told by Supt Taylor that he was directed to brief the media negatively on Sgt McCabe.
Supt Ferris also said he had never heard any conversation from Mr Callinan, Ms O'Sullivan or Supt Taylor on Sgt McCabe.
He also said he was not aware of the sexual assault allegation made against Sgt McCabe by Ms D at the time he joined the press office.
He said he later learnt about it from media coverage but he was unable to say when.
Supt Ferris said he had no idea that Supt Taylor was going to make a protected disclosure and he first heard about the protected disclosure when it came into the public domain and was reported in the newspapers.
Supt Ferris said he had no knowledge of any alleged negative campaign against Sgt McCabe whatsoever, and he had no part in it.
Supt Ferris told the tribunal that he found Supt Taylor difficult to work with and he said he could not come to terms with how he felt the superintendent had treated him.
However, he said that they had a professional relationship. Supt Taylor had a hands on approach and took the view that they should pump out press releases and if there was "a lawnmower being stolen in Malahide", they should put out a release on that, he said.
Supt Ferris also said that on two occasions after Supt Taylor left the Press Office, he had to remove his name from the press clippings list circulated to senior officers.
He said he was not directed to do this but he told Supt Taylor that he was not required to get the press clippings any longer.
Supt Taylor's lawyer, Tara Burns SC, asked if Supt Taylor had mentioned to John Ferris that the reason he wanted to be on the list was for his thesis.
Supt Ferris said he did not.
He also said another press officer told him that Supt Taylor had asked for details of the press mailing list.
Mr Justice Peter Charleton asked Supt Ferris repeatedly what discussion there was about Sgt McCabe in the press office.
He put it to Supt Ferris that he must know something about Supt Taylor's attitude to Sgt McCabe or the organisation's attitude to the sergeant.
Supt Ferris said he was not aware of any campaign against Sgt McCabe.
Asked whether there was any discussion after the Paul Williams articles about a serving garda accused of abusing a child, he said there was no big discussion on it.
Supt Ferris also said that he received a copy of the O'Higgins Commission report before it was published.
He said he did not brief RTÉ's Crime Correspondent Paul Reynolds or anyone else on the report.
The tribunal has adjourned for today and will resume hearings on Friday.
16 current and former members of the Garda Press Office will be questioned about their knowledge of the alleged smear campaign.
This section of the inquiry is examine the allegation in Supt Taylor's disclosure that he was directed by former garda commissioner Martin Callinan to brief the media negatively on Sgt McCabe. Mr Callinan denies this.
Later this week, the tribunal will hear from members of the telecommunications section of the gardaí.
Other witnesses over the coming weeks will include Mr Callinan, Supt Taylor, Ms O'Sullivan and several journalists from various media organisations including RTÉ.
Additional reporting: Sandra Hurley