Sergeant begins court action against Garda Ombudsman decision

Sergeant begins court action against Garda Ombudsman decision

A Co Donegal-based Garda Sergeant has today commenced his High Court action aimed at quashing the Garda Ombudsman's decision to investigate allegations the Sergeant had harassed a man over a four-year period.

Sergeant Oliver Moran, of Kilmacrennan garda station, Co Donegal, is also disputing the Garda Ombudsman Commission's decision to extend the six-month time limit for completion of an investigation of a complaint by Mr Josie Kelly he was harassed between 2003 and 2007.

In his judicial review proceedings, Sgt Moran is seeking various orders and declarations, including an order quashing the decision that the complaint was admissible.

In a statement of opposition, the Commission states that its decision that the complaint was admissible was rational, cogent and adequate.

Today James Connolly SC, for Sgt Moran, who has been stationed at Kilmacrennan since 1998, said it was their case the Garda Ombudsman lacks jurisdiction to make the decision to extend time for investigating the complaint.

Under the relevant law, an investigation must be conducted within six months of a complaint being made to the Ombudsman and that six-month period may only be extended in exceptional circumstances, counsel said.

The court heard Mr Kelly, Castledoe, Creeslough, Co Donegal, had made a complaint to the Garda Ombudsman in February 2010 that he was harassed between 2003 and 2007 by Sgt Moran.

Mr Kelly has also complained that he was assaulted by other members of the gardaí in 2009 while in custody at Letterkenny garda station. No claim of assault has been made against Sgt Moran.

The action before Mr Justice John Hedigan continues.

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