By Michael Clifford
Gsoc is investigating allegations that a senior garda opened a criminal investigation into a personal injury claim because he was friendly with the employer against whom the claim was made.
The case centres on a claim by a man in the Munster region. The injured party, who has made the complaint to the Garda ombudsman, issued proceedings against the employer following an accident.
Shortly after that, the employer approached the injured party with an offer of compensation, a course of action common in personal injuries cases. However, the injured party was not satisfied by the offer, considering it too low for the extent of the injuries suffered.
He told the employer he was rejecting the offer and intended bringing the matter to a full hearing of the High Court.
The injured party alleges he was subsequently contacted by a garda, who told him he was being investigated for making a fraudulent claim. The investigation was initiated on foot of a complaint from the employer.
The injured party was not shown any evidence of the alleged fraud and refused to co-operate with the investigation. His solicitor wrote to the gardaí pointing out the sequence of events and that the matter was now before the civil courts.
The investigation was discontinued. The injured party subsequently alleged a close friendship exists between his employer and the senior garda and alleges that the investigation was conducted not on the basis of evidence but to put pressure on him over his civil action.
The civil action is due before the High Court in the coming law term. The Irish Examiner understands the Gsoc investigation into the complaint is at an early stage but the senior garda is denying any malpractice.