A sacked garda who passed on confidential information and illegally held a shotgun has been ordered to carry out community service in lieu of jail.
Daniel Tarrant, aged 51, personally and indirectly accessed confidential data on the Garda system to give to retail security firms who were clients of his partner.
Det Sgt Tommy Murphy said the garda’s motivation had been to help his partner preserve a good business relationship with the firms as she had no license to provide security services.
Tarrant, with an address at Doon, Kiskeam, Mallow, Co Cork, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to three charges of disclosing personal data between Dec 23, 2008 and Jul 16, 2009.
He also pleaded guilty to illegally possessing a single barrel shotgun on Oct 9, 2009 at Cluain Ri, Ashbourne, Co Meath. At an initial hearing the court heard he had claimed it was an heirloom
Judge Mary Ellen Ring, who previously adjourned the case having heard evidence, noted a probation report had assessed Tarrant as suitable for community service. She ordered that he carry out 200 hours in lieu of two years in prison and gave him 12 months to complete that.
Judge Ring noted that under the Data Protection Act, only monetary penalties are available to the court. She ordered Tarrant pay €1,000 to be divided amongst St Vincent De Paul, the Capuchin Day Centre, and the Father Peter McVerry Trust.
Gardaí began investigating Tarrant’s phone records after a tip-off in No 2011 about data protection breaches.
The detective said Tarrant, who was stationed at Finglas, was dismissed after 27 years in the force following the investigation. He is entitled to a pension but he won’t have access to it until he is 60 years old.
Det Gda Murphy agreed with Dominic McGinn SC, defending, that he was satisfied there was no criminal context in Tarrant’s offences.
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