Mick Wallace TD has told the Disclosures Tribunal that former garda press officer Superintendent Dave Taylor misrepresented and exaggerated his situation to him and his colleague TD Clare Daly.
Mr Wallace said Supt Taylor embellished his own problems in terms of the garda investigation into his disclosing of information and he said what had emerged at the tribunal, showed there was good cause to investigate him.
However, Mr Wallace said he believed then and still believed what Supt Taylor told them about an alleged senior garda smear campaign against Sgt Maurice McCabe.
Mr Wallace told the inquiry that he and Ms Daly met Supt Taylor on 3 October 2016 just after meeting Sgt Maurice McCabe.
He said Supt Taylor was very emotional but seemed genuinely remorseful.
However, he said that in hindsight, the Supt was untruthful when he said he was being investigated on "trumped up charges".
Mr Wallace said this had clearly undermined Supt Taylor's credibility but he was in a bad place at the time.
Supt Taylor has denied telling the TDs that the case against him consisted of "trumped up charges".
Mr Wallace said Supt Taylor told them that he understood that Sgt McCabe was motivated out of badness and that there was a orchestrated campaign against him by former garda commissioner Martin Callinan with the knowledge of Noirín O'Sullivan.
He said he could not say 100% that Supt Taylor had said part of the campaign was conducted by text but he said that was the impression he was left with.
Supt Taylor has denied saying that the campaign was conducted by text.
Mr Wallace said he still believed there were efforts to undermine Sgt McCabe and he said there had not been a judge in history who had been told so many lies.
Mr Wallace also said it was nonsense that Supt Taylor had influenced their opinion of Ms O'Sullivan and he said he and Ms Daly had argued against her appointment and repeatedly called for her resignation in the Dáil.
Lawyer for An Garda Síochána, Conor Dignam, suggested to Mr Wallace that he had championed the case of Garda Keith Harrison in the Dáil.
Last year, Mr Justice Peter Charleton dismissed Garda Harrison's claims that Tusla and the gardaí had inappropriately interfered in his family life.
Mr Wallace said they had highlighted their view that Garda Harrison had been badly treated by An Garda Síochána but he said they never mentioned Tusla and he said that they advised then Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald against including Garda Harrison's Tusla claims in the Tribunal.
Mr Wallace said Garda Harrison had come in on the wrong module and had paid a high price for it.
Ind TD had discussion about mobile phones being 'bleached'
Meanwhile, Independent TD Clare Daly has said that when she heard an allegation of a smear campaign against Sgt Maurice McCabe she saw it as part of efforts to undermine the Sgt that she had been aware of since 2011.
Deputy Daly was giving evidence about a meeting she and Deputy Mick Wallace had with the former Garda Press Officer Supt David Taylor in October 2016.
She said she and Mick Wallace had been aware of a campaign against Sgt McCabe since 2011, and she said there had been wholesale efforts to undermine and discredit the Sgt.
The TD also said that during the meeting with Supt Taylor mobile phones were discussed a lot and that they discussed the idea of phones being bleached, in reference to wiping information.
Deputy Daly said she believed this was clearly in the context that information on phones would verify the allegation of a smear campaign.
Supt Taylor has denied that texts formed part of the alleged campaign.
The tribunal also heard that nobody had contacted Ms Daly to correct the public record when she made reference to texts being part of a smear campaign in a radio interview the day after her meeting with Supt Taylor.
Under cross-examination from lawyers for Supt Taylor, Ms Daly said what the Supt had told her and Mick Wallace about alleged negative briefing during their meeting was not anything new to them, but carried weight because it was coming from a level inside the gardaí which they had not heard from before.
Ms Daly said that Supt Taylor had struck her as genuine and remorseful, however she said she did not think he would have been there talking to them had his own personal situation not intervened.
RTÉ journalists tell tribunal of alleged derogatory comments by Callinan
Two colleagues of RTÉ broadcaster Philip Boucher-Hayes have said the journalist told them about derogatory comments he alleges were made by the former garda commissioner Martin Callinan in relation to the whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe in December 2013.
Niamh O’Connor, then a commissioning editor in RTÉ, gave evidence to the Disclosures Tribunal about the day of the Crimecall television programme on 17 December 2013, which included Mr Callinan as a contributor.
She told the tribunal that she suggested to Mr Boucher-Hayes that he speak to Mr Callinan before the programme to discuss editorial matters that had arisen.
Ms O’Connor said that when she met Mr Boucher-Hayes in early 2014 for the first time after the programme was broadcast, the journalist told her that Martin Callinan had made derogatory remarks about Sgt McCabe to him, including that the sergeant had psychological and psychiatric issues.
Lawyers for Mr Callinan asked Ms O’Connor if she had got any sense of Mr Boucher-Hayes being alarmed or concerned by the alleged remarks.
Ms O’Connor said he had relayed the matters to her in terms of telling her what had happened, but she said she believed he was concerned because of the mere fact that he was telling her the story.
She said there was no exchange between her and Mr Boucher-Hayes about what he claimed Mr Callinan had said.
Tom Donnelly, a former series producer on RTÉ’s Drivetime, told the tribunal that he had had a conversation with Mr Boucher-Hayes about the editorial matters that had arisen on the Crimecall programme in late December 2013.
Mr Donnelly said Mr Boucher-Hayes had told him about the conversation with Martin Callinan, that Mr Callinan had said Sgt McCabe had problems, and that the former garda commissioner had made reference to "the worst kind of things" in relation to the sergeant.
Mr Donnelly also said Mr Boucher-Hayes had said that Martin Callinan had told him that if he needed more information he could talk to a colleague, and had gestured down the corridor to a member of the Garda Press Office.
Mr Donnelly said he understood that this was in reference to Supt David Taylor but he said Mr Boucher-Hayes did not mention the superintendent by name during their conversation.
Counsel for Mr Callinan, Mícheál O’Higgins, suggested to Mr Donnelly that in light of the passage of time and the fact that he had read the transcript of Mr Boucher-Hayes’ evidence to the tribunal, that his memory of matters had been infused by information he learned subsequent to the original conversation.
Mr Donnelly said he recalled clearly being told that Martin Callinan had made reference to the "worst kind of things" or "worst sort of things" in relation to Sgt McCabe, and that Mr Callinan had gestured towards a colleague in suggesting where Mr Boucher-Hayes could get more information.
Mr Donnelly said these were recollections that were significantly older than Mr Boucher-Hayes’ evidence to the tribunal.
Earlier the tribunal heard further evidence from Garda Executive Director of HR John Barrett.
Mr Barrett told the tribunal that he did not say at any stage to Sgt McCabe that the information from RTÉ broadcasts relating to the O’Higgins Commission in May 2016 would have come from "Block 1", or "the front block", in reference to then garda commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan.
Mr Barrett said the issue was not recorded in detailed minutes he took of his meetings with Sgt McCabe.
Counsel for Sgt McCabe, Michael McDowell, put it to Mr Barrett that it would have been strange for him to document an accusation against Ms O’Sullivan in a minute that might come to her attention at a later stage.
Mr Barrett disagreed and said on other occasions he had faithfully recorded criticism of other people not party to their meetings.
Story on McCabe allegations was 'peddled' around a number of newsrooms
Lawyers for the former David Taylor have told the tribunal that the Supt is adding a twelfth person to the list of journalists he claims he negatively briefed against Sgt McCabe.
Supt Taylor has now named 12 journalists, to whom he claims to have spoken as part of a smear campaign he alleges he was carrying out against Sgt McCabe.
Supt Taylor claims that Mr Callinan instructed him to negatively brief journalists against the sergeant, and that this was done with the knowledge of Nóirín O'Sullivan.
Both former garda commissioners deny the claims.
Former Crime Reporter for the Irish Daily Mirror Cathal McMahon told the Tribunal today that he heard from a source who was not a member of the gardaí in early 2014 that Sgt McCabe had been investigated for alleged sexual abuse of a child, and that the allegation was historical.
Mr McMahon said he contacted then Supt Taylor, then garda press officefr, to check the information, and that Supt Taylor had confirmed it and suggested he go to Cavan.
Mr McMahon said he did not consider this to be negative briefing by the superintendent.
During cross examination, Counsel for Supt Taylor John Ferry put it to Mr McMahon that the superintendent had negatively briefed him, rather than the journalist approaching him for confirmation of information.
However Mr Ferry said the superintendent's position was that he had not told the journalist to go to Cavan.
Mr McMahon rejected this.
Later, the Editor of the Irish Daily Mirror John Kierans said that when Mr McMahon had come to him with the story his antennae was up and he felt something was wrong.
Mr Kierans said he did not believe the story and was not going to take a risk on it, and it did not run.
Mr Kierans said that after his newspaper decided not to run the story, he subsequently learned that it had been "peddled" to two or three other newsrooms in the subsequent weeks.
He said he understood that the story had come from Supt Taylor.
Mícheál O'Higgins, Counsel for the former garda commissioners, asked Mr Kierans if he accepted Mr McMahon's evidence that Supt Taylor was not the original source for the story and it had not come from any member of the gardaí.
Mr Kierans said he accepted that but he said he understood that Supt Taylor had confirmed it with Mr McMahon.
The tribunal Chair Mr Justice Peter Charleton then reiterated his view that there was a patriotic obligation on people with information to come forward to the tribunal.
Judge Charleton said that if journalists were claiming privilege in relation to sources, but knew something, he would much rather know that.
He said people should come forward so that people in Ireland were not left in the daft situation where journalists did not come forward with information but then wrote about it in the aftermath of the Inquiry.
Judge Charleton said the potential consequences of this were that people would stop trusting journalists.
Mr Ferry told the tribunal it was Supt Taylor's evidence that he did not brief editors or newsrooms but that he negatively briefed journalists against Sgt McCabe.
Mr Kierans said he had heard a rumour in relation to the story about the allegation against Sgt McCabe, and that that story had been going around a number of newsrooms.
He said he was not prepared to identify his sources within the business.
Lawyers for the tribunal asked Mr Kierans if what he had heard related to any of the news organisations not already mentioned in evidence as being aware of the rumour about Sgt McCabe.
Mr Kierans said not that he was aware of.
The tribunal has adjourned until tomorrow.