The High Court has today granted permission to a Co Donegal-based Garda Sergeant to bring a challenge aimed at quashing the Garda Ombudsman's decision to conduct an investigation into allegations that the Garda has harassed a man over a four-year period.
At the High Court, Garda Sergeant Oliver Moran, Kilmacrennan Garda Station, Co Donegal, who has been given permission to challenge the Garda Ombudsman commission's decision, under Section 84 of the 2005 Garda Síochána Act, to extend the six-month time limit for the completion of an investigation of a complaint by a Mr Josie Kelly that he was harassed by Sgt. Moran between 2003 and 2007.
Leave was granted by Mr Justice Michael Peart, following an ex-parte application. The Judge made the matter returnable before the High Court in early October.
In his proceedings Sgt. Moran is seeking a number of orders and declarations including quashing the Ombudsman's decision to extend time.
He is also seeking orders quashing the decision to investigate the complaint and an order quashing the decision that the complaint made against Sgt. Moran is admissible.
Sgt Moran is also seeking a declaration that the decision to extend time to conduct the investigation is in breach of natural and fair procedures.
James Connolly SC for Sgt. Moran, who has been stationed at Kilmacrennan since 1998 said that it was their case that the Garda Ombudsman lacks jurisdiction to make the decision to extend time, and on grounds that the decision lacked fairness of procedures.
Counsel said that under the act an investigation must be conducted within six months of a complaint being made to the Ombudsman. Counsel said that the six-month period can only be extended in exceptional circumstances.
Counsel said that in correspondence Sgt Moran sought to make submissions to the Ombudsman in relation to the decision to extend the six month period. However submissions were not were not accepted by the Ombudsman.
The court heard that last February Mr Kelly of Castledoe, Creeslough, Co Donegal, made a complaint to the Garda Ombudsman that he was harassed between 2003 and 2007 by Sgt Moran.
Mr Kelly has also complained that he was assaulted by members of the Gardaí in 2009 while in custody at Letterkenny Garda Station. However no claim of assault has been made against Sgt Moran.